New Orleans Hotel Monteleone First Look Wedding | Jonathan + Melissa

How did you meet?
Like a lot of New Orleanians, we met through mutual friends…in a bar. 🙂 The real question is how did Jonathan ask me for a (first) date.

It all started at an Uptown bar… While sitting on the front porch together with our mutual friends, Jonathan noticed a car getting towed from a nearby parking lot. It was my car! Without hesitation, he ran across the street to talk to the tow truck driver in the hopes that they would take my car off of the tow truck. Jonathan ended up having to pay/bribe the tow truck driver $200 for them not to take my car. When he came back across the street, I told him that I would have to pay him back. He replied, “Go on a date with me, and we will call it even.” 11ish years later, we are husband and wife!

Include a little bit about yourselves. What do you do?
Jonathan is a 5th year, General Surgery Resident at a local hospital. In July, he will start a Fellowship at University Medical Center in Trauma Surgery.

He truly is one of the hardest working and smartest people I know.

I am the Director of Operations for the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation. I have been with the organization for 10 years.

How did the proposal go? Who proposed to who, were you surprised?
Jonathan made reservations for us at Commander’s Palace for a belated 10 Year (dating) anniversary. They sat us on the second floor in a bay window. Very romantic.

I didn’t really think anything was up. After 10 years together, you try not to read too much into celebrations.

Then after the entrees, Jonathan asked me to come look out the window at a “cool car” on the street. I was like, “Why? ”

“It’s really cool. Just come take a quick look.” – Jonathan

When I came out from our table, he got on one knee and proposed. I was elated, and said yes. The whole dining room started clapping. There was champagne. My good friend, Shawn was hiding in the room and got some photos. It was perfect. One funny thing…the ring was too small. I was so excited that I didn’t even notice/car, and shoved it on….then my finger turned blue. Luckily, we were able to get it off with the help of a little lotion.

To make the night even more special, Jonathan arranged for our close family and friends to meet us at Bouligny Tavern after. It was wonderful to share the evening with everyone

Where was your ceremony held and why did you pick this site?
St. Patrick’s Church

Why? Jonathan’s great great Uncle was a Monsignor there many decades ago. His grandmother actually lived there for a few years. It is a special place for his family. Most Schoen Family weddings and baptisms have taken place at St. Patrick’s.

Where was your Reception held and why did you pick this site?
The Hotel Monteleone

Why? The Monteleone is my second work family. The Monteleone is the primary venue for Tales of the Cocktail each summer. I have worked with their team since 2008, and could not think of a more appropriate venue. It is beautiful, historic, and their team took special care for our wedding. We had a Champagne Tower!

What was your favorite part of the day?
I loooooved the time that we had with our bridal party and family during the day and before the ceremony. Taking photos and visiting.

Did it really go by as quickly as everyone says?
Yes. I want to do it all over again.

What was the inspiration behind picking the color palette and decor that you picked?
I wanted it to be romantic and soft. So we went with a lot of candle light and a fair amount of flowers.

From the Bride – When you first saw the groom, what were you thinking/feeling?
I was happy, excited, and a little nervous! Last year was a challenging year for us, and I was so grateful that everything came together as we imagined.

He looked so so handsome, and I could not wait to kiss him and call him my husband!

From the groom – When you first saw the bride, what were you thinking/feeling?
How luck am I!

Who was your baker, what was the flavor of your cake? Was it delicious?!
The Hotel Monteleone.

We went with a traditional vanilla buttercream and vanilla cake. It was absolutely delicious. The food and cake were amazing!

Did you do a first look? If so how did you feel about it? If not, do you wish you had?
From a logistics stand-point, I’m so happy that we did a first look. It allowed us to enjoy ourselves more after the ceremony

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 was my own coordinator.

One benefit of working with the Monteleone is that you do get a Conference Services Manager. They not only work with you on the tasting, floor plan, etc., but handle the day-of things that a coordinator would do for you….calling vendors and executing the timeline that I created.

What was your first dance song? Why this song?
Elton John – Your Song

Jonathan picked it and it was perfect for us and our relationship.

Band or DJ? Did they rock it?
Band – The WiseGuys!

Yes, they were great. All of our wedding guests had a blast, and they were very easy to work with.

We want to hear YOUR advice for future brides.
Relax while you are getting ready. I am so thankful that I had a suite in the Monteleone where my bridesmaids and I were able to just relax and enjoy each other.

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