Luxury wedding planner + designer based in New Orleans. Personalizing traditional, yet custom + timeless, yet modern weddings. Named Martha Stewart’s Top Planner 2014
If I can describe this wedding in one sentence, I would call it the classic-meets-over-the-top extravaganza so filled with love and fun that I dare you not to smile while scrolling! Challenge accepted?
Ellie and Alexander (or Big Al as everyone calls him) had a wedding fit for royals, but they couldn’t have been more down to earth! It would win the award for the biggest bridal party, the most flowers and flickering candles, the tallest cake, and the most packed dance floor! I’d say that’s a celebration, wouldn’t you? See for yourself and I hope you enjoy as much as we did playing a part in it!
Ashley was the lead event planner for this wedding for Elyse Jennings Weddings and managed the giant bridal party and a few load in curveballs with ease!
This family is filled with cousins who just love one another! The girls doted on Ellie all day long and just had to check on her before she walked down the aisle!
Holy Name of Jesus in New Orleans has the most splendid architecture and we complemented it with columns of candles down the aisle from Luminous Events and lush florals at the entrance of the aisle and the altar from Bella Blooms Floral.
Guests followed the florals right into the New Orleans Country Club, where they were greeted with champagne before stepping onto a floral draped dance floor! Walk in, get a drink in your hand, and get to dancing- sounds like the Nola way to party!
One of my favorite design elements is giving guests an instagram worthy backdrop to say we were here and we love the couple! And loving the neon sign trend which can hang up in your house for many years after!
This towering wedding cake was the center of the grand ballroom! Too tall to even cut while maintaining a pretty presentation, this stunning faux cake from Chasing Wang allowed for grandeur and functionality!
Phunky Monkeys looking fresh as always in one of their 10 outfit choices, which allows them to always blend in or stand out with the decor!
See what I mean?! The Alford’s were here! #HappilyEverAlford
Planning and Design | Elyse Jennings Weddings
Photography | Pure 7 Studios
Videography | Nathan Willis Wedding Films
Dressing Location | Ritz-Carlton New Orleans
Ceremony Venue | Holy Name of Jesus Church
Reception Venue and Catering | New Orleans Country Club
Florist | Bella Blooms Floral
Stage and Dancefloor | Event Rental
Chairs | Party Rentals Delivered
Lounges | Distressed Rentals & Revival
Linens | Nuage Designs
Candles, Champagne Walls, Hedges, Neon Sign | Luminous Events
Bakery | Chasing Wang
Band | The Phunky Monkeys
DJ | DJ Nitro of Stereo by Default
Photobooth | Boogie Booth
Makeup | Bleu, a Blowdry Bar
Hair | Heather Hintz
Stationery | Frill Seekers Gifts
Ceremony Music | New Orleans Classical and Jazz
Transportation | American Luxury Limousines
Transportation | Big Easy Limos
Wedding Dress | Romona Keveza
Bridal Dress Salon | Wedding Belles
Bridesmaids’ Dress | Monique Lhuillier
Groom and Groomsmen’s Tuxedos | The Black Tux
[love story from their Brides Magazine feature]
Though Lizzy and Chandler first met in calculus class at the University of Georgia in 2007, they didn’t start dating until after graduation. “We were on campus for a football game, and spotted one another at Chandler’s old fraternity house,” Lizzy remembers. “We reminisced about the class and realized we were both living in Atlanta. The rest is history!” Flash forward four years to Thanksgiving, when Chandler joined Lizzy’s family in New Orleans. “I had a full agenda planned, including a trip to the WWII museum,” Lizzy says. “My father, who passed away when I was a freshman in college, fought in the war as a Lieutenant in the First Marine Corp Division, and is featured in the exhibit. I wanted to share this with Chandler because he’d never met my dad.” After touring the museum, Chandler suggested that the pair grab a drink before heading home for dinner. “I wanted a nap, but Chandler was persistent—and then my friends started texting me to meet them for a drink, too,” Lizzy recalls. She started to get suspicious, especially because Chandler was wearing a jacket in the 80-degree heat. He won out, and as the couple crossed Jackson Square, Chandler got down on one knee.
