Bridal Portraits at Southern Oaks Plantation

Elite event coordinators to assist with your every need, luxe linens, gorgeous chiavari chairs, over 80 custom menu items.. here are just a few of our most popular amenities at Southern Oaks Plantation! We offer an endless amount of additions included in every single collection to accommodate our clients. However, did you know that we also offer a complimentary bridal portrait session to any of our brides who choose to wed at our venue? We want our couples to experience the magic of our plantation from the very beginning of the planning process, and what is more special than capturing your bridal portraits at the very location where you plan to say “I DO?!” This also gives you an added opportunity to really appreciate all of the details throughout our gorgeous grounds!

 

Here is what this Jazaré and Marlon had to say about her experience on March 23, 2019 with Southern Oaks Plantation!

 

“My husband and I got married at Southern Oaks Plantation!!!! The entire staff made sure our day was PERFECTION!!! The food, the music, the vibes, the 2nd line BAND! I mean EVERYTHING was PERFECT! We will never forget our experience! ALL of our guests had the times our their lives and it was because their staff made sure EVERYONE had a great time! Thank you so much Southern Oaks Plantation for making the most important day our our lives a day that we will NEVER forget!”southernoaksplantation

 

Bridal Buzz: Here what past clients have to say about their Southern Oaks Plantation Wedding!

You’ve envisioned your wedding your whole life, and when it comes down to it – selecting your wedding venue is one of the most important decisions you will make to bring all of your ideas to fruition. At Southern Oaks Plantation, we strive to ensure every detail is executed with perfection from beginning to end! However, we know that nothing speaks louder than reviews from our past couples! We’ve selected some of our best bridal lines along the way, so take a walk with us down memory lane and see why we are the clear choice to plan the wedding of your dreams!

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“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.”

– Shelita, Southern Oaks Plantation Bride

When we asked Shelita what she would say to other couples considering us as their venue, here is what she had to say:

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.

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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.

– This destination bride knew exactly how to wow her guests!

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This Disney loving bride knew she would wed at Southern Oaks Plantation since she was just a child!

What made you select Southern Oaks Plantation as your wedding venue?
Selecting Southern Oaks Plantation as my wedding venue was something I always wanted. When I got engaged, I knew from the start that this was the place I wanted to get married. My parents & my Aunt and Uncle got married at SOP, and I was lucky enough to be a part of both celebrations! I was around 6 & 7 when these weddings took place and Southern Oaks has been my dream wedding venue ever since! I also went to elementary school down the street from Southern Oaks and I can remember as a child always taking a peek when we passed. I was and am in love with this venue!

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Our bride, Harlea, loved Southern Oaks Plantation for many reasons, but most of all…

“Its Southern charm!! Everything from the venue itself to what it has to offer is what makes this venue so special. The whole night was a dream come true! If you are looking for a New Orleans meets Southern style wedding, Southern Oaks Plantation is the venue for you!!”

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Molly wed Brandon in 2018, and shared one of the highest compliments! After touring Southern Oaks Plantation, she KNEW no other venue could compare!

– What made you select Southern Oaks Plantation as your wedding venue?
“After we visited Southern Oaks, Brandon and I didn’t even want to look at other venues. We were so impressed that they had thought of everything to take care of that we said yes right away!”

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Southern Oaks Plantation Wedding Spotlight

Nathalie and Kerry’s love story began with an engagement that didn’t go exactly as planned, but still created a perfect memory! They fell in love with Southern Oaks Plantation from the start and had the wedding celebration they always dreamed of!

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– Tell us about your engagement.

Before leaving to go to a seminar in New Orleans, Nathalie had left a note in my bag asking me to pick her up something from the city. At that point, I thought it was appropriate to stop and pick up Nathalie’s engagement ring. I spoke with my parents and my aunt to discuss with them how I should propose. I also met with her father to ask for Nathalie’s hand in marriage. The plan was to propose to Nathalie at the local Italian restaurant we frequently visited when I returned back to Ruston, that Saturday.

