Mary Kate and Brandon’s summery tropical New Orleans wedding at Race and Religious was one for the books.  We first met these two at their French Quarter engagement session a few months ago and we knew right away that we clicked with these two.  They are a fun-loving adventurous duo and we had a blast with them, knowing that their wedding would be no different.  They were even so sweet as to invite us to their ghost tour welcome party which was extra fun for us because it was our first weekend being in New Orleans as residents instead of visitors.  We met up with them and their guests at Voodoo Bar in the French Quarter and had a wonderful time mingling with them and learning some (slightly morbid) Nola history.

We showed up to Race and Religious where Lonney Jane’s crew was setting the scene for their nuptials.  Katie from Thistle Company decked out the brick Race and Religious patio with gorgeous tropical monstera leaves and bright pink proteas in large glass vases.  I headed upstairs to where Mary Kate was getting ready with her girls.  Thad photographed Brandon and his groomsmen getting ready right next door.  It was a calm and happy getting ready atmosphere all around.  The two of them shared a sweet private first look right outside the venue.  Mary Kate looked fab in her tropical inspired dress, gorgeous makeup complete with perfect eyeliner by Glam Nola LLC.  Brandon was dapper as well, and sported an awesome Shinola watch that was gifted to him by Mary Kate that day.  Their A squad met us outside for some wedding party photos and then it was time to line up for their ceremony.

We’ve come to realize that rain and wedding days must be besties.  An afternoon shower swooped right in just as they were about to start, but left as quickly as it came, leaving behind a sunny sun surrounded by dark rain clouds which left us with the dreamiest moodiest light for their “I do’s”.  They even opted for a ring warming ceremony.  As their officiant shared some wise words for the couple, Mary Kate and Brandon’s rings were passed around for all of their loved ones to warm them up with their well wishes.  The two kissed and blissfully paraded around in a second line by Knockaz Brass Band.  The Race and Religious courtyard was flipped from a ceremony setup to a reception one.  Meanwhile, Black Pearl Catering set up for a feast of a dinner complete with oysters and a King Cake which was a surprise for Brandon.  The DJ played the best mix of tunes and everyone danced the night away.  It was a perfect evening that was wrapped up by Mary Kate and Brandon kicking off a sparkler exit pool jump.  Special thanks to the video team Monototo Productions for documenting this wedding alongside us.

Here’s a recap from Brandon:

“We consider ourselves fortunate, in that we came away from our wedding day being able to definitively say that it was the best day of our lives.  We are able to say that confidently, not as cliché or trying to meet any social expectations.  It, without a doubt, was the best day of our lives.  So, forgive us as deciding what the favorite parts of the day were is no easy task.  That said, I would have to say that my favorite parts of the wedding day, and Mary Kate agrees, were the first look, exchanging our vows during the ceremony, and entering the pool.  The first look was a completely euphoric experience for me and incredibly special – as it was just the two of us and the first time that I got to see Mary Kate as my bride and soon-to-be wife.  She looked absolutely stunning and it was just an overwhelmingly emotional moment for me.  I went into our wedding day fully expecting to cry during our vows and was very surprised that I did not.  I was so joyful during our ceremony that the tears just never came, but exchanging those words of commitment and love to one another was truly magnificent.  And then the really unique cherry on top of what was already a one-of-a-kind occasion was when Mary Kate and I entered the pool together.  That sparkler send-off into marriage, with everyone lining the pool in full support, followed by the enthusiasm and love shown from those that joined us in the pool immediately thereafter was really very special as well.  Of course there were great things throughout the entire afternoon and evening…  The second line was awesome.  Our sweetheart dinner was another time that neither of us fully realized how much we would appreciate until we sat down and had the suite to ourselves to just take a breath and be with each other.  Our first dance was wonderful. Listening to the speeches was emotional, entertaining, and humbling.  Feeding each other King Cake was a pleasant surprise.  Dancing the night away certainly did not disappoint.  The list goes on and on, which is how it should be!”

Here are a few of our favorite images from Mary Kate and Brandon’s tropical New Orleans wedding at Race and Religious: