Natalie & Chris’s wedding is absolutely breathtaking, with bridesmaids wearing varied Jim Hjelm from Bella Baton Rouge! #BellaBR!
How did you meet your Fiance?
We actually met at the Beau Rivage in Biloxi. He was on a Bachelor Party and I was there for a friend’s birthday party. We were laying out by the pool and him and a few of his friends came up to us to ask for sunscreen. He laughs because we only had like spf 8. He swears the sunscreen caused him to burn lol. Both groups hung out all day by the pool and then later that night. We instantly hit it off. Thankfully he was going to school at LSU to get his Masters at the time. So even though he was from West Monroe and we met in Mississippi, he lived 20 minutes from me. It was fate! 🙂
Tell us about the proposal!
The Proposal was amazing and everything I ever dreamed it would be. We had been dating for a little over two years and were now living together in our own home. His parents came down from West Monroe and were staying with us for the weekend. We had planned to go to the LSU basketball game that Saturday night. (or at least that’s what I thought). Chris was at home all day “learning how to cook gumbo” from his dad. Chris’ mom and I went shopping for a few hours to pick up a few last minute Christmas gifts. When we were in line at our last store chris called to see how much longer we would be. He said he wanted to time the garlic bread just right and make sure we had enough time to eat before the game. His mom wanted to drop all of our items and leave right away. ( I should’ve known something was up then lol). We checked out and made out way home.
I pulled up to the house and parked under the garage. I grabbed all of my bags and Chris’s mom grabbed hers. She said she was going to put them in their truck. I walked up to the door and there was a note that said Natalie on it. My heart dropped. I dropped all of my bags at the door and read the note. It simply said to take a deep breath and follow the rose petals. When I opened the door there was a path of rose petals and candles leading out the door to our back yard. The door has a big glass window so I could see Chris through it. I walked outside and he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I started bawling crying and of course said yes. Next thing I knew there was clapping and cheering. Our families and closest friends were also in the backyard! I was so surprised!!! It truly was everything I always dreamed of. He did an amazing job and not to mention he picked out the most perfect ring and I didn’t even help! I had absolutely no idea that he was going to propose!
How did you choose the location for your wedding? What type of venue were you looking for?
I wanted to get married outside and I wanted a plantation look. I was told about White Oak Plantation by my best friend. Initially we were just going to look, but once given the tour and looking through pictures of previous weddings, I was sold! Unfortunately, it rained on our wedding day so we had to get married inside, but it still made for a gorgeous ceremony!! Everything was perfect and beautiful and not to mention the staff were wonderful!!
How did you decide on your bridesmaids dresses? Tell us about your experience at Bella!
It took me a while to decide on my bridesmaid dresses! I initially wanted blush, but everyone was doing that so I tried to go with something different. I went in for my appt and decided on something completely different then what I ended up with. I initially chose dresses with purple, blue and tan as my colors. Then after looking more online I added blush into the mix too. Meghan, co-owner of Baton Rouge and I are pretty close, she was in my wedding, so I would bother her quite often about her thoughts on my changes lol. She was so great about helping me decide!
One day I came across some of the Jim Hjelm dresses (I think it was on Instagram) and fell in love with the styles! After looking at way too many color schemes on Pinterest, I decided on Jim Hjelm for my bridesmaid dresses! I gave my girls three different styles to choose from, but I picked the colors for them. I had three different color dresses. The dresses I chose fit perfectly with the look I was going for for my wedding! and when all my girls went in to get their dresses Bella made the experience wonderful. All of my girls got to try the different options on and figure out which they liked best. They were there every step of the way and couldn’t have made my experience any better. I also got my mom and stepmoms dresses from Bella…and those experiences were equally as great!
Who designed your bridal gown? Where did you get it?
I purchased my gown at Bridal Boutique in Baton Rouge and the gown is David Tutera for Mon Cheri.
What was your favorite part of the day?
I had so many favorite moments of the day. I loved getting dressed with my girls and I loved enjoying the reception with my new husband. But I have two moments that definitely stand out. I have a little girl named Effie and her and Chris are BFFs. Chris gave me a gift and wrote me a letter before the wedding, which I loved, but he also gave Effie a gift and wrote her the sweetest letter ever. When reading the letter it just reassured me that Chris was the man of my dreams and everything I ever hoped for and more. My true soulmate! My other favorite moment was saying our vows. We didn’t write them or anything fancy and our ceremony was super short, but just knowing that I will get to spend the rest of my life with my best friend made me the happiest girl in the world and saying our vows just made it all real.
What inspired you when you were planning your big day?
I love vintage, old, antique things, which is one reason I wanted a plantation look. I also love gold!! Which I’m sure you could tell if you saw some of my decor. Pinterest was extremely helpful and I also followed wedding planners as well. I knew I wanted a traditional classy feel with a little of the modern, Pinterest twists as well!
What advice do you have for other brides?
I loved planning my wedding!!! I loved researching the flowers, vendors, and color schemes and I couldn’t wait to see it all come together. But once it does come it all comes so fast!! It was truly a magical day! Just take it all in and enjoy every second! Remember what the day is truly about and don’t worry if something doesn’t go as planned. I couldn’t control the weather, but even though I had to get married inside it was still the most beautiful ceremony! I also almost walked down the isle without my bouquet. But these are things that my husband and I can look back on and laugh at. Just remember to enjoy your day with your new husband! It flies by!
Photographer: Halley’s Photography