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!
– 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!
– 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!
– 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!
– 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.
– 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
Florist: Leaf + Petal NOLA
Tuxedo/Suit Shop: Xedo
Videographer: JCW-A Creative Agency
Bakery: Bittersweet Confections
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
Officiant: Rev. Steve Trahan from Sensational Ceremonies, LLC
Bridesmaid Dresses: Bridside