After an arduous journey from Slidell to Ruston, I finally returned home early enough for us to go to dinner. It was then when Nathalie informed me she was too tired after a day full of school work to go out that night and that we would go to the restaurant Sunday. I informed everyone that the proposal was postponed until the next day. The next day arrived and Nathalie, again, decided that we should move the date to the restaurant to Monday, as she had chores to do around the house. I texted everyone, again, that the proposal would be moved to Monday.

At this point my cell phone was explosively vibrating from the barrage of text messages coming from my family, who had been on pins and needles for the last two days. Nathalie started noticing the constant text messages and asked what was going on, which required me to come up with an off the cuff answer while I texted my parents, “Do you know what the word ‘suspicious’ means? Stop texting so much.”

Monday arrived and on the way out of work, I tried to call the Italian restaurant to inform them how I was going to propose to Nathalie. I then discover that, of all the days, they’re closed on Mondays. At the last moment, I decided to change restaurants to the local steakhouse, a place we’ve only frequented about twice since moving to Ruston. I informed Nathalie of the change of places and contacted the restaurant to give them a heads up.

When we arrived, I noticed my name on the reservation list with the word “engagement.” I quickly tried to distract Nathalie from looking, by making weird facial expressions and head bobbing. Before our dessert arrived, I asked Nathalie to take a picture with me to share with my parents. I then told her, “Nathalie, you asked me to bring you back something.” I then told her how much I loved her and how I wanted her to be my wife, which was met with a face of shock and excitement. The waiter was able to video and snap some pictures of the proposal, which was followed by applause from the restaurant. The staff inscribed “Congrats” on our dessert plate. Even though it didn’t go according to plan, I wouldn’t go back and change a thing!

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– In your opinion, what is the best characteristic of Southern Oaks Plantation?

What a tough question! We would have to say that the best characteristic of Southern Oaks Plantation would be their well-organized system. From the first day we stepped foot on the grounds and met Mr. Bobby to the minute we got in our limo to leave our reception, they made sure everything went off without a hitch and that we had nothing to worry about! Everything was done with such order and precision that all we were left with was enjoying ourselves! They know what they are doing and then some. There is nothing to be disappointed by when it comes to Southern Oaks Plantation! Also, let us not forget the food…because it too is a BEST characteristic!

– How did you and your partner meet?

We met while working at Sears while we were in high school. Kerry was a hardware department salesman and I was a cashier. We were introduced by one of the managers who just insisted that I go on a date with Kerry. Eleven years of dating (and now two months married) later, we are still going strong!

 

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– What made you select Southern Oaks Plantation as your wedding venue?

When searching for wedding venues, we both knew we wanted somewhere close to home as both of our families live in the Slidell area and we have family all around South Louisiana. We also knew that we wanted a venue that wouldn’t require us to book a million and one vendors to coordinate food, tables, linens, etc. We wanted something that also felt warm, inviting, like us, and like home. We knew we were interested in Southern Oaks Plantation after looking over the website and seeing all the amazing reviews. When talking to family who had attended weddings there previously, we only heard about how wonderful it was. We knew we had to check it out. We fell in love the minute Mr. Bobby opened those doors. The pictures don’t do it justice! Everything is so beautiful and breathtaking! The décor is perfect for just about any color palette you could dream of. After speaking with Mr. Bobby and hearing all the things he had to offer (and so kindly decided to include additionally for us), we knew we found our wedding venue!

– What was your favorite moment of the night?

Well aside from getting married (duh!), we would have to say the best moment of the night was the surprise fireworks! I will never forget being in the car with my dad and Mr. Bobby as we made our way around to the front of the house for me to walk down the aisle. Mr. Bobby said he had a surprise for us that night. I was already giddy with excitement as I was about to walk down the aisle, now this! I had no idea what to expect as the night was just getting started. At the conclusion of the ceremony and as we made our way back to the front of the house after our second line with the jazz band, fireworks began going off! We were blown away! I couldn’t imagine a more perfect surprise for such a perfect night. I remember my mother in law telling me that Mr. Bobby asked her (following the fireworks) did she enjoy that, all along with the biggest smile on his face!

