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

Planning Your New Orleans Wedding at Southern Oaks Plantation

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A quintessential New Orleans wedding is an experience unlike any other. Whether you’re from the Crescent City or planning a destination wedding down south, Southern Oaks is here to make your Southern bash a grand affair.

We are the only plantation home located within 10 minutes of downtown New Orleans! Your guests can spend the day traipsing about the streets of the French Quarter, soaking up its magnificent history. Guests might even be interested in finding their own accommodations in the downtown area to really get the most out of their stay!

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While the magic of New Orleans shines year-round, one should be cautious of the city’s busiest event weekends as accommodations may be few and far between. While hosting a wedding during Mardi Gras may seem like the ultimate adventure, you should caution your guests to book accommodations far in advance. Other big weekends boast our beloved music festivals – most notably, Jazz Fest and VooDoo Music + Arts Experience.

To top off a magical weekend, you can send your guests home with a little New Orleans flair. Party favors are a fun way to incorporate some of our favorite New Orleans goodies into your wedding. If you’re a sweets fan, a little bag of pralines or Roman Candy is perfect! Or if you want to go the hot and spicy route, miniature bottles of hot sauce reign supreme. You could also send guests away with Café du Monde beignet mix or coffee grounds. The possibilities are endless!

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New Orleans Inspired Enhancements

We’re sure you’ve all heard Bob Dylan’s homage to our city: “There are a lot of places I like, but I like New Orleans better.” We’re lucky to be in a city unlike any other and because of that, we like to celebrate with some of the Big Easy’s greatest traditions on your big day. We offer many enhancement packages that give a nod to what makes New Orleans so unique.

In the hotter months, it seems you can’t walk a few blocks without noticing someone carrying a colorfully-hued icy treat. For couples who want to add something sweet to their reception, we offer a Snowball Stand enhancement! There’s nothing better than taking a break from tearing it up on the dance floor with your favorite snowball flavor. It’s sure to be a crowd pleaser on your big day!

World Famous Cafe du Monde

Speaking of sweet treats, you can’t fully experience New Orleans without beignets! We are so honored to offer the Café Du Monde Beignet Truck enhancement to our couples. Whether you’re from New Orleans or just visiting, it’s a long-standing tradition that can’t be missed.

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Another Southern staple for our foodie couples is Drago’s Charbroiled Oysters. An oyster stand is a popular choice at Southern weddings. Trust us when we say your guests will be coming back for more! Another New Orleans must-have is a Lucky Dog! There’s nothing more fun than the Lucky Dog Stand at your wedding. The iconic hot dog shaped cart is an instant hit and it sure does make for a great photo opp!

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Finally, the icing on the cake for a quintessential New Orleans experience… a Mardi Gras-style Parade! We’re lucky enough to live in a city that throws one of the biggest parties of the year, and we love to celebrate it! No matter the date, you can have a slice of the Mardi Gras fun year-round. Grab your beads and second-line umbrellas and get ready for the time of your life!!

Ceremony Enhancements at Southern Oaks Plantation

Its no secret that Southern Oaks Plantation is known for making your ceremony unforgettable. When you think of a horse drawn carriage, the classic rolls royce, or a stunning fireworks show to symbolize your new life together – these are all details that are encompass what your ceremony will entail at Southern Oaks Plantation.

We specialize in the spectacular, and continue to add new amenities to enhance your wedding day celebration. Our latest addition features an upgrade to our already stunning grand facade. We are so thrilled to introduce the custom LED lighting package, available to add to any ceremony package. Be sure to contact our event specialist for any additional information!

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Southern Oaks Plantation’s Serene Outdoor Setting

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It is no secret that Southern Oaks Plantation is known for the grand facade of our antebellum home, but another (just as beautiful space) is also available for all of our couples! Beyond the reception space lies our sprawling grounds including the stable, pool, and outdoor fireplace to create a new and unique atmosphere!

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Not only is this space the perfect spot to breathe a bit of fresh air, but provides a more serene space perfect for a plethora of our enhancements. It features its very own sound system, and can easily accommodate a smaller brass band or a string quartet.

