Arte by CheyAnne
Where to start regarding Casey and Brian? First thought that comes to mind…I really hope they eventually move to Nola and get to decorate Tucks toilet brushes with us because that would mean they are riding with us during Mardi Gras! And if you don’t move this way — you should really come ride with us! On the day of their wedding, when I arrived at Sully Mansion on Prytania — I just knew that it was going to be a good day! Casey, Brian, and I had met about a month prior to the wedding to discuss the details of the day, and to finally meet in person. I knew from the discussion we had over our bottle of wine we shared that afternoon, that they trusted me, and they got what we do. I always feel I have more creative liberties when I know my couples get it and that I already have their trust when I arrive. Thank you for that! I have always been my worst critic, but lately I feel I’ve had a growth spurt. I am in love with these photos! Or maybe it’s just that I love the two of you, and your love for each other, and for this city I call home. Either way, let’s get to the good stuff. We started sending the questionnaires to our clients sometime last year in an effort to learn more about them. I keep thinking that I’ll be able to summarize the couple’s answers, but alas — I find the responses are always too great! With Casey and Brian, it is no different. I laughed out loud and literally got goosebumps. You’ll learn a lot about the two of them below.
There’s one detail I wanted to point out though that I felt was very touching. Casey and her two sisters all have the same tattoo. I had noticed this while taking photos while they were getting ready. Amazingly enough, we were able to get a photo with all three tattoos visible without someone having to hike their ankle way up to a wrist! (haha! funny image there, huh?) Anyhow — the tattoo is a Celtic sign for sisters love. And it also represents the three stages of womanhood. Super cool! So glad I asked! Without further ado…Casey and Brian!
Tell us a little bit about yourselves! What do you do for work? for fun? for charity?
Brian works as a communications consultant for financial companies going through transactions, he loves M&A, IPOs, and crisis communications. He is very organized with his excel sheets and planning and is well respected by coworkers and clients alike. Casey works at a management consulting firm on the Human Capital team. She focuses on employee engaging, retention, resourcing and learning and development. She is also an actor, and co-founder of a not-for-profit theatre company in New York. Outside of work, they enjoy live music, opera, fine dining and wine. More importantly, they love dance parties in their kitchen and raising their ‘family’ of 40+ plants in their Brooklyn apartment. They love being silly and playing games and making each other laugh. Brian is a supporter of the arts; Casey ‘s parents were foster parents for more than 50 children in need of a loving home.
WHAT: What are a few things about each other that you just absolutely love! What are you most looking forward to on your wedding day?
Brian makes me laugh more than anyone I’ve ever met. He constantly surprises me with his ability to be silly. At the same time, he is responsible, and provides stability to the world around him. He pushes me to be sillier, smarter, better. I love that there a hundred moments each day where Brian does something thoughtful, silly, adorable, hilarious… and I get a front row seat to them all!
What I am most looking forward… it’s hard to choose! Our guest list in general makes me very excited. The second line parade is the event I’m most looking forward to; I LOVE brass bands, and think it will be a really unique opportunity for our guests. The food. The first dance. My dress! Our welcome dinner. Having a vacation with all of our loved ones. And locking eyes with Brian throughout the ceremony.
Casey allows me to be me with (limited) judgment. She is equally, if not more so, “off” than me. Whenever I think I have gone too far on the silly scale, she exceeds it. I think she sometimes does this on purpose, which is just fine by me, to make me feel better/more comfortable. She also laughs at my jokes, even when I know they are not to her liking. She also balances me out with general kindness to me, my friends, my family and others. She really does not have a bad bone/thought in her body, where I come from a more inherently negative/jaded view of people (except photographers) and have to be convinced otherwise. Her approach, far more right than wrong, never ceases to amaze me. I think I balance her out a bit with a more conservative approach (not politically conservative) to life/financial matters, like “hey, we need to make contributions to our IRAs, pay taxes, etc.” She clearly wins in who influences the other more. I like to think I should get some credit for at least knowing this.
WHEN: When did you know this was the person you wanted to marry?
I’ve given this a LOT of thought and… I don’t know. I don’t think it was a “love at first sight… I saw him and I knew” type (he was hot… but was also my co-worker) and even the first few dates, I liked him, but was more looking for a reason to say no than to say yes. But there was no ‘light bulb’ moment either. Slowly but surely my thoughts changed from “if” to “when.” I wanted to spend every minute with him. He became my home. And I couldn’t picture a life without him. So instead of “if I move to a new place, will you move with me” never happened…. Just a “do you think this will be enough closet space for us” conversation. “Do you think we’ll get married one day” was never uttered, but “don’t you think that garden would be beautiful for our wedding” long before we were engaged. Everything fell together.
