“First of all people still talk about how amazing our Southern Oaks Plantation wedding was. It was a true fairy tale wedding!” – Allie
– Tell us about your engagement.
Mine and Cody’s engagement was so well thought out and sweet. My family and I have been going to the beach every summer since I was born. It’s a place we just love so much. Cody, knowing how much I love the beach, decided that my family’s July 4th (2016) trip would be the perfect time to pop the question. The first night we were there my mom thought it would be better for us to get our family beach pictures out of the way so everyone got dressed and headed down for the beach. We ALWAYS do pictures by the ocean, but my mother wanted to do them by the sand dunes this year. Well what is very important to know about me is, it’s very hard to surprise me. After we got done taking pictures, my mom said “ let’s get some pictures of Allie and Cody by the water.” Well then I knew he was about to propose, but I still went along with it anyways. Everyone was acting so weird and giving themselves away. Then Cody faced me and grabbed my hands and just started swinging them back and forth and the only words he could get out were “I love you.” So I busted out laughing and asked, “Are you about to propose?” Then he got down on one knee. Neither one of us remember what was said after that. I just remember seeing the ring and screaming “YES!!!” After we hugged and kissed, we heard cheers coming from the deck of the condo. Cody’s family had been hiding and surprised the both of us. It was so awesome to have both of our families there.
Cody coaches college football at Jacksonville State University in Alabama and has been for two consecutive years. While he was doing that I was still finishing school in Louisiana at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. After our wonderful beach trip I went back home to Louisiana and him to Alabama. We would get to visit each other about once a month. I graduated college in May of 2017, moved to Alabama in June, and got married in July. So this year has been one for the books.
– In your opinion, what is the best characteristic of Southern Oaks Plantation?
The best characteristic of Southern Oaks Plantation is the customer service. Mr. Bobby and everyone else that was working my wedding treated me so so well! Everyone was so welcoming and loving. The best customer service I’ve ever received was at Disney World, and the customer service I received at Southern Oaks was just like that!! I can’t think of ONE bad thing I could say about Southern Oaks. Everything was perfect!
– How did you and your partner meet?
Cody and I met in Monroe, Louisiana, where I was born and raised. We were both at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. Cody was there from Hoover, Alabama, on a football scholarship. The night we met we were at a place in Monroe where they played live music every Saturday. I saw him from across the small little hole in the wall place and I started screaming at him “HEY!!!” haha! I thought he was so so handsome. I told him to come over and talk to me, which he will say I was the one that came over to talk to him, but it was really the other way around. We sat and talked to one another the whole entire night about EVERYTHING! Cody was actually with another date that night, I guess that didn’t work out very well! LOL! I left the concert and didn’t give him my number, so he messaged me on Facebook the next day. We met on August 18 ,2012 and have been inseparable ever since.
– What made you select Southern Oaks Plantation as your wedding venue?
In 2015 Cody and I met his sister Jessica in New Orleans for Mardi Gras. At the time Cody was coaching football at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. He had just been hired to coach the quarterbacks. We had just gotten him all moved in, and since we were both in the same city now, decided to go down to NOLA for some fun! While we were there, his sister Jessica and I started talking about weddings. She suggested we both do a destination wedding in New Orleans. New Orleans is one of my favorite places in the world. I love the culture of New Orleans so much. I thought it was a great idea, especially since it would be equal travel distance for both of our families. On the way home I researched “ Weddings in New Orleans.” I found Southern Oaks Plantation and fell in love. Now keep in mind, this was in 2015. I wasn’t engaged yet, but knew Cody and I would get married. The day after we got engaged, July 4, 2016, I called Southern Oaks Plantation and booked our wedding date. I hadn’t even been to the venue yet, but I knew that it was the perfect place for Cody and I to get married. I didn’t officially visit the venue until March of 2017, which was only four months before our wedding. With the awesome customer service I received even before my wedding I wasn’t worried about the fact that I hadn’t visited the venue. Even though I probably drove everyone crazy because I would call up there once a week with a series of different questions..LOL.. everyone was always so helpful and polite. I probably asked 1,000 questions and I never got the answer “ I don’t know”. I thought that spoke volumes of Southern Oaks Plantation. For every question i asked, I received a valid and straight answer. That’s why Southern Oaks reminds me of Disney World. Everyone stays right on top of their job, and truly cares about every customer.