Have you heard of all our available enhancements? From the famous Lucky Dog Hotdog stand to our Plum Street Snowball Stand (perfect for summer!) to our Drago’s Chargrilled Oyster Stand – this space is the perfect arena to showcase these delicious New Orleans’ classics! It also is the perfect way to surprise your guests with another layer of your amazing reception – in addition to the 80 menu items we offer at every single reception!

It also is where our famous “LOVE” sign is perched, which provides the perfect backdrop for a gorgeous photo for our couples, and their guests!

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While we absolutely love the famous backdrop of Southern Oaks Plantation, our outdoor space is just another wonderful addition we are able to offer all of our couples! We think you will love it as much as we do!

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Choose a Photographer that will Capture the Magic

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Once the dances are done, the “I dos” said, and the cake is cut, you are left with the memories of your dream wedding and – of course – the photographs!

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We want to ensure you are happy with the final product of all that was captured on your wedding day, and after 30 years in business, and many many years of experience in photography, we are sharing some of our favorite tips to help you select the best photographer.

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1. Invest in a professional
You truly do get what you pay for, and its important to budget for an experienced photographer. They will ensure you get all of the shots you’d hoped for, keep you and your bridal party on schedule and coordinate well with other vendors. They will also and and dress in a professional manner, and respect the wishes of you and your guests. You, your bridal party, and all of your guests have prepared for this event and will dress accordingly – its important all of your vendors dress professionally as well.

2. Meet them in person
The photographer is someone who spends the most time with you on your wedding day! Its important that you each have the same vision for your day, and that your personalities are compatible. This will also help you get a feel for how they will operate on the wedding day, and how they will interact with you, your partner and your guests.

3. Review their work
Is most of their work shot in the daytime, but you are having an evening ceremony and reception? Be sure their style aligns with the aesthetic that you’re hoping for so that your happy with your images.

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4. Trust Our Recommendation
Our favorite photographers are the ones that have shot at Southern Oaks Plantation again and again, because then we feel comfortable recommending their work to our clients. We know they understand the ins and outs within our space, and they are able to be efficient while also still capturing those creative moments. Whats even better is that they are able to capture the most detailed and unique shots, because they are familiar with our venue. However, the most important detail is that they will ultimately treat you the same we would – as royalty!

5. Your photos are one of the most important details of your wedding!
Think of your images as the legacy of your wedding that will be shown to your children and grandchildren. You want to look upon them and remember all of the beautiful details of your day, because they are truly the best way to capture the magic of the memories!

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Southern Traditions at Southern Oaks Plantation

Southern Traditions at Southern Oaks Plantation

This southern infused wedding was the perfect match for Southern Oaks Plantation, from their carriage ride to dancing – every moment of this wedding shined!

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– Tell us about your engagement.
My husband had one of my best friends call me and ask if we wanted to go to the Kemah Boardwalk. It’s a boardwalk with tons of restaurants, rides and all kinds of shops and booths. I really didn’t want to go because it was June and hot! But she talked me into it because we had a lot of our friends coming and we were going to let all the kids play. Once we got there everyone was already there and they told me we were going to do a group caricature drawing. I thought to myself…do they do group caricature drawings? Well, I went along with it and we all sat in the small both, about 20 of us, and we waited for the artist to finish our drawing. As people were passing by I could see the big smiles on their faces and I thought to myself…“man this must be a really funny drawing!” Just before the artist was finished, I noticed there was a huge crowd of people watching us and then he slowing revealed the drawing. It felt like I sat there in awe forever because it took me some time to process what was going on. Then I turned to look at my husband and he got down on bended knee and popped out a ring. I was so surprised and couldn’t even speak.

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In your opinion, what is the best characteristic of Southern Oaks Plantation?
I don’t know if I could pick just one best characteristic but for me it was the ambiance. It is so romantic and beautiful. For my guests, it was the food – they still can’t stop talking about how much they loved the food at our wedding.

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How did you and your partner meet?
Our company was hiring Operational Managers and Supervisors and I was the one who was doing the recruiting at the time. My husband asked me out weeks after that interview and I kept saying no and even after he was hired. He told me the very first time he met me, he knew he was going to marry me.