Lizzy grew up in New Orleans, and after a proposal like that, there was no question about where the pair would tie the knot. “We wanted our guests to enjoy the New Orleans culture we love so much,” says the bride. They filled their big day with romance— from floating candles and a flickering fireplace to the lace sleeves on Lizzy’s wedding gown—and added fun details like a second line band, boozy snowballs, late-night Mardi Gras masks, and hand grenades. Photographed by Greer Gattuso and planned by Elyse Jennings Weddings, this wedding (with a holiday twist!) is one you don’t want to miss. Keep reading for more!
The bride’s classic bouquet combined peonies, gardenias, ranunculus, patience garden roses, dusty miller, and silver dollar eucalyptus. The bride attached a locket full of photos of her father to the stems, and wore his Purple Heart in the lining of her dress.
Arrangements of white blooms flanked the altar, where the couple exchanged traditional vows. Says Lizzy, “I would have been way too emotional reciting our own vows. Instead, we wrote them to one another in letters, and exchanged them during our first look.”
After their kiss, Lizzy and Chandler grabbed umbrellas and led their guests through the streets of New Orleans to their reception. “The energy and excitement was incredible,” Lizzy remembers.
Upon arrival at Il Mercato, guests found antique lounge furniture arranged around an outdoor fireplace. Hundreds of votive candles floated from the ceiling in glass orbs, which added a feeling of enchantment to the space.
Layered textures created a soft, romantic setting for the reception. Gold metal platforms held roses, peonies, and greenery high above guests’ heads. White linens were topped with gold-rimmed chargers and plates, with ranunculus and tea roses tucked into gold mercury glass compotes.
A canopy of hydrangeas, roses, and peonies was suspended above the dramatic cake display. The six tiers featured three flavors: White chocolate raspberry, lemon poppy seed, and chocolate raspberry. “Chandler doesn’t love cake, so we also had boozy Louisiana Snowballs,” says Lizzy.
The bar offered four signature cocktails by Grand Bevy, a nod to the couple’s love of making craft cocktails at home. One even featured their combined monogram in foam at the top—talk about a cool personalization idea!
Thousands of candles glowed from every imaginable surface, creating a warm, inviting, and totally magical setting for Chandler and Lizzy’s celebration.
Late-night, the reception turned into a Mardi Gras party. The couple threw beads, and guests donned sequined masks. Waiters passed Hand Grenades, a French Quarter specialty that combines melon liqueur with gin, vodka, and rum.
As the night came to a close, Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas” poured out of the speakers. Says Lizzy, “Chandler was, by far, my best Christmas gift! We kept pinching one another throughout the day, reminding us to stop for a moment and soak it all in.”
Planning and Design | Elyse Jennings Weddings
Photography | Greer Gattuso
Videography | Bride Film
Ceremony Venue | Trinity Episcopal Church
Reception Venue | Il Mercato
Florist | Bella Blooms Floral
Rentals | Event Rental
Rentals | Perrier Party Rentals
Lounges | Distressed Rentals + Revival
Linens | Nuage Designs
Candles + Bars | Luminous Events
Lighting | See Hear Productions
Tent | Gulf Coast Tents
Bakery | Melissa’s Fine Pastries
Catering | Joel Catering & Special Events
Speciality Beverages | The Grand Bevy
Snoballs | Plum Street Snoballs
Band | Az IzZ
Live Painter | Harvie Oil Paintings
Makeup | Ashley Sievert Beauty
Hair | Hair by Nicole Leigh
Wedding Dress | Monique Lhuillier
Bride’s Shoes | Jimmy Choo
Bridesmaids’ Dresses | Monique Lhuillier
Groom + Groomsmen’s Attire | Knot Standard
Ceremony Music | New Orleans Classical and Jazz
Second Line Drinks | Brady’s Wine Warehouse
Pedicabs | Bike Taxi Unlimited
Stationery + Monogram Design | Scriptura
Calligraphy | Ragan House Lettering
Vinyl Bar Signage | Uptown Graphics
Second Lind Handkerchiefs | Backyard Printing
Cups + Napkins | ForYourParty
Our wedding. In Print. Le sigh.