 

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– Are there any other vendors you’d like to mention in this feature?

Yes! All of our lovely vendors as listed below! With Southern Oaks Plantation and each of our vendors, our night was more perfect and beautiful than we could have ever imagined or asked for!

– Was there a particular staff member at SOP that really stood out to you?

I wouldn’t say that one staff member outshined any other. I would say that each member we worked with did their job and then some to make sure our night went well. Whether it was Lauren who would respond to many numerous emails with my thousand and one questions as she would be assurance that she had it all under control; our assistants for the night who would made sure we were where we needed to be and that we always had a drink in hand or anything else we may need; Mr. Bobby who gave us a personal tour when we came to view the venue and threw in some extras along the way. Everyone there is amazing and really goes above and beyond. 

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– What would you say to other brides considering Southern Oaks Plantation as their venue?

If there is ever any doubt in your mind, go with your gut! Just do it! We can say now that there is no regret having chose Southern Oaks Plantation as our wedding venue. You will be able to enjoy your night with your spouse without any need to worry about anything else! You will truly be able to enjoy your wedding night as you should! The entire staff is helpful, understanding, and willing to do what they can to make your night what you want it to be. They are quick to answer any of your questions throughout the planning process and do everything they can to make that process stress-free and enjoyable. We would do it again in a heartbeat! I am honestly sad that I don’t get to email them all the time now with my questions! (lol)

Please list your vendor information below including their name, website, and Instagram handle. 

Photographer: Collin Richie

Website: http://www.collinrichiephoto.com/

Florist: Leaf + Petal NOLA

Website: https://www.leafandpetalnola.com/

Tuxedo/Suit Shop: Xedo

Website: https://tuxedorental.jcpenney.com/

Videographer: JCW-A Creative Agency

Website: https://weddingsbyjcw.com/

Bakery: Bittersweet Confections

Website: www.bittersweetconfections.com 

Dress Designer/Dress Shop: Essense of Australia from The Bridal Boutique by MaeMe

Website: (Essense) https://www.essensedesigns.com/

  (The Bridal Boutique by MaeMe) https://www.maemebridal.com/

    (The Bridal Boutique by MaeMe) maemebridal

Hair & Makeup: She Laughs Hair & Makeup

Website: www.shelaughsboutique.com

Officiant: Rev. Steve Trahan from Sensational Ceremonies, LLC

Website: https://www.sensationalceremonies.com/locations-weddings/new-orleans-weddings/

         

Bridesmaid Dresses: Bridside 

Website: https://brideside.com/

                          

Adding a Little Fun + Flair to Your Reception

One surefire way to keep your guests shaking their stuff on the dance floor? Endless dance tunes and favors they can use all night long! After all the necessary wedding dances have concluded, it’s time to crank up the music and play music you know your guests will love to dance to! At Southern Oaks, your playlist is custom and completely up to you – your own personal DJ is included in every single wedding package at no additional cost. Once your guests are cutting the rug, surprise them with a fun favor!

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Koozies are always a hot commodity these days. With a wide color selection and custom design options, it’s the perfect favor to commemorate your big day. Your guests will use your koozies for years to come and remember the fantastic time they had at your wedding!

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Another fun option to add some flair to the dance floor? Glow sticks! With the lights down low, your guests will love this addition! The glow sticks that double as necklaces and bracelets are the way to go! That way your guests have their hands free to hang on to their drinks and shake to the beat.

One final favor that will definitely keep the party going is sunglasses! There’s just something about slipping on a pair that brings out the dancing machines in your guests. Similar to koozies, the customization options are really great! You can even coordinate with your wedding colors and print your names & date on the side.

It’s time to get creative! Your guests will absolutely love whichever favors you choose!

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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Now that’s how to make an entrance!

Here at Southern Oaks, we like to go above and beyond for our happy couples. You can read about some of our New Orleans inspired enhancements in our last blog post, but we have many more to tell you about. Nothing says “here comes the bride” quite like these enhancements!

