Value-Focused Decisions Were Key to This Couple as They Planned a New Orleans Microwedding
After the ongoing pandemic forced Taylor and David to downsize and postpone their wedding, they ultimately decided to get married in New Orleans, Louisiana, with a microwedding. "David and I had initially wanted a big wedding with everyone from every corner of our lives there," recalls Taylor. "Hosting loved ones is something we both get a lot of joy from and we were excited to create a space for where people from different pockets of our lives could meet and celebrate together. Although canceling and postponing were disappointing decisions to come to, they were necessary ones in the face of the realities of the pandemic. In May of 2019, we decided to move forward with an intimate ceremony and enlisted Michelle’s help to get it done."
Taylor goes on to explain that while planning, the couple placed special emphasis on hiring vendors whose values aligned with their own. "Throughout this process, and especially during COVID-19, it was important to us to support vendors that were in line with our values. We know sustainability, equity, or justice will not be achieved by one couple’s wedding choices, but our budget was still a substantial amount of money that we wanted to be going toward local, BIPOC-owned, and/or progressive vendors when possible."
"We got married on Magnolia Bridge in New Orleans followed by a reception down the block at my family’s home," explains Taylor. "Being able to choose the bridge was one of the best outcomes of switching to an intimate wedding! I grew up right down the street from the bridge. My parents got married just across the street, and as long as I can remember, the bridge has been a key connector in our community. It’s the first place I showed David when he visited, where I learned to fly fish with my dad, dreamed of getting married when I was a teenager, and where I spent hours building friendships I still cherish today. When we were originally planning our wedding, we floated the bridge but it wasn’t large enough to accommodate the guest list we were initially hoping for. When we decided to move forward with a much smaller ceremony during COVID-19, the bridge became the obvious option! My parent’s house, just a block from the bridge, was the perfect reception spot. Given our constantly changing plans, we were grateful to have the option of my family’s home as a venue —they were much more flexible with changes than a professional venue can be! It was also such a gift and so special to celebrate with our families where I grew up."
David adds that the couple's "primary goals for this wedding were to try and minimize the risk to ourselves and our guests, and to get married. Our initial plan was to have 50 friends and family, but that was then cut to 30, then 25, then finally to 19. Almost every conversation we had involved the COVID impact —can our families quarantine? How can we maintain distance? What will a happy hour look like with masks on? Thankfully, our vendors’ creativity brought the beautiful event to life and our guests’ precautions helped ensure folks stayed safe. For our ceremony, we wanted to create a space that was full of joy—not in spite of what was happening in the world, but because of it. We wanted a bright ceremony filled with color followed by an approachable elegant and cozy reception."
Looking back on the wedding day, David recalls that "one of my favorite additions was done just a few days before the wedding and inspired by someone on TikTok; a Google Voice number so that our Zoom attendees could leave a voicemail for us! It was a lovely way to receive well wishes from those that we missed on our big day. What also sticks out is the thoughtfulness that our families brought when chipping in for our wedding. Everyone volunteered in one way or the other and went above and beyond to make things special. Even the bathroom for guests at the Billings household was dressed to the nines by Taylor’s mom with personalized towels, mints, and gifts."