A Modern, Outdoor Wedding at Shaw Center for the Arts in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

The landmarks of downtown Baton Rouge, Louisiana, inspired the wedding between Dawn Carrier (26 and a project manager) and Carson Narcomey (30 and a f

The landmarks of downtown Baton Rouge, Louisiana, inspired the wedding between Dawn Carrier (26 and a project manager) and Carson Narcomey (30 and a field engineer). “Carson and I wanted a very memorable wedding that was personable,” Dawn says of her day, which used notes of navy, gold and silver. The Louisiana Capitol was in the background for the ceremony in Capitol Park, while the rooftop reception showcased the sweeping views of the old Capitol and the Mississippi River. The museum’s modern structures were softened by dark wood chiavari chairs and flowers. Dawn and Carson met in the same city while in a computer science class at Louisiana State University. She sent him a Facebook message to ask a question about a test she already knew the answer to and they hit it off from there. She went to visit him in his hometown in Oklahoma, and he popped the question in one of his favorite places. He then gave her a bouquet of peonies, which she also used in her wedding day. Dawn wore a layered, beaded gown with varying shades of white and tan, while her bridesmaids wore white Joanna August floor-length gowns in white. Carson wore a navy blue custom-made tuxedo. For the reception, festivities moved to the Shaw Center for the Arts to their terrace. “The terrace overlooks the Mississippi River, which was great for sunsets and our fireworks show.” White chairs and couches made the space feel cozier. Guests dined on Southern favorites like fried catfish and shrimp and grits. After their first dance to “I’ll Be Here for You” by Randy Rogers, they did a money dance, in which guests could give them well wishes and money for the honeymoon. Fireworks lit up the river in a surprise ending before the couple left to sparklers held by loved ones. Carson had the best advice for other couples: “Don’t take yourselves too seriously, and love often. Life is a great thing and can be even better with a kick-ass wife." —Caroline Eubanks

"I knew the exact spot I wanted to ask Dawn to marry me," Carson says. "My grandfather was once the mayor of my hometown, and helped establish some beautiful places during his tenure. He established Lake Arcadia, just outside Edmond, Oklahoma. This lake has dense woods, beautiful red-rock canyons and quaint little campsites."
"I must have tried on 100 dresses," Dawn says. "I had narrowed it down to two that had the same shape and style. Both fully beaded, sleeveless and trumpet style. In the end, I went with the Monique Lhuillier. It has five layers of different shades of whites and tans. I thought each layer brought everything together."
"When looking for bridesmaid dresses, I was looking for a silver, then one of the girls put on a white dress by Joanna August and it looked amazing," Dawn says. "So we went with white wrap dresses, and each had a different top." Each had different hairstyles as well.
Carson's groomsmen wore the same navy suits as he did, with rose boutonnieres. He had 10 to escort Dawn's five bridesmaids down the aisle.
"Carson and I wanted a memorable wedding that was personable," Dawn says. "We didn't necessarily have a theme but went with different shades of white with hints of navy blue, gold and silver. We wanted an elegant wedding like none of our family members had seen. From the decor to our bridesmaids and groomsmen attire, we carried an elegant, white theme throughout."
As for the groom, he wore a navy blue custom-made tuxedo. "It was a lot of fun getting to pick that out together," Dawn says.
"We choose the Capitol Park Museum as our ceremony location," Dawn says. "This is an outdoor space that is covered and has a perfect view of the state Capitol. My husband and his family are from Oklahoma, so we wanted something that represented Louisiana incorporated into the wedding." They warmed up the space with flower arrangements.
"We choose the Shaw Center's fourth-floor terrace," Dawn says. "This was my compromise. Carson really wanted the Capitol Park, and I really wanted the Shaw Center. We both agreed we didn't want both the ceremony and reception in the same location, so this worked perfectly. The terrace overlooks the Mississippi River, which was great for sunset and our fireworks show."
"After my husband, Carson, proposed to me, his brother came out of the bushes and handed me a huge bouquet of peonies that he had overnighted from California," Dawn says. "Since then, I have always loved the flower, so my bouquet was a no-brainer. I also attached to the stems pictures of loved ones we had lost."
"Royal Dukes Band made my husband and me have a dance-off," Dawn says. "I won, of course. But they kept us entertained the entire night and got everyone on the dance floor. We also did a money dance. This is when the bride and groom stand separately and whoever wants to give you well wishes comes up and gives you money. They get to dance with and talk to you for a few seconds, and then it continues."
"Carson convinced me to have a traditional wedding cake, and it was amazing," Dawn says. "Each layer was a different flavor (cookies and cream, wedding cake, Reese's). Our vendor Sweet Stirrings has such talent at making not only beautiful  cakes but also the best-tasting cake I have ever had. We tried a bunch, and everything tasted like sugar except for hers."
The groom's cake was inspired by Carson's love of hunting and the outdoors, complete with a deer and fish. The inside was made of white and chocolate cakes.
Carson had this to share: "As far as advice goes, I would suggest that couples don’t take themselves too seriously and love often. Life is a great thing and can be even better with a kick-ass wife."
"Carson's dad wanted to surprise us with a 10-minute fireworks show. I thought that would be too long, so he told the company, 'Give my daughter-in-law one killer show no longer than the song 'Sugar' by Maroon 5.' "