First Look

To First-Look or Not to First-Look?

While the debate between first-lookers and non-first-lookers is a hot topic, there are certainly pros and cons to each. Whether you choose the former or the later, everyone at Southern Oaks is here to make your day a magical one!

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www.southernoaksplantation.com

Couples who stick to not seeing each other before their ceremony want to keep with tradition or believe in the bad-luck superstition. We can certainly agree that there is beautiful emotion to be captured when couples see each other for the first time walking down the aisle. Just thinking about our grooms welling up at the sight of their brides brings happy tears to our eyes. If you’re a traditionalist and not pained by the thought of cutting into your reception time, opting out of a first-look is the route for you.

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On the other hand, if you’re a move-busting couple, doing a first-look is definitely the way to go. One of the main reasons couples are opting for a first-look is to cut down the time between the ceremony and reception. All of the main photos can be taken before the ceremony, so you can get straight to the party after your “I do’s!” A first-look at Southern Oaks is also a great opportunity to take advantage of our sprawling grounds and areas that aren’t commonly photographed! We have so many gorgeous spots that would make for a perfect first-look backdrop. We’d be happy to show you some of our favorites during your tour!

 

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Another little-known option is an “adventure session” the day after your wedding. If you have some time to spare between your ceremony day and leaving on your honeymoon, this is a great option for those couples who want to stick to tradition, be the life of the party, and get wonderful photos to boot. The idea is simple: get all dressed up one more time, head back to Southern Oaks with just the two of you (and your photographer of course) and take beautiful intimate shots without the stress of a timeline!

 

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New Orleans Wedding with Dreamy Vibes

This bridal spotlight features the gorgeous wedding of Harlea + Zach! The images by HiVolt Photography really showcase a unique aspect of the beautiful grounds of Southern Oaks Plantation – read about their love story here!

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

Its Southern charm!! Everything from the venue itself to what it has to offer is what makes SOP so special. The whole night was a dream come true! If you are looking for a NOLA style Southern wedding SOP is the venue for you!!

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How did you and your partner meet?
We met in Denver, CO at a bar/restaurant!

What made you select Southern Oaks Plantation as your wedding venue?
The customer service is top notch, you were the only venue we visited out of many that took an interest in exceeding our wants and desires for our wedding. Your customer service went above and beyond any venue we visited.

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What was your favorite moment of the night?
The entire night was my favorite but the ceremony was spectacular. With the horse drawn carriage, fireworks, and second line it was a memory we will never forget!! The guest really enjoyed it as well!! It was truly magical!

Is there any other feedback you’d like to include?
The food was also amazing – some of the best I ever tasted!!!

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Are there any other vendors you’d like to mention in this feature?
Haydel’s Bakery, Hi-volt Studios the cake was wonderful!! Christie and Eddie from Hi-Volt knew all the great shots to catch!! Both vendors are amazing!!

Was there a particular staff member at SOP that really stood out to you?
BOBBY! He made sure everything was exceptional! Also my personal attendant Mariah was awesome! I never had to ask for anything – she was observant and attentive and right there anytime I needed anything.

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– What would you say to other brides considering Southern Oaks Plantation as their venue?
Definitely the best choice for venues – every guest I spoke to and comments on social media was always “this was the BEST wedding I ever been too!” “This wedding was so much fun!” Or “The food was amazing!”

Please list your vendor information below including their name and website.
Photographer: Hi-volt Studios
Florist: Sam’s & Cabbage Patch Florist
Dress Salon: Suki’s Beaumont, TX
Tuxedo/Suit Shop: Suit Supply
Bakery: Haydel’s
Planner (if applicable): didn’t need one – SOP – took care of most of my needs!

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Summer Weddings in New Orleans

New Orleans is famous for quite a few things, and to the locals – an afternoon summer rain is definitely one of those things! Here at southern Oaks Plantation, our team is prepared for any scenario and we can bring your wedding dreams to life no matter what the weatherman has to say! Our “Plan B” ceremony options are more like another beautiful option for Plan A. We help take the stress away of trying to predict the weather, and ensure you will have a stunning ceremony – rain or shine!

