A True NOLA Elopement for Amy & Brian at City Park
It was a slow burn for Amy & Brian! They spent years being movie buddies before finally realizing they were meant to be. Once they were all in, they planned an intimate wedding for two. The changes kept coming, but through it all, they kept their cool. They were thrilled to elope in New Orleans City Park at Butler Fountain finally. Family and friends joined them under the moss-covered trees for the beautiful ceremony. The newlyweds and their guests enjoyed a nearby cafe after the ceremony, dinner to celebrate, and a mimosa breakfast the following day. A foodie paradise! We love that this couple gave Simply Eloped a big thumbs up, so read on to find out why they feel eloping was the best decision they ever made.
How did you meet? What was your first impression of one another?
Amy: We met on the job. We are both professors at a regional university. I am in biology, and he is chemistry. We would chit-chat a bit in the halls like one does with one’s colleagues. At a friend’s party, we started talking a bit more. We discovered some common interests in movies and planned some “movie” buddy outings…all platonic (for six years). My first impression of Brian–I thought he was interesting, but I wasn’t interested because he seemed too squared away, and I didn’t imagine we could be on the same wavelength. Little did I know…!
Brian: We met at work many years ago. We were always friendly when talking in the hall, but nothing happened between us for quite a while. It took several years for anything to develop between us. My first impression of Amy was that she seemed really nice and down-to-earth.
How did you propose or accept the proposal?
Amy: Well, from what I understand after, the proposal WAS going to happen on a planned trip to Aruba, at a fancy hotel beach cabana that was going to be a surprise. A friend (Meredith!) let the cat out of the bag about the cabana, though. How it went down instead was that about a month before that trip, I was having a bad day and feeling a bit down. Brian told me quite cryptically to leave the room. When I came back and sat down, he kept giving a bit of a weird look. That in and of itself isn’t that unusual, but it went on and on. I came to realize that I was half sitting on this little box. Upon opening it, there was a ring inside! “What’s this?” I asked. “What does it look like?” he replied. Come to think of it; I don’t know if he ever ASKED the question….but I said yes anyway.
Brian: My original plan was to propose on a private beach in Aruba when we vacation. Long story short, plans change. I asked her in November, about a month before we were set to leave for that vacation. We were sitting around the house one night. Amy wasn’t having the greatest day (I don’t even remember what was going on at this point). I got her to leave the room and put the ring box down where she was sitting. She came back into the room and basically sat down on the box. She didn’t even see it. I tried to get her to pick up on the fact that something was going on, but it just wasn’t working. I eventually gave up and just looked at the ring box. To say that she was surprised would be an understatement. To this day, she insists that I never actually asked her to marry me (not the case). She said yes, and the rest is history!
Where did you choose to elope, and why did you choose that destination?
Brian: We eloped to New Orleans. It wasn’t our first choice of locations, but COVID kept forcing us to change plans. We had been to New Orleans a few times together (and I had been there several times before we got together), and we both loved the city. There’s just something about the area (and the food) that makes us keep going back. We just decided that, given current circumstances, it was the ideal place.
Amy: I was really always game for eloping because the drama and cost of a big wedding were sort of intimidating to me. As it turned out, the COVID situation sort of forced our hand since when we wanted to do it, there were restrictions on the number of people we could have in a group. We thought about waiting, but Brian didn’t want to wait any longer (about a year already), and I am glad we didn’t. We chose to get married in New Orleans. It was a place we had traveled to before when we were traveling buddies/friends. The city has such a history to it, and the food is fabulous! It had such pretty spots to choose from for the actual ceremony, too.
What attracted you to the venue you chose for your elopement? What were your favorite parts about eloping there?
Brian: We found pictures of City Park on the Simply Eloped webpage and thought it looked fantastic. Neither of us had been to the park, but it just looked ideal. We planned the entire ceremony at home and made a quick road trip down to New Orleans about three months before the ceremony to check everything out. As soon as we pulled up to the ceremony location, it just felt right. The trees were beautiful, and there were so many places within walking distance to take wedding photos!
Amy: We chose City Park by the Butler Fountain, basically because it was so darned pretty. We briefly considered Jackson Square, but that was a little too public for me. I thought the park was perfect, again, so pretty, and there was a Cafe du Monde right in the park! We had a small number of guests at our wedding, and I know they enjoyed some beignets after the ceremony while we did some wedding pictures.
How would you describe your elopement venue to someone who has never been there?
Brian: City Park is such a beautiful location. The moss-covered Live Oak trees make such a beautiful place to have a ceremony or take pictures.
Amy: It is beautiful, natural, and almost magical. It was perfect for our low-key vibe.
What things did you do before the wedding? How did you get ready? How did you feel in the moments leading up to your elopement?
Brian: I spent the morning before the ceremony wandering around the French Quarter with an old friend, eventually running into some family members and sitting down for a relaxed lunch. Then it was back to the hotel to get ready and off to the park for some photos before the ceremony.
Amy: Some friends (sort of de facto bridesmaids) and I got all primped at a spa with champagne and chocolates to nosh on! I came out of it looking not too bad if I do say so myself! I hope people got a good look because I won’t look that fancy again! 🙂 Before the ceremony, I wasn’t nervous at all, but I was looking forward to marrying my best friend!
How was your experience with Simply Eloped?
Brian: I can’t say enough good things about Simply Eloped. Karin was fantastic and always super responsive when we had a question. Our officiant (Michelle) couldn’t have been nicer. Our photographer (Ashley) was super. She took care of everything, and the pictures turned out better than I could have hoped!
Amy: They made things super easy. Because of the COVID situation, some plans had to be altered, but they were flexible. The whole thing was super low stress.
How did you choose to celebrate your elopement?
Brian: We had a few friends and family who joined us for our special day. After the ceremony, everyone met at The Bourbon House for dinner and drinks (and cake!).
Amy: After pictures, we met with guests at the Bourbon House and had a FANTASTIC dinner. We probably ate far too much, but I think everyone had a great time. The next day, we met a few friends for brunch at The Court of Two Sisters. Weirdly, I was able to eat again after dinner the night before! It was delicious too. We enjoyed mimosas while listening to a live jazz band.
What words of encouragement do you have for those considering eloping?
Brian: I’d say Go For It! This was probably the best decision we’ve ever made. The folks at Simply Eloped are wonderful and made everything as easy as could be.
Amy: Elope! Do it completely your way and keep the drama low! I know when you plan to get married, you get lots of advice (and probably lots of pressure) from people. We were pretty lucky. We are a little older, and everyone around us pretty much knows that we know our own minds. But for anyone getting pressure on how to do their wedding, just do it your way! Elope and get the job done!
Officiation by: Michelle Zeller
Photography by: Ashley Mercer
Planning by: Simply Eloped
Venue: City Park NOLA, New Orleans