Real Wedding | Meghan + Andrew

There is nothing quite like a diamond white tulle gown with natural waist, jeweled silk organza embroidered bodice accented with an ivory satin ribbon and a sweep train…And to think this Alvina Valenta almost didn’t even get tried on as Meghan was certain, a strapless dress was not for her.  But thank goodness Meghan experienced the power and the beauty of this dress, and I love that she felt “LIKE-A-BOSS”.  I mean, who wouldn’t in all that gorgeous tulle and organza amidst a stunning arrangement of roses and hydrangeas at sunset saying “I Do” in an outdoor garden ceremony with peacocks and all…Boss, indeed!  PS – Don’t miss the cakes, amazing.

Meghan + Andrew | September 17, 2011 | Audubon Tea Room in New Orleans, Louisiana

The Ceremony
I was never one of those girls who dreamt about their wedding day, but when my husband proposed I knew immediately that I wanted it to be outdoors. We were married at sunset underneath the oak trees of the Garden at the Audubon Tea Room, in New Orleans, Louisiana. As our guests arrived they were welcomed by the visiting peacocks from the adjoining Audubon Zoo and serenaded by the acoustic musings of Simon & Garfunkel and James Taylor. It was very important to me that both my father and my stepfather had active roles in our wedding ceremony, so while my father walked me down the aisle and gave me away, it was my stepfather who officiated our wedding. Ave Maria played softly as we exchanged our vows, adding a hint of tradition to a very nontraditional ceremony. After being introduced as husband and wife to our family and friends, the guitarists struck up an acoustic version of the Beach Boys’ “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” and we made our way back down the aisle to begin our lives together.

The Reception
FUN. That was our only criteria for the reception. In college, where we met, we had a tradition of going to a local weekly “80’s Night” where we would dance the night away with our friends. Both of us are a little self-conscious about our dance moves but that all goes out the window when the 80’s are involved! We have such fond memories of those nights that we had our DJ arrange an all 80’s play list for our wedding. Keeping with this theme, we gave sunglasses out to our guests as favors to wear during the reception, which kicked off after our first dances with “I Wear My Sunglasses at Night.” Needless to say, it was a blast!

Meghan’s Dress Search
The one thing I knew when I began searching for THE dress was that under no circumstances was I going strapless. I snubbed every strapless dress I saw refusing to even try one on. In my mind I imagined myself wearing something with a sweetheart neckline and spaghetti straps or with some sort of sleeves, virtually anything but strapless! Well, that dream was quickly thwarted by the reality of having a 36 C bust. So I bit my tongue and swallowed my disappointment and allowed my mother to bring in a strapless selection for me to try on. The moment I saw myself in the mirror I was in awe. Immediately my mother, my grandmother and godmother began crying and well, I couldn’t help myself after that – I started crying too. It was perfect.

How Meghan Felt in Her Wedding Dress

Why Meghan Decided to Sell Her Wedding Dress
I loved the idea that some girls have to shorten their wedding dress after the big day so that they can wear it again on their anniversary. However, because my dress is tulle this simply isn’t an option for me. I’d hate to think of it stowed away somewhere for decades not being used so now I hope to pass it on to another bride who will feel as beautiful as I did when I put it on.

Wedding Dress: Alvina Valenta | Photography: Kristin & Heather Photography | Ceremony Venue: The Garden at the Audubon Tea Room, Audubon Zoo | Reception Venue:  Audubon Tea Room, Audubon Zoo | Floral Design: NOLA Flora | Cake: Melissa’s Fine Pastries