Passion Makes Perfect


Mr. Bobby, along with his father Mr. Eddie Asaro showcasing the elite fleet of Southern Oaks Plantation!

If you’ve ever been to Southern Oaks Plantation, you know that the brains behind the operation belong to none other than Mr. Bobby Asaro. You may have also recognize the face of a friendly gentlemen, Mr. Eddie, who can frequently be seen helping out in a number of ways, including welcoming each guest into Southern Oaks. Rarely do you find the owner of a wedding venue present at nearly every single event, but Mr. Bobby’s mission is to ensure every detail is up to his standard of perfect. For him, Southern Oaks is less of a business and more of a passion. But this passion of entrepreneurship and desire for the highest of standards has been his destiny dating back to a time before he was even born.

Southern Oaks Plantation
Vito Asaro, along with his father Giovanni Asaro and another employee at Royal Cedar Works.

Mr. Bobby’s entrepreneurial story began in 1921 with his grandfather, Vito Asaro, and father Eddie Asaro. Vito was a first generation immigrant from Italy, that successfully owned and operated “Royal Cedar Works” from 1921-1954. Royal Cedar Works was a custom cedar chest company that specialized in providing “hope chests” to newly engaged or soon to be engaged women. These chests were a must have for any woman recently betrothed, as the chest represented her new married life. Royal Cedar Works made countless brides’ wishes come true with their handmade, custom designed chests. The chests were made of Tennessee Red Cedar, hand sanded and finished with two coats of shellac, and two coats of varnish for a “high gloss” effect that was highly admired by the customers of their time. Every single chests was always inspected by Vito himself, and hand stamped with his initial, truly giving his seal of approval!


Mr. Eddie and several of his cousins gather for a parade on Mardi Gras Day on Royal Street.

Mr. Eddie has fond memories of how his father’s store shaped the history of the French Quarter. Set among antique stores and jewelry stores, this shop stood out. The dust from the chests would pour out onto the streets, and draw in customers with the fresh wood smell. Back in this time, Mardi Gras floats would roll down Royal Street and Mr. Eddie and his family would have front row seats to the carnival! Their family of seven would sit out to enjoy parades with neighboring businesses owners and customers!

This Royal Street staple became a destination for brides and grooms, as it was nestled right next to a jewelry store. The happy couple would select their jewelry and walk right next door where the bride would select the perfect chest, and the soon to be groom would purchase it. While Vito enjoyed the craftsmanship of the chests, Mr. Eddie truly enjoyed the customer service aspect of the family business. He was quite a skilled salesman, and remembers selling chests to 9 out of 10 customers that visited the shop! At only 14 years old, he was a natural people person and loved interacting with all of his customers. A quality that still shines through today with the couples of Southern Oaks!

Southern Oaks Plantation has been in business for 30 years, and Mr. Eddie is the fabric that has weaved this family business together. He’s never met a client who didn’t become a friend, as building relationships is truly his specialty! This heritage is ever present today as Bobby and Sue work hand in hand in creating that magic of Southern Oaks, along with their daughters.


Bobby and Sue Asaro along with their daughters at Southern Oaks Plantation.

As Vito Asaro was extremely detailed and ran Royal Cedar Works with the highest of standards, its evident why Mr. Bobby shows the same attention to detail. The passion for creating memorable events with first class service for brides and grooms has been prevalent for nearly a century! Since the 1920’s the Asaro Family has impacted the lives of countless couples through their dedication to perfection.

“You will only reach great success with your family by your side, because you can always depend on them . No matter what.” – Mr. Eddie Asaro


Mr. Eddie pictured with an original Royal Cedar Works hope chest. Take notice of the image of Southern Oaks Plantation right above!

Bridal Spotlight – Christie + Brandon

How did you and your partner meet?
We met playing pick up soccer through our medical school. I was about to start my first year and Brandon was about to start his second year. He asked for my number “so I could join his intramural league.”

What made you select Southern Oaks Plantation as your wedding venue?
Southern Oaks was gorgeous and I knew we’d be taken care of! I didn’t look anywhere else after touring Southern Oaks. I’m so glad I chose it!

What was your favorite moment of the night?
The whole night was amazing. Our favorite moment was the second line at the end. We had an amazing band and it felt like every single person there was on the dance floor celebrating! We had people from out of town that had never experienced a New Orleans wedding, and we are so happy they got to share this moment with us.

Are there any other vendors you’d like to mention in this feature?
Almost all of my vendors were from the suggested vendors list and they were awesome.
Michael Caswell– Photographer
Katie Malone – Makeup
Karlie Lacoste – Hair
Bella Blooms – Florist
The Royal Cakery – cakes

A Drawing On A Napkin — How Southern Oaks Plantation Got its Start

As Southern Oaks Plantation approaches our 30th anniversary, we want to celebrate by thinking back to how things began: with a drawing on a napkin.

New Orleans natives Bobby and Sue Asaro, the founders, had successful positions in the medical field when they were newlyweds. The two of them had been working in the medical field for nearly ten years, Bobby as a vascular technologist and Sue as an ultrasound technician. While they were anxious, they knew they wanted to pursue a new challenge in their lives.

Bobby had found a new passion in photography. To progress his hobby, he would set photo shoots of weddings and soon, Sue was joining him in the events. Through all their creative and energetic efforts, Bobby and Sue became the most sought after photographers in the business.

