Wedding at Southern Oaks Plantation | Christine & Harris

Wedding Date: May 12, 2018
Bridal Prep: AirBnB
Ceremony Location: Southern Oaks
Reception Location: Southern Oaks
Entertainment: Nola Dukes
Florist: IRIS
Bridal Salon: Glamour Closet NYC
Hair: Maison de Cheveux
Makeup: Maison de Cheveux

How did you meet?
In 2011, we both came to New Orleans as part of the same teaching program, Teach for America. We were hired by the same school and had been put on the same morning duty position. In the first week of school, a first grade girl came up to us and asked “are you guys married?” (He was one of the very few males at the school). Even though we didn’t know each other well, Harris said “Yes!” and used it to his advantage all year long. He kept saying, “since we’re married, can I take you out to dinner?” He persisted, over and over, until I finally agreed.

Include a little bit about yourselves. 
Both of us are still in education!

Harris is a middle school math teacher in Washington Heights in New York City.

Christine is a school director and is founding a new middle school next year in Harlem.

what is your favorite thing about each other? Share a personal story.
We both make each other better. We set goals for ourselves and hold each other accountable.

Harris can talk to anyone– he makes any experience fun and exciting and has a magnetic personality. Beneath his big personality, he is the most caring partner.

Christine is very empathetic and emotionally aware. She can read a situation by people’s emotions and make people feel listened to, understood and valued.

How did the proposal go? Who proposed to who, were you surprised?
Harris and Christine each spent Thanksgiving with their respective families. (Since Harris is Jewish and Christine is Catholic, Thanksgiving is the one holiday that is difficult). On the day after Thanksgiving, Christine and her family went on a hike up Bare Mountain, her favorite mountain to climb in her hometown.

When they got to the top, Christine saw Harris standing there in the fog. It wasn’t until after he got down on one knee when she realized he had brought his entire family with him. They had traveled 3 1/2 hours and then up a mountain (in the rain) to be there for the proposal.

Christine was shocked that he was there, shocked that he was proposing, and shocked that their families were all meeting for the first time on top of a mountain!

Where was your ceremony held and why did you pick this site?
We got married at Southern Oaks Plantation in New Orleans because they took care of so much! It is a beautiful venue and they made it so easy to plan the wedding from New York.

Where was your Reception held and why did you pick this site?
Southern Oaks Plantation in New Orleans

What unique or special things did you do at the reception? (for example, ice sculptures, live painter, glow sticks, sun glasses, 2nd line band, mardi gras indians, memory table, the list goes on of fun things you may have done)
Our very good friend, Rachel, officiated the ceremony. She was our friend in New Orleans and is single handedly responsible for us staying together long distance when Harris moved to New York. Her officiating made our ceremony very special and personal.

We had a second line right after the ceremony leading into the reception.

We honored our grandparents by having photos of their weddings on a table.

Pick one moment in the day that was your favorite thing?
There was one powerful moment when everyone was singing “Don’t Stop Believing” and dancing in a circle. Our family has had a difficult year with illnesses, and it was amazing to all come together and sing those words. Many people started crying as they sang, and it is a moment that we will remember for the rest of our lives.

Did it really go by as quickly as everyone says?
Yes! It was a whirlwind. However, because we had 175 of our guests fly from out of town, there were celebrations all weekend long!

What was the inspiration behind picking the color palette and decor that you picked?
I love the look of lanterns and candles, so those were the only real decorations.

We allowed bridesmaids to choose any long navy dress that they felt comfortable in.

From the Bride – When you first saw the groom, what were you thinking/feeling?
As soon as I saw him, I was instantly calm. After getting ready all day and having drank too much caffeine, it was so nice to see him and know that the rest of the night (and our lives) we would have each other.

From the groom – When you first saw the bride, what were you thinking/feeling?
When I first saw Christine, I was completely in awe and totally relaxed. The weight of the day was completely lifted away knowing that we were together.

Who was your baker, what was the flavor of your cake? Was it delicious?!
Haydel’s Bakery baked our cake. We ordered a King Cake because we wanted to give our guests the taste of New Orleans. We didn’t eat any of it until the next morning, but it was delicious a day later!

Did you do a first look? If so how did you feel about it? 
Yes– we did our first look in Armstrong Park. We loved being able to see one another before the ceremony. As soon as we saw each other, our nerves were calmed and we started to really have fun.

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 it ourselves with the help of our coordinator at Southern Oaks.

What was your first dance song? Why this song?
We danced to “Better Together” by Jack Johnson. We believe that these words are true– we absolutely bring out the best in each other. This song also has a fun and light beat, which made it fun (and a little goofy) to dance to. It fit our personality as a couple.

Band or DJ? Did they rock it?
We hired NOLA Dukes. They were outstanding! They knew how and when to get the party going.

We want to hear YOUR advice for future brides.
The best advice we can give is to relax the day of. If the bride and groom are happy and calm, it will be contagious.

Anything else you want to say?
Thank you to Corine and Kacie for being absolutely wonderful to work with! You listened to every request, kept us calm and happy, and were incredibly professional. We can’t thank you enough!