Wisteria-Inspired New Orleans Wedding at Race & Religious

March 18, 2017 | Junebug Weddings

College sweethearts Ashley and Dustin originally planned to elope somewhere tropical until one fateful night on Pinterest led them to find Race & Religious in New Orleans – and it was love at first sight! Inspired by the wisteria color of the bridesmaids’ Rory Beca dresses, the couple created a gorgeous wedding day palette of purple, blush, and sage green. They kept the décor to a minimum to show off the historic beauty of the venue and allowed the elegant and understated floral design by Antigua Floral + Styling to set a romantic vibe for both the ceremony and reception. The bride looked lovely in a lace mermaid gown from I Do Bridal Couture, simple half-up hairstyle, and natural makeup. Kelly Giarrocco Photography captured every detail beautifully.

The Couple:

Ashley and Dustin

The Wedding:

Race & Religious, New Orleans, Louisiana

I like to say our venue chose us! We originally thought we were going to elope somewhere tropical since our families lived so far apart and we didn’t want to put the pressure on either side to travel. One day, I was scrolling through my Pinterest board looking at all the old pins I had listed under what I had titled as “eventually” (and when I say old pins I’m talking like my very first pins circa 5 years ago), and I came across this picturesque scene of a rehearsal dinner that had taken place next to this gorgeous pool with brick floors, old shutters, palm trees and a stunning balcony. I did some digging and figured out that this dream place of mine was actually only a short hour drive in New Orleans! We went ahead and booked a private tour for Race & Religious and knew as soon as we stepped inside that this was the place for us. We made a complete 360 from thinking we were going to elope, to only including our parents in a small ceremony, to a full on wedding at one of the most beautiful and quaint places we could imagine. It had all the right vibes, and I knew my Nebraskan family would delight in the old-time feel of New Orleans.

We both wanted to do a “unity” ceremony but weren’t keen on the typical sand pouring/candle lighting traditions. After hours of googling, I came across the idea of having a unity tree. My parents brought dirt from my hometown and Dustin‘s parents brought dirt from his. We bought a small magnolia tree and had it sitting in a planter at the front of our ceremony. We poured the dirt from our home towns and watered it together. We will eventually plant it permanently at our house so we can see it every day and be reminded of the care it takes to keep marriage alive.

Flowers were a big deal for me, and Sara and her Antigua styling team knocked it out of the park! We met for the first time on the day of the wedding, so it was pretty amazing (to say the least) that she was able to make my vision come to life only through a few email correspondences.

Processional (Wedding Party) – “Flightless Bird” by American Mouth
Processional (Bride) – “Canon in D” by Pachelbel
Unity Tree Ceremony – “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley (instrumental version)
Recessional – “All You Need Is Love” by The Beatles and “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz (instrumental versions)
First Dance – “At Last” by Etta James

The Wedding Team:

Photography – Kelly Giarrocco Photography
Event Planning – Mint Julep Productions
Venue – Race & Religious
Floral Design – Antigua Floral + Styling
Catering and Rentals – Palate New Orleans
Cake – Bittersweet Confections
DJ – LA Music Source
Live Music – New Orleans Classical and Jazz
Invitations – Minted
Wedding Dress and Accessories – I Do Bridal Couture
Bridesmaids’ Apparel – Rory Beca
Groom and Groomsmen’s Apparel – After 5 The Tuxedo Company
Groom’s Ring – Hannon Jewelers
Favors – La Louisiane Bakery


A big congratulations to Ashley and Dustin, and an extra special thanks to Kelly Giarrocco Photography for sharing these wedding photos with Junebug! For more beautiful photos by Kelly, check out this romantic cool Williamsburg wedding at Aurora!

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