How did you meet?
The first time we met was in 2007 in a Catholic youth program called Teen Cross. We reconnected in 2012 when Thomas was on recruiter’s assistance orders working in the Lakeside Shopping Mall. Christen was on her way to get her phone fixed at Apple and we ran into each other. There was a strong connection during this meeting and phone numbers were swapped before Thomas had to report to infantry training in North Carolina.
Include a little bit about yourselves. What do you do?
Christen graduated from the University of New Orleans with her Bachelor’s in Business Administration. After that she went on to North Oaks School of Radiologic Technology and graduated in 2016. She is now an X-ray tech at North Oaks Medical Center in Hammond.
Thomas got out of the Marine Corps and is now working on finishing his Bachelor’s in Kinesiology at Southeastern. He also works as a Rehab Tech at All American Health Care.
what is your favorite thing about each other? Share a personal story.
Christen: One of my favorite things about Thomas is how passionate he is. Thats one of the first things I noticed about him. The day we ran into each other in the mall after he had just gotten out of bootcamp, I can remember him talking about it and thinking “wow, he is so passionate about this. He just went through this insane bootcamp and he is so proud of it.” I was more impressed by the way he spoke and his courtesy than the uniform that everyone swoons over. That’s just not my thing. Now here we are almost 5 1/2 years later and he is still so passionate about the things he loves, including me 🙂
Thomas: This is one of the hardest questions for me to answer because there is so many things I love about Christen. But if I had to pick one thing, it would be that she has such a strong connection with her family. She has a special bond with each individual family member like I have never seen before. She has a big heart and is always giving to others and will go out of her way to help them or anybody really. She has given so much for me and has always been so supportive. Well I couldn’t stay to one, but thats because she is such an amazing woman.
How did the proposal go? Who proposed to who, were you surprised?
Thomas proposed to Christen on July 9th, 2016. He planned it for after her graduation and when she passed boards for radiology. He planned a family gathering at his house and proposed in front of everyone on the back porch. She was extremely surprised and had no idea.
Where was your ceremony held and why did you pick this site?
We had our ceremony at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Destrehan. It was a church that I (Christen) grew up going to and its the church parish where both of my grandfathers and a lot of family members are buried in the cemetery next door. I was always close with my grandfathers so it was important for me to feel close to them on my wedding day.
Where was your Reception held and why did you pick this site?
Our reception was held at Chateau Country Club in Kenner. We had a large wedding so it was very important for us to have a venue that was big enough to comfortably hold everyone. We fell in love with Chateau when we met with Amanda, she was so wonderful to work with and they had everything we needed. Plus it’s beautiful!
What unique or special things did you do at the reception?
We had a memorial table that had pictures of our grandparents and a collage of pictures of aunts, uncles, and cousins that have passed that would’ve been there. We also had a Fallen Comrades table and gave out glow sticks towards the end of the night.
What was your favorite part of the day?
Christen: My favorite part of the day was saying our vows during the ceremony. After the almost year and a half of planning that was the moment we had been waiting for and I will never forget it.
Thomas: My favorite part of the day was seeing her come down the aisle. I have been waiting for that moment for so long at that point that when those doors opened I didn’t know how to contain myself. She is always beautiful, but at that moment in time, her beauty was beyond measure. I had a chill of a different kind run through my body. It was the best.
Did it really go by as quickly as everyone says?
Yes. The ceremony seemed like normal time, but everything else went soooooo fast. It really does go by quickly.
What was the inspiration behind picking the color palette and decor that you picked?
Christen chose the deep magenta for the dresses because I’ve always loved that color, it was perfect for the season, and it looked really good on everyone. Thomas chose the navy blue suits because it complimented the dresses with the colored bowtie.
From the Bride – When you first saw the groom, what were you thinking/feeling?
Before I walked down the aisle I remember just feeling so excited to see him. I had the exact same butterflies and jitters that I had when he came home from deployment. I knew in my heart that I chose the right man to spend the rest of my life with.
From the groom – When you first saw the bride, what were you thinking/feeling?
As I stated before, this was my favorite part of the day. When the doors opened and she was standing there, I could feel tears. I tried so hard to control myself, knowing if I was crying when she got to me, she’d start crying too. I experienced a different kind of chill and could feel every hair on my body stand up. It was a feeling like no other and I will forever remember it.
Who was your baker, what was the flavor of your cake? Was it delicious?!
Joe Gambino’s Bakery. It was wedding cake with lemon buttercream filling, and it was delicious! The groom’s cake was chocolate with raspberry filling, didn’t get to try that one but I heard it was awesome. The cakes themselves also looked amazing.
Did you do a first look?
No, we wanted to stick to tradition and have that moment when she came down the aisle to be the first time we saw each other, and it was worth it.
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?
I did not have a wedding coordinator. The year before we got engaged I stood in 6 weddings within 5 months. During that time I made sure I paid attention (because at that point I knew I wanted to marry Thomas one day). For my wedding I thought about what I liked and didn’t like and used that as a guide. My advice to future brides planning their own wedding is to stay organized! My type A personality was definitely my saving grace.
What was your first dance song? Why this song?
Perfect by Ed Sheeran. The first time we heard the song together it was an immediate connection. The lyrics are beautiful, and to be honest it was how I feel about her every time I see her.
Band or DJ? Did they rock it?
DJ, Jeff Tricuit, and he did amazing! Really easy to work with and he set up all the lights in the ballroom and it looked incredible.
We want to hear YOUR advice for future brides.
My advice for future brides is to make sure you remember that your wedding is about YOU and the commitment you’re making to your significant other. Don’t get caught up in the little things. I had a pretty big bridal party and I’m a natural people pleaser, so there were times where I was more worried about pleasing the people around me instead of making sure I was happy. No matter what happens throughout the process remember to enjoy it and that at the end of the day YOU are marrying they love of your life. That’s why we’re all here in the first place!
Anything else you want to say?
We absolutely love all of our vendors! I would recommend everyone that we had to any future bride.