Jacqueline and David credits their mutual friend for bringing them together. She had accepted an invitation to attend a social gathering. David was the first person to come and introduce himself to her so they talked for a little bit before he got up to use the bathroom. It was 1:30 am so Jacqueline decided it was time for her to go. "As I was driving home I decided to call my friend and tell her to give her friend my number. He called me that night to say 'now you have my number so use it.' We went on our first date the following Monday," Jacqueline shares. Filled with great food and even better company, the couple said "I do" in a vibrant and loving wedding in New Orleans. Nicholas Critelli shot the images for their "Big Easy" day.
Favorite item on the wedding menu - Crawfish Monica Pasta, Beignets, Bread Pudding, and Sweet Potato Pie
Wedding flowers - Hydrangeas, garden roses, and orchids
First dance song - "Fool For You" by Cee-Lo
Bride: Jacqueline Swafford
Groom: David Franklin
Wedding location: Loews, New Orleans
Tell us all about the proposal!
I had absolutely no clue that I was going to get a proposal the night it happened, but if you know David you know that nothing is done as expected. We were at a very casual dinner having BBQ and while waiting on our dinner he started asking me random questions about our relationship. This was nothing out of the norm as we often talked about where we started and what we have in store for the future. After dinner we were on our way home and he stops in front of the restaurant we initially met at, then we went by the place we had out first date ( I was still clueless) and the final place was a park that we visited and it was the place that we had the What do you want out of this relationship talk. Still clueless we get out and we are walking around the park and he points me to exact location we sat that night and the next thing I knew he was on one knee. In true David fashion the ring was not in a box but a yellow folded stick note so my first reaction was that I was being punked.
We were engaged and married in 3 months after a 6 year courtship. David has always said that once he proposes we would be married within 3 months. It was a pretty easy decision to decide on a destination as we both love New Orleans and visit several times each year.
How would you describe your wedding style?
Being a wedding and event planner I knew from the beginning that I wanted something very personal to who we are as a couple which was reflected in the destination we chose. We opted for a less traditional ceremony and reception to represent who we are as a couple. We wanted our guest to take a vacation and, happen to go to a wedding. The personalization was evident from the time you walked into the ceremony. It was a very laid back New Orleans “Big Easy” atmosphere with white chairs and alter arrangements of lush antique green and white hydrangea. Instead of a "traditional" unity ceremony we chose to take advantage of Coca-Cola Share A Coke campaign and combine coke from bottles with our names on them; Jackie and David. Instead of the traditional round or square tables we went with a U shape with simple elegant low arrangements of hydrangea, garden roses, orchids to make it feel family style. We wanted to incorporate our hash tag #4EverFranklin into our wedding and put it on everything possible from napkins, stationary, handkerchiefs, table name plate to the cake topper.
How was culture incorporated in your wedding?
The highlight of the event was without a doubt the second line parade immediately following the ceremony. How often is it that NOPD shut down the streets for you and your guest to parade through the streets? As guest exited from the reception they were given beer and champagne, "this is NOLA" beads and a handkerchief as they hit the streets.
What are your favorite memories from your wedding day?
We both love New Orleans and that is largely due to the amazing food, and we wanted our guest to have a New Orleans food experience. Immediately following the second line guest returned to cocktail hour where they were greeted with passed Hors d’oeuvers; Parmesan Crostini with Marinated Creole Tomatoes & Buffalo Mozzarella, New Orleans BBQ Shrimp & Grit Cake, Louisiana Crab Cake and Pecan Crusted Chicken with Cane Syrup Dipping Sauce. From planning other weddings, couples often miss cocktail hour to take photos. Rather than take photos after the second line, we opted to attend cocktail hour and take advantage of the social experience with our guest. We chose a New Orleans style brunch menu with action stations to offer guest a variety of options that included turtle soup, caesar salad with fried crawfish croutons, gumbo, jambalaya, mini ham and swiss po-boys, crawfish monica pasta, roasted turkey, and a dessert station with traditional favorites of beignets, bread pudding, and sweet potato pie. Our guest are still raving about how amazing the food was at our wedding.
What advice would you give to our brides-to-be?
Do it your way! I would say that no matter what friends and family say when it comes down to the final decision do what makes you happy and speaks to who you are as a couple.
Event Planning - Welcome Boxes, Favors Idyllic Fete
Photographer - Nicholas Critelli
Venue - The Loews New Orleans
Florist - The Plant Gallery
Band - Nomad Theory
Stationary - Crystals and Ink
Cake - The Royal Cakery
Makeup - Faces of Virtue
Hair - Blossom Salon
Cake Topper - Ten23Designs
Shoes - Badgley Mischka
Dress - Mori Lee
Bridal Salon - Bride Beautiful
Second Line - Handkerchief Backyard Printing