No wedding is complete without its grand opening number! That’s why we have carefully curated several magnificent entrances for your big day. Whether you dream of a storybook entrance or an eye-popping display in the night sky, we’re here to make it happen!

Our first enhancement is straight out of a fairytale. Our brides can enter their ceremony on a horse-drawn Victoria Carriage, pulled by our very own Magic and Majestic! Your guests will surely turn their heads at the familiar sound of horses trotting down our drive! All eyes will be on you as you step off the carriage and begin your walk down the aisle.

If you prefer to ride in a different style, you may be interested in our 1956 Silver Cloud Limo. This option is perfect for the bride who wants a little flair but prefers to make her debut emerging from the limo at the end of the aisle.

For those looking for a musical debut, you can second-line your way into the ceremony with a traditional New Orleans Jazz Band! This is sure to put your guests in a dancing mood that will carry over onto our ballroom dance floor.

The final enhancement is sure to start your wedding off with a bang! You guessed it, fireworks!! It’s definitely a “go big or go home” affair here at Southern Oaks. We’ll light up the night sky with a fireworks package that will make your jaw drop! Not to mention it makes for a stunning photo backdrop.

Can’t decide between our grand entrances? Who says you have to? We can mix and match any of our enhancements to make an entrance you will never forget. Give us a call today to get started on planning your big day!

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!!

The Southern Oaks Experience

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There are many things that set Southern Oaks apart from other venues in New Orleans. Our grand façade is recognized near and far, and our storied grounds have been featured on The Knot, Style Me Pretty and many more. But what makes the Southern Oaks experience different from the rest? We’re the whole package!

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We’re here to help you create the event of a lifetime – one you and your loved ones won’t soon forget. That’s why we offer so much in our event package and such a wide list of excellent enhancements to boot! Our façade is the perfect backdrop for your ceremony. The Spanish moss adorning the oak trees on our sprawling front lawn and beautiful landscaping is all the décor you need!

Our ballroom is perfect for any style. We offer Chiavari chairs, tables and neutral-colored linens that match any style. We also offer custom ambient lighting for the cake setting, lounge and ballroom areas. To top it all off, all of our tables are adorned with chic candle-lit centerpieces. Music? We have that covered too! We have a built-in sound system and DJ, with music personalized to each event!

We are here to make sure the happy couple has everything they need on their big day. We offer professional coordination of every element and detail, and personal attendants to assist the couple and parents throughout the celebration.

For couples wanting to add a little more flair to their day, our enhancements are not-to-miss! Stay tuned for our next blog post, where we break down some of our New Orleans inspired enhancements!

 

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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How Grooms can Infuse Personal Style into their Wedding Day

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Let’s hear it for the boys! There are a million and one “bridal guides” out there, and we thought we would create something a little special for all of the grooms out there! These are five easy ways that grooms can infuse their own personal style into their wedding day, and be involved in all that goes into planning your big day!

1. Choose a fun groom’s cake!
Whether you showcase your favorite sports team or your favorite activity, a groom’s cake is a perfect way to show your guests a little about you! Not to mention, guests LOVE cake no matter what 😉

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2. Stay Organized
While choosing between roses or peonies may not be your favorite past time, you can still help your fiancee stay organized by attending the meetings to take notes, make suggestions, and get a glimpse into what your wedding day will look like.

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3. Choose a unique tuxedo or suit
While a traditional black tuxedo will always give a classic look, we absolutely love grooms who will wear something unique! You can always get creative with accessories such as cufflinks, fun ties or even socks!

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4. Choose fun gifts for your groomsmen
Do you love golfing? Take your groomsmen out for a round of gold on the morning of your wedding. Love hunting? Surprise your guys with something camouflage!

5. Support your fiancee
There are some tricky parts of wedding planning, typically the budget and the guest list. Its important to support your fiancee through the engagement and become united. After all, this planning is to create the perfect event to begin your new life together as a married couple!