The Bride Wore a Cheerful Yellow Dress to This Colorful Micro Wedding in New Orleans
Schatzie Vincent, a dentist, and Jared Sessum, an energy engineer, met in March of 2015, but their history dates back to the early 2000s. "We lived in the same neighborhood in Davie, Florida, in 2001 and then Syracuse, New York, in 2008—but our paths never crossed," Schatzie explains. "We ate at the same restaurants, shopped at the same grocery store, and enjoyed the same places for entertainment, but apparently the timing was not right for the universe to bring us together." After 14 years, an app bridged the gap; at the time, Schatzie lived in Brooklyn, and Jared in Harlem. "The dating scene in a city like New York can be challenging—we both had busy schedules and the go-to dating app at the time was Tinder," the bride recalls. "We were one of the lucky couples who fell in love at first swipe." They exchanged messages for a few days before Jared asked to meet her out one night before she had to leave for a work trip. After some convincing from friends, she went on the spur-of-the-moment date filled with food, spicy cocktails, and conversation at the Hotel Delmano bar—officially starting their friendship and romance.
While on a trip in Agra, India, for Jared's 40th birthday in January 2018, he got down on one knee at the Taj Mahal to ask Schatzie to marry him. The bride describes the moment as emotional, stressful, and beautiful when he proposed at the Great Gate on the site. "I was thinking, 'This building is beautiful, but why is he getting so emotional?' as he expressed what he was feeling," Schatzie recalls. "Then he knelt down to ask those four magical words." There was just one catch—one of the family heirloom rings from the box was missing when Jared popped the question. "I was confused once again, because the engagement ring was still there," the bride explains. After Jared finished proposing, he explained that there was another ring—and then they went searching the area to track down the band (both originally belonged to his grandmother). Just when Jared began to lose hope, Schatzie spotted it on the edge of the terrace—and saved it before the ring nearly fell into the pool below. Even though the proposal's aftermath was nerve-racking, they fully enjoyed the moment (and, not to mention, walked away with a pretty epic story to tell).
The couple initially planned for a New Orleans-style wedding on April 17, 2020, at the Marigny Opera House—including a three-piece jazz band and a traditional Second Line parade. They wanted to give their 100 guests a taste of their city by hosting their nuptials during the French Quarter Festival weekend, which features performances by local musical talent. While the COVID-19 pandemic forced them to change their plans, they had their sights set on getting married in a courthouse with just their mothers as witnesses until a new opportunity presented itself in June. "We were asked if we would be interested in having our elopement in Laurenia, an event space in the Pythian building, in downtown New Orleans," Schatzie says. "[It] was very meaningful to us because it is a building of historical significance for New Orleans and especially in the Black community. Jared also works for the company that redeveloped the building, which we invested in, and the event space is beautiful." Minimal Matrimony by Sapphire Events handled all of the arrangements quickly, so the duo decided to make it a true elopement with just the two of them, since a second wave of COVID-19 hit in July. "We had fun with the photo shoot, the décor was beautiful, our vows were incredibly special, and the moment was intimate," the bride notes of their July 15, 2020, wedding. Plus, they added a virtual option so those closest to them could still be a part of their day. "We were so happy that we could share the special moment with our loved ones in a way that was safe for everyone."
Pops of Color
Schatzie wore a yellow taffeta Tory Burch dress for the big day, which she thought was a "fresh, light, and beautiful color for the summer."
An Intimate First Look
"Before the first look, I felt extremely excited and eager to share that moment with my husband-to-be," Schatzie says. "He had a beautiful card delivered to my dressing room with very personal and touching messages written in it." Once they saw each other in person, they felt at peace, they say.
A Whimsical Design
One of the couple's favorite memories from their micro wedding? Their "special and heartfelt" vows—which included a verse from "What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong.
Love from Afar
Family and friends watched the wedding via the EventLive app live stream.
Colorful and Comfortable
While the wedding didn't have any in-person guests aside from vendors, Schatzie notes that their "love filled up an almost-empty room."
Bistro tables were styled and set for the duo and their vendors—they spoke to the colorful design theme of the elopement.
A bright cerulean tablecloth topped a small cocktail table, which was encircled by a trio of bistro chairs.
All in the Details
Colorful accents, including ochre goblets, emerald table numbers, and multihued centerpieces, defined the tabletops.
A Sweet Spin
While they didn't share a formal first dance, the couple did have a few meaningful musical selections: They played "Angel" by Jack Johnson during the processional and "Northern Sky" by Nick Drake when they walked back up the aisle as husband and wife.
Bywater Bakery created the pair's tasty confection, which was decorated with gold leaf and a few buds and petals. The dessert table was flanked by a myriad of candle styles.
Love for a Lifetime
"A marriage is for two people to form a lifelong bond with each other," Schatzie says. Her best advice for other couples planning weddings during the COVID-19 pandemic? "Create a wedding that is meaningful to the both of you and don't get caught up in other people's expectations."
Photography, Theresa Elizabeth Photography
Event Design, Elle R. Jae Events
Wedding Planning, Minimal Matrimony by Sapphire Events
Flowers, Hummingbird Floral
Wedding Dress, Tory Burch
Groom's Attire, Ralph Lauren (suit); Tommy Hilfiger (tie); Cole Haan (shoes)
Candles, Firefly Ambiance
Stationery, Prim & Pixie
Furniture, Distressed Rentals & Revival
Videography, Eskimo Love Stories
Makeup, Faces of Virtue
Cake, Bywater Bakery
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