DWH: Who is Paige & Rachel?

P&R: We are a couple who love festivals of all kinds, especially anything involving food! We are both big foodies! We also love going on dates to local coffee shops, bar hopping at all the eclectic hotels in the city and spending time with our fur babies [miniature dachshunds], Rex & Nyx, who are named after Mardi Gras parades!

DWH: And, how did you meet?

R: We have been together for over 5 and a half years. In September, we will make 6 years and then we tie the knot in October!

We met through mutual friends in college at The University of Louisiana at Lafayette[ Geaux Cajuns!] I knew from the second I met Paige this was going to be a lifetime of happiness and bliss.

Our first date was at Tsunami Sushi in Downtown Lafayette [one of our favorite restaurants] and we both knew it was meant to be after that night!

DWH: And, you’re now engaged! Tell us the details.

P: Rachel and I went ring shopping and I actually held onto the ring for over a year before asking her to marry me. Every time I tried to plan something it just never felt like the right moment.

Rachel has always had high expectations on how she wanted to be proposed to [due to her working in the wedding industry], so I knew it needed to be good. After a year of thought, I knew there was no better place then under the tree we were planning on getting married at with our dog, Rex, running up to her in a black bowtie!

Our proposal was overdue. I actually planned on proposing to Rachel 3 years ago. Rachel told me that before asking her, she wanted me to talk to her parents first…

DWH: And, how was that experience?

P: A little back story, I had only met Rachel’s parents one other time before this.

Her parents are not supportive of “our lifestyle”, so I knew this was going to be a difficult conversation. However, I loved Rachel deeply and knew this conversation had to happen. I called her parents and we met at a coffee shop. After asking them if I could marry their daughter they actually told me no and begged me not to propose to her.

You see, even though we knew their stance we always thought they would come around; after hearing their responses we decided to regroup. We held off the engagement and spent the next year in couple’s therapy preparing for what our lives were about to look like, a life without Rachel’s parents. We talked about all the “what ifs” and learned how to set boundaries for ourselves and for our relationship.

I once read a statistic that stated “70% of marriages who have one side of parents who do not support the marriage end in divorce.” We refuse to be part of that statistic. A year and a half later, I finally felt the moment was right again and we were stronger than ever. I finally proposed to her under the tree we plan to get married at [The Tree of Life in Audubon Park in New Orleans]

DWH: That must make this engagement even more meaningful.

P & R: The engagement, and the ring, shows our love and commitment to each other. We actually both decided to wear one! Rachel’s is covered in beautiful diamonds, with a blue sapphire hidden inside of the band [blue is Paige’s favorite color] and her ring also has a hidden message engraved on the inside! Paige’s ring is from Jordan Jack and is simplistic and durable, yet sleek with elements of gold and silver.

DWH: And, how is wedding planning?

P&R: Wedding planning is going great, so far! We are working with a local wedding planner, Spanish Oak Events, who also happens to be a very dear friend of ours.

Having a wedding planner has been a dream, considering Rachel plans events herself and I wanted to ensure this was a smooth, enjoyable process for both of us. It has made the excitement of planning such a special moment more enticing and eager and we can not wait for the day to be here!

The one promise Paige and I made while selecting our guest list was to choose carefully those who cherish their relationship and fully support the LGBTQ+ community. Hand selecting our guests was hands down one of the toughest decisions we have ever made.

Our wedding style is new age contemporary, eclectic with a touch of elegance. Our wedding colors are: Emerald Green & Gold

We drew inspiration from multiple sources for our wedding. For example, we adore the exposed, old New Orleans brick, which is showcased at our reception venue, along with old school wrong iron gates, which will be covered in green similac and floral from our florist, Dianne at Fat Cat Flowers. We love the outdoor elements of Spanish Moss under the ancient Oak Tree, where our ceremony is taking place, which symbolizes elegance and peace.

We incorporated eclectic pieces such as pop art David Bowie acrylic passing trays to pass around our late night bites, which will include: mini cheeseburgers and pomme frites with customized glass coke bottles with our hashtag #HeldByLove, mini honey chicken biscuits, and the New Orleans staple of fried beignets!

DWH: Being in the wedding industry you must already have a dream team lined up to help bring your visions to life?

P&R: YES! While selecting our dream team of vendors, we carefully selected those who were excited and eager to plan this extravaganza with us and help celebrate our love for one another!

Here’s the list so far…

Photographer Daniel Marquez
Wedding Planner & Stylist Spanish Oak Events
Ceremony Location The Tree of Life
Reception Venue The Ace Hotel
Wedding Dress Bliss Bridal
Custom Tuxedos Tuxedos to Geaux
Hair & Makeup H20 Salon & Spa Northshore
Music DJ Phrozen
Rentals Just Ask Rentals and BBJ Linens
Florist Fat Cat Flowers
Cake Bittersweet Confections
Transportation Big Easy Limos
All Invitations Minted Weddings
Personalized Guest Notes Ragtime Poetry Company
Customized Wedding Ring & Wedding Band Jared the Galleria of Jewelers, Jordan Jack
Custom Signage Alaina Polander Design
Officiant Waning Moon Weddings & Ceremonies
Catering & Bar The Ace Hotel
Room Blocks The Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery

DWH: It’s going to be incredible, we can feel it. Before we leave you to get on with it, do you have any parting advice to other couples who are planning a wedding without the support of family?

P: Rachel and I will be getting married without a single individual from her family attending and we just wanted y’all, and the rest of your followers, to know that they can be strong and create a life they deserve, regardless of the people around them.

Photography Daniel Marquez