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Characterize Your Wedding

  • Barbie Oltmann

  • Heirloom conch shell

  • Wedding theme coloring books

  • The Wedding Cake

  • Centerpieces

  • The Wedding Program

Every bride wants a spectacular event when she gets married. Having a pretty, well decorated event is different from having a meaningful, well thought out “Wow” event. “Wow” does not necessarily mean expensive. It means something special to the bride and groom. It’s their day. Everything involved in putting their day together should revolve around them: Who they are; where they come from; where they’re headed. Don’t let Aunt Sally ruin it by convincing you that your wedding should be a certain way.

For example, Barbie and Erik Oltmann, of New Orleans, chose a beach wedding because of their love for the sea. Barbie’s little brother, Spencer, carried a conch shell that her parents found when they too were married on the beach. Barbie’s bouquet was made of long stemmed garden roses just like the variety she discovered on a trip to Monet’s Garden with her paternal Grandmother. Her veil was purchased in Paris on this same trip. Barbie’s wedding band was handed down to her by her maternal Grandmother.

The wedding weekend was packed with lively activities to celebrate Barbie and Erik’s marriage. Barbie’s Godparents entertained the bridal party with a welcome party the day of arrival, followed the next day by spa treatments, tacos and tequila for lunch, and finally, her Grandmother created a scavenger hunt on the beach the day before the wedding. The couple and entire wedding party followed clues around Rosemary Beach to find a bridal chest. Inside the chest was a plethora of heirlooms including her Grandmother’s garter and hankie.

Erik is not fond of cake, can you believe that! His Grooms Cake consisted of mini crème’ brule displayed on a tower of clam shells. At the rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding, Guests were treated to an Armadillo Cake to mock Barbie’s favorite movie “Steel Magnolias”.

Even though the reception was a casual and chic garden party, Barbie’s personality was best suited with crystal chandeliers in the tent along with center pieces of crystal bowls with floating garden roses and mother of pearl hurricanes. The table linens were custom made with a plaid taffeta that was muted by organza overlays and embroidered silk overlays, all with crystal beading. The plaid fabric was carried through the entire wedding from the conch shell, to the bow in flower girl, Kate’s hair. The boutonnieres were wrapped in sea grass and plaid fabric, along with the bridesmaid’s bouquets of garden roses.

Barbie and Erik have a passion for photo booths. They never passed up an opportunity to climb into a booth and take funny pictures of themselves. To add to the wedding fun they had a photo booth at the reception. Guests took hilarious pictures of themselves with different hats and props. Every guest kept a sheet of their pictures and a copy was placed in an album for Barbie and Erik to keep. To keep with the photo theme, the guests were given photo frames as a favor. One contained a funny picture of Barbie and Erik during one of their photo booth sessions while dating, the other for the guest to put their own photo booth picture.

Erik’s love of dancing was boosted by the steel drum band, that kept everyone dancing all night. Even though they weren’t in New Orleans, the guests were true New Orleanians. There wasn’t a soul sitting when the second-line was led by Erik and Barbie with her paper parasol trimmed with crystal beading.

Barbie and Erik’s personalities would be described as FUN. That’s what they wanted to create for their wedding. Lots of fun. From the lemonade refreshment stand for the guests prior to the ceremony to the second line and limbo, Barbie and Erik made sure their guests had a great time. The destination chosen for this couple well suited their personalities as well and created a type of reunion for both families. Erik had family from Oregon, Arkansas, Mississippi and all parts of Louisiana to reunite for a great event. Barbie had family from Mississippi and Louisiana, plus bridesmaids from as far as Washington DC. The beach destination was a time for all to gather, enjoy family and watch these two start their new life.

Any other type of wedding for this couple would not have been in character with who they are. The most important thing you can do when planning your wedding is to stop and think about your personality and what will make you happy. If you are a princess and want a Cinderella Dream Wedding, then that’s what you should create. If you have a love for horses, your choice may be a garden party at a horse ranch. The ideas are endless, but the best thing is, only you can decide what you want.

The easiest way is to sit down and make a list of your favorite colors, interests, hobbies, likes and dislikes. Use those special things to create a special day. The good thing is, New Orleans and the Gulf Coast are fabulous venues for characterized weddings. You can find something to fit any personality. If you want to look back on your wedding day and say, “that was the most memorable day (or weekend) of my life”, characterize your wedding.

  • Suzanne Fox
  • The Party Fox
  • A Wedding and Party Shoppe
  • 3204 Lake Villa Drive
  • Metairie, Louisiana