See the full gallery of our wedding here…
This award is one of the most meaningful I could ever receive because it’s based solely on my clients and their experiences in working with us! Not because we pay for advertisement, not because an editor deemed us qualified, but because we exceeded our couples expectations enough that they wanted to share their praises! WOW!
We’ve gotten the honor of Best of Weddings for every year we’ve been in business- 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016- so we also received an induction into the Hall of Fame!
Humor me while I brag on my team for a minute! One woman can only do so much. Without them I could never be as attentive, as creative, or as OCD! They allow me the freedom to take my couples out for coffee or wine to get to know them, the time to sketch my design ideas so my clients have a visual to approve, and the time to spend countless hours checking and rechecking every detail to make sure the day is as perfect as it can be! My girls deserve every bit of these awards as well!
Here’s a few favorite reviews from 2015!
[Since a few of these weddings happened before we changed our business name in October, we’ve edited these reviews to reflect our new business name!]
Megan + Phil
“There truly aren’t enough words to express the complete gratitude and thanks we owe to Elyse and the incredible team at [Elyse Jennings Weddings]!
Working with Elyse was one of the most meaningful and special parts of our wedding. Over the course of the planning process (about a year in our case), we formed such a close bond and friendship with Elyse. She is so smart, thoughtful, sincere, and kind and I’m forever grateful for her incredibly hard work. She worked tirelessly to ensure that our day was all we hoped for, and honestly, it was so much more thanks to her!
Since the very first meeting, I was blown away by her thoughtfulness and care. I felt totally comfortable placing my complete trust in her throughout the planning process. She takes SO much pride in every detail of her craft and her expertise guided us every step of the way. From her vendor recommendations, to her design plans, to the wedding schedule, Elyse goes above and beyond to make every detail perfect and seamless. She took what we could only envision about our wedding and turned it into a reality. I feel like Elyse is the perfect combination of everything you could want in a wedding planner: she has an incredible attention to detail, is amazing at all things organization/execution AND she has such a gift for design, ensuring that all of your design dreams turn out as beautifully as you envision it.
Even more importantly, Elyse does everything with incredible focus on the couple. She’s an amazing listener and she really valued getting to know me and my family. I never felt like “just another bride” with Elyse; she got to know our story and made sure our personalities, passions, and heritage shone through during our wedding. In all that she does, she makes you feel so special and values how important this day is in the life of a couple and family. This is something that makes Elyse special and I feel very blessed to have been able to work with someone who truly cared about me and my fiancé.
Elyse kept me so grounded and calm during one of the most special times in my life, I can’t imagine doing it without her (really!!). Even when I felt worried or stressed, I knew that I could count on her to ease any fears or worries that I had. For instance, a few months before the wedding, I started having seconds thoughts about some of the details of our design plan (flowers, tables, etc.). When I expressed my concerns to Elyse, she was beyond thoughtful and compassionate in her response. She dropped everything to meet with me that week and made sure I felt totally in love with what we came up with. This is just a small example (of SO many) when Elyse went above and beyond!
It’s no surprise that on wedding day everything was flawless and absolutely perfect. I can’t think of anything I would change or make better about our wedding day and I KNOW that’s because of Elyse. I enjoyed every second of the day and Elyse and her team couldn’t have been more attentive. She turned our vision into a perfect reality and executed everything flawlessly.
To all brides looking for a planner, I promise that you could never be in better hands than with Elyse and [Elyse Jennings Weddings]! I can’t imagine going through this experience without her, both as a planner and now as a friend. I will forever recommend Elyse and will be forever grateful for the her!!”
