- Married:June 24, 2017
- Bridal Prep Location:Omni Royal Orleans French Quarter
- Ceremony:St Louis Cathedral
- Reception:Omni Royal Orleans French Quarter
- Entertainment:The Bucktown All-Stars
- Videography:Montoto Productions
- Florist:Fat Cat Flowers
- Bakery:Bittersweet Confections
- Hair:Just Face It
- Makeup:Just Face It
- Photobooth:Big Easy Photobooth
How did you meet?
Devin and I met his senior year of undergrad. He was staying at a friend’s condo for the summer. That condo happened to be next door to my place. The first time I met Devin he was sitting in a folding chair with his feet propped up on a BBQ grill. He was smoking a cigar and reading an LSAT prep book. I asked him, “What’s the LSAT?” He was not impressed.
We quickly became friends. We toyed around with the idea of dating and made it official in August 2010. The rest is history
We are swooning over this proposal! 200 long stem roses, say what?! Read below to know more about this romantic proposal
Devin proposed to me on Christmas Day 2015. We usually spent Christmas Eve apart at our respective family homes in Metairie and Prairieville and meet up on Christmas morning. I woke up on Christmas morning and couldn’t find any of my family members. I called them and they claimed that they were, “looking for a place to grab breakfast.” I thought that was strange seeing as though Prairieville is not known for an abundance of dining options.
Unbeknownst to me, Devin had recruited the help of my mother and grandparents to set up our home while he drove in from Metairie that morning. While I slept, my family drove to our home and filled it with the 200 long-stem roses Devin had ordered for the occasion. When I walked through the door of our home I saw Devin on his knee with a giant diamond ring. His allergies were kind enough to let him get through the proposal. I was not – I said yes before he could finish asking me.
Where was your ceremony held and why did you pick this site?
Our ceremony was held at the St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans, Louisiana.
I liked the historical significance of the church. The St. Louis Cathedral is the oldest cathedral in the United States. It also happens to be absolutely beautiful. When we decided to get married in New Orleans, we knew it had to be here.
Where was your Reception held and why did you pick this site?
Our reception was held at the Omni Royal Orleans in the New Orleans French Quarter.
We went with the Omni because it is stunning and because of the stellar reputation of their wedding coordinator, Celeste Myers. The hotel staff was accommodating, professional and more helpful than we expected or deserved.
Jessica & Devin had many special things at the wedding, our personal favorite? The life size cutouts of their furbabies!
Our reception featured a litany of special things. We commissioned Stephanie Torregrossa to do a live painting. We hired Big Easy Photobooths to do our photo booth. We had giant cutouts of our two dogs, Hailey and Goose. Hailey’s cutout featured her in sunglasses. She was propped up on the favor table to help pass out our #GetRICCIOrDieTrying sunglasses. Goose was stationed at the photo booth as a prop. Guests enjoyed taking photos with her all night.
We had a photo guest book where out guests were given the option to sign the book or take a Polaroid selfie and tape it to the book with a special note. Uncle Wally stole one of the Polaroid cameras and documented the wedding himself.
We had special, blinking cups for our wedding party members. The cups read, “RICCI WEDDING PARTY – Front of the Line Pass”
The coolest “extra” we had was the second line. We hired a phenomenal second line band complete with a grand marshall. We also hired a flag boy and FOUR Mardi Gras Indians. Our second line was crazy fun. Even strangers joined in on the fun.
What was your favorite part of the day?
Tough question! My favorite part of the day was seeing Devin for the first time. Neither of us was nervous at all about getting married, but the idea of seeing him on our wedding day was a big deal to me. We met on the rooftop observation deck of the Omni Royal Orleans. This spot is special to Devin’s family. His brother proposed to his wife there, so it seemed like a fitting first look location. All of our wedding party was there to watch. It was a very special moment that I will never forget.
My second favorite part of the day was the second line. As I said, it was CRAZY FUN.
Did it really go by as quickly as everyone says?
