A Festive, Fun-Filled Wedding Weekend in Historic New Orleans

Planned by Grand Events NOLA

Tate Gillman and Kyle Beaudouin were married in New Orleans.
Photo by Hannah Pickle

When Tate Gillman’s best friends first met Kyle Beaudouin, they were perhaps more excited than his future wife, Tate. “They kept sending me pictures and talking him up,” she recalls with a laugh. Two weeks later, Tate joined them for a game of bocce on the Boston Common and met Kyle herself. She realized they'd been right. “We hit it off instantly," she says. "We went on our first date a few days later and the rest is history.”

Four years later, Kyle proposed in the bride’s hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennslyvania. “We were home on Labor Day weekend for a friend’s wedding, and the night before, we ventured up the Incline, a cable car that takes passengers up Mount Washington and overlooks the city,” Tate recalls. “With a photographer inconspicuously looking like a tourist taking pictures of us nearby, Kyle got down on one knee while my family watched from the restaurant next door.”

For their wedding, the couple looked to another special destination: New Orleans, where Tate's family has a home in the Lower Garden District. "We'd always talked about getting married in New Orleans,” she says. There, the Boston-based couple envisioned a multi-day event that “would show our friends and family the wonderful character of our favorite city.”

Read on to see their fun-filled wedding weekend featuring the best of the Big Easy (from its world-famous food and music to traditions unique to NOLA!) as photographed by Hannah Pickle and planned by Kenny LaCour of Grand Events NOLA

The bride poses at the welcome dinner
Photo by Hannah Pickle 

The couple held events at different locations throughout the city, starting with New Orleans landmark restaurant Arnaud’s for the rehearsal dinner. For night one, Tate wore a jumpsuit by Rime Arodaky that had caught her eye while dress shopping. “The fitted pants, embossed sleeves, bareback, and the drama of an embroidered tulle train are what dreams are made of!” she says. “Rather than save the jumpsuit for a change at the reception, it became clear that I had found the perfect look for my rehearsal dinner.” 

The couple tosses beads to passersby on Bourbon Street
Photo by Hannah Pickle 
The couple kisses at their welcome dinner
Photo by Hannah Pickle 
The couple leads the second line through New Orleans
Photo by Hannah Pickle 
The couple kisses during the second line procession
 Photo by Hannah Pickle

“Following dinner, we invited all our guests to join us at Arnaud’s for a dessert and champagne reception,” says the bride. “And, of course, bead throwing from a balcony on Bourbon Street.” The couple then led 175 friends and family through the streets of the French Quarter in a traditional Second Line parade, complete with handkerchiefs for waving, parasols for the couple, and passersby who joined in along the route. “It was spectacular!” 

Exterior of Race & Religious
Photo by Hannah Pickle 
Bridesmaids chat on the balcony of Race & Religious
 Photo by Hannah Pickle

The next day, Tate and her bridal party got ready at reception site Race & Religious, an event venue housed in restored 1830s Creole cottages and named for its location at the intersection of Race and Religious Streets.

The bride gets into her wedding dress
 Photo by Hannah Pickle
The bride's wedding shoes detail
 Photo by Hannah Pickle

When the bride and her mother went wedding dress shopping, Tate says a silk-faille Carolina Herrera gown took both she and her mother's breath away. "When I turned around and saw myself in the mirror, I was covered in goosebumps and tears were streaming down my cheeks," she recalls. "If that wasn’t enough to convince me, when I went back in to try it on for my maid of honor (who only cries from laughing too hard), she started fumbling for tissues. There was no question in my mind." To add a touch of whimsy on the big-day, Tate wore white feathered heels by Pour La Victoire.

Portrait of the bride in her wedding dress
 Photo by Hannah Pickle
Portrait of the bride in her wedding gown
 Photo by Hannah Pickle

Tate completed her bridal look with pearl drop earrings (a gift from her mother) and her fraternal grandmother's vintage diamond ring. "I also wore my mother’s original wedding ring on my right pinkie finger because her hands are so tiny," she says. "I wear it every day but having it on that weekend was extra special."

