New Orleans is consistency awarded as the top destination for weddings, and its easy to see why! However, you can only find the true New Orleans experience here at Southern Oaks Plantation! See why Brandon and Heather chose to plan their wedding from afar right here!
A few notes from our bride…
Brandon and I met in New Orleans back in 2014. Brandon was in pharmaceuticals at the time and was there for work. I was in the city for my sisters Bridal Shower.
I am graduate of Loyola University and so is my little sister. Many of our friends from College were still in the city. Also, it is a quick drive from Atlanta where she lived at the time.
The Bridal Party and I were walking down Royal Street, shopping, walking and listening to music. Brandon walked by with one of his colleagues and started up a conversation. We kept talking for the duration of the trip (4 days). Had our first date at Muriel’s Jackson Square, and even met up after a Saints game. At the end of the trip, he went back to Miami. I went back to Los Angeles. We did long distance for about a year, and then decided that we would both move to Atlanta. After 5 years and 2 kids, we decided it was time to tie the knot. New Orleans was the only place in our hearts that made sense. New Orleans brought us together.
Why Southern Oaks?
Southern Oaks has the most stellar reputation. A college girlfriend of mine is the owner of a well known bridal gown boutique in New Orleans. I gave her a list of venues that I was considering. I wanted her opinion knowing that she had likely been to all of them and knew the reputation of each. She told me I had some great venues on the list, but that Southern Oaks was hands down the best location for everything that we wanted. Pictures do not do the property justice and each picture is amazing. Southern Oaks is the perfect backdrop. It captures New Orleans in a way no other property can.
Wedding Day Standouts?
On the way to the Southern Oaks Plantation, it started to rain, and I was in the limo crying. I knew the wedding would be beautiful regardless, but I wanted so badly for the wedding to be out front on the mansion porch.
As we got closer the rain stopped, but I just knew they had moved things inside. To my surprise as we pulled up the drive, folks were outside drying the chairs. When I get into the waiting area, everyone told me not to worry, they were going to do everything in their power to make sure it was outside. Even if that meant starting a little later. But they said that based on the radar, we should be good to go! It was outside and it was amazing. At the end of the ceremony, the fireworks just topped everything off perfectly. Mr. Bobby even added a send off firework at the end of our Mardi Gras parade as a surprise! It just sealed the perfection of that night.
That is just a few examples. The atmosphere was perfect and the food unbelievably good. There are so many wonderful things I could retell. I did not have to worry about ANYTHING. Everything was exactly how I imagined, and literally not one thing went awry. I look back on that day and just can’t believe how magical it truly was. People have not stopped talking about it.
Planning a Wedding From Afar
The idea of planning a destination wedding while managing life with 2 toddlers and a fiance, sounded like a bad idea. Juggling 20 different vendors was just not an ideal situation.
Southern Oaks made it so incredibly easy. I handled the cake, flowers and officiant and wedding string quartet. Southern Oaks did all of the rest! I just had to tell them what I wanted. Between the picturesque venue to the amazing food. There is no where in New Orleans where you have so many options that add to your day and make it so special and unique.
Experience Southern Oaks Plantation from any backdrop that suits your style from a stunning oak tree to our grand façade, to the dazzling ballroom!
We have a variety of brides and grooms that choose our venue, so we have sought out to curate the most iconic ceremony locations so that you can choose one that supports your style as a couple. If you have dreamed about an outdoor wedding, but concerned about that unpredictable weather of Southern Louisiana – you’ll never have to worry at Southern Oaks Plantation as our Plan B option is rarely seen as Plan B when its this beautiful! Sparkling chandleries, custom LED lights, and twinkling candles make our grand ballroom a stunningly intimate space for you and your guests.
It is no surprise that the grand entrance of this antebellum style plantation is selected as our most popular choice for ceremony locations. From the perfectly manicured lawn to the majestic oak tree, there is no shortage of beauty leading up to our altar. Our expansive grounds allows you to easily accommodate a large guest list, and create a memorable impression from the moment they arrive! Horse and carriage rides, traditional New Orleans second line bands, and customized firework shows make this space even more magical!
Our Stunning oak features the most intimate setting of all. Voted the most gorgeous oak tree in all of Louisiana, we feature a setting that requires little accents to the existing beauty of nature. Say your I do’s beneath the moss covered canopy and experience a truly Southern ceremony.
