Wow, where do I start—this incredible wedding holds such a special place in my heart for so many reasons! I am so thankful Heather Rowland asked me to be her second shooter for this fabulous Southern affair! I will do my best to explain everything, but there is no way I can put into words the amount of love that surrounded this couple during their wedding weekend! I honestly feel blessed to have been a part of this wedding because of the many wonderful people I met! Not only are the Bride and Groom absolutely incredible, their families are top notch as well! The Cassanova Family is such a kind and welcoming family, and I immediately fell in love with all them! The Cassanovas have 4 kids who refer to themselves as Kid Nation, and they are hilarious! I loved getting to know each of them during the wedding weekend, and I truly hope my future kids are as amazing as the Cassanova kids! Watching their family interact with one another was so much fun and I even learned a few things I want to remember for my future family! In particular, the Jump In Jump Out game- I’m not sure if any of you know what this game is, but it is a Cassanova tradition and you should all learn it! The Groom’s family is pretty incredible as well! They are from Detroit and are just as wonderful as the Cassanovas. They were so welcoming and kind. I loved getting to know them!
Now on to the bride and groom, Kathleen + Ash, my new sweet friends! J Ash is from Detroit and Kathleen is from Texas. The couple met while working in New York City. The two are a perfect fit for one another, and are truly meant to be! I am so excited because Kathleen and Ash just recently moved to Lubbock, got new jobs, bought a house, are in the middle of a remodel, and are planning to come over to my house for dinner soon! J Kathleen was one of those phenomenal brides who was super organized and on top of everything! She made our job as photographers so much easier. True to Casssanova nature, Kathleen kept asking what I needed on her wedding day and made sure we were having fun. She is the most thoughtful bride and even gave me and Heather a gift for our hard work. Total sweetheart!
One to the weekend happenings!! We started the weekend off with early morning travels to New Orleans and the panic of lost luggage! My luggage never came off the plane and Heather and I began to get a little panicky! Then we hear “Brittany Jones please come to the Southwest baggage office”—then the panic REALLY set in! Luckily my luggage arrived early and everything was ok! We grabbed some beads, hailed a cab, and headed to the hotel! Of course, Kathleen had an adorable welcome bag waiting for us! That evening we photographed the fabulous rehearsal dinner at Broussard’s planned by Mrs. Rawls. The dinner was filled with love, laughter, and wonderful food. The toasts given at the rehearsal dinner were so meaningful and actually brought tears to my eyes. Mrs. Rawls even included Heather and I on the seating chart and treated us like guests! I was amazed by this sweet gesture and I knew the rest of the weekend was going to be awesome! We spent the remainder of the evening at the famous Carousel Bar where we mingled with the wedding party well into the night. The wedding day started off great with an old fashioned shave for the guys at Mr. Jack’s barber shop. This was a new experience for me to see and I loved it! Heather and I refreshed with a mid-morning mimosa and brunch stop at The Ruby Slipper before heading over to shoot the girls! Kathleen prepared for the wedding surrounded by her friends, mother, and sisters in the exquisite Ritz Carlton Suite. The girls calmed their wedding nerves with some bubbly and the movie Father of the Bride. Kathleen was surprised when a special delivery was made with flowers from her favorite corner florist in NYC. Ash also sent over a beautiful Steven Alan necklace adorned with the letter “J” signifying her new last name. I was swooning over this groom’s gift! So thoughtful.
Kathleen and Ash’s families both come from a multitude of cultures and their wedding was truly a rich multicultural affair. They were sure to include meaningful elements in their candlelit ceremony from all the different cultures. Rather than just having groomsmen and bridesmaids, the bride and groom’s families joined them at the alter signifying the joining of two families and the importance family has in their life. Kathleen’s dad presented the couple with 13 Cuban coins to signify financial stability throughout their marriage. Both Kathleen and Ash’s moms brought tree limbs from the homes in which their children were raised, and during the ceremony blessed the branches before intertwining them with ribbon to signify the union of the two families. My favorite moment of the ceremony was when Kathleen’s brother, Christopher, sang. He chose a song that is special to Kathleen and he sang it so well! He has such an incredible voice! Kathleen’s wedding attire was also rich in meaning – Her grandmother hand stitched the couple’s names in blue on the beautiful hankie she carried down the aisle. She wore a vintage bracelet given by her godfather as a child, and gorgeous earrings by Nancy Norton.
The reception was an amazing party and included so many custom details significant to Kathleen & Ash. Scattered around the ballroom were little unknown facts about the bride and groom that really helped the guests (and photographers) get to know them more. Kathleen and Ash’s favors were some of the cutest I have seen. They gave each guest a vintage hankie! The hankies also came into play at the end of the night, which you’ll see in the photos below! Kathleen is so creative and in keeping with the Louisiana theme, she did a traditional cake pull but in “Louisianna” rice instead of cake. Each ribbon had a special charm on the end each with a different meaning. One of her sisters selected the ring, which means the next to wed, while Kathleen’s pregnant girlfriend was given the charm that represents a new baby on the way! In lieu of a guest book, the couple had a wishing tree where guests were able to share words of wisdom with the couple. Of course, no New Orleans affair is complete without Mardi Gras Masks! Mrs. Cassanova made some amazing masks that the guests loved! Kathleen and Ash gave a very thoughtful toast to the bride’s parents thanking them for hosting such an awesome event. They also dedicated a song to them, which just happened to be the song they danced to at their wedding. Kathleen & Ash made their exit amidst waving hankies into the streets of New Orleans and lead their guests to the after party location!!
Well, I’m sorry for the novel, but I just couldn’t leave anything out! The weekend was truly an event to remember and it goes down in my books as one of the best weddings ever! Every detail was so significant to Kathleen and Ash and it made their wedding so unique. I am blessed that my dear friend Heather asked me to shoot this wedding alongside her. I am also TRULY thankful to the wonderful hosts for including me! Congrats Kathleen and Ash!