Heartfelt French Quarter Wedding at Hotel Mazarin

For Marissa and Keisha, a French Quarter wedding felt just right. New Orleans has been the backdrop for the biggest moments in their relationship, including a surprise proposal at a beignet shop! Since their families were traveling from New York City and South Carolina for the wedding, it made sense to plan their wedding in their favorite city. Their sweet wedding day at Hotel Mazarin was full of loving moments, thoughtful details, and a lot of fun! 

Two women walk towards their French Quarter wedding

An Intimate Courtyard Ceremony at Hotel Mazarin

Marissa and Keisha met while they were attending the University of Alabama for their doctorates in Clinical Psychology. Having a background in mental health as an LMSW, I immediately clicked with them. They really enjoy each other’s company and showing people how much they care. Their wedding day reflected that from beginning to end.

Two wedding dresses hang on a door.
The mothers of the brides fasten their dresses.
Wedding programs include illustrations for a French Quarter wedding.
The brides put on their earrings.
A couple gets ready at Hotel Mazarin.

On the morning of their small wedding at Hotel Mazarin, Keisha and Marissa decided to get ready together. They do this in their regular life and value the time together. Incorporating this into their wedding day made for some beautiful moments. These two are so in love with each other. It really made my job easy!

Two women put on shoes.
The couple embraces in a hallway.
The brides wear dresses with lace details.
The brides walk down the steps at Hotel Mazarin.

Keisha and Marissa embraced some wedding traditions, including classic white dresses and a formal ceremony. They made the day their own by putting their own twist on elements of their wedding. In addition to getting ready together, they had “guests of honor” as a kind of joint wedding party (as opposed to Keisha and Marissa each having their own). 

The wedding ceremony begins in the Hotel Mazarin courtyard.
The bride begins the procession.
The couple's parents escort them to the altar.
The mother of the bride embraces her at the altar
The brides meet at the altar in the Hotel Mazarin courtyard.
Trees stretch over the wedding ceremony.

One of the most prominent details of their French Quarter wedding at Hotel Mazarin was their hand painted runner. Keisha and Marissa wanted to pay homage to the LGBTQ activists who came before them. Keisha painted Justice Kennedy’s famous quote from Obergefell v Hodges, the case which, in many ways along with Loving v Virginia, set the precedent for gay marriage. The runner reads: “No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, sacrifice, and family.” It connected Keisha and Marissa’s marriage to a whole history in a truly moving way.

Brides stand at the top of a hand painted runner.
Guests smile at the couple during the ceremony.
Two women hold hands during a French Quarter wedding ceremony
A bride cries as the other reads vows.
The ceremony ends with the first kiss.

A Joyful French Quarter Wedding Parade

After their heartfelt ceremony at Hotel Mazarin, Keisha and Marissa treated their guests to a favorite feature of a French Quarter wedding – a second line parade! The Knockaz Brass Band led guests through the streets playing celebratory music that got everyone dancing. As they danced down the road, Keisha and Marissa poured their guests Yellowhammer cocktails. The bright fruity drinks matched the vibrant energy.

The brides pose in Polaroids.
A band plays at the French Quarter wedding parade.
A bride's skirt twirls in the wind.
A New Orleans wedding parade passes by.
A couple leads a second line.

Because Keisha and Marissa planned their second line during the daytime, I captured some really amazing images of them and their guests enjoying every moment. Some people choose to do a second line after dark, but the light makes it easier to photograph the joy and movement of the occasion. These photos say it all!

A band member walks beside the brides.
Guests dance at the wedding parade.
The couple smiles at the end of the wedding parade.

Even though their wedding day was a touch chilly for March, the sunshine made it ideal. We took some portraits around the colorful neighborhood as everything turned gold. The French Quarter has a romance about it that suited Keisha and Marissa’s day.

The couple embraces beside a house.
The couple walks away from the camera.
The couple stands beside a pink house after their french quarter wedding.

Keisha and Marissa’s Emotional Reception

Keisha and Marissa’s French Quarter wedding ceremony set a tender and thoughtful tone that carried through their whole reception. For their wedding favors, Keisha and Marissa did something I’d never seen before. They gave away their own books! I really loved this idea. It’s personal, practical, and cuts down significantly on waste.

A woman puts her arm around her bride.
One bride cries as the other dances with her father.
A woman leans on her mother.
A mother and daughter embrace.
One wedding guest rests her hand on another's leg.

Throughout their reception, Keisha and Marissa connected with their most important people in ways that translated to images I know they’ll treasure. They shared dances with family members and soaked up the kind toasts their guests gave. Afterward everyone hit the dance floor!

The brides sit at the sweetheart table.
A guest raises a glass during toasts.
The reception dancing begins.
People raise their arms and sing along to a song.
A guest takes a shot off a tray.

Before the night was over, though, Keisha and Marissa set one more moment aside for just the two of them. They opted for a private moonlight dance at the end of their reception. This gave their guests time to get the sparkler exit ready, but it also gave them a chance to connect with each other and be present with all the love they’d received throughout the day.

Guests dance together.
Guests do a line dance with a bride.
A guest dances with a bride.
The couple shares their first dance.
The couple kisses during a sparkler exit.

Do you want to see more New Orleans weddings like this one? Check out this Tigermen Den wedding  and this Riverview Room wedding!

Thank you to the wedding vendors who made Marissa and Keisha’s day possible:

Ceremony Venue – Hotel Mazarin 

Reception Venue – The Moore Venue 

Makeup/Hair – Glam Nola 

Wedding dresses – Uniquely You Bridal 

Food – 12 Seasons & Mr. Mudbug Catering 

Videography – Smoove Films & Media Productions LLC 

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