At Southern Oaks Plantation, we strive or perfection no matter your style or guest count. We want to ensure that no matter what backdrop you choose, you and your guests have a night that you won’t soon forget!
If there is one thing we are known for here at Southern Oaks Plantation, other than the gorgeous oak tree, sprawling grounds, and impeccable customer service.. its THE FOOD! And there is one menu item that is a favorite among couples, their guests, and our vendors – its the praline chicken!
We hear it again and again, when some of our favorite photographers are back shooting a wedding, they always tell us “I’ve been looking forward to this praline chicken since this couple booked me!” What could be more exciting than creating a menu item loved by our industry peers? Although, our couples seem to love it just as much! Here are a few words from a recent bride: “The food was also AMAZING!!!! The venue staff sent Cody and I a to-go box 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! Cody could NOT stop talking about Southern Oaks Plantation’s praline chicken…. it is TO DIE FOR!!” Well, if that doesn’t convince you its the best, we don’t know what will!
Owner and lead chef, Sue Asaro, takes great pride in creating unique and innovative menu items to continue to impress our couples. And her talent knows no bounds! The praline chicken may be a popular item, but the recipe is staying safe here at Southern Oaks! That means, to give it a try – you must attend a wedding here with us! Your taste buds will thank you!
When you think of New Orleans, the first things that come to mind are jazz music, historical sites, and of course – THE FOOD! Southern Oaks Plantation prides itself on giving our couples the full New Orleans experience, and that experience begins with our impeccable cuisine. Our lead chef and owner, Sue Asaro, has filled the menu with over eighty delectable items included in every single wedding package. Why limit your guests to only a few options when you can give them everything, here at Southern Oaks Plantation!
I constantly receive compliments on how it was the best wedding people have been to and that the food was spectacular! – Kristina, Southern Oaks Bride
We just celebrated our 13th anniversary, and people are still talking about the beautiful venue and fantastic food! – Laura, Southern Oaks Bride
I trusted them with every detail and the staff at Southern Oaks made my beautiful day come true! And my guest can’t stop talking about the food! – Lizzie, Southern Oaks Bride
The most common compliment we get on our wedding day was that it was an absolute fairytale. From the horse and carriage, incredibly talented jazz band, the stunning grounds, insane food, perfect decor, and all the other bells and whistles (seriously, we could go on and on!) – Jordan, Southern Oaks Bride
I have never tried so many different appetizers, food, desserts & drinks! It felt great to be served & treated like royalty! – Blessed, Southern Oaks Bride
Here, every day begins with once upon a time.
Here, we make brides’ dreams come true.
Here, every detail is the most important detail.
Here, each moment is unforgettable.
That is the magic of Southern Oaks Plantation!
Here, at Southern Oaks Plantation, it is our mission to exceed your expectation in every way. From the moment you step onto our sprawling grounds you will notice an expertly manicured lawn, the most iconic Oak tree in the city, and what TLC has named the “BEST venue in the state of Louisiana!”
In addition, Southern Oaks Plantation is the only antebellum style venue location within fifteen minutes of downtown New Orleans! While our grand façade is of true plantation style, the interior of our venue is updated in a modern style to perfectly accent any color palette whether bright or neutral.
Our all inclusive collections feature over 80 handcrafted menu items, luxury linens, custom LED lighting, professional DJ, and expert planning advice from our event team. We LOVE making your wedding dreams come true!
A true fairytale affair complete with stunning blooms, gorgeous details, and a carriage ride for the books! This Southern Oaks Plantation soiree is sure to stun.
Read more about this lovely wedding below!
Tell us about your engagement.
New Orleans has always been a special place to me. In fact, the very first time that I visited the city, after experiencing a 2nd line parade for the first time I said, “I am either going to get married here or my funeral will be here.” I absolutely loves the culture of New Orleans. Fast forward about 8 years. A trip to New Orleans was planned to visit my favorite city and attend the USF vs Tulane football game. After a few days of delicious food, French Quarter shenanigans and Nola Jazz, Ari decided that October 21st 2017 on the stairs overlooking picturesque Jackson Square and the St. Louis’ Cathedral he would pop the question. In front of a sizable crowd, Ari (visibly shaking) got down on one knee and asked me the most important questions of their lives “Will you Marry Me?” Of course I said, “YES!” after removing my spider themed fascinator and putting down my champagne to go cup. The crowd that had gathered cheered and as a newly engaged couple, we made our way to the Halloween parade and then to the USF game to celebrate!
