In this beautiful photograph, the newly married bride and groom joyously recess down the aisle after their ceremony at their Elms Mansion wedding in New Orleans. Here's what the bride had to say about me after the wedding:
Michael did an amazing job capturing our rehearsal dinner and wedding day. He is very professional, got a ton of great shots, and edited our photos very well.
I've photographed numerous weddings at The Elms Mansion over the years. But this was actually the first time one of my weddings had the ceremony take place on the venue's spacious grass lawn rather than in their iconic gazebo. With this event being a Jewish wedding, it was a good choice, as the lawn provided ample space for the chuppah (the traditional structure that the couple stands under as they are married), in this case beautifully decorated by New Orleans florist Kim Starr Wise. The gazebo is probably large enough to have accommodated the chuppah, but it would not have been as visible there, as the columns of the gazebo would have partially obscured it.
Having the ceremony in this area also allowed staff to have the reception space fully set up before the event began, as opposed to having to quickly flip this space if the ceremony were held here as well. Of course, if they do have to flip the space, a second line parade is the perfect way to move all the guests out of this area in order for the staff to be able to do this quickly!
Though it was an evening reception, I was glad that the first dance took place near sunset, with the perfect amount of ambient light. Though I can, of course, utilize flash and off-camera lighting for outdoor nighttime events, I always prefer to shoot with natural light when it is of good quality, as it was here.
Located on St. Charles Avenue, the Elms is a romantic and beautiful wedding venue that truly captures the unique character of Uptown New Orleans. The beautifully manicured grounds, spacious garden and patio area, the ambiance of the streetcars rumbling by, and the pure elegance of the mansion's interior all make for a memorable ceremony and reception.
The historic marker plaque in front of the home reads:
Van Benthusen-Elms Mansion
(Attributed to Lewis E. Reynolds, Architect)
Built 1869 for "Yankee in Grey," Capt. Watson Van Benthuysen, II, CSA.
Relative by marriage of Jefferson Davis & Q'master of Presidential convoy that fled Richmond in April, 1865, Van B. became merchant & industrialist with interests in St. Charles streetcar line, telephone company & firm that bridged Hudson at Poughkeepsie. Born NY 1833, Van B. died here 1901. House served as German Consulate General 1931-41. From here, Adolf Karl Georg Edgar Baron Spiegel von und zu Peckelsheim, novelist & U-boat kapitan, informed Axis submarines ship departures. Became John Elms family residence 1951.
Location: 3029 St Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA 70115.