Colleen & RJ | New Orleans Wedding with Desiree Watkins Photography, Brooke Casey Weddings, Popp

There are so many details we LOVE about this wedding. From the talented vendors to one of the coolest second lines we have seen, this eclectic wedding is one of the books!

We borrowed some from Q&A's from their trusty wedding planner, Brooke Casey Weddings. Check out more below:

How did you two meet?!

We met on St. Patricks Day in March of our Freshman year at Notre Dame. St. Patty's is a big deal at Notre Dame, and both of our families are big Fighting Irish fans, so it was quite the auspicious day to meet.

Tell us about the proposal!

Colleen is was born and raised in Texas. Colleen and RJ were attending the first Notre Dame football game of the season vs. the University of Texas in Austin with her family and a large group of Notre Dame folk. On Saturday morning, they were walking with Colleen's family along the Colorado River that cuts through the city and her family decided to turn back to get ready for the day. RJ asked Colleen to keep walking for a little while longer. As they walked, they came across a little path that jutted into the woods and decided to take it. At the end of the path there lay a fallen log. Fighting swarms of mosquitos and sweaty from the Texas Labor Day heat, RJ and Colleen sat side by side on the log and looked out on the river, completely secluded from the busy riverwalk. RJ pulled out a ring and asked Colleen to marry him. While it might not necessarily sound like the most traditional or elaborate proposal to others, it was a perfect metaphor for our eclectic and spontaneous relationship, and a perfect way to launch the next chapter.

Tell us about the dress!

The dress was the Devon from the Theia line. Colleen always knew she wanted a dress that was simple and slimming, and this dress was just that! She absolutely loved wearing it.

3. What is your favorite memory from the wedding day?

Without a doubt the Second Line was our favorite memory of the day. When Colleen and RJ lived in New Orleans they used to watch second lines from their front porch and always said they wanted to have one at their own wedding. Since neither of us were New Orleans natives, 95% of our guests were from out-of-state and had never experience a second line either. Afterwards, our guests kept telling us that it was one of the coolest things they had ever experienced. Our college friends have since decided that we should periodically hold second lines just for fun :). Our second line started at Coliseum park and marched to Il Mercato, passing Colleen's old house and front porch, which brought the memory full circle. The Kinfolk Brass Band was absolutely incredible. About half way through the parade, we formed a dance circle and everyone danced themselves silly. The photos from this part of the parade are amazing. We will never forget it.

What made you choose New Orleans and specifically il Mercato for your wedding?

Colleen moved to New Orleans after graduating from Notre Dame. After spending a year on the Navajo reservation in Arizona, RJ joined her there. They both fell deeply in love with the grit and music in the city. In fact, we are hoping to move back to New Orleans after completing our respective post-graduate programs. When we thought about where we would get married, it was no question. We decided we wanted it to be in New Orleans over Jazz Fest (our favorite weekend in the city) and began looking for a venue that was indoor/outdoor and could accommodate 200+ people. Colleen was nearly stumped when she remembered that an old market around the corner from her old house in New Orleans was being renovated for events while she was living there. Sure enough, she located Il Mercato online and knew it was the perfect place for them. Beyond the location in their old neighborhood, RJ and Colleen loved the Spanish architecture of Il Mercato and how it satisfied the indoor/outdoor requirement. We also heard the food was fabulous (and it was). We were so thrilled the day we signed the contract with Il Mercato and finally "knew" our wedding was going to happen on the weekend we wanted, in the space we wanted.

What's next for the new Mr. and Mrs?

We are currently excited about living in Detroit, a city that has many similarities to New Orleans, including the grittiness and unique music tradition that we so loved about the Crescent City. Detroit is currently experiencing a revitalization and is super fun to explore! Colleen is finishing her Masters of Social Work in December, RJ has two more years of Medical School. We are looking forward to exploring the music, arts, and culture that the Motor city has to offer.

Event Management | Brooke Casey Weddings

Photography | Desiree Watkins

Video | Apercu Films

Church | Immaculate Conception

Reception Venue | il Mercato

Floral Design | Poppy & Mint Floral Company

Lighting | Luminous Events

Reception Music | Aaron Lane Entertainment

Hair & MUA | Glam Nola

Transportation | Alert Transportation and Hotard

Rentals | Lovegood Rentals

Bakery | Pure Cake

Jazz Band | Sweet Substitute Jazz Band

Brass Band | Kinfolk Brass Band



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