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What made you select Southern Oaks Plantation as your wedding venue?
My husband’s family is from Louisiana and we wanted to have a wedding close to them. They have a large and very close family. We looked around everywhere and I found Southern Oaks online. The pricing was very reasonable, but when we made our visit I knew this was the place!

– What was your favorite moment of the night? The dinner we had together was my favorite. I loved that we could slow things down and talk about the wedding and our excitement.
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– Are there any other vendors you’d like to mention in this feature?
Hair/Makeup – Flawless Bride – https://www.flawless-bride.com/ – flawlessbridellc
Accommodations – Astor Crowne Plaza – https://www.ihg.com/crowneplaza/hotels/us/en/new-orleans/msyla/hoteldetail?cm_mmc=GoogleMaps-_-CP-_-US-_-MSYLA – crownepliaza

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What would you say to other brides considering Southern Oaks Plantation as their venue?
We live in Texas and all my friends who are getting married I tell them it’s worth having a destination wedding. As a matter of fact, we talked one of our friends into making the trip and they fell in love with the place and had their wedding there last September!

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Photographer: Michael Caswell – https://www.michaelcaswell.com/
Dress Salon: Impression Bridal – http://impressionbridalstore.com/
Tuxedo/Suit Shop: Jos. A. Bank – https://www.josbank.com/tuxedo
Bakery: Haydel’s Bakery – https://www.haydelbakery.com/site.php

The Brilliance of Southern Oaks Plantation

The brilliance of Southern Oaks Plantation knows no bounds!

The majestic quality of our expansive property is evident whether day or night.

From the moss covered oaks, to the dancing foundation, to the grand columns – we have carefully curated the perfect backdrop for your wedding. The royal treatment of you and your guests begins the moment they step into our impeccable grounds!

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Our elite events team works diligently to enhance your experience to ensure you have the best day of your live, however the service expands to each of your guests to create a memorable event they won’t soon forget!

The all inclusive packages creates effortless planning for you and your fiancee, and our team will help you cover all aspects of your event. On your wedding day you will be showered with a level of service you can rarely find elsewhere – this is our promise to you!

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New Orleans Destination Wedding with Texan Flair!

The best part about the couple that choose Southern Oaks Plantation is that each one has their own personal style they infuse into their wedding! Our neutral decor allows you to come right in and make the setting your own, through family photos, favorite colors, and more!

This wedding was filled with personal details! Both the bride and groom were in the military, and their reception showcased this through their adorable coozies and fun music! Not to mention, each table was not only filled with our beautiful centerpieces, but accented with years of family photos for their guests to enjoy! We love a couple who really has fun with the decor of their wedding, it definitely makes for a memorable event!

Take a look at the beautiful images captured by Diaz Nola! Its no secret this wedding was a fun one!

Venue – The Southern Oaks Plantation
Hair – Glam Nola
Flowers – Carrollton Flower Market
Tux – Men’s Warehouse
Videographer – Mary M Cinema

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Masters of the Grand Entrance

At Southern Oaks Plantation, we know the importance of a grand entrance! From fireworks to a surprise confetti show – the beginning of your wedding is sure to be a memorable moment!

We believe you should star in your very own fairytale the day of your wedding, and our elite events team will ensure you feel like royalty.

In addition to your guests being greeted with the impressive white columns and grand facade of this Southern Oaks Plantation, we provide a spectacular show unlike any other!

As the guests await the bride’s arrival, the audience quiets as they hear the telling pitter patter of our very own horse drawn carriage. Is there anything more fitting for a bride on her wedding day than greeting her guests in this way?!

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The magic doesn’t stop there, as we invite our brand new married couples back into the carriage to circle the entire property before ending right at our front step. You never know – we think you’ll have the perfect views for what comes next!

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What else is perfectly paired with a fireworks show other than a traditional New Orleans jazz band to lead your guests into your reception?! There is no better way to begin a party than with a classic creole tune!

Can you imagine that these extraordinary sites are just the beginning of your magical evening at Southern Oaks Plantation? You can guarantee that no detail will be left undone, and our team is dedicated to creating the perfect event for your wedding!

[caption id="attachment_2706" align="alignleft" width="699"]Southern Oaks Plantation www.southernoaksplantation.com

Southern Oaks Plantation

www.southernoaksplantation.com