– What was your favorite moment of the night?
Goodness, every moment was my favorite. The whole night was nothing short of magical. If I had to narrow it down though, it would have to be the surprise Mr.Bobby gave Cody and I at the end of our ceremony. Before my dad and I got into the car to drive around to the front of the house, Mr. Bobby asked me if I liked pixie dust. I wasn’t sure what he was talking about, but I said “Yes! Who doesn’t?” Well right after the preacher pronounced Cody and I husband and wife, a firework show started, and then Mr. Bobby and Mr. Vincent had the confetti canons and shot confetti all over the bridal party. Like I said earlier, I’m very hard to surprise so having that complete surprise at the end was so so magical!
– Is there any other feedback you’d like to include?
I could go on and on about Southern Oaks Plantation and how awesome everything about this place is. There are some things that really stuck with me through this experience though. The Thursday prior to mine and Cody’s wedding we went to the plantation for our rehearsal. I told Taylor to decorate the venue how they thought it should look for a wedding. They’re the professionals right? Boy, was I blown away on how everything looked! It was absolutely BEAUTIFUL!!! During my reception, Cody and I were treated like royalty. I’m a very “ Do It yourself” kind of person, and the staff at Southern Oaks made sure I didn’t have to do ANYTHING myself. I didn’t have to worry about ONE single thing. EVERYTHING was taken care of. My mother is also very controlling, which is also why I chose this venue. My mom was able to wake up and relax on the day of the wedding. The mother of the bride,I feel always has a little added stress, and she didn’t have to worry about one single thing because Southern Oaks Plantation took care of every single small and large detail. During the whole reception Cody and I always had a full drink. I also loved the private dinner we got right after the ceremony. We were able to soak everything in, and enjoy one another as husband and wife. Another thing that also stood out to me was how well my grandparents were taken care of. My grandparents are 85 and 89 and one of my request was that they get taken care of before anyone else. Southern Oaks treated them so well. They were the first to try anything and everything on the menu, which I loved. The food was also AMAZING!!!! Southern Oaks sent Cody and I a to-go box home of our favorite items on the menu. When we got to our hotel room that night, before we went to bed we were both so pumped about digging into that to-go box!! haha!! Cody could NOT stop talking about SOP’s praline chicken…. it is TO DIE FOR!!
– Are there any other vendors you’d like to mention in this feature?
I got my cake from Joe Gambino’s. It was so delicious and very beautiful. My wedding hair and make up was done by the girls at Glam NOLA in Metairie. They did a FABULOUS job! They were also so much fun!! My pictures were done by someone in Monroe Desirae Gooding Trappey, who also did a wonderful job!!!
– Was there a particular staff member at SOP that really stood out to you?
All the staff members were EXCELLENT!!!! I LOVE Mr.Bobby though! You can just tell he truly lives to work at SOP! He loves making his customers happy! It’s all about the customer with Mr. Bobby! Aside from Mr. Bobby, Taylor was a huge help to us on the days prior to the wedding, and then Lauren and Mariah were so sweet and helpful on my wedding day! They are true professionals. They made me feel like family, and I loved that.
– What would you say to other brides considering Southern Oaks Plantation as their venue?
What I would say to other brides considering SOP as their venue is that they would be crazy if they didn’t get married at SOP! All my friends that were already married said that they wished they would have gotten married there. The ones who aren’t married yet said that SOP will be where they have their wedding. I almost wish I could get married again, so I could do it all over again!!! LOL!! Cody and I have already said that on our 25th anniversary we want to have an anniversary party at SOP! SOP will always hold a special place in our hearts. We couldn’t have picked a more PERFECT venue for our wedding.