Photographed by Ryan Theriot

Real Life Leads to True Love

Jason and Melanie’s love story is not your expected world-wind romance. The two were both single parents, working for the same company.  “I thought he was a caveman and he saw me as the ‘hoity-toity’ princess that sipped martinis after work. We wanted nothing to do with each other socially,” recalls Melanie.

Despite their differences, a romance eventually blossomed. “Although living in two different states, our professional relationship turned in to one of the best friendships, then one day we saw each other as more,” said Melanie.  The two embarked on a long-distance relationship. Over the course of a year’s time, their love grew.   Sharing the trials and tribulations of single parenthood, the pair realized they had more in common than they’d first realized.  Melanie recalls how their relationship developed as their “lives and families began to blend.”  What they wanted became clear.

It was during a weekend getaway to New Orleans that everything changed. On an evening stroll in the historic Jackson Square, Jason got down on one knee and proposed in front of the St. Louis Cathedral.

The W Hotel offered the outdoor, intimate setting that they envisioned for their special day.  They wanted to share their beautiful and special occasion with the people that mattered the most to them.  Melanie recalled that the W Hotel was “a perfect setting” for a smaller event of about forty or fifty guests.  Melanie loves the hotel’s contemporary décor amidst the historical background.  She chose a “destination location” because most of their guests were coming from out of town and this was to be a weekend event for them.

And so it was. The wedding was an intimate affair in the contemporary courtyard of The W Hotel in downtown New Orleans. Melanie wore a beautiful gown by Maggie Sottero, while Jason was impeccably dressed in Kenneth Cole. Guests were treated to a buffet-style reception catered by SoBou, while Bittersweet Confections provided mouthwatering desserts.  Guests danced the night away to the Good Time DJs.

Melanie recalls the evening this way: “Sitting at the head table with my new husband overlooking our friends and family come together, that moment made me feel incredibly special.”  The night ended in true New Orleans fashion with a fun-was-had-by-all second line.

To potential brides, Melanie advises, “Relax and have fun! Give yourself permission to enjoy the day rather than stressing over perfection. Your wedding day is a pivotal point in your life, but the one you’re marrying is what it’s all about.”

With the wedding over, the couple looked forward to their honeymoon in the Bahamas. Hurricane Matthew, however, diverted their plans to Cabo San Lucas, where the couple was still able to bath in the sun and bask in their joy of being newlyweds.

Venue: The W Hotel | Caterer: SoBou | Bakery: Bittersweet Confections | Florist: Joie de Vivre | Hair: Mickey Nolan Salon | Music: The Good Time DJs | Photographer: Ryan Therio | Invitations: The Keeping Room | Honeymoon: Cabo San Lucas | Umbrella Designer: Versace | Bridal Attire: Maggie Sottero | Groom’s Attire: Kenneth Cole | Bridesmaid Attire: GIGI | Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Warehouse