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!

 

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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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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Southern Oaks Plantation Fall Trend Favorites

We might not have a chill in the air quite yet, but the first day of fall is upon us! That means it’s time to switch gears from those summer color palates and look forward to upcoming fall wedding trends. Here are a few that we’re excited about here at Southern Oaks!

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A new season means new colors to look forward to. We love jewel tones for the coming months – plum, emerald, and even burgundy! Rich colors pop against our lush landscaping and interiors. We’re always on board with a metallic touch, especially in the fall. Gold or even copper pair perfectly with jewel tones!

A turn in temperatures means it’s time to break out the long sleeves! This goes for our brides, maids, and guests alike! Long sleeve wedding dresses have made a splash in the past few years, and we don’t see that stopping anytime soon. Whether you go for a full sleeve or a peek-a-boo lace number, we love it all! As for the bridesmaids, if the dresses are sleeveless and it’s a bit too chilly outside, opt for a color-complementary shawl or wrap!

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Fall florals are some of our favorites. Moodier colors and classic greenery mesh so well together! If you lean more toward the classic bouquet style, sprigs of berries can be intertwined to provide small pops of color.

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We can’t forget to talk about the best part of all – cake! If you’re not a fan of frosting, naked cakes are having their time in the spotlight. Not to mention they are beautiful to photograph! On the other hand, traditional cakes can join in on the fall color trends as well. Adding greenery or berries to decorate the cake is a great way to tie in your wedding colors!

 

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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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