Real Weddings

Whimsical Weddings: Grace & Christian | Armstrong Park, LA

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From the Photographer:

Grace and Christian had every detail planned for their October 5, New Orleans wedding. They had planned a casual outdoor ceremony in Armstrong Park followed by a second line, which would lead their guests on a parade through the streets of New Orleans, and into the beautifully decorated courtyard of their French Quarter condo.

They chose October for their wedding because the weather at that time of year is generally delightful. October marks the beginning of a new year in New Orleans; a time when summer slips away as the humidity and temperature finally break. And most importantly, the looming threat of hurricanes that is ever present in the summertime is nearly diminished in October. Everything had gone so well in the planning, but 48 hours before the wedding, the one thing you can’t plan for happened – a tropical storm developed in the Gulf. Tropical Storm Karen was predicted to make landfall over New Orleans on the wedding day. The bride and groom kicked into high gear, phoning everyone they had contacted over the past two years. They had to find – and decorate – an indoor venue. As the photographer, I watched our carefully planned timeline go out the window and gently reassured the bride that the day would be beautiful, no matter how it turned out. We all agreed to adhere to an old New Orleans tradition and just “let the good times roll!”  The couple took their chances and kept the wedding outside in Armstrong Park.

On the wedding day, the bride and her party got ready at the Olivier House Hotel then made her way to the ceremony in her usual unconventional style, by way of a train of pedi-cabs through the French Quarter. An intimate group of family and friends, who included many New Orleans notable personalities, anxiously awaited her arrival. Christian, a boat captain, arrived donned in his white captain’s uniform looking dashing and reminiscent of scenes from An Officer and A Gentlemen.The weather was holding but threatening; it was hot and humid, but the impending rain added a welcome bluster to the wind. The ceremony, by officiant, Dr. Joy, was joyful, but rushed. Just as the couple was exchanging rings, a few fat raindrops began to fall. The dutiful maid of honor and dear friend of the couple, Pulitzer Prize winning author Chris Rose, stepped in to hold umbrellas for a truly memorable moment. It was noted that one guest stated, “Chris Rose held a Mardi-Gras-colored umbrella over your head during a hurricane as you said ‘I do.’ It doesn’t get much more New Orleans than that.”

The bride and groom then lead their guests to their new found reception venue, the Golden Feather Mardi Gras Indian Restaurant Gallery, a restaurant and event space that features costuming and memorabilia from the famous New Orleans Mardi Gras Indians. In spite of the rain, the couple did proceed with their second-line parade where the newlyweds were captured in her favorite image leading a parade full of their favorite people though the French Quarter with the best brass band in town, framed by New Orleans’ iron-laced balconies and the St. Louis Cathedral as a backdrop.As the parade ended and the last guest danced into the Golden Feather on Rampart Street, the sky opened up and the rain poured down. The guests partied without care as they feasted on traditional New Orleans fare, such as red beans and rice, chicken and waffles, jambalaya and oysters. They were also treated to a moonshine concoction of the groom’s own making!

Grace, the bride and a writer by trade, summed up the day in her own words best when she stated, “In the end nothing about our wedding day went as planned, but everything was perfect.”


Grace & Christian Featured shot





Photographer:  Marianne Hawkins Sabrier

Other Location:Armstrong Park//Cake Designer:Bittersweet Confections//Caterer:Cajun Moon Catering//Location: Golden Feather Mardi Gras Indian Restaurant Gallery//Invitation Designer:Lionheart Prints//Floral Designer:Mrs. Vintage//Floral Designer: Poppy & Mint Floral Company//Makeup Artist: Robert Hudson//Musicians:Treme Brass Band//Dress Store: Wedding Belles//Submitted via Two Bright Lights


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