Mystical New Orleans Wedding: Cassandra + James

new orleans wedding

Within five minuets of being engaged, Cassandra + James had decided on a destination wedding in New Orleans. They live in New York now, but James had lived there after attending school until Katrina forced him out. They’ve been back to visit many times and consider it their second home. Also, Cassandra has a serious love affair with all things vintage and especially Jazz related so it was an easy choice. They wanted their wedding to be fun, relaxed and of course with great music, food and strong drinks – all of which New Orleans is known for. :) Cassandra + James had a hard time finding vendors to work with in New Orleans since they wanted a smaller intimate wedding (and most weddings in New Orleans are very traditional and quite large with 200-300 people!), but they were able to make it work by doing a lot of it themselves. Cassandra’s father was ordained and performed the ceremony; Cassandra created most of the decor, made all the bridesmaids accessories (fascinators, bouquets, earrings), her own headpiece, and did everyone’s makeup; and her architect husband-to-be James designed the invites, seating plan design, and folded the programs among many things.

From Cassandra, “Our wedding was about us, because it was made of all the things and people we love most, but of course it was also about seeing the people we love enjoy the things we love, which is what we’re all about anyway.” Big thanks to Sean Flanigan for the stunning photos!

purple heels

bride wearing lace dress

feather bridal hair piece

purple bouquet

The wedding took place at a venue called Race and Religious. It’s two creole houses connected by a courtyard and it feels almost mystical. Every place you look there is some little detail hiding, like a model of a ship stuck in a tree or a cloth mannequin called “baby loretta” on a ladder as a piece of art. Race and Religious has a rustic, eclectic feeling and is certainly old. We kept that in mind and kept the florals not too flowery and a little “weird” with succulents airplants and lots of greenery.

fortune teller paper goods




new orleans wedding

hanging mason jar florals

ceremony programs

We made all the paper goods ourselves and kept it light and funny with “fortune teller” programs and menus made with vintage clip art. Our invitation was quite a process and I am thankful for my husbands patience in bringing the design to fruition.

new orleans wedding

new orleans wedding

new orleans wedding

new orleans wedding

So many... Singing down the aisle. Finally getting to dance with my husband. Doing everyone's makeup. My dad marrying us. Realizing after the fact that I didn't have my bouquet down the aisle and that it just didn't matter.

new orleans wedding

new orleans wedding

new orleans wedding

new orleans wedding

We tried not to overdo it on the decor since the venue had so much going on. My favorite part of the venue was that we were able to rent it for the whole weekend and stay there so it felt like we were getting married in our home.

lemonade and cucumber water

wedding illustration

new orleans wedding

new orleans wedding

new orleans wedding

new orleans wedding

Get references for every vendor you want to use. Don't be afraid to ask someone who's work you love to travel. Get EVERYTHING in writing, and don't shrink from holding your vendors to what is written-down. Be really honest with yourself about how much DIY you can handle, I wouldn't have done it any other way but I am not going to lie I was stressed!

Remember, the only important part is that you are marrying the person you love more than anything else in the world. My bridesmaids were originally supposed to have fans I was altering, but they arrived late, and were hideous so I made them bouquets with flowers from wholefoods the day before and they came out amazing. Be willing to let the chips fall where they may, you may find things turn out better than you hoped.

photography: Sean Flanigan // venue: Race and Religious in New Orleans // hairpieces: Bride’s etsy store, Fox and Hare Design // floral design: Nola Flora (and bride) // wedding dress: Monique Lhuillier  “Scarlet” // shoes: Yoox // bridesmaid dresses: BHLDN // hair: Kelly at Salon M // makeup: Bride // groom suit: Hugo Boss // groomsmen: Suits from Club Monaco with J.Crew ties // invitations + paper goods: Bride and Groom // catering: Palate New Orleans // music: Tuba Skinny

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  1. So much to love about this wedding: the band, the stationary, her dress, and Sean’s amazing photography.. love it.

  2. Very beautiful bride. His shoes and socks are hysterical. Beautiful images by the photographer.

  3. What gorgeous details: everything from the succulent plants and vintage art to the drink dispensers and the band! Of course, Sean’s photography’s as awesome as ever.

  4. Everything about this wedding is georgous: the photos, venue, a down home country jam band (complete with clothes washer instruments)…totally unconventional…and 100% AMAZING!

  5. très magnifique !!j’adore ça !!

  6. Quite a feat how the couple kept true to the theme…from all the graphics on their printables to the venue to the florals to the little jazz band. Amazing styling!

  7. very unique AMAZING wedding. loved the venue.

  8. her dress is just STUNNING!

  9. The photos are beautiful! They really give that romantic feel! :)

  10. Fortune teller programs – so cute!!

  11. I’m dieing to know where they got the printouts for the menus (cocktail and food), they are perfect! Does anyone know? Bride maybe?

    • The images came from many sources, the menus were mostly from a book in Barnes and Noble that came with a graphics disk, I believe it was called “vintage frames and vectors” I’ll confirm that for you, but they weren’t exactly ready made printables, they were images we manipulated in illustrator.

  12. Lovely wedding; it brings to mind that Disney film, The Princess & The Frog! New Orleans is such a beautiful place, and the people in it so strong and resilient after tragedy. Absolutely love the bride’s headpiece; the band must have been an extremely charming addition.

  13. I love love Nikka and Alex’s Wedding cause everything is so simple! It’s all handmade even the dresses and the wedding cake! I think that is amazing that they did it that way. Wonderful blog!

  14. The catering co. also handles printing. It’s a one stop shop, but I have heard that it can get a bit crowded with folks coming in for nothing but quotes on menus not really buying anything just wanting to see the process and tour the facility for future business. Some things should be left to the bride. Hope this helps.

  15. How romantic! Love all the personal touches and details.

  16. Amazing pictures!! Beautiful wedding! Love this.

  17. the pictures are great, the color peleta generally every detail is well maintained

  18. I love the feathers in the brides hair!!
    Great wedding!

  19. That band has been on the show Treme a couple of times! What an awesome wedding!

  20. gorgeous wedding!
    I like it!

  21. Gorgeous Wedding, gorgeous photos!
    Just Great

    Best from Croatia

  22. beautiful wedding pictures, congratulations

  23. Cassandra, thank you for sharing your beautiful wedding…so amazing. Would there ever be a way to purchase your wedding invite template? I am in love with it.

  24. Picture no.15 (neworleans-wedding-15.jpg) is the most beautiful!

  25. Wow.
    Sooooooooo beautiful!

  26. Whenever I see photos with filters vintage sprout me beautiful memories, in addition to the typical New Orleans musical group brings a great romance is this beautiful story. Greetings from Manizales Colombia “the world’s largest mountainous city”.


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