Gambit readers chose Elizabeth and Andrew from among finalists who registered this summer to win a free wedding reception worth more than $36,000. In addition to supplies and services, The Partners planned and executed everything for the wedding couple.
"It was wonderful," says Elizabeth, who resigned her hotel management job as the wedding approached. "It was more than we could ever imagine. I was a little nervous, not knowing what was really going to happen (because the wedding and reception had been planned so quickly -- in a little over two months), but I trusted all the people involved, because I'd seen their work. I'd also heard a lot about them through people who have gotten married."
Since returning from a weeklong honeymoon in Italy, she's spent a lot of time writing thank-you notes and fielding compliments and inquiries about details of the wedding from some of the 400 guests who attended. It started with the custom invitations from Scriptura (5423 Magazine St., 897-1555; 328 Chartres St., 299-1234; Lakeside Shopping Center, 3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 219-1113), which were handcrafted in the store and finished with a wax seal. "They were very special," Elizabeth says. "Lots of people have asked me about them because they're not the usual."
Photographer Jeff Pounds of Jeff Pounds Photography (891-8888; jeffpounds.com), known for candid personality shots, took photographs at both the wedding ceremony at St. Patrick's Church and the reception at LaTrobe's on Royal (403 Royal St., 299-0601). The decor was enhanced by Perrier Party Rentals (109 Industrial Ave., Jefferson, 834-8570) and Urban Earth (1528 Jackson Ave., 524-0100; www.urbanearthflowers.com) floral creations. The food and wedding cake were catered by Joel (3930 Euphrosine St., 827-2400). To add ambience and fun to the reception, New Orleans Music Events (1523 Dublin St., 866-8821; www.nomusicevents.com) brought in the party band, Obsession.
"Everything was perfect," the bride says. At the church ceremony, the couple traveled to the reception in a limo from London Livery Ltd. (771 S. Prieur St., 586-0700 or 915-2292). "We felt like royalty," she says. "The limo was beautiful and we had a police escort, it was wonderful." By the time they entered the reception, they were overwhelmed by what The Partners had done.
"Everything looked beautiful," Elizabeth says. "I didn't expect it. Urban Earth had a curtain of flowers, candles and lamps with little flowers, things people had never seen before. And the tables were really pretty."
Although she didn't have a chance to eat much that night, Elizabeth says Joel put together a couple of boxes filled with all the offerings for the bride and groom to take with them and enjoy later.
"The food at the reception was fabulous," she says. "Everybody keeps telling me how wonderful it was. My parents say people have been calling them over the past several weeks saying it was the best food they've ever had at a wedding." There was seared tuna, beef tenderloin, pork tenderloin, oysters, appetizers, side dishes and more, plus a wedding cake with white chocolate and strawberries.
"When we walked into LaTrobe's that night ... it was unbelievable," Elizabeth remembers. "It was enchanting. It is a beautiful building and for parties, it has different rooms and a courtyard area. A lot of people haven't really heard of that place yet, and everybody was just saying 'Whoa. Where has this place been hiding?'"
To help her remember the day, Jeff Pounds recorded it all on film and she and Wade, an assistant project manager at Broadmoor Construction, have an album with about 100 photographs in it as part of the giveaway.
"Jeff Pounds was the greatest," the bride says. "He made it perfect. We wanted the candid shots. We really wanted to capture people's emotions without them realizing the camera was there. I think he did that."