Bride and Father Processional at Southern Oaks
Michael Caswell Photography

Bride and Father Processional at Southern Oaks

Perfect late afternoon sunlight graced this beautiful bride as she walks down the aisle with her father at the start of her Southern Oaks wedding ceremony.

Horse-Drawn Carriage at Southern Oaks

Southern Oaks has several different options for how the bride makes her entrance into the ceremony. By far the most popular choice is by horse-drawn carriage, as this bride did.

Southern Oaks Bride in Horse-Drawn Carriage

In a breathtaking moment that always impresses the wedding guests, appropriate music begins to play right on cue as the carriage, pulled by two beautiful white horses (brothers Magic and Majestic) appears from the side of the home, proceeds down the driveway, and stops at the far end of the brick-paved aisle, where the bride (usually accompanied by her father, but sometimes with both parents or another relative who escorts her, and occasionally just by herself) steps off the carriage. After some final straightening of the bride's dress by the Southern Oaks staff who are waiting there to assist, they proceed down the aisle.

One reason why this is so popular is that it's something you really can't get at any other venue. Although there are companies that a couple can make arrangements with to supply a horse-drawn carriage for a wedding, for most venues, it's simply not practical to fully integrate it into the ceremony like this. I can actually only think of one wedding where this took place, and because the layout of the property restricted where the carriage could go and the place and the manner in which it dropped the bride off, it did not have nearly the same emotional impact as Southern Oaks' carefully choreographed entrance.

Another option is the venue's classic and elegant Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud limo, which brings the bride to the end of the aisle in a similar way.

Lastly, some brides prefer to keep it traditional and simple, and opt for their entrance to be similar to how the processional is for most weddings venues. In this case, the bride (along with the bridesmaids) leave through the back entrance of the venue, unseen by guests, and board a minibus, which takes them out the back exit of the parking lot and around the block to the front of the venue, where she remains hidden by the brick wall that runs along the front until she makes her entrance.

Location: 7816 Hayne Blvd, New Orleans, LA 70126.