It flew by. All of the planning and preparation paid off though. When you hire great people with great reputations, everything takes care of itself and you have the time to enjoy your day.
What was the inspiration behind picking the color palette and decor that you picked?
I went with classic, elegant, formal, understated. Those were my keywords. I didn’t get cute or wild with any of my color choices. Navy for the bridesmaids and classic blush/white/natural greens for the flowers. I wanted our wedding to feel like it suited us as a couple. I didn’t want people to walk in and think, “What the hell is this?”
We went with big, fun, and beautiful.
From the Bride – When you first saw the groom, what were you thinking/feeling?
He showed up!!! He kept his beard. He looks fantastic. Wow, this is really happening today. He’s wearing the new Rolex. Thank God it fit. In twenty years, are our kids going to think we look good or goofy? We are getting married in two hours!!!!!!!
I had a lot going through my mind, but as soon as I put my hands on Devin I felt at ease. It was like it was just us on that roof. I was with my best friend.
From the groom – When you first saw the bride, what were you thinking/feeling?
Leading up to it, awkwardness. Everyone was around me, they got to see her, but I had to stare out into the abyss that is the Quarter. When I turned around, awe. She was stunning. Not a word to use often, but it is appropriate to use in this situation. Awe followed by relief. After a year of waiting for this moment, it was here. Finally, it was time. And it ended up great that our closest friends were up on the observation deck to be part of it.
Did you do a first look? If so how did you feel about it? If not, do you wish you had?
We did a first look on the observation deck of the Omni Royal Orleans. I’m so glad we did this. It ended up being one of my favorite moments of the day.
Not being allowed to sleep together or see each other for like 24 hours was hard. We have been together for seven years and we are usually always together. It was really nice to get giddy about seeing the person you love on your wedding day. I recommend a first look to any couple…. especially if the bride is a crier like me.
Who was your baker, what was the flavor of your cake? Was it delicious?!
Big confession – we do not eat cake. For that reason, I was super liberal when choosing our flavors. We did Vanilla/Strawberry for the groom’s cake. The wedding cake was five-tier and the flavors were Almond/Almond, Vanilla/Strawberry, Red Velvet/Cream Cheese, Chocolate/Chocolate and another Vanilla/Strawberry.
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 didn’t hire a coordinator, but the Omni and the Cathedral provided wedding coordinators when we booked them. I did all of the detail planning myself. Celeste handled the logistics at the Omni/reception and Kevin handled the logistics of the ceremony. Celeste and her staff were key to having such a beautiful reception.
I am a planner. It’s what I do and I love it. I felt like planning effectively is key to having a successful event. I also feel like the success of the event is all in your vendor choices. Look at track records, choose carefully and NEVER accept the first quote. Look for local, cash or pay-in-full today discounts.
Band or DJ? Did they rock it?
Band. Bucktown All-Stars.
These guys are freaking awesome. They even had my grandmother shaking her booty. I would pick them a million times over.
We want to hear YOUR advice for future brides.
1. SLEEP THE NIGHT BEFORE YOUR WEDDING. I know that third drink seems like a good idea. Put it down. The big party is tomorrow.
2. Be willing to pay more for the better vendors. They are worth every penny.
3. NEVER take the first quote with certain vendors (equipment rentals, photo booths, transportation services, etc.) When you throw the word wedding onto anything the price hike is astronomical. Ignore that. These people want your business. Make them compete with each other for it. Some vendors offer locals discounts. They also offer cash discounts.
4. When you first get engaged, sit down with your fiance and each of you list two things that are most important to you. These are your “top priorities.” Budget around those items.
5. Just ask. The worst they can say is no.
Anything else you want to say?
Appreciate and love your vendors. These people are the reason your day is working out so well.
DO NOT FORGET TO THANK YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS. The support and love shown by these people make you feel like a million dollars on your wedding day. When you anticipate and plan and prepare for such a big event, sometimes people forget to be thankful for all their families have done to get them to that moment. It meant a lot to the people we loved when we issued individual thank you messages.