Bridal Spotlight – Shelita + Michael

Tell us about your engagement!
Every year we attend the Macy’s Tree Lighting in Union Square, San Francisco to kick-off our holidays.  Well this year, Michael upped the ante by surprising me and asking for my hand in marriage.  It was December 24, 2017 Christmas Eve and we were trying to cross the street to head over to the ceremony of lights.  While waiting I can hear the sound of the street musician playing Al Green, “Let’s Stay Together.” I did not pay any attention to what was actually going on, however I realized that Michael disappeared in the crowd.  Now, the light is green and it’s time to cross the street I turned around and did not see Michael next to or behind me, it is because he was down on one knee, smiling, cameras everywhere and asking me to be his wife, singing “Let’s Stay Together.”  I was very surprised, I cried, my heart is racing and my hands were shaking as he placed the ring on my finger.  I lifted him up and placed my face into his chest and I said yes.  The saxophone player is now queued to play, Maxwell’s “Pretty Wings.” The crowd is joyously filming and clapping for the both of us, just unimaginable, what a dream. I will never forget the unexplainable feeling and I will always cherish how he carefully orchestrated such a romantic way to ask me to become his wife.

In your opinion, what is the best characteristic of Southern Oaks Plantation?
The best characteristic of Southern Oaks Plantation is how picturesque it is. The space indoor and outdoor provides plenty of opportunities to capture great bridal photos. The interior of the space feels quaint yet grand. The interior colors, furnishings and light fixtures all richly complement each other. The exterior façade and color of the building is very breathtaking and romantic. The entire grounds are very well kept, it really feels like you are stepping into a fairytale.

What made you select Southern Oaks Plantation as your wedding venue?
My husband and I wanted to select a place that provided both the ceremony and reception at the same location.  We chose Southern Oaks, because they offered both and offer so many more transitional upgrades.  During our search we found that most wedding venues in New Orleans utilized the same space for the ceremony and the reception leaving nothing to the imagination for your guests.  Southern Oaks provided the total opposite and so much more.  I also wanted a traditional yet functional ambiance at the reception.  I did not want to see my guest sitting at round tables waiting to be served and forced to get up and dance.  My husband and I like to work the room at social events and we felt like having more of a social atmosphere works for our guests as well, and Southern Oaks offered this style which executed our vision perfectly.  The expansive New Orleans style menu, the enhancements and the impeccable service up to our wedding day just made every moment like reading a storybook with minimal effort.  My wedding planner, Ebony Pickettay said I was the calmest bride she had ever coordinated a wedding for.  I cannot take all the credit.  I owe it to Ebony and the great coordination of the staff at Southern Oaks.  I selected the perfect venue for a perfect day

What was your favorite moment of the night?
Our favorite moment was when we were escorted to a private room.  There we were greeted by our personal concierge to a table set for 2.  Once seated, the table was filled with all types of delicious cuisine in which our concierge graciously described each item to us.  Our glasses were filled with champagne and once they walked away, we prayed together and was able to take it all in as now Husband and Wife.  The moment was priceless.

What would you say to other brides considering Southern Oaks Plantation as their venue?
If you are looking for the perfect venue that provides exceptional service, great food and a magical evening, Southern Oaks is the place.  From the first phone call up to the last dance, Mr. Bobby and his gracious staff handled my guests and the entire wedding party like royalty.   Every question I had regarding my wedding was answered, this venue provides everything and they do not try to upsell you on items…If you are a destination bride, no worries, they even have items in house for you to use, that way you are not shipping a lot of what nots or just in case you forget something they already have it in their inventory at no charge to use.  There are no hidden fees, upcharges or surprises.  Well, the surprises are what your guests will experience.  My wedding was Magical, Grand and Royal.  Everything was smooth and effortless, the staff operates this place like a well-oiled machine.  There is no running around, no one is confused and you, the wedding party and family members are assigned a concierge that ensures your culinary/drink needs are met.  The Food:  It is not your typical wedding plate of chicken, fish or buffet.  This place provides a Taste of New Orleans, I mean your guest will not stop talking about what they ate, how good the food was and how much food was being passed.  Amazing flavors and a huge variety.  There is no waiting, once the reception starts the food is being passed, this style was great because it also eliminated the hassle of seating charts, open seating was also another reason I loved this place.  Enhancements:  I chose to have a New Orleans Style Brass Band, Horse and Carriage, Carving Station and Fireworks, which made it a very grand time, my guest were over-stimulated with surprises.

This place is gorgeous on the inside and outside, the pictures on their website are nice, however this place is much more impressive in person. Your guest can sit outside and enjoy the cafe tables around the pool where the music from inside is piping outside for their enjoyment. Your wedding at this place really raises the bar. Cut the Check!! 

 

Photographer: Kate Bunny Hampson, San Francisco

Florist:  Steve Baker, New Orleans

Dress Salon: Kingsley James

Tuxedo/Suit Shop:  Tuxedos2Geaux, New Orleans

Videographer: BHawk Videography

Planner: Ebony Pickettay, Addictive Events