Through our wall of windows, your guests will be treated to a sprawling view of our outdoor oasis as they enjoy your beautiful ceremony indoors. Chiavari chairs, custom LED lighting, and a glimpse into the enchanting backdrop beyond, your ceremony will feel truly magical!

Bridal Spotlight: Kara + Brian

Every now and then we come across a wedding that really showcases the magic of Southern Oaks Plantation, but Kara and Brian’s gorgeous wedding is simply out of this world! Elegant details, an over the top fireworks show, and an evening overflowing with love – This destination wedding is one for the books!

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Tell us about your engagement.

We went to his Uncles house for what i thought, was a 4th of July party. Brian got my family and his family together there as well as a few friends. We spent the day swimming and having BBQ. That night they said they were lighting fireworks so everyone went out in the yard for the fireworks display. Brian asked me to run out into the yard with him and light one, I did and when we were out under the fireworks he got down on one knee and proposed! It was magical.

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

The best characteristic (although, there are SO many) would be the all inclusive nature of the venue. From the moment you step in to tour the venue, the staff puts your mind at ease and ensures you the process will be as stress free as possible. They work tirelessly to make the planning process and the wedding night PERFECT..

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

My fiance and I were hoping to get married in New Orleans because we both love the city so much. We live in Houston so we thought it would be hard with the distance. I had heard about Southern Oaks plantation years before and loved the pictures so we decided to give it a visit when we were in New Orleans taking engagement pictures. We walked in the doors and were in awe. Not only was it even more beautiful than the pictures I’d seen, but the staff made us feel so comfortable about the planning process. We didn’t even want to leave, we could have stayed all day. We called Lauren back within 30 min of leaving SOP and booked the venue for our wedding and reception! We knew it was the perfect place for us and we never looked back.

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What was your favorite moment of the night?

My favorite moment of the night was when i stepped out of the Rolls Royce and saw Brian at the end of the aisle, we locked eyes and all the nerves and worry I had been feeling went out the window. It was just us in that moment sharing so much love and was one of the best feelings I’ve ever experienced.

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

Lauren Burgess was with us from the first moment we stepped into SOP for the first time all the way through when we were leaving the night of the wedding. She is amazing. Such a sweet, kind hearted person, with a real passion for what she is doing. No matter what question we had, she always put us at ease. She even mailed us a nice hand written note after the wedding. If you have the pleasure of working with her, you won’t be disappointed!! I have to also mention Bobby, the owner, we didn’t meet him until the night of the wedding but he makes you feel like you have known him forever. He is very professional and outgoing. He was also so kind as to throw in some extras for us!!

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

– Judge Centanni – Officiant
– NOLA Flora – Florals
– La Lousiane Bakery – Wedding cake
– Jordan Isbell Photography (from Houston area)

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

If you are considering booking at Southern Oaks Plantation, YOU MUST DO IT!! It will be an absolute fairy tale and the best night of your life, guaranteed!
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The Architecture of Southern Oaks Plantation

“Old World Charm, Modern Glitz” is how Biz New Orleans described the property of Southern Oaks Plantation.

Built in 1965, and antebellum in style, our grounds are far from antiquated.

Antebellum is a popular style home, and inspired by the Greek Revival architecture. Some key features that characterize an antebellum home are grand columns, large sitting areas in front of the home, a center entrance, and evenly spaced windows. While most homes of this style were built prior to the civil war, some homes, including Southern Oaks Plantation, were built based on the inspiration of these style of homes.

Rarely do you find such a traditional style space with such modern amenities: including custom LED lighting throughout, contemporary decor, and a vibrant spirit that radiates from the twinkling lights to the professional staff. We continue to get asked how we’ve remained successful through the 30+ years we have been in business, and the answer is attention to detail. We want our guests to feel as something from the moment they step foot onto the sprawling grounds of Southern Oaks Plantation. We have made many (MANY!) updates and renovations throughout the years, and we continue to strive for perfection.

