When Brittney first saw Ty in a Los Angeles orthopedic clinic during the summer of 2009, she was convinced he had to be taken. "I thought he was just the most handsome man I'd ever seen," she says. But she happily found out he wasn't, and after a few more run-ins, he finally asked her out. "I was supposed to move back to Louisiana in August, but needless to say I quickly canceled my plans," she remembers. "I just felt like there was something different and special this time."
As they approached their third dating anniversary, Brittney kept finding herself in ideal proposal situations. They had dinner on the Eiffel Tower in Paris, rode a gondola through Venice, and took long walks on the beach in Maui, but no moment ended with a ring on her finger. Finally, they took a trip to Santa Barbara. They stayed at a hotel on the beach, wandered the town, and visited local wineries. As they freshened up before dinner, Brittney came out of the bathroom to find Ty on the patio of their room with a giant present on the table. She opened the box to find a slightly smaller box, and another, and another... Finally, she got to the smallest box, and opened it to find her engagement ring. "I looked over, and Ty was on one knee," says Brittney. "So, there on the beaches of Santa Barbara, we were finally engaged!"
The couple, who live in Los Angeles, knew they would have a destination wedding no matter where they chose to wed, so they picked a place their guests would love visiting: New Orleans. On March 16th, 2013, Ty and Brittney and their family and friends descended upon the Big Easy for a vintage-glam wedding.
The playful invitation featured a New Orleans-inspired gas light. Their venue, The Chicory, was built in 1852 and used to be a coffee warehouse.
Brittney fell in love with a Vera Wang ball gown with a full petal skirt. "I teared up when I put it on, and told my consultant I didn't know why," Brittney remembers. "She looked at me and said, 'Because this is the one!' and I knew she was right."
Brittney kept her hair and makeup simple and classic, letting the drama of her gown speak for itself. She wore vintage pearl drop earrings, and borrowed a pearl bracelet from her mom as her something borrowed. The most important accessory was her shoes. "They were to die for," she says. "I spent eight hours shopping for shoes, and they were the perfect pair." Her strappy, beaded Jimmy Choo sandals are a limited-edition style, and gave her romantic look a modern flare.
Ty's boutonniere featured a single peach ranunculus, silver brunia, and black and gray ribbons. He wore a classic black tuxedo, perfectly complementing Brittney's gown.
The bride carried a hand-tied bouquet of white peonies, ranunculus, peach garden roses, silver brunia, blush and ivory astilbe, peach lisianthus, dusty miller, lambs ear, and white anemones with a striking black center. The stems were wrapped in Brittney's grandmother's handkerchief. "I never had a chance to meet my grandmother," she says, "so it was special to have a piece of her with me on my big day."
Brittney's four bridesmaids wore gray chiffon Jenny Yoo dresses. Her Maid and Matron of honor belted black sashes around their gowns. Each bridesmaid had a different all-white bouquet. Her maid of honor carried white anemones, surrounded by a cuff of white hydrangeas. Her matron of honor carried white stock flowers with dusty miller leaves. The bridesmaids carried bouquets of ivory garden roses and white lisianthus.
The stars of the ceremony, after the bride, were her twin flower girls. "They're my matron of honor's daughters and were two and a half at the time," says Brittney. They wore matching gray tutus and silver flats. "During the rehearsal, they were perfect, holding hands and walking slowly. On the day of, one of them was extra excited and ran ahead of her sister, so they ended up walking separately."
The couple included a unity candle in their ceremony. The candle was hand-made and wrapped in birch bark that was personalized with their initials and the wedding date.
The altar was a curly willow arch studded with white and peach garden roses, stock flower, ivory spray roses, silver brunia, white Siberia lilies, white Japanese mums, and sprays of ivory dendrobium orchids. Hanging glass bubbles held votive candles, which added to the glow cast by the dozens of candles that flanked the aisle.
Brittney and Ty wanted their reception to feel cozy, so they rented lounge furniture, like this round banquette, to create an elegant, modern living room vibe.
The cake table was decorated with lush peach and pink floral arrangements in vintage silver vessels. Garden roses, stock flowers, anemones, and baby's breath overflowed on top of vintage trays that had belonged to the bride's grandmother.
Going with New Orleans tradition, the couple offered a sumptuous buffet of local cuisine instead of a seated dinner. Guests' tables were covered in mercury votive holders, low vases full of hydrangeas and stock flowers, and cracked glass candle holders, Tall centerpieces of garden roses, lilies, Japanese mums, hydrangeas, stock flowers, and dusty miller leaves were incredibly dramatic, and softened the space's exposed brick and beams.
The couple's four-tiered wedding cake featured draped fondant and lace-inspired piping. "I found these great wooden letters on Etsy," says Brittney, "so we used them instead of a cake topper." As an avid skier, there was no question that Ty's groom's cake would be snow-inspired. Skis and poles peeked out of cascading frosting, while a sign at the top read, "Another One Bites the Dust!" The couple shared their first sweet bites as husband and wife with forks embossed with the words, "And they lived happily ever after."
Guests sipped on his-and-hers signature cocktails as they wandered the lounge-like reception space. Brittney's champagne, gin, and lime concoction was called an "All Ty-ed Up," while Ty's cherry-topped whiskey sour was the "Buzzed on Brittney." A live band kept guests dancing all night.
Bags of cotton candy served as sweet, playful favors for the guests to take home. Brittney and her mom also put together bags of some of their favorite New Orleans treats, from Abita beer to Zapp's potato chips. A family friend made cookies shaped like Mardi Gras king cakes.
As is tradition in New Orleans, the wedding ended with a Second Line parade, with the bride and groom carrying feathered umbrellas as guests waved personalized handkerchiefs. It ended as the couple climbed into a horse-drawn carriage and took a ride through the French Quarter. "It was so magical getting to be alone, sip champagne, and listen to the sounds of the city," says Brittney. "I couldn't have asked for a more beautiful ending."
Brittney loved the wedding-planning process, and was sad to see that chapter come to a close. "But we're looking forward to so many more 'firsts' as husband and wife," she says. She advises engaged couples to keep the stress to a minimum. "You're planning one of the most memorable days of your life. Things will go wrong or not go as smoothly as you'd hoped, but no one will notice!" Instead, she recommends that they take the process day by day. "And remember—the end result is that you'll be married to your best friend!"
Ceremony & Reception Venue: The Chicory || Wedding Planner: Tying the Knot Wedding Coordination || Bride's Wedding Dress & Veil: Vera Wang || Shoes: Jimmy Choo || Jewelry: The Bride's Mother || Hair: Ginger Dickey || Makeup: Angela of Ashley Sievert - Makeup Artist || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jenny Yoo || Flower Girls' Attire: Little Dreamers || Groom & Groomsmen's Attire: Jos. A. Bank || Wedding Bands: Jack Sutton Fine Jewelry || Florist: Nola Flora || Invitations & Paper Goods: Hilburn Printing || Music: Ceremony - New Orleans' Finest Musicians, Reception - MoJEAUX, Second Line - Smitty Dee's Brass Band || Catering: The Chicory || Cakes: The Royal Cakery || Rentals: Event Rental, Mrs. Vintage, Fabulous Cake Stands by Nola B., Luminous Events || Favors: Leah's Pralines, POOF Gourmet Cotton Candy, Zapp's Potato Chips, Abita, Tabasco || Flip Books: Funtastic Fotos || Videography: Bride Film || Photography: Mark Eric Weddings