The Monastery: My Inspiration


I would like to begin by asking you to imagine the following scene, I would ask you to close your eyes, but you also need to read! So imagine with me; a Monastery dating back to 1812 grand in nature, on the corner of the French Quarter of New Orleans, with seven private courtyards, glass lanterns, exposed brick, and original wooden beams stretching the length of a chapel rich with history. If only these walls could talk, you can feel the history as you walk through every space in The Monastery.

Let me now lead you to a room with the whitest of walls, and light filled spaces made to convey spirituality and scenreity. A space where keeping things simple, clean and elegant is a must, anything too over the top would take away from the sanctity of the space. This is a venue where you let it do most of the work for you. As a planner I am just there to fill in where needed, and at The Monastery, what is needed is very minimal. 

When entering, I could see this bride here; the guests arriving in sharp tuxedos and shimmering gowns, through an entrance lined with candles and greenery and a harp playing on the front lawn. Every guest is met with gold rimmed champagne flutes filled with a soft brute or sweet rose to set the tone for this celebration, a coveted invitation only held by a select few. 

As the bride and groom make their way to the dance floor, I can hear a jazz ensemble accompanying the likes of Robin Barns, singing “Unforgettable,” in a way that only a solo voice can make you feel in love with the moment. 

The right accents can make the biggest impact. I picked only one for this styled shoot; I wanted to keep things as simple and elegant as possible. Against the crisp white purity of the venue, I choose a metallic; gold. If you keep your elements simple it allows for a bit more flexibility in areas such as floral and other design elements. Symmetry is noticed; but not talked about. I work with my clients to discover if they want to create conversation in design elements, or allow for the conversation to flow from the experience we create through entertainment, food and celebration, this guides me in two very different directions when making choices on behalf of my client. 

Less elements means less areas to adversely impact the continuity of your event. Surprisingly enough the more detailed you get in your theme or brand, the more attention to you have to pay to those design details so the continuity is apparent and easily picked up on by your guests.  Therefore by keeping the elements at this venue classic, simple but yet impactful. 

I had to balance a tipping point; not too over done, but not disposable cutlery or over the top decor. With intentional choices such as tablescapes; which I allowed for more on the table, in turn limiting wait staff having to clear and prepare each setting for multiple courses, I could have all of it be part of the design of the room. Accented with gold and greenery I hoped that each table would provide for friends to gather and share in the experience. 

With this styled shoot I kept the experience at the forefront of all my decisions; with the inspiration coming from the abundant historic value of The Monastery as well as the beauty that the bride brought all on her own. 

I could not have picked a better dress for this bride if I had one day or one year. It is simple, clean and elegant. Only standing at 5’4” the front piping of the dress elongated her silhouette, with leading lines from top to bottom. With more of a broad shoulder, the cap sleeve and detailed floral lace, allowed to soften the shoulder and allow for just enough skin to compliment the conservative but dramatic deep vee, which could be worn with modesty. The hair, pulled up of the neck, to again compliment the back detailing of the dress also allows for the bride to stay comfortable during the heat of the day in a city such as New Orleans.

The guests end the evening with a neatly tied box of three macaroons from Sucre, delicate and light but a sweet reminder of the of the sophisticated and memorable event they just attended. 




Photographer // Catherine Guidry  

Venue // The Monastery 

Floral // Leaf + Petal

Bridal Gown // Town & Country

Cake // Gambinos Bakery

Stationery // Exquisite Events Invites

Makeup // Faces of Virtue

Hair //  Becca Ortiz

Model // Alexandria

Rentals // Event Rental