The bridesmaids wait to see the bride in her dress
 Photo by Hannah Pickle
Bridesmaids react to seeing the bride in her dress
 Photo by Hannah Pickle

Before the official first look with Kyle, Tate did another first look with her 'maids, who dressed in shades of blue.

The bride and groom at their first look
 Photo by Hannah Pickle
The groom gets emotional during first look
 Photo by Hannah Pickle

Kyle and Tate did their first look upstairs at Race & Religious and Kyle (visibly!) got emotional upon seeing Tate in her classic Carolina Herrera dress.

The bride and groom pose for portraits
 Photo by Hannah Pickle
The bride poses with her bridesmaids
Photo by Hannah Pickle
The bride poses with her bridesmaids
 Photo by Hannah Pickle
The groom and his groomsmen
Photo by Hannah Pickle 

The couple and their wedding parties posed for photos outside of their ceremony venue, Felicity Church. The bridesmaids wore gowns by Jenny Yoo and Reformation, while the groomsmen looked dapper in tuxes from Men's Wearhouse. Kyle wore a bespoke navy tuxedo, velvet smoking slippers, and silver cufflinks, which were a wedding gift from Tate. "I also requested he wear his glasses," Tate admits. "Since the day I met him, he’s never worn contacts and on the biggest day of our lives, I wanted him to look like himself. So that meant, glasses ON! He has the biggest, most beautiful, bright blue eyes, and I find that they stand out even more with his glasses on. He looked perfect." 

Felicity Church interior
 Photo by Hannah Pickle
Ceremony at Felicity Church
 Photo by Hannah Pickle
Ceremony at Felicity Church
 Photo by Hannah Pickle

In addition to green-and-white arrangements created by Antigua Floral + Styling, two Moroccan rugs from Tate's family's home decorated the aisle. "Before the doors opened and my dad walked me down the aisle, I looked down and saw the rug from our hallway at home peeking out," she recalls. "This small touch provided both of us a sense of calm before taking those first steps."

The couple share their first kiss during the ceremony
 Photo by Hannah Pickle

Kyle and I are big fans of 'The Office' so I started my vows with a Michael Scott joke. I was worried no one would get it, but it made Kyle laugh, so it was a success!

The couple recess down the aisle
 Photo by Hannah Pickle

Kyle and Tate were married by the bride's childhood friend, who she describes as "one of the smartest and most eloquent people I know." "She had Kyle and I fill out a questionnaire and used our answers, as well as input she received from interviewing our siblings, to craft a spectacular and beautiful timeline of both of our childhoods, ultimately weaving our paths and speaking to us as a couple," she says. "There was truly not a dry eye in the house."

There were funny moments, too. "Kyle and I are big fans of 'The Office' so I started my vows with a Michael Scott joke. I was worried no one would get it, but it made Kyle laugh, so it was a success!" After sharing their first kiss, the couple recessed to Coldplay's "A Sky Full of Stars" performed by a string trio.

The bride and groom leave the church
Photo by Hannah Pickle 
The bride and groom leave the church
 Photo by Hannah Pickle
The couple leaves the ceremony
Photo by Hannah Pickle 

Friends and family tossed rose petals as the newlyweds exited the church. "It's a tradition in New Orleans for the bride and groom to have a private dinner before the reception starts," says Tate. "We went right to a hidden room connected to the main house of Race & Religious by a small bridge, kicked our shoes off, and took a deep breath. Our wedding planner had set up a little table with two glasses of champagne. We appreciated the chance to enjoy the fabulous food and watched out of the window below as guests walked into the venue. We loved seeing their reactions to the incredible space. It was an amazing couple of minutes for just for the two of us to think back on the day and get ready for the rest of the night."

