Mia is a fantastic artist and Cedric is one of the top photographers in the world, so their wedding was bursting at the seams with artistic goodness, and all captured by Dark Roux Photography. Not surprisingly, their ceremony and reception were both held at a famous artists residence in uptown New Orleans. Check out all the fun wedding details put together with not one, but TWO artists' eyes...
Did your wedding location and date hold a special significance for you?
Of course! Our wedding took place at the former studio and residence of Miranda Lake, a New Orleans based artist. Miranda and I became friends while I was directing a gallery on Julia Street. She was the top selling artist there so we got to know each other pretty quickly. Cedric and I met in early June, so we wanted the wedding to be somewhat of an anniversary of our meeting. The day I met Cedric, he was shooting me in the gallery for a magazine assignment. He asked me if I could round up some friends to meet him at a bar later on that evening to shoot the space (which needed some people in it), so I called up the artists I enjoyed working with -- Miranda was one of those artists.
Miranda's home is located uptown and used to be primarily just living and studio space ( we used to have the best studio visits together, so I have lots of happy memories there), but she recently converted the back into three adorable apartment-style suites that she rents out for events and throughout the year to travelers, so it came in very handy that I was able to rent the rooms out to stay in and share with guests over the weekend. She owns the adjacent lot to the house and converted it into the perfect space for small weddings. In the backdrop of the yard is this amazing double decker bus, which doesn't move, but is open to explore. Miranda's garden is filled with sculptural curiosities which made it fun for guests to mill around.
Cedric and I have a passion for sharing art, so we wanted our guests to experience the beauty of New Orleans through an artist's eyes. Most people never have the experience of visiting the studio or home of an established artist. Miranda's house is like walking through a painting of hers, so it was perfect!
Tell us about the details of the day.
We decorated our tables in white linen with royal blue napkins, with place cards held down by a rock (which is a long story, but essentially the moment we knew we were right for each other was when we were able to get our car off a huge rock in the middle of the catskill mountains without killing each other, so rocks have become a symbol of our bond). We used fresh tropical flowers loosely arranged in mason jars to combine southern charm and tropical motifs.
We served two wines: a vihno verde and a rose (from Casal Garcia), and put a twist on our favorite Brazilian drink in honor of our dog, the "Sabina Capirina." For beer, we served the Abita Strawberry Lager, which is made very close to where we live. It complimented our wedding cake nicely, which was a white mousse strawberry shortcake.
For food, we had crawfish monica, shrimp creole, bbq pulled pork sliders, red beans and rice, green beans, crawfish pasta, chicken marsala, and I can't remember what else we had, I know we had tapas too for guests before the ceremony began... there was so much food, and I had just given a check to my caterer and told her to do her magic.
How was the wedding day?
It was so much fun!
The guests were shuttled in from the French Quarter and arrived withÂ enough time to drink and mingle before the ceremony began.
The song we played when entering was Ray Charles singing "Rain or Shine."
There were three bridesmaids and three groomsmen in addition to a best man and maid of honor. My bridesmaids were my best girl friends, and being such strong minded women, I decided to give them a color and let them choose whatever dress they wanted. For the guys, they did their own thing. We bought blue ties for them in case they forgot about the whole blue thing, but similarly to the girls, it was more important that they were in their natural form during the ceremony.
Our uncle became an ordained minister to perform our ceremony. Neither of us adhere to any one spiritual denomination, so our uncle, who completely understood where we were coming from and happens to be an experienced theatrical performer, gave the most beautiful ceremonial presentation that included insights about chance, the stars, and the value of believing. It was wonderful and then Cedric and I also added our own vows. We got married between two beautiful trees on the stoop leading into Miranda's courtyard. There was some seating, but the ceremony was short enough to where people could stand around and not be uncomfortable. We provided colorful fans for people to keep cool, since the ceremony was outdoors and it was hot.
The exiting song was Stevie Wonder singing "Signed, Sealed, Delivered." DJ Matty spun soul and motown records during the party, so there was plenty of dancing. We gave some impromtu speeches, but there was no garder dance or bouquet toss... no line dancing or YMCA. We really just wanted it to b natural and a reflection of how we wanted to share our love with others, and at times, it felt almost like a block party. People were laughing and dancing, kids were running around, the breeze was warm and smelled like citronella and cedar. It was romantic.
Do you have any advice for couples planning their wedding?
Don't worry about making other people happy -- even if you try, it is impossible. Funny thing is that once you stop trying, you'll be pleasantly surprised by how many people agree with you. This is your special day, so don't feel bad for making it exactly how you want it to be, but don't forget to plan it out at least six months in advance.
Any final thoughts?
A lot of my wedding was DIY: the design of the tables, invites, place cards, decor, table flowers... but in certain cases, I allowed other people who were better at what they were doing to take the lead. For instance, I still don't know all of what my caterer made. I knew she was an amazing caterer because I have had her food before, so when we discussed my menu, I said "Monica, you know what people like to eat better than I do. Here's my money. Make my people happy," and then I let it go.
I also let my florist go wild with the ceremonial flowers, and they were more beautiful than I could have imagined.
I did the same thing with DJ Matty. He knew his music and knew what song to play and when. That is his gift. People who are experts in their field love having creative freedom. So, not only should you choose people who are gifted at what they do, but you should let them share that gift with you and your guests.
Photography: Dark Roux Photography
DJ: Matty from the Mod Dance party