Mr. Bob, owner of Southern Oaks Plantation, explains “I once was on a cruise where I noticed a team of men painting the boat from front to back. I was so interested in the work they were doing, I struck up conversation. The mentioned that as soon as they finish painting the entire boat, they begin again.” Because, the level of perfection they hope to achieve is continuous, and that is exactly the motto of our venue!

To read even more about the details and history of Southern Oaks Plantation, be sure to check out this article by Biz New Orleans!

Cheers to 30 more years!

Take a glimpse into the past of Southern Oaks!

Southern Oaks Plantation featured on Style Me Pretty!

Wedding blogs are such a fabulous resource when planning your wedding! They offer great insight and inspiration, which is why we were beyond thrilled when Style Me Pretty featured our beautiful space! This shoot highlights a stunning and intimate ceremony under our grand oaks, and our stars Magic and Majestic! We can’t think of a more perfect setting for a Southern wedding.

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Photography: Monsoleil Weddings
Dress: Wedding Belles
Florals: Poppy + Mint Floral
Design + Styling: Logan Doerries Design
Makeup: Ashley Sievert Beauty
Cake: Melissa’s Fine Pastries
Stationer: Lady Adelaide
Groom’s Suit: John’s Tuxedos

Delectable Delights at Southern Oaks Plantation!

“I can’t say enough nice things about this place and the food and owners and staff. It is a magical place to have a wedding. First class all the way.” – Cheryl P.

“I have only had one opportunity to be there, the food was excellent.. had a wonderful time.. highly recommend … it was a few years ago but I have never forgotten the experience…” – Ellen T.

“My mouth is watering thinking of our yummy wedding food! Over 3 years ago now and guest still comment on the unique Cajun options!!!” – Kayli S.

“Best wedding venue on the planet. My wedding was in 2015 and people are still talking about how spectacular our wedding was, the venue was beautiful and the food was to die for!!! Southern Oaks provided the most perfect setting for the wedding of my dreams.” – Kendall G.

Here are just a few notes about the outstanding food and service that Southern Oaks Plantation provides at each and every wedding. First class service is of highest important here at our venue, and we want to create an experience our couples and their guests will remember for a lifetime. That experience begins with an incredible meal, considering here in New Orleans, food is everything. We posses the spirit of New Orleans in each menu item, to showcase the traditional flavors to locals and destination clients alike. We take such pride in our cuisine that our menu boasts over eighty items, because we truly enjoy creating delectable meals for our guests! Let Southern Oaks Plantation treat you and your guests like royalty, including a royal feast!

Images by Sonia Savio Photography

Bridal Spotlight – Hayley + Trace

– Tell us about your engagement.
I was a Sports Medicine student athletic trainer while in college at Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. Trace gave me tickets to go back to a Notre Dame football game the next September for my birthday in April. The night before the game, we went to one of the most special spots on campus to me–the Grotto. Per usual, we lit a candle and said a prayer. Little did I know the candle that we lit had this inscription. He got down on one knee and proposed! Hiding in the bushes was not only the photographer, but our family and dearest friends. We all had a celebratory tailgate the next day and went to the game together (where Notre Dame won!).

– In your opinion, what is the best characteristic of Southern Oaks Plantation?
Mr. Bobby and the staff are hands down the best! We their enthusiasm, experience, and excellent service, we felt completely comfortable letting them plan how the reception was going to go. They allowed the perfect balance between letting us choose what was important to us to have at the reception and planning what they knew best would be the perfect order and organization of the event. They went above and beyond what our expectations were (fireworks, ducks in the pool, food vendors!) and made the night absolutely perfect. It wasn’t my intention to have a fairytale wedding, but they absolutely made it something I could only dream of. Hands down would choose them over and over again!