Cocktail hour around the pool at Race & Religious
 Photo by Hannah Pickle
Reception floral arrangement detail
 Photo by Hannah Pickle

Below, guests mingled around Race & Religious, where bars, food stations, and cigar and bourbon "rooms" were set up in nooks and crannies throughout the space to create a flow that made the most of the property's unique layout. "My favorite piece was an eight-foot-tall arrangement that cascaded down an antique table, greeting guests as they were handed champagne upon entering the venue," adds the bride.

Following tradition, dinner was served by roving servers and food stations instead of a sit-down dinner. "While we initially had our reservations about the Southern-style reception and how it would be received, guests raved about the format and appreciated the chance to explore the space and eat at their leisure, in between hitting the dance floor and socializing," Tate explains.

bride and groom toast
Photo by Hannah Pickle

One of the funniest stories from the night came from the bride's father and a local tradition. "You bury a bottle of bourbon upside down a month before the wedding in the spot where you’ll get married to keep the rain away on your wedding day," Tate explains. "My dad grabbed a shovel and a bottle of bourbon and marched over to Race and Religious on October 11th and asked to dig a hole. It was pouring most of the weekend, but the day of our wedding we didn’t see a drop of rain! We had a bourbon bar and later in the evening we started to run low. My dad and my brothers remembered the bottle and dug it up and passed it around for everyone to drink from."

The couple share their first dance
 Photo by Hannah Pickle
The couple kiss during their first dance
Photo by Hannah Pickle 

The couple shared their first dance to "Beyond," by Leon Bridges. The bride and her father also swayed to "Walking in Memphis," by Marc Cohn, while Kyle and his mother chose "Dancing in the Street" by Martha and the Vandellas for their special dance.

wedding cake
Photo by Hannah Pickle
The couple cuts their wedding cake
 Photo by Hannah Pickle
The couple laugh during the reception
 Photo by Hannah Pickle

Tate and Kyle cut into a three-tiered Funfetti cake with buttercream frosting. It was decorated with whimsical flowers to mimic the rest of the reception design.

french cake
Photo by Hannah Pickle
Dessert detail
 Photo by Hannah Pickle

In addition to a wedding cake, Tate and Kyle set up two dessert tables, which featured a tower of croquembouche, a French tradition, and cookies from Pittsburgh as a nod to the bride's hometown.

The bride reacts to a band member playing saxophone
 Photo by Hannah Pickle
The couple shares a kiss at the reception
Photo by Hannah Pickle

Local band Phunkey Monkeys kept everyone on the dance floor. "They were off the charts!" says the bride. The following morning, the couple hosted a casual brunch at Lucy's Retired Surfers Bar and Restaurant. "Nearly everyone stopped by to rehash their favorite moments from the previous night and have a few more bites of grits and a Bloody Mary before their trip home," Tate says. "It was the perfect weekend wrap-up!"

Rehearsal Dinner Venue: Arnaud’s || Second Line Band: Kinfolk Brass Band || Bride's Rehearsal Dinner Jumpsuit: Rime Arodaky || Ceremony Venue: Felicity Church || Reception Venue: Race & Religious || Wedding Planner & Rentals: Grand Events NOLA || Bride’s Dress: Carolina Herrera || Bride’s Shoes: Pour La Victoire || Hair & Makeup: Glam NOLA || Groom’s Attire: Classic Tuxedo || Bridesmaid Dresses: Jenny Yoo || Groomsmen’s Attire: Men’s Warehouse || Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: Barmakian Jewelers || Floral Design: Antigua Floral + Styling || Wedding Invitations & Guest Book: Scriptura || Paper Products: Nota Bene || Music: Harry Hardin Music || Catering: Dakota Catering || Wedding Cake & Croquembouche: Zoe’s Bakery || Cookies: La Louisiane Bakery || Mini Doberge Bites: Bakery Bar || Transportation: Hotard || Accommodations: Windsor Court Hotel || Videography: Apercu Films || Photography: Hannah Pickle 

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