Although things were great, Bobby noticed something missing. Working closely with brides, reception venues, and catering companies, he realized what that thing was. A personalized service — paying personal attention to the bride, groom, and their parents. To convey this idea, Bobby sketched the venue on a napkin for Sue while at dinner one evening. The first step toward the ambitious dream of opening their own reception venue was to find the right location.

Southern Oaks Plantation 2015

Driving down Hayne Boulevard one afternoon, Bobby spotted what would become Southern Oaks Plantation. A stately antebellum-style home, vacant and neglected at the time, held the potential to be the beautiful venue Bobby imagined. While friends and family tried to talk him out of the decision because of the property’s failed past, Bobby was convinced that this property would achieve success.

The bad luck hanging over the property vanished when Bobby and Sue Asaro opened the gates in January, 1987 and the first celebration was booked that same day.

With attention to detail, the Asaros have built something of excellence. Atmosphere, body language, and cleanliness are always carefully monitored during an event to live up to Bobby and Sue’s expectations of impeccable service.

The Asaros looked to the best in the business for inspiration: Walt Disney. Bobby has attended numerous seminars conducted at the Disney Institute and has modeled many pieces in the operation after the Disney theme. Hand-picked employees, each understanding the philosophy of top service at the Southern Oaks Plantation, properly attired and approachable are integral in our daily workings and are proud to be working in this tremendous establishment.

Among other awards and accolades, Southern Oaks Plantation has won the “Bride’s Choice Award” from WeddingWire, the only venue in Louisiana to be given that honor, and has been chosen as the “Best of Weddings” Pick by The Knot consecutively for the last three years. Bobby says that it was easy to become one of the top locations in the business, but as business grows, it has been a challenge to remain in that position.

As we celebrate our 30th anniversary, we will continue to be dedicated to improving the experience at Southern Oaks to exceed the expectations of every guest at every event and jubilation. To place a reservation or for more information about Southern Oaks Plantation, please contact us. We are happy to serve you!

Simplify Your Wedding Planning and Focus on the Magic

If you are like many brides, you have had an idea of what your wedding will look like since your were a little girl. You can see the flowers and the dress, and you know what music you want playing during the ceremony and the reception. What you probably did not see was the stress and frustration that many brides face when trying to navigate an overwhelming number of details, options, and packages.

Some of the stress is created by the anticipation itself and the knowledge that you have only one chance to get everything right. Then there’s the accompanying drama of dealing with family and friends who all have great intentions but fail to understand that they are not actually helping you. Frustration mounts, and you wonder where all the joy went.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

While we can’t change the troublesome family members or help you decide on bridesmaids, we can help de-clutter your planning process. At Southern Oaks Plantation, we offer a simple pricing and planning structure to create magical celebrations. We believe your wedding should be a memorable, stress-free experience. That’s why we avoid complicated per-person cost structures and multiple packages that just result in decision fatigue.

This simplified approach begins with our catering. Not only do we provide an unrivaled culinary experience and true “Taste of New Orleans,” we also use a cocktail-style menu with over 80 items available and included in every celebration. There’s no need to worry about complicated menus or meal preferences.

Whether you would like us to host just your reception or your ceremony as well, we have an experienced staff of wedding professionals who will help coordinate the entire event. We provide an array of in-house amenities from candle-lit centerpieces and an open bar to personalized music from our Disc Jockey and personal attendants and a private meal for the bride and groom.

We also offer several enhancements that can make your wedding a truly unique experience. Just a few options include a horse-drawn carriage, a New Orleans Jazz Band, fireworks, sushi chef, and carving stations, among others.

Planning your wedding should be exciting and magical, not stressful and disappointing. Contact us today to discuss how Southern Oaks Plantation can remove that stress and ensure that your wedding is the fairy tale you always dreamed of.

 

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Best All-Around Wedding Venue: Southern Oaks Plantation

If you are engaged, then it is an exciting time full of decisions that lead to a perfect day of joy. One of the most vital decisions a future bride and groom can make is choosing the perfect wedding venue. Southern Oaks Plantation is a premier wedding venue that has been serving clients since 1987. Southern Oaks Plantation offers couples a traditional wedding experience with breathtaking surroundings.

Southern Oaks Plantation was voted Best All-Around Wedding Venue by New Orleans vendors and was also awarded the Borrowed & Blue.com Gold Award. There are many wedding venues to choose from in the New Orleans area, but Southern Oaks Plantation is by far the best choice. Southern Oaks Plantation is the only wedding venue in Louisiana to win the “Bride’s Choice Award” presented by WeddingWire. Furthermore, The Knot has also named Southern Oaks as a “Best of Weddings” venue for the past five years. In 2012, Southern Oaks Plantation was selected as the “Best New Orleans Wedding Venue” by Brides Magazine. With the many prestigious awards Southern Oaks has been honored to receive, it is no wonder it is the best wedding venue in Louisiana.

For those who want additional charm, Southern Oaks offers a wide-range of ceremony and reception “Enhancements,” which include a horse-drawn Victorian carriage, a 1956 Silver Cloud Limo, a New Orleans jazz band, a fireworks presentation, and more.

If you want to learn more about our ceremony and reception services, then contact us! We can provide a one-of-a-kind wedding experience, which is why Southern Oaks Plantation is known as the Best All-Around Wedding Venue.