Just a few weeks ago, I got to marry my best friend and love of my life, Clay Ostarly. We’d been planning the wedding for about 9 months and it seemed, week after week, there was always something to plan or do. The weeks leading up the wedding were a series of to-do lists and running around. When the wedding week arrived, I couldn’t be more excited. Dozens of our family and friends came into town from all over the country to celebrate with us. It meant so much to us, to have so many people set aside time and money to travel all the way to Louisiana.
My favorite parts of wedding week (besides the actual wedding) was my bachellorette party my maid and matron of honor hosted Thursday night, the bridesmaids luncheon I hosted for my bridesmaids, flower girls and moms Friday afternoon, the rehearsal dinner my new in-laws hosted at Savois Friday evening, the welcome party we hosted at Margaritaville Friday night, and the wedding after party we held at Stray Cats Saturday night.
I’m glad we planned all of those extra events besides the wedding, so we could spend quality time with our out of town guests, some of which I haven’t seen in years!
The wedding day itself sped by so fast, just like everyone warned would happen, I felt like I blinked and the day was gone. But I did make sure to take time to have “moments” and savor different parts of the day, so those memories stick out most to me.
My favorite part of the day by far was the ceremony, I remember walking down the aisle and seeing longtime friends crying and dear family wiping away tears. I was determined not to cry though, I plastered a smile on my face because I wanted to make it to my vows without crying, but that didn’t happen. I read my vows with happy tears streaming down my face, hearing sniffles in the audience.
When we were pronounced man and wife, it was the happiest moment of my life.
The reception compared to the ceremony felt chaotic, we were celebrating, but I felt there was a lot to accomplish on our timeline in just 3 hours. In hindsight, I should have picked a venue that wasn’t so strict and limiting on their hours, it caused me unnecessary stress the whole day. I should have known better, after all I have filmed more than 100 weddings as a professional videographer. Don’t get me wrong, I did manage to have a good time at the reception and the whole day at the venue we chose, it could have been a better experience had we had more time, but hindsight is always 20/20. Regardless, we chose our venue because it was absolutely beautiful and my wedding day looked exactly how I wanted it to look, so I’m certainly satisfied with that aspect of it.
But we designed and planned the reception for the guests, it was their time to have fun and looking back on the photos, they had a good time! They deserved it, after all 95 of our 100 guests traveled so far from outside of Shreveport-Bossier just to be there. As a result, in the end, it doesn’t disappoint me looking back … that the reception wasn’t my favorite part of the day. After all as the old saying goes, “If at the end of the day you are married to your best friend, then the whole day went according to plan.”
The well-wishes from not only our family and friends, but also our co-workers and loyal channel 12 viewers was incredible.
As far as our wedding vendors go, they were phenomenal!
Cakes by Christy McClure did an amazing job at creating exactly what I had envisioned for our wedding and groom cake. She is truly a cake wizard and artist! She took time to sit down with us for our consultation and try each flavor of cake she offers, then help me design the cake of my dreams. It was delicious too!
Our DJ came all the way up from New Orleans to DJ our wedding, he was really great. He kept the dance floor going the whole night and was top notch, the only glitch was skipping a few things on my timeline, which had me running up to the DJ booth to correct him a few times.
Our photographers, Berg Photography, were amazing. Nicole and Kevin Berg handled each moment, even the chaotic ones, with grace. They were like photog ninjas sneaking in amazing photos without being obstrusive. They are true professionals! We got ALL our photos back super fast and I loved every single one of them!
Our videographers Next Generation Photo and Video did a fine job the day of, now just waiting for the final product, can’t wait! I was excited that one of the videographers, Jeff Blair, came to shoot clips of me getting my hair done, he has some cool gear to work with, it was fun to watch. During the ceremony and reception, I barely noticed them, which was great! When I did notice them, they appeared to be at the right time and place. Our videographers turn around time was also very speedy, within less than a month our highlight video was ready for us to share! It was beautifully done.
Bittersweet Flowers and Gifts truly delivered on giving us beautiful flowers, exactly as requested at a very reasonable price. The shop saved us in a pinch, when another flower shop became very difficult to work with. Bittersweet was just the opposite and a breath of fresh air: very pleasant, willing, and definitely “yes” people. I would recommend them to anyone who is looking for an excellent and honest florist.
Ava Laurenne Bride in downtown Fredericksburg in Virginia, near my hometown, was the shop that I found my dress and bridesmaids dresses from. My experience there was phenomenal. The co-owner of the shop was also my consultant and she listened very carefully to what I wanted and guess what? The first dress she put me in, turned out to be the one! Bonus fact: It is the same salon that Jill from TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting got her dress from.
Glitz and Glam Hair Salon is where we all got our hair and make up done at. They provided food and drinks for us, which was really sweet. All of the girls and mom’s hair looked perfect, the makeup artists also did a phenomenal job. They did a great job of moving each of us in and out of the chairs at a pretty quick pace. I’d recommend any bride to bring their bridal party there.
Vogue Photo Pod was our photo booth and I truly believe they are the best in the industry for this area. Our guests had an absolute blast in the photo booth, the company even created a little scrapbook for me and Clay with copies of all of the pictures, but the best part is they handed me a USB drive at the end of the night with digital copies of EACH photo. LOVED THAT! My only regret is I only went in the photobooth once and Clay and I didn’t ever go in together, but hey the booth was more for the guests.
Moonlight and Lace is where all of the magic came together. It is a drop dead gorgeous venue, it required little decoration because it is just that beautiful. The permanent tent at the venue has a concrete floor, so guests didn’t have to worry about a dirt ground. The arbor at the ceremony area is so beautiful, all I had to really do to dress it up was add a chandelier. I liked that the wedding coordinator Kayla provided all of the linens, chairs, and tables as part of the venue price. There were downsides to choosing this venue, as with any venue, but I won’t go into that here, I’ll save that for the reviews.
Here is our fabulous video: