Now before I go into detail of this day, I just have to say this. There is something to be said for any couple who decides to elope. Just the two of them. It is incredibly special and most importantly, focused on what truly matters. Its not about taking photos, or pretty details, or a 200 plated dinner… or in this case, even a white dress. It's about the love and commitment two people share for each other and THAT. IS. IT.
So if you take away anything from these photographs (especially if you are engaged and planning your own wedding) let it be those words. Plain and simple. Your wedding is a moment of devotion and commitment. A promise and vow to each other. If those things stay at the top of your wedding “to do” list.. does anything else really matter?
So let me start off by sharing one of my favorite moments from the day. Alana and Trevor had their first dance as husband and wife through the bustling streets of New Orleans. They literally danced through the streets, second line brass band just steps behind them the whole way. My heart was racing the entire time and I can only imagine how amazing that moment felt for them! Although Alana and Trevor were unsure about doing a second line at first, once they found out The Hot 8 Brass Band would be able to play for them it was a no brainer. How could they pass that up?! So not only did they have the most epic first dance I’ve ever witnessed, it was performed by some of their most admired musicians. So yea, epic doesn’t even begin to describe that moment.
Back tracking to the morning of the wedding day, I arrived to Alana and Trevors Airbnb to some funky music playing in the background and Alana getting her hair and make up done by Christine of NoLa Bridal Artistry. So there we were, just the four of us. Hanging out on the morning of their wedding! I don’t take that for granted one bit. It was such an honor to be a part of that day and knowing I was one of the very few that got to witness it was a gift in itself. Something I will cherish forever. So when it came to documenting this day for them I knew it had to be perfect. No detail or moment missed because I wanted Alana and Trevor to be able to share this with all their friends and family and to be able see all the moments unfold like they were right there with them.
I especially loved that Alana and Trevor chose to help each other get dressed. No first look or big reveal. Just a quiet morning getting ready. It was adorable and something I loved documenting.
Once we arrived to Pirate Alley, just behind the church in the French Quarters, we met LaToya, of Waning Moon Weddings. Im pretty sure this beautiful soul could brighten anyones day! I cant say enough how much I loved her. I think I can speak for Alana and Trevor on this too! They couldn’t have picked a better person to marry them and she made the ceremony so special. She even teared up herself which goes to show that LOVE was the center of everything in those moments.
When it came to choosing a location for the ceremony on Pirate Alley, Alana and Trevor let me pick the spot which was super awesome but a little intimidating! What if I picked a bad spot? This was such an important moment and they were leaving it up to me! But I decided on a location that would give the view of the entire Pirate Alley. I didn’t even notice that I had placed them right outside the windows of a pirate bar! But I think it was so darn fitting and I loved this spot for the ceremony. We even ended up in the bar after the ceremony so that Alana and Trevor could sign the marriage certificate. What was even more wonderful, was the sweet older couple sitting at the bar who then became their witnesses and signed their certificate for them. They were tickled that they could be a part of it and I was tickled I got to document it!
Two things I have to mention about the ceremony. The first being, as soon as we started the ceremony a huge walking tour came down the alley. In my head I thought, “you have got to be kidding me!” But I gave the guide a desparate look that said, “Please for the love of God keep walking!” thankfully he did realize that Alana and Trevor were about to tie the knot and they went further the alley. I mention this because at the end of the ceremony, there were cheers and applaud from the group of these strangers in the distance. I just loved that moment. Its one of the beautiful things about any city. So many people from different walks of life but in moments of love we can all come to together and celebrate each other.
Secondly, their officiant LaToya, surprised Alana and Trevor with a stack of letters. Cue the tears.
Alana and Trevor had told only a handful of people that they were secretly eloping in New Orleans. So besides myself and a couple others, no one had any idea what they were up to. So Alana’s good friend Marissa had gathered those that knew and they all wrote congratulations and love letters and had them secretly sent to LaToya. She then handed them over as soon as they had sealed the deal. I adored that moment and those photos <3
After the marriage certificate was signed, we met The Hot 8 Brass Band and boogied down through town. Police escort, roads blocked off, just for Alana and Trevor. It was amazing!! I cant say it enough!
They ended at Cafe Du Monde, danced through the cafe, and had their last bow out back behind the restaurant. Alana and Trevor were basically celebrities by the end of it! As a photographer, I think that goes to the top of my “Most Epic Career Moments” I don’t actually have that list, but I probably should right?
After the dancing commenced, Alana and Trevor took a quiet walk by themselves. Of course I hovered from a distance( in the least creepy way as possible) I wanted them to have some time to themselves as husband and wife! A few moments to catch their breath (literally!) and just soak in the fact that they were now husband and wife. I love that they ended up sitting on a bench with someone and I couldn’t help but take a few photos of that. ; )
We ended the day in the Garden District, walking around a bit and then finally heading to District Donuts. I guess you could consider that a good replacement for wedding cake. I think gourmet donuts will always trump wedding cake.
I just wrote a novel so I’ll just end by saying this, I LOVE these two so much. They are truly so kind and the love they have for each other is evident in every way. I left New Orleans wanting to turn right back around and do it all over again. Alana and Trevor, thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to document this amazing day for you guys. I hope you will cherish these forever and let them be a lasting reminder that love is all that matters <3
Big thanks again to the vendors <3
Hair & Make Up // NoLa Bridal Artistry
Officiant // Waning Moon Weddings
Band // The Hot 8 Brass Band