A long (long) engagement

On September 20, 2020 I attended one of the most fun weddings I had ever been to... and I was the photographer! Angela and Kenny had their ceremony and reception at Ralph's on the Park in New Orleans in the midst of (and ongoing) COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the space, the wedding was intimate and all were included- which ended up with this photographer dancing and celebrating with the guests that night. When I got home that evening, my husband asked how the evening was, and I said simply, "It was a lot of fun." To which he replied, "Isn't it nice to have a job you enjoy?". Yes, it is, sir, and with that I would like to share Angela and Kenny's wedding celebration.

So let's start with the basics. How long have you two been together? Eight years- since September 2012. We worked together at iHeart media, and we both had to spend a few nights at the radio station to cover Hurricane Isaac. Let's just say he "rocked me like a hurricane"....LOL!

How long have you been engaged? Unofficially since January 1, 2016 (We were really lit, and it was New Year's. He didn't have a ring, but he asked and I said yes.). Officially on June 19, 2017. He bought a ring and kneeled down on one knee. It was a surprise. It was supposed to be just a date night with drinks after at the Carousel Bar in the Hotel Monteleone. After dinner, he proposed at the Carousel Bar. Kenny isn't usually a "romantic" type, but he thought of this all by himself. I work in media as a traffic reporter and fill in at WWL TV Eyewitness morning news, and the next day after we got engaged, they featured us on the morning news. What a way to make an official wedding announcement!

There were a few reasons why we waited so long to get married. The timing was never right, and we did not have any support from our friends or family at the time. The stress of planning an entire wedding by myself was so overwhelming. In addition, there being no extra savings, and we both have family members that were hard to put in a room with an open bar. I knew I wanted a nice wedding but also realized what that would eventually cost me. We were so tired of people asking "when are you getting married?". We were determined to get married in 2020. We even considered getting married in Europe, but then the corona happened and squashed that plan.

We finally got to a point where we figured it was never going to be the right time. I finally gave in and said enough was enough. The first step to the process happened in mid-July when my aunt came with me to find "the dress". We made an appointment with David's Bridal, and I already had a dress in mind. Once I put on the dress, it was over. I said yes to the dress and realized I was finally going to get married.

How did you choose your venue? Wow, that's a hard question to answer. Over the last few years, I've considered many places, but nothing that we actually really loved. My aunt got me in touch with Lila's Kreative Kitchen; she knew they had a full package were Lila could coordinate, and her husband Will would DJ. After speaking with Lila, we narrowed down venues by availability due to cost and COVID. A co-worker suggested Ralph's on the Park. She had a small wedding there, and Kenny and I have been there many times. After speaking with the coordinator at Ralph's (Anita), we decided on a Sunday wedding instead of the traditional Saturday wedding. Ralph's was very inviting and looked forward to the work due to many cancellations related to the pandemic.

Wedding coordinator? Yes, she (Lila Clinton from Lila's Kreative Kitchen) took care of everything!! They are a one stop shop: full-service wedding planner, flowers, decoration, and DJ. They helped with everything. Her favorite thing to tell me was, "I got you.", and she really did.

Hair & make-up? A Flawless Bride- Jess & Danielle. They were amazing! They really listened to what I wanted and made this bride look flawless. I especially appreciated that they accepted to work with us on such a short notice. For some reason, finding hair and makeup for such as small wedding was very difficult especially during the pandemic. Also, they were extremely professional!

Honeymoon? Newport Beach Resort in Sunny Isles, FL.- near Miami. We rented a black Camaro and road-tripped to Sunny Isles and spent a day driving to the Keys. Great time.

Anything else? This wedding was put together in 2 months. Planning a wedding during a pandemic was an interesting experience. Our party favors were masks. We could only invite 25 people. No standing bar. Table service only. No dancing. Lots of restrictions. I was so proud of how everyone came together and made it happen. The venue even stepped up and upgraded our room for no extra charge. One take away that no one ever tells the bride on her wedding day is that no matter how much help she has, the bride works her wedding the entire time. If it's not taking pictures, getting ready for the first dance, talking to friends, cutting the cake, taking more pictures, eating dinner, and the next thing you know you are second- lining out, and it's all over. Enjoy the time while you can!