In your opinion, what is the best characteristic of Southern Oaks Plantation?
Where do I begin? Southern Oaks captures the southern elegance and fun of New Orleans. The food is fantastic, the venue is gorgeous, there is no detail overlooked. I would attribute the stellar experience we had at Southern Oaks, to the incredible staff. Truly, they embody teamwork and professionalism and it made my day absolutely perfect.
How did you and your partner meet?
Ari and I met in downtown Saint Petersburg, Florida on a Sunday evening, December 7th, 2014. We always have a witty debate when describing exactly what type of establishment Ferg’s is when telling our story. See Ari likes to refer to the location as a “restaurant” while I am honest about the fact that it is more of a “sports pub.” Ari was simply picking up a quick bite to eat and preparing for his Monday meeting when I walked in with a friend. Being the gentleman that he is, Ari quickly offered me and my friend a seat and started chatting with us. Before we knew it, Ari and I had been chatting for a couple of hours. Before the night was over, Ari asked for my phone number and called me the next day to invite me to lunch at Seasons 52. It didn’t take long for us to realize that the spark was something special and we have been inseparable ever since.
What made you select Southern Oaks Plantation as your wedding venue?
I knew from the moment I walked in the door, it was the perfect venue for our wedding. Lauren gave us the grand tour and we were in absolute awe of the décor, warmth and elegance of the space. I had done my research and everyone had the same (yet very different) magical experience at Southern Oaks Plantation. Magic and Majestic (the gorgeous white horses) were just the icing on the cake!
What was your favorite moment of the night?
The night was so incredibly beautiful and special but two moments stand out in my head. The first moment, was right when I walked in the ballroom, before the wedding, and saw everything in place and set for the first time. It was just incredible. Everything that I could have asked for. It was simply breathtaking. The second moment was when my Dad and I came around the corner and our guests saw us entering on the horse and carriage. There was a gasp of excitement… no one expected that. It was a moment I will never forget.
Are there any other vendors you’d like to mention in this feature?
There is no better florist than Bella Blooms Floral. Dee, the owner, is second to none. She knew what I wanted when I did not even know specifically what I was looking for. Her expertise and talent are incredible. We had so many compliments on the florals.
Was there a particular staff member at SOP that really stood out to you?
Lauren was my go to girl for months and month’s leading up to the wedding. She responded to my never-ending list of questions immediately and with such detail. She was a total rock star. Of course, I have to mention Mr. Bobby, the heart and soul of Southern Oaks Plantation. The weather went from 0% to 100% chance of rain on our wedding day. I had dreamed of this outdoor wedding under the oaks with the carriage and fireworks for a very long time. As it inched closer and closer to 7 o’clock it was looking like that dream was going to have to be revised. As soon as we arrived at Southern Oaks Plantation, Mr. Bobby came to find me and assured me that he and his team would do everything that they possibly could to make my dream come true. And they delivered.
What would you say to other couples considering Southern Oaks Plantation as their venue?
You can’t go wrong with having your wedding at Southern Oaks Plantation. It will be perfection and your guests will be talking about your wedding for years to come. So many of our guests told Ari and I, and my parents, that our wedding was absolutely the best wedding they have ever attended and likely ever will. We are hoping that we are invited to attend a wedding at this specular venue in the near future.
Photographer: Studio Tran Photography – https://www.studiotran.com/ – @studiotranphotography
Florist: Bella Blooms Floral – https://www.bellabloomsfloral.com/ – @bellabloomsfloral
Dress Salon: Truly Forever Bridal – https://www.trulyforeverbridal.com/ – @ trulyforeverbridaltampa
Tuxedo/Suit Shop: Men’s Wearhouse – www.menswearhouse.com – @menswearhouse
Videographer: Bella Productions Wedding Films – http://mybellafilm.com/ – @bellafilmsn
Bakery: Chasing Wang – www. http://chasingwang.com/ – @chasingwang
“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney
Southern Oaks began as a dream for the Asaro family. Bobby Asaro knew there was a niche market for elegant, high-end reception venues that needed to be filled, and he had just the plan to fill it. He got his wife, Sue, involved from their first date, drawing his plans out on a napkin and dreaming of Southern Oaks.Southern Oaks began as a dream for the Asaro family. Bobby Asaro knew there was a niche market for elegant, high-end reception venues that needed to be filled, and he had just the plan to fill it. He got his wife, Sue, involved from their first date, drawing his plans out on a napkin and dreaming of Southern Oaks.