– How did you and your partner meet?
Each year, the LSU dental students pick an incoming member of the first year class to join their “family”, where they pass down patients as the fourth year student graduates. My sister chose Trace as her “little” and after meeting him thought we would like each other. She smoothly introduced us at the next dental school party and we have been inseparable ever since.

– What made you select Southern Oaks Plantation as your wedding venue?
The beauty, charm, and staff! We felt confident it would be a fun and memorable evening, and it was a HUGE relief to have an experienced staff to take care of all the details and arrangements. As a medical student, I did not want to spend too much time working out the details for the reception, so it was a major advantage to have Mr. Bobby and his staff taking care of everything for us. He did such an incredible job, there was no way I could have pulled it off like he did!

– What was your favorite moment of the night?
Too many to choose from, but the entrance was such a blast! We had fireworks and streamers–it was more than I could have imagined. Trace and I were blown away. All of the small details truly made the evening seem like a fairytale from the ducklings in the pool to the horses in the stables and the twinkle lights covering the gorgeous trees.

Bridal Spotlight – Logan + William

– In your opinion, what is the best characteristic of Southern Oaks Plantation?
Easy: everything! Southern Oaks Plantation seems like something out of a dream! The staff, the entire staff’s attention to detail was unmatched. All my emails were answered before I hit send, on my wedding night diddn’t have to think considering everything was already taken care of! The venue, I fell in love with the neutral color palette. It seemed everything was decorated exactly how I what I have designed it on my own. The ambiance, the lights in the trees from the candlelights throughout the space created the most enchanting aesthetic!

– What made you select Southern Oaks Plantation as your wedding venue?
From the moment I drove up to Southern Oaks, the venue just took my breath away. Once I stepped inside, my decision was made. I loved the decor, but I knew after my initial meeting with Stacey that we were going to be taken care of extremely well. Being in the wedding industry, I knew I had high expectations, but each one was exceeded in every day. She answered all of my millions of questions with patience and understanding, and seemed willing to go above and beyond any detail I requested. I loved that every aspect of my wedding was going to be taken care of, from my linens to my champagne flutes. It seemed all of my wedding stress started to melt away as soon as I booked Southern Oaks!

– What was your favorite moment of the night?
The whole night was perfect, but I have to say the moment the fireworks went off I felt like I was in a dream. I was not expecting all of our guests to be excitedly waiting for us on the steps, and as soon I turned around the most incredible fireworks show began! Fairytale music played, we were surrounded by our closest loved ones, and I was the happiest I had ever been! Our guests still talk about this moment, and how amazing it was!

– Is there a particular staff member that really stood out to you?
The entire staff was more than accommodating, I don’t think I ever took two sips of my drink before it was immediately refreshed. I truly didn’t have to think about ANYTHING the entire night, as the staff ran the event perfectly. However, one memory that really shines is at the end of the evening as I was thanking Mr. Bobby for a perfect evening, I accidentally spilled a little champagne on my hand. He ran off, and came right back with a wet napkin and dry napkin so I wouldn’t be sticky. I can’t imagine being treated more like royalty anywhere else!

– What would you say to other brides considering Southern Oaks Plantation as their venue?
There is no doubt in my mind that I picked the perfect place for our wedding. When it is the most special day of your life you want to be treated as so, and the incredible staff of Southern Oaks Plantation will go beyond your wildest dream in ensuring that happens. I was beyond impressed with every detail, and you will absolutely feel like all of your wedding dreams have come true! I can say without question that Southern Oaks Plantation is the best venue in New Orleans!

Photographer: Sonia Savio Photography
Florist: Poppy + Mint Floral Company
Dress Salon: Town and Country Bridal
Tuxedo/Suit Shop: John’s Tuxedo
Videographer: Bower Productions
Bakery: Frosted Fantasies by Nikki
Makeup: Ashley Sievert Beauty
Hair: Salon Stephano
Band: Dat Band

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.

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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!