This Couple Won a Professionally Planned Micro Wedding in New Orleans
Maite Rodriguez and Torrey Pierce's originally-planned New Orleans wedding was intended to host 200 guests—a mix of both local and international loved ones—in a large ballroom, with plenty of good food and endless dancing. However, when the pandemic derailed their elaborate plans, the pair cut the guest list and scaled everything down to what fit inside the guidelines set by the city. "Postponing was simply not an option for us," says Maite, noting that their re-plan, however, was also threatened by COVID-19. Amid their changing strategies, Maite came across a wedding giveaway on Instagram, and—with no real thought of winning—decided to enter it. "Seven short days later, I received a direct message that I was the winner," she says. "Insert total shock and awe."
The prize was an intimate event led by an amazing team of luxury wedding professionals. "Admittedly, I chose nothing," says Maite. "The creative team selected everything—our color palette, our attire, and even my lipstick color! Seriously, I had no say, and I must admit, it was the best feeling ever. We put our entire trust in the creative team, which put us at ease. We knew it was going to be fabulous, no matter what." Michelle Norwood of Michelle Norwood Designs held the key to the vision for the intimate event. "We had the best planner and creative partners in the world," says the bride. "From the time I entered the contest to the wedding day—which was about three weeks—the surprises were endless."
The storybook grounds of the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum served as the site for the couple's nuptials. Brick pathways contrasted beautifully with the surrounding trees and greenery, and ambient lighting gave the space a romantic glow. Throughout the décor, neutral shades of sand and toffee were accented with hints of burgundy and gold, pulling in some of the colors from the couple's original design plan. "Stepping into our day was a feeling unlike any other," says Maite. "It was surreal taking it all in as I walked down the aisle. It was like the vendors all knew us and knew exactly what we wanted. It was magical and perfect, a day we will forever cherish."
The couple celebrated their union with a Champagne toast and wedding cake. Dancing—as originally intended—was also a huge part of their soirée. "Honestly, we enjoyed our intimate wedding so much, it makes the larger wedding a bit up in the air at this point," says the bride. "We may have a big celebration for our anniversary or much later down the road for our vow renewal." Their experience was so memorable, that they encourage other couples not to lament having to change their plans. "It will all work out and be the most special day by virtue that you are marrying the love of your life," explains Maite.
The creative team channeled an Old-Hollywood vibe for Maite's big-day look, an aesthetic that was achieved in part by her one-shouldered, draped-bodice wedding dress by Amsale. Bold makeup and glam waves completed the look.
A Team Effort
Her fluid satin dress was perfection. "Our photographer, Mo Davis, chose my gown before I ever saw it," she shares. "When I put it on, it fit like a glove. I stepped out of the dressing room to a chorus of 'oohs' and 'ahhhs,' and knew it was the one."
Maite's bouquet—arranged by Leaf and Petal New Orleans—included roses, peonies, dahlias, and ranunculus in shades of sand, toffee, and burgundy amid loose greenery. "The shape was natural and organic, as if the flowers were picked straight from a garden in France," says the bride.
Torrey wore a contemporary tuxedo from John's Tuxedos; the ensemble featured a side-vented, single-breasted coat with a modern fit. He embellished the look with a very special accessory: "It was a must that I wear my burgundy socks," he says. "Maite gifted them to me on our wedding day!"
The pair met at Beauregard-Keyes Garden for their first look. "I was unexpectedly nervous," says Torrey. "When Mo put me in place, my heart began to race, and when I saw Maite for the first time, she looked angelic. The world went silent and all I saw was how beautiful my wife-to-be looked."
"It was a really sweet moment," agrees Maite. "The light in his eyes and his cheek-to-cheek smile just warmed my heart. Everything was perfect."
Dancing in the middle of street after their first look was one of their big-day highlights: "We danced to the beat of our own drum and felt as if we had the city to ourselves," says Maite.
Back at New Orleans Pharmacy Museum, a ceremony altar was created under a gated floral arch, filled with lush greenery sprinkled with roses, peonies, dahlias, and ranunculus. "It was framed with candles at the base and on the fountain behind it," adds Maite.
A Spiritual Service
During the couple's Christian ceremony, the pair traded vows that were written by their spiritual parents, their pastors. "God was most certainly the center of our ceremony," says Maite of the exchange.
Husband and Wife
Maite and Torrey shared a kiss beneath the arbor after they were pronounced husband and wife.
A New Orleans Tradition
With the help of Knockaz Brass Band, Maite and Torrey started a second line and began dancing with all of their guests in true celebratory fashion.
"We were led by the best brass band in the city," says the bride. "It was a moment that was perfect for our intimate wedding."
The couple's son took a turn on the dance floor, as well, second line umbrella in hand.
A Champagne Reception
Bottles of rosé awaited the couple and their guests after the conclusion of the second line dance party.
The newly-minted husband and wife poured Champagne into a tower of coupes, kicking off the latter half of the event.
A Buttercream Beauty
Chasing Wang designed a double-tiered, almond-flavored wedding cake iced in rough-edged buttercream with hand-painted and edible dried florals. "The cake was not only aesthetically beautiful, it was delicious!" praises Maite. The confection was placed atop a lovely vintage platter.
A Cut Above
The cake cutting ceremony was a special ritual to the couple, as was feeding each other the first slice. "It's such a traditional moment," says the bride. "With COVID-19 and not knowing what our wedding would be like, it was nice to have a little bit of tradition as part of our day."
Photography, Mo Davis Photography
Venue, New Orleans Pharmacy Museum
First-Look Venue, Beauregard Keyes Garden
Wedding Planning and Event Design, Michelle Norwood
Flowers, Leaf and Petal New Orleans
Invitations, Eglantine Rose Letterpress
Celebrant, Latoya Herr
Bride's Gown, Amsale via Wedding Belles Nola
Jewelry and Hair Accessories, Faces of Virtue Bridal Collection
Hair and Makeup, Faces of Virtue
Groom's Attire, John's Tuxedos
Music, Knockaz Brass Band
Cake, Chasing Wang
Rentals, Lovegood Rentals
Lighting, House of Modern Vintage Nola