Between his strong attention to detail (developed when he was working in radiology) and Sue’s innovative thinking and impeccable taste, Asaro knew that they were on to something big. They’ve spent the last 32 years perfecting the experience of Southern Oaks Plantation to curate a feeling of magic and enchantment. There is a reason why local and couples from all over the world choose to marry at Southern Oaks, because an unmatched level of customer service is presented from the very moment they step foot onto our plantation.
From the decor to the cuisine, every detail you and your guests will experience has been selected with the upmost importance. Truly a family affair, you will find Bobby and Sue Asaro take care to ensure that no detail will go unnoticed. Rarely will you find another venue owner present on your wedding day to greet guests, fill up your champagne glass, or surprise you with a fireworks show! Mr. Bobby and his team consistently go above and beyond for their couples, because you will find that this is not a career for the Asaro family, but a passion.
“Of course, I have to mention Mr. Bobby, the heart and soul of Southern Oaks Plantation. The weather went from 0% to 100% chance of rain on our wedding day. I had dreamed of this outdoor wedding under the oaks with the carriage and fireworks for a very long time. As it inched closer and closer to 7 o’clock it was looking like that dream was going to have to be revised. As soon as we arrived at Southern Oaks Plantation, Mr. Bobby came to find me and assured me that he and his team would do everything that they possibly could to make my dream come true. And they delivered. I had the wedding I always dreamed of thanks to him.” – Annie, 2018
“Mr. Bobby made us feel like absolute royalty! We did not lift a finger the entire night!” – Marissa, 2018
The Learning Channel is a television networked known for coining the famous, “Say Yes to the Dress” and many other wedding related shows including, “Four Weddings.” It is with great honor that we share that TLC has named Southern Oaks Plantation THE BEST VENUE in Louisiana! We could not be more thrilled to add another accolade to the books! With over 32 years of business, we’ve been able to provide countless hours of service to our couples and what an honor to be recognized for all that we do! See for yourself how we’ve taken Southern charm to a whole new level!
TLC’s elite team of experts scoured the United States in search of the very best venues that provide an array of services and gorgeous backdrops to take your wedding to the next level. While there are plenty of beautiful venues across the state and country – Southern Oaks Plantation stands out as the absolute best!
Described as “magical” and “romantic” our venue will transport you and your guests directly into the fairytale setting you’ve always dreamed of. Twinkling lights, sprawling grounds, and our grand façade are only the beginning of a truly unforgettable experience!
We could not be more thrilled to receive the honor of being chosen as the most sought after venue in all of Louisiana! Set among the most gorgeous oak tree, our venue combines the perfect elements of wedding magic to create a spectacular backdrop for your event! Our all inclusive experience ties together stunning decor, delicious cuisine, and top customer service to our couples – local and destination alike! Thank you TLC for choosing Southern Oaks Plantation
“I loved her first
I held her first
And a place in my heart will always be hers
From the first breath she breathed
When she first smiled at me
I knew the love of a father runs deep
And I prayed that she’d find you someday
But it’s still hard to give her away
I loved her first”
Here are lyrics from one of our favorite songs chosen for father daughter dances! One of the most sacred traditions we see in weddings are those sweet moments shared between father and daughter on the dance floor. However, at Southern Oaks Plantation, we want to highlight another magical moment that shouldn’t be limited to just a walk down the aisle. Whether you are escorted by your father, stepfather, grandfather, brother, or another important figure in your life – we want to ensure your entrance into your ceremony is completely unforgettable!
We take the phrase, “Grand Entrance” and give it a whole new meaning! Through sparkling lights, an enchanting horse and carriage and all of your loved ones awaiting you.. we create a truly remarkable setting for you and your escort to savor those moments before you ascend down the aisle!
Take a look at a few of our favorite entrances, from a fairytale carriage ride to a classic car – we can provide you with perfect accessory.