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A Lively Vintage Wedding in New Orleans, LA

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Tarah & Sean in New Orleans, LA
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The ceremony programs were a DIY project from start to finish: Tarah and Sean chose the fonts, had the design printed on textured paper purchased in bulk, and finished them with black bows. Inside each program was a white handkerchief to be used in the post-ceremony New Orleans traditional “second line” dance.
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The ceremony took place at sunset on the front lawn of the plantation. The large oak tree provided all the décor they needed.
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To create an altar-like focal point on the plantation’s front steps, two six-foot tall willow branches decorated with orchids and crystals were placed up front. Later, the arrangements adorned the cake table.
Petals and Stem, Slidell, LA
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After the ceremony ended, Tarah and Sean had a traditional New Orleans “second line” dance. Their guests, along with a brass band, followed them, waving white handkerchiefs. While the couple snuck off for photos, the band led the guests into the reception.
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Tarah collected vintage broaches from friends and family and wired them together with floral wire to create her unique bouquet. “It took some time and patience to put this together, but it was definitely worth it and so full of meaning for me and the women in my life,” Tarah says.
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The couple loved the way their venue had separate areas that flowed together easily. Guests could rest their feet in this lounge area between bouts on the dance floor just steps away.
Southern Oaks Plantation, New Orleans, LA
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Tarah placed photos of her and Sean through the years beneath the glass on tables, and the silk flower centerpieces provided by the venue (a huge money-saver) were an elegant touch.
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Three out of the four tiers of the vintage-broach adorned cake were faux! Guests unknowingly enjoyed sheet cakes instead, which saved the couple money.
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Tarah and Sean had their first dance to “Northern Sky” by Nick Drake.  At the end of the night, they danced to “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes from Dirty Dancing – and even finished with the iconic lift.

Tarah & Sean in New Orleans, LA

Tarah and Sean’s wedding had glamorous vintage style, but with all the fun trappings of a New Orleans party.

The Bride: Tarah Despain, 31, an actress
The Groom: Sean McElwee, 29, a filmmaker
The Date: March 20

What happens with an actress marries a filmmaker? The Los Angeles-based couple wanted a timeless, yet vintage-inspired style but also made sure to incorporate “the sass and personality of New Orleans,” where Tarah is originally from, she says. So they brought in a jazz band, made a goofy welcome video and chose elegant and classic decor details. The result: A totally glam event with lots of fun touches.
Their Ingredients

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