New Orleans Immaculate Conception Audubon Tea Room Wedding | Ashley & Mark
Married: June 2, 2017
Bridal Prep Location: Hyatt French Quarter
Ceremony: Immaculate Conception
Reception: Audubon Tea Room
Entertainment: Nola Dukes
Videography: Shotgun Films
Florist: Blumen Lendle
Bakery: La Lousiane Bakery
Hair: Flawless Bride
Makeup: Flawless Bride
The Bride Wore: Essence of Australia
The Bridesmaids wore: Hayley Paige Occasions
Bridal Boutique: Bridal Boutique by MaeMe
Tuxedos: Men’s Warehouse
Stationery: The Paper Bag
We asked Ashley and Mark how they met and I think this is probably one of the best “how they met” stories we’ve gotten!
Our Story (As told by Mark)
Ash and Mark met on Wednesday, April 17, 2013, at a local bowling alley in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Mark was invited to a colleague’s birthday bash that Ashley just so happened to be invited to as well. Introductions were made, and Mark recalls Ash being a remarkably striking southern belle who had no actual interest in bowling, rather she preferred earning “style points” by spinning in circles prior to releasing a bowling ball with the hopes that it would actually hit the pins.
Life goes on, and nothing really occurred from there less a few chance encounters. Eventually Mark asked Ash on a date, then another, and the two began spending a good bit of time together. On one random night at a bar that involved Ashley’s [now famous] foot stomping, Mark threw down with these three questions:
Who’s ya momma?
Are ya Catholic?
Can ya make a roux?
These questions are rarely heard beyond Louisiana, and this sealed the deal for Ash. She was spellbound, and the rest is history!!
Where was your ceremony held and why did you pick this site?
We held our ceremony at Immaculate Conception Jesuit Church in New Orleans, Louisiana. Ash always knew she wanted to get married in a Catholic church, and Mark’s good college friend is also an ordained Catholic priest. As soon as we stepped foot in the church, we knew it was the place for us.
Where was your Reception held and why did you pick this site?
We held our reception at the Audubon Tea Room in New Orleans, Louisiana. Noting that a good number of our guest were traveling from out of town, we wanted a location that highlighted the best of New Orleans (e.g. Cajun food, stately oak trees, etc.) The Audubon Tea Room aligned with everything on our wish list, and the staff were incredible to work with as well.
What was your favorite part of the day?
We have so many memories and favorite moments from across the day–too many to list!! The overall experience was incredible, and everything came together as we had envisioned it. Celebrating alongside family and friends while also sharing a few intimate moments alone was just perfect.
Did it really go by as quickly as everyone says?
Absolutely. Time flies when you’re having a good time with family and friends. As the night came to an end, we both exclaimed: “Let’s do this again!! Tomorrow!!”
We asked Ashley – When you first saw the groom, what were you thinking/feeling?
Ash couldn’t have smiled any more than she did, as she and her dad raced down the aisle to Mark looking so dapper in his tuxedo. Her inner monologue went a little something like this: “Did we just get married?! Whoa, we did it!!”
From the groom – When you first saw the bride, what were you thinking/feeling?
Prior to the ceremony beginning, Mark could have thrown up with nervousness. As soon as he saw Ash, that all melted away with only he and her existing in that moment. His inner monologue went a little something like this: “Wow, is this real life?!”
Ashley & Mark did a first look and here are their thoughts on it! We are sure glad they did it!
We went back and forth on this decision, and ultimately opted to do a private first look with just the two of us and our photographer. This was one of the best decisions we made for a number of reasons. First, it gave us the opportunity to share a moment between the two of us and soak it all in. Prior to this moment, we were both the center of attention in two separate hotel rooms surrounded by tons of family and friends and a number of things happening all around us. These few minutes alone with no distractions, no interruptions, and no chaos were more than perfect. Second, it gave us the opportunity to knock out tons of photos so that we didn’t have to take time away from the reception to do this.
Did you have a coordinator or did you plan everything yourself? If you didn’t have a coordinator any advice for brides planning their own wedding?
We planned all the details ourselves, and it was a true team effort. We’re both super organized, and took advantage of all things Google Drive, Google Docs, and Google Sheets to get things done and stay on top of details, deadlines, etc. Communicating the game plan is also key. Our family and wedding party were in the loop on all details and plans, and this eliminated confusion and allowed for things to run smoothly and on time.
What was your first dance song? Why this song?
We’ve always loved the Lumineer’s cover of the Talking Heads’ song “This Must Be the Place.” We’d dance to this song late at night in our kitchen or jam out to it in the car on adventurous road trips, and just knew that this song would also be our first dance. The lyric “till my heart stops” is also engraved on the inside of our wedding bands.
We want to hear YOUR advice for future brides.
Don’t sweat the small stuff. You can easily get overwhelmed with all sorts of details. Keep in mind what’s most important–the two of you exchanging vows and beginning your lives together.
Anything else you want to say?
We’ve loved working with Studio Tran, and can’t say enough good things about our experience with the team.