Christine + Robert
Worth every penny! I cannot begin to explain how amazing Elyse and her staff were in planning our New Orleans wedding. She worked with us for two years (we moved our wedding date back a year) making sure everything was perfect. The team checked in with me monthly starting about a year before the wedding, then more frequently as we got closer to the wedding. They made sure all the little details were taken care of – many of which I would not have even thought of had I planned this event myself. I’ve been in a ton of weddings, so I’ve seen how stressed out a bride can be when they don’t have a wedding planner or only have a day-of wedding planner. Having Elyse and her team help me plan every detail left me totally relaxed on my wedding day, which is the way it is supposed to be. I was 100% confident that everything was taken care of behind the scenes and this allowed me to really embrace the moment. A few of my bridesmaids even commented on how relaxed I was and how they wished they had hired EJW to plan their weddings. Elyse and her team also recommended some fabulous vendors for us to use, all of whom were great. Elyse is a perfectionist and I knew I would be in great hands with her and her team. If you want your wedding day to be about you and your fiancé, hire Elyse Jennings Weddings. If you want a seamless, luxurious wedding experience, hire EJW. They are worth every penny.
Beau + Pearce
“Words cannot express the amount of emotion and love which was woven into every part of our wedding week. It seemed at every turn there was love and support. Even the mundane was magical and memorable. This is all due to the tireless work of Elyse and her [Elyse Jennings Weddings] team. Neither Pearce nor I at any point were over whelmed with schedules or epic to-do lists like other couples we’ve seen. Instead we were free to focus on what we wanted to. This allowed me to put final touches on gifts and decorations for the ceremony and reception, and for Pearce to enjoy his friends who had come from near and far all week long. What was truly amazing was after a planning process that was effortless, easy and fun, the wedding was EXACTLY what we wanted. The details we had discussed went off without a hitch, and things we had never even thought to include somehow were thought of for us adding countless more memories.
To any couple beginning the wedding planning process, or coming up on their big day, I have one word of advice: hire [Elyse Jennings Weddings]. Elyse and her team take the time to get to know you as a couple first and for most. This allows your wedding to be an extension of your relationship rather than just an imitation of a bunch of Pinterest pins. Elyse early on told us that her goal in planning our wedding was that at the end of the night our guests would all say, “that wedding was SO Beau and Pearce.” Based on the feedback we were hearing from family and friends she more than succeeded!
Also vendor suggestions from Elyse are worth every penny. Her tips saved us money in the long run by focusing our budget on what was important to us. Because she actually got to know Pearce and I, each vendor she suggested was a perfect fit into our day’s flow and personality. You will spend a lot of time with your team on wedding day. The people Elyse picked for us wove themselves into the dynamic of our wedding party seamlessly. They were present but never obtrusive; they allowed the day to happen around them while still accomplishing everything they needed to. I know this was only because they had a fearless leader in Elyse.
Elyse brings your relationship to life. She incorporates it into every detail. She fills the venue with it: it is the music playing all night long and the champagne being poured at the bar. The night of our wedding Pearce paced back and forth in our suite smiling and repeating again and again that the whole wedding was so unbelievably amazing. While I’m sure part of it was a left over high from the second line, or possibly the delicious drinks flowing all night long at Latrobe’s, our “best day ever” was all because of Elyse and her team.”
Read more sweet reviews on our Knot profile…
The core of every business is it’s philosophy. But it’s always been impossible for me to put into a few words.
I’ve always just thought that my philosophy was my heart. My business’ core values came from my core. To plan weddings from my heart as if each were my own. And because I couldn’t put it into words, I poured my heart into this video with Bride Film.
I’m thankful for every heart that has touched mine since opening trustpillsnorx.com/ my business in 2011 and I look forward to every heart that will touch mine in 2016!
P.S. You’ll see more of the backdrop of this video in the next issue of The Knot Magazine which hits stands January 25th! Eek!
I was that little girl who dreamed about her wedding since she knew what weddings were! I remember the princess Halloween costume that evolved into a bride the next year, then a dead bride the following. I always doodled wedding dresses, bouquets and the occasional groom, all while dreaming of what my wedding day would be like! I’ve always been in love with love! I could partly attribute that to the fact that I’ve been in love with my now-husband since I was 14 years old! And there was no one more supportive of me when I turned my love of weddings into a career and started Elyse Jennings Wedding!
