Caitlin and Chase Mattison were practically fated to end up together—with a little help from their closest friends, that is. While assuming roles in a wedding party, the pair first met in 2008 when their respective BFF's tied the knot. Although both were in separate relationships at the time, the bride admits that the "the spark was definitely lit." Further predetermining their inevitable romance, the couple's same friends called on Chase and Caitlin to reunite as godparents at their daughter's baptism three years later.
Long story short, their written-in-the-stars reunion immediately instigated a long distance relationship from New York City to San Fransisco, which later prompted the groom to relocate to the Big Apple.
After co-designing the bride's ring in New Orleans a few months prior, Chase popped the question in October 2016. Caitlin had been getting ready for brunch (a favorite New York pastime of theirs), absentmindedly searching for a specific shoe, when she turned to see Chase down on one knee in the living room. "I’m pretty sure I screamed when he asked if I would marry him," she recalls with a laugh. Chase had also arranged for the post-proposal brunch to feature a surprise visit from the couple's friends.
"I was not expecting it at all, and it really made the day even better," she says.
The Big Easy proved to be a sentimental locale not only for Caitlin's engagement ring, but also as the venue for the wedding itself. And, believe it or not, the couple's January 13, 2018, nuptials actually centered around a piece of wallpaper! "My main source of inspiration for our wedding is based upon the Spring 2017 wallpaper collaboration between Aquazzura and de Gournay," the bride explains. "The tropical chinoiserie wallpaper, called Amazonia, draws heavily upon 19th century botanical illustrations, but the background of the design, an appealing shade of millennial pink, adds a vibrant pop of color." The chic home decor perfectly encapsulated the couple's modern-meets-vintage wedding style, which was also made possible thanks to a washed-out color palette with tropical contrasts.
Muted pinks, blues, and greens largely contributed to the wedding's overall vintage-inspired vibe. The graphic designer behind the pair's invitation suite also created custom handkerchief wedding favors, decorated with hand-sketched images of popular New Orleans motifs and locales.
Caitlin fell for the first dress she tried n—a lace, mermaid-style Berta off-the-shoulder number—but actually (regrettably) put down a deposit for a different gown. Thankfully, though, Chase came to the rescue. "I woke up and immediately called my then-fiancé crying about how I had bought the wrong dress," she recalls. "Long story short, he had to call the store and talk them into letting me change my order. Luckily, he worked some magic, and I was able to get the dress I really wanted."
The bride also used parts of a family heirloom—a wreath from her grandmother—to create a comb hairpiece for her ensemble, as well as matching bracelets for her mother and sister. "It meant a lot that we each had a part of my grandmother there with us on that special day," she says.
The groom worked closely with Alabama-based luxury designer Billy Reid for his slim-fit tuxedo. The ensemble featured a silk lining adorned with a pelican design, which payed homage to Louisiana. Chase also accessorized with a Shinola watch, one of his first gifts from Caitlin.
Aiming for a cohesive look that still felt whimsical, Caitlin pulled an assortment of bridesmaid dresses from the Jenny Yoo Collection. Along with soft, solid shades, she chose one patterned floral frock to contribute to the vintage allure. She also selected bridesmaids' bouquets that mirrored her own—an elegant blend of garden roses, sweet peas, twisting greenery, and delicate flowers, tied together with a silk ribbon.
"We wanted a place that really felt local in New Orleans," the bride explains of their indoor-outdoor wedding venue of choice, Il Mercato. "From the moment we walked through the courtyard gate, we knew this was the place for us!"
The couple commissioned a local artist to create the ceremony façade—a tropical chinoiserie scene reminiscent of Caitlin's wallpaper inspiration. "The upper outline of the façade incorporated eye-catching curvature inspired by Moroccan archways," she says. Lush greenery and flowers framed the backdrop, while large, chinoiserie-style vases filled with tropical leaves lined the aisle.
Coming full circle, the mother of the the bride's best friend (whose wedding started it all!) ended up marrying the pair. "Liz has known me since I was born, and she has seen our relationship grow and develop since day one," says Caitlin.
Migrating indoors for the reception, guests dined a variety of farm or round tables amidst semi-wild floral arrangements, greenery, and an assortment of candles. The dinner menu featured picks from a few local NOLA eateries, including blue crab beignets, Natchitoches meat pies, and barbecue shrimp and grits.
A special white wall covered in a vertical ivy-covered trellis was created as a backdrop for the band. "It unified the design elements placed inside and outside the venue," adds the bride. "It also did a fabulous job of creating a courtyard ambiance for the guests inside." Further personalizing the space, the music-loving couple converted lyrics from rapper Biggie Smalls into neon signs.
The ceremony façade did double duty, transforming into two separate signature cocktail bars representative of the bride and groom Hers, a spicy margarita station; his, an Old Fashioned bar.
For the ultimate musical entertainment, Caitlin and Chase arranged for one of their favorite musicians, Matthew Vasquez from the band Delta Spirit, to perform at the afterparty. And, pulling out one last surprise, New Orleans' only all-male dance crew, 610 Stompers, wowed guests with a 30-minute dance routine.
"We wanted our wedding to be a ceremonious gathering that would host friends and family for a night of intimate celebration, exceptional creative design, and funky musical talent," Caitlin ultimately explains of the big day.
Venue: Il Mercato || Wedding Planning & Design: Sapphire Events || Bride's Dress: Berta || Bride's Veil: Hushed Commotion || Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo || Hair & Makeup: Flawless Bride || Bridesmaids' Dresses & Flower Girl Attire: Jenny Yoo Collection || Mother of the Bride Dress: Marchesa || Groom's Attire: Billy Reid || Ring Bearer Attire: Appaman || Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: Friend & Company || Floral Design: Poppy & Mint Floral Company || Invitations & Paper Products: WalkingMan Studios || Calligrapher: V Calligraphy || Music: New Orleans Classical and Jazz, Kinfolk Brass Band, Az IzZ Band, Matthew Vasquez || Catering: Joel's Catering || Cake: Chasing Wang Bakery || Rentals: Luminous Events, Distressed Rentals and Revival, Perrier Party Rentals || Favors: Backyard Printing || Transportation: Limousine Livery || Accommodations: Ace Hotel, Windsor Court Hotel || Videographer & Photographer: Mon Soleil || Ceremony Backdrop Artist: Alexandra Kilburn