Real Wedding | Gina + Jim

Today’s featured bride refers to her Romona Keveza gown as if it were a loved one, explaining: “She deserves to be worn and loved again by another bride who is looking to really pull off a glamorous soiree of her own.” And I couldn’t agree more with Gina’s aspirations for her dear, sweet, Romona…As for Romona’s big debut with Gina + Jim, boy are you in for a treat! Set upon one of Louisiana’s most magnificent plantations, the bride and groom had a shaman perform a candlelit ceremony amidst a blanket of stars, 300-year-old oak trees with a very special hand binding ritual and bell ceremony.  This wedding is glamorous with an abundance of romantic and ethereal details and so amazing that their special day was on 11/11/11.  Enjoy!

Gina + Jim | 11/11/11 | Oak Alley Plantation, Vacherie, Louisiana

The Ceremony
Our ceremony took place in the evening by candlelight underneath 300-year-old oak trees and was officiated by a shaman. I arrived by horse and carriage with my bridal party and the anticipation of our vows were echoed by the lovely music of a string quartet. As I walked down the candlelit oak tree path to my future husband, Bittersweet Symphony played – quite apropos. We were also lucky that 11/11/11 was host to a full moon, which only enhanced the romantic setting and spiritual nature of our vows. Our ceremony was very non-traditional and incorporated spiritual aspects of the natural elements, a hand binding ritual and bell ceremony to symbolize all of our friends and family members who could not be present as well as my husband’s father, who passed away after we had first begun dating. As our new life together was sealed with a kiss, we took a private horse and carriage ride together around the plantation before arriving at the mansion to kick off the party.

The Reception
Guests were immediately ushered from the lawn towards the mansion and were welcomed with southern favorites such as mint juleps as our 18-piece big band kicked off the night’s festivities. Our reception was also held outside and was lit via candlelight on amazingly beautiful antique candelabras draped in crystal and bedecked with flowers. Our place settings welcomed each guest with a souvenir Mardi Gras style mask and jeweled menu card. Guests were welcomed to enjoy the bountiful southern style feast with live gumbo, filet mignon and chicken stations and were invited to take tours of the infamous antebellum mansion where they could learn the history of this magnificent plantation. There is nothing dreamier than dancing to old time, big band favorites underneath layers of stars at one of Louisiana’s most amazing plantations. As guests danced the night away, they were invited to keep their stamina by refueling on champagne, visiting the live praline and fudge stations and of course as any good southern soiree would have it, devour the wedding cake comprised of red velvet and carrot cake divinity!

Gina’s Dress Search
After our amazing venue was booked, I launched a multi-month gown mission to find the perfect dress. I knew that I wanted a gown that was unique, one that epitomized a vintage glamor type of feel. I knew within days of my mission that I wanted a sweetheart neckline with a fit & flare silhouette. But I actually purchased my vintage 1930’s veil first. The moment I saw the veil I just had to have it, I knew that I needed to then find a dark ivory or champagne colored gown to compliment. It really is true what they say about selecting your wedding gown, when you know, you really do know! I saw my Romona and knew she would be perfect for my veil. It’s amazing how my wedding day look evolved throughout the planning process, everything with the exception of my gown and shoes were vintage purchases, yet all of the pieces together seemed to be made for one another.

How Gina Felt in Her Wedding Dress
Ethereal, Glamorous & Timeless

Why Gina Decided to Sell Her Wedding Dress
I love my Romona, she truly is a work of art, and I cannot bear the thought of her staying in a bag, box, or my closet. She deserves to be worn and loved again by another bride who is looking to really pull off a glamorous soiree of her own.

Wedding Dress: Romona Keveza | Photography: Sarah Moran Photography | Ceremony + Reception Venue: Oak Valley Plantation, Louisiana | Event Planning: Belle Soiree Weddings by Meredith | Floral Design: Ourso’s Flower Shop