Many years (and other bride’s weddings) later, of course my childhood wedding plans had changed. But I was finally getting to be the bride and Jack and I were finally going to make our relationship official after 11 years of dating! So with a pencil, paper, and Pinterest, we started cataloguing things that would portray our love story and ways to add those details to our wedding day!
After endearingly being called “Fancy Skansi” for years by Jack’s friends, I knew that we wanted the wedding to feel glamorous and elegant, yet naturally effortless and organic at the same time! So we planned a formal affair among the oaks of Stella Plantation!
I hope you enjoy our wedding as much as we enjoyed living every moment! XOXO
We chose some romantic elements that we would carry throughout the event, and since I’ve signed all of my letters to Jack with “xoxo” for years, we fell in love with the idea of having “xoxo” accents throughout the design! As guests were first introduced to the wedding through the Save the Dates, they noticed my hand written “xoxo” at the top. We then commissioned one of the best local calligraphers to design our “xoxo” logo which we used as a dance floor vinyl, had laser cut for our wedding cake topper, gold foiled on our napkins, and printed on our koozies! We even used “elysexoxojack” as our wedding hashtag! Then to really add glamour, we accented with gold leafing- starting with the invitations and continuing on our cake, the cake wall, gift tags, thanks you notes, and even the leaves in our wedding bouquets and boutonnieres!
We really enjoyed showering our bridal party with unique gifts of gratitude! My bridesmaids received gold names bracelets that I ordered from my own handwriting! It was so fun to see them discover the bracelets on the stems of each of their bouquets! The groomsmen were gifted hanging garment bags with their monograms to carry their suits on wedding day!
But one of my favorite golden moments happened at our rehearsal dinner during my dad’s toast to us. After telling Jack how important it is to be a strong patriarch and role model to his future children, my dad gave Jack my late grandfather’s gold Rolex to wear on wedding day as his something borrowed! Dad said, “I would like you to wear it this weekend so that her grandfather can be a part of his granddaughter’s wedding in spirit. Keep it on your wrist so he can feel your pulse quicken as you watch Elyse walk up the aisle in her beautiful wedding dress.” I swear there was not a dry eye in the room!
And after our first look, I surprised Jack with an oversized card just like the ones that I used to make for him when we were 14! Added gold leaf to this one though!
As the guests arrived at Stella Plantation for our wedding ceremony, they were greeted by my 6 honorary bridesmaids at our confetti bar! They were instructed to make their own mix of colored confetti to toss at us as we walked back down the aisle as husband and wife! The immediate families were given wedding bells to ring after our kiss, and my sorority sisters were each handed a Killarney rose- Delta Zeta’s signature flower! After my dad and I’s long walk down the aisle, the ceremony began with an original ode to love by my aunt. This was followed by the reading of the poem “Love” by Roy Croft, a poem that was read every preference night in DZ, by my maid of honor, and a contemporary version of Elvis’ “Can’t Help Falling in Love With You” sung by a dear friend. Thank goodness I had gifted Jack a “Mr.” hanky because I needed it a few times myself! As we walked back down the aisle with confetti fluttering, I remember thinking that this dream moment couldn’t be real life
Our guest book was a nod to the hopeless romantic in each of us! Like the Parisian Love Lock bridge, we asked guests to sign and add their well wishes for our relationship to a pad lock, then lock in their love by attaching it to a trellis- which we continue to enjoy in our landscaping in our backyard!
The cocktail party started at our champagne table with rows of pre poured champagne, each glass adorned with either a gold pom, a rock candy stick, or a rim of edible gold sugar! Our family and friends would continue to enjoy cocktails outside the tent by the glow of our candle walls.
As cocktail hour came to an end, the drapes of the tent were pulled back to reveal the reception inside. A golden draped tent with 13 different crystal chandeliers added the perfect backdrop and lighting for the perfect night! Our tables were a mix of round and square tables, our chairs were a mix of gold chiavari, gold estate, and ghost chairs, and our three different linen styles added different navy textures to the room! Our centerpieces included tall and lush arrangements in cut glass vases, custom table top chandeliers, and three lower lush arrangements in cut glass vases- all accented by smaller bud vase arrangements and a mix of silver and gold stemmed mercury glass candles, chalices, and votives! The whole room twinkled!
