Wedding Spotlight: Annie and Ari

A true fairytale affair complete with stunning blooms, gorgeous details, and a carriage ride for the books! This Southern Oaks Plantation soiree is sure to stun.

Read more about this lovely wedding below!

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Tell us about your engagement.
New Orleans has always been a special place to me. In fact, the very first time that I visited the city, after experiencing a 2nd line parade for the first time I said, “I am either going to get married here or my funeral will be here.” I absolutely loves the culture of New Orleans. Fast forward about 8 years. A trip to New Orleans was planned to visit my favorite city and attend the USF vs Tulane football game. After a few days of delicious food, French Quarter shenanigans and Nola Jazz, Ari decided that October 21st 2017 on the stairs overlooking picturesque Jackson Square and the St. Louis’ Cathedral he would pop the question. In front of a sizable crowd, Ari (visibly shaking) got down on one knee and asked me the most important questions of their lives “Will you Marry Me?” Of course I said, “YES!” after removing my spider themed fascinator and putting down my champagne to go cup. The crowd that had gathered cheered and as a newly engaged couple, we made our way to the Halloween parade and then to the USF game to celebrate!

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

Where do I begin? Southern Oaks captures the southern elegance and fun of New Orleans. The food is fantastic, the venue is gorgeous, there is no detail overlooked. I would attribute the stellar experience we had at Southern Oaks, to the incredible staff. Truly, they embody teamwork and professionalism and it made my day absolutely perfect.

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How did you and your partner meet?

Ari and I met in downtown Saint Petersburg, Florida on a Sunday evening, December 7th, 2014. We always have a witty debate when describing exactly what type of establishment Ferg’s is when telling our story. See Ari likes to refer to the location as a “restaurant” while I am honest about the fact that it is more of a “sports pub.” Ari was simply picking up a quick bite to eat and preparing for his Monday meeting when I walked in with a friend. Being the gentleman that he is, Ari quickly offered me and my friend a seat and started chatting with us. Before we knew it, Ari and I had been chatting for a couple of hours. Before the night was over, Ari asked for my phone number and called me the next day to invite me to lunch at Seasons 52. It didn’t take long for us to realize that the spark was something special and we have been inseparable ever since.

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

I knew from the moment I walked in the door, it was the perfect venue for our wedding. Lauren gave us the grand tour and we were in absolute awe of the décor, warmth and elegance of the space. I had done my research and everyone had the same (yet very different) magical experience at Southern Oaks Plantation. Magic and Majestic (the gorgeous white horses) were just the icing on the cake!

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What was your favorite moment of the night?

The night was so incredibly beautiful and special but two moments stand out in my head. The first moment, was right when I walked in the ballroom, before the wedding, and saw everything in place and set for the first time. It was just incredible. Everything that I could have asked for. It was simply breathtaking. The second moment was when my Dad and I came around the corner and our guests saw us entering on the horse and carriage. There was a gasp of excitement… no one expected that. It was a moment I will never forget.

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

There is no better florist than Bella Blooms Floral. Dee, the owner, is second to none. She knew what I wanted when I did not even know specifically what I was looking for. Her expertise and talent are incredible. We had so many compliments on the florals.

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

Lauren was my go to girl for months and month’s leading up to the wedding. She responded to my never-ending list of questions immediately and with such detail. She was a total rock star. Of course, I have to mention Mr. Bobby, the heart and soul of Southern Oaks Plantation. The weather went from 0% to 100% chance of rain on our wedding day. I had dreamed of this outdoor wedding under the oaks with the carriage and fireworks for a very long time. As it inched closer and closer to 7 o’clock it was looking like that dream was going to have to be revised. As soon as we arrived at Southern Oaks Plantation, Mr. Bobby came to find me and assured me that he and his team would do everything that they possibly could to make my dream come true. And they delivered.

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

You can’t go wrong with having your wedding at Southern Oaks Plantation. It will be perfection and your guests will be talking about your wedding for years to come. So many of our guests told Ari and I, and my parents, that our wedding was absolutely   the best wedding they have ever attended and likely ever will. We are hoping that we are invited to attend a wedding at this specular venue in the near future.

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Photographer: Studio Tran Photography –  https://www.studiotran.com/ – @studiotranphotography

Florist: Bella Blooms Floral – https://www.bellabloomsfloral.com/ – @bellabloomsfloral

Dress Salon: Truly Forever Bridal – https://www.trulyforeverbridal.com/ – @ trulyforeverbridaltampa

Tuxedo/Suit Shop: Men’s Wearhouse – www.menswearhouse.com – @menswearhouse
Videographer: Bella Productions Wedding Films –
http://mybellafilm.com/ – @bellafilmsn
Bakery: Chasing Wang – www.
http://chasingwang.com/ – @chasingwang