A Romantic Winter Wedding in New Orleans
Though Lizzy and Chandler first met in calculus class at the University of Georgia in 2007, they didn't start dating until after graduation. â€śWe were on campus for a football game, and spotted one another at Chandlerâ€™s old fraternity house,â€ť Lizzy remembers. â€śWe reminisced about the class and realized we were both living in Atlanta. The rest is history!â€ť Flash forward four years to Thanksgiving, when Chandler joined Lizzy's family in New Orleans. â€śI had a full agenda planned, including a trip to the WWII museum,â€ť Lizzy says. â€śMy father, who passed away when I was a freshman in college, fought in the war as a Lieutenant in the First Marine Corp Division, and is featured in the exhibit. I wanted to share this with Chandler because heâ€™d never met my dad.â€ť After touring the museum, Chandler suggested that the pair grab a drink before heading home for dinner. â€śI wanted a nap, but Chandler was persistentâ€”and then my friends started texting me to meet them for a drink, too,â€ť Lizzy recalls. She started to get suspicious, especially because Chandler was wearing a jacket in the 80-degree heat. He won out, and as the couple crossed Jackson Square, Chandler got down on one knee.
Lizzy grew up in New Orleans, and after a proposal like that, there was no question about where the pair would tie the knot. â€śWe wanted our guests to enjoy the New Orleans culture we love so much,â€ť says the bride. They filled their big day with romanceâ€” from floating candles and a flickering fireplace to the lace sleeves on Lizzyâ€™s wedding gownâ€”and added fun details like a second line band, boozy snowballs, and late-night Mardi Gras masks. Photographed by Greer Gattuso and planned by Elyse Jennings Weddings, this wedding (with a holiday twist!) is one you don't want to miss. Keep reading for more!
The bride carried the same dusty rose color (from the invite suite) into her bridesmaidsâ€™ Monique Lhuillier dresses.
Though sheâ€™d envisioned form-fitting lace, it was a flowing tulle gown that ultimately caught Lizzyâ€™s attention at the salon. She customized her Monique Lhuillier dress with a long-sleeved topper of floral lace (perfect for the December date!).
The brideâ€™s classic bouquet combined peonies, gardenias, ranunculus, patience garden roses, dusty miller, and silver dollar eucalyptus. The bride attached a locket full of photos of her father to the stems, and wore his Purple Heart in the lining of her dress.
A staircase, lit with iron lanterns and draped with vines, led into the church.
Arrangements of white blooms flanked the altar, where the couple exchanged traditional vows. Says Lizzy, â€śI would have been way too emotional reciting our own vows. Instead, we wrote them to one another in letters, and exchanged them during our first look.â€ť
After their kiss, Lizzy and Chandler grabbed umbrellas and led their guests through the streets of New Orleans to their reception. â€śThe energy and excitement was incredible,â€ť Lizzy remembers.
Upon arrival at Il Mercato, guests found antique lounge furniture arranged around an outdoor fireplace. Hundreds of votive candles floated from the ceiling in glass orbs, which added a feeling of enchantment to the space.
The bar offered four signature cocktails, a nod to the coupleâ€™s love of making craft cocktails at home. One even featured their combined monogram in foam at the topâ€”talk about a cool personalization idea!
Layered textures created a soft, romantic setting for the reception. Gold metal platforms held roses, peonies, and greenery high above guestsâ€™ heads. White linens were topped with gold-rimmed chargers and plates, with ranunculus and tea roses tucked into gold mercury glass compotes.
A canopy of hydrangeas, roses, and peonies was suspended above the dramatic cake display. The six tiers featured three flavors: White chocolate raspberry, lemon poppy seed, and chocolate raspberry. â€śChandler doesnâ€™t love cake, so we also had boozy Louisiana Snowballs,â€ť says Lizzy.
Hundreds of candles glowed from every imaginable surface, creating a warm, inviting, and totally magical setting for Chandler and Lizzyâ€™s celebration.
Late-night, the reception turned into a Mardi Gras party. The couple threw beads, and guests donned sequined masks. Waiters passed Hand Grenades, a French Quarter specialty that combines melon liqueur with gin, vodka, and rum.
The bride couldnâ€™t resist twirling as the band played the coupleâ€™s favorite song: BeyoncĂ©â€™s â€śLove on Top.â€ť â€śWe got on stage and sang to each other. Our friends still text us whenever the song comes on the radio!â€ť Lizzy says.
As the night came to a close, Mariah Careyâ€™s â€śAll I Want for Christmasâ€ť poured out of the speakers. Says Lizzy, â€śChandler was, by far, my best Christmas gift! We kept pinching one another throughout the day, reminding us to stop for a moment and soak it all in.â€ť