Our cakes also added some wow factor! The wedding cake was a four tier fondant cake accented with gold leafing and topped with our xoxo wooden cake topper! It sat upon a gold bar cart- a gift from my aunts for my bridal shower- with candles on the bottom shelf and on the floor around the base! The backdrop was a custom painted and gold leafed wall by our florist that framed the cake perfectly! After we cut our cake, we asked the ladies of the bridal party to join us for the cake pulls- a Southern tradition where each girl pulls a charm out of the cake that will predict their fate (next to be married, next to have a baby, etc)! The groom’s cake was 4 stacked king cakes, a New Orleans delicacy, with a fleur de lis topper and purple, green, and gold Mardi Gras beads laid on the table!
Our incredible candle and lighting guru’s, Lisa and Jason of Luminous Events, with our incredible floral geniuses, Eric and Carolyn of Bee’s Weddings and Events!
With Jack being a fantastic chef, we wanted to let our guests take home a little love from our kitchen! For our favors, we bottled Jack’s homemade hot sauce and accompanied it with a little book of his favorite recipes!
Then in true dramatic fashion, we ended the night with fireworks to celebrate not only our love, but all of the love that surrounds us each and every day! A truly magical ending to the most incredible weekend of our lives and the perfect start to our forever!
Planning and Design | Elyse Jennings Weddings
Photographer | Greer Gattuso Photography
Ceremony + Reception Venue | Stella Plantation
Florist | Bee’s Wedding and Event Floral Designs
Videographer | Bride Film
Rentals | Perrier Party Rentals
Vintage Rentals | Distressed Rentals & Revivals
Candles and Lighting | Luminous Events
Catering | New Orleans Catering
Bakery | Royal Cakery
Ceremony Musicians | New Orleans Finest Musicians
Officiant | Rev. Johnny Adams
Band | Groovy 7
Hair Stylist | Hair by Ginger
Make Up | Ashley Sievert Beauty
Wedding Morning Location | Loft 523
Bridal Gown | Ines Di Santo
Bridal Salon | Ivory Bridal Atelier
Bride’s Veil | Wedding Belles
Bride’s Earrings | Kendra Scott Jewelry
Bride’s Shoes | Jimmy Choo
Bride’s Robe | Flora Nikrooz
Menswear | Express
Save the Dates + Invitations | Tupelo Honey Design
Calligraphy and Signage | Ebb and Flow Ink
Tinsel Stirrers | Em for Marvelous
Cake Topper | My Girl Josephine
Bouquet Ribbon | Frou Frou Chic
Name Bracelets | Yvonne Boutique
Monogram Garment Bags | Monkey See Boutique
Dance Floor Decal | Off the Wall Expression
Confetti | Inside My Nest
Custom Cups and Napkins | For Your Party
Koozies | Discount Mugs
Design : the most fulfilling part of the planning process for me.
(well, second only to my clients hugs at the end of wedding day)
Our brides and grooms come to us at all stages of their design generation- some just with colors and a theme, others with ideas as specific as linens, cakes, flowers and more, but most with Pinterest boards they have been pinning to for years (maybe even before they met their fiancé). It’s up to us to listen, absorb, and help them expound on their vision to make this a wedding fit for only the two of them. I want to get to know their styles, their engagement story, their hobbies- whatever I can infuse into their weddings aesthetics. Then comes dreaming, sketching, and mood board-ing. Our designs are traditional, yet custom + timeless, yet modern. After we love the picture we’ve painted, we bring the design to our talented and creative vendors who’s talents and inventories help me bring the sketch to life. And when I overhear the guests at their wedding saying, “I wouldn’t expect anything else for them,” I know that we did our jobs and my heart is so happy!
Please enjoy this collection of some of my favorite designs!