I (Brian) knew fairly early on, as in within the first month or two, if not earlier. If there was even ten minutes of doubt, it was fleeting and was probably on the first date or two. The fact that she met my family within three weeks, when no one else was ever introduced within six months, was a big deal to me (and my family who also noticed), but seemed natural to do. There were never any discussions or formalness to defining our relationship; we knew what it was, yet was fairly traditional and something we couldn’t easily answer if someone asked us our status/deal. It was all very natural and easy, never forced. I was probably ahead of Casey on this, in part because I was older and perhaps had dated before, but I never really said anything about it to her, and when we did need to have some discussions, it was very easy and we were aligned.
HOW: How did the proposal go?
The one thing I insisted on was the proposal being a surprise. Considering how much I LOVE surprises, I’m actually constantly expecting one, making it very difficult for anyone to ACTUALLY surprise me. After about 3 months of thinking anything unusual was a proposal (hmmm, we never turn down 4th street, we always take 3rd. This waiter never takes this long with the check. Brian never leaves work before me. Pretty much anything!) I had finally pretty much given up. On February 21, 2012, it was Fat Tuesday, and the day after presidents day, a good excuse to use up one of our PTO days for a 4 day weekend. Brian planned a full day of things to make the most of a day off – we had brunch at Pastis, a well-known brunch spot in NYC’s hot-spot Meat Packing District, we walked the elevated park on former train tracks called The Highline, made it to Mermaid Inn in time for oyster happy hour. At about 8pm, he looked at me and said “Well. Ready to go home?” So we did. I was tired and after a day full and anticipation of ‘is this the day?’ resigned myself to just being grateful to have had a fun day in the city. We got home to our Brooklyn apartment. They had been planning on doing construction on the building across the street, and Brian had been very eager to see the progress they had made. So we went up to the roof to see what we could see. We opened the door to the common terrace, and there is a bottle of champagne and flowers on the table. Having had spent an entire 3(+) months NOT getting proposed to, I assume its not for me. So I tell him we have to leave before we ruin someone’s night. He tries to convince me that we won’t. I say “Brian, there’s flowers and champagne. Someone is probably celebrating Valentine’s Day or something and we have to leave before they get here.” He must think I’m insane at this point, and tells me that its not for Valentine’s Day, its for me. He gets down on one knee… and the rest is history.
From Brian’s standpoint: She ruined the proposal three times prior. I had been trying to do this since late November and each time she would change our plans in some capacity that it ruined it. Each time I tried something different, and was starting to resent her, as if she knew what she was doing. It was a pretty stressful few months. I thought for sure I was going to blow the surprise. Finally I said I was no longer going to go in for a huge spectacle and instead plan a nice, comfortable day for us doing the things we must like to do. It was far more “us” and authentic, and with the help of her friend who setup the roof top while we were out, came out better than all of the other elaborate attempts I had tried to pull off. I’m happy that when I look back and think of our proposal I know I personally could not have done better. The champagne bottle I opened to propose now sits prominently on a shelf. And for good measure, my friends tease me about the proposal in a slightly jealous manner. Besides, she said yes, so clearly it all worked out.
WHERE: Why did you choose your particular ceremony/reception locations?
We chose New Orleans as our location pretty easily. We wanted our wedding to be a big party with good food and good music. We have been to Nola a number of times together and love all the city has to offer, so that was pretty easy. For our ceremony, we wanted an outdoor courtyard and we wanted to be in the French Quarter. The Irish Cultural museum has an intimate outdoor courtyard which will be a beautiful backdrop for our wedding, and is located in the Quarter so our Second Line Parade will pass by all our favourite landmarks. When we found the chicory, we fell in love with the rustic décor and charm – the gas lanterns, the wooden beams, the French doors, it was the perfect vibe. Then we saw the menu and were sold!
This was some of my best work. As family and friends came to know me as a NOLA junkie, they outright told me that If we held our wedding in NOLA it would be considered “my” wedding and not hers, despite the fact that we had been to NOLA together at least 4+ times. I originally suggested other cities, like Miami. Thankfully she was the one who suggested NOLA. I said if you are sure then let’s do it. She ran wild with it and the venues and other aspects of the wedding are representative of us and not just one or the other. Areas where I am strong I led, like the food and music, while more artistic aspects like décor, floral and photography she led. No one, friend or family member, ever said anything again about the choice of NOLA outside of saying how great “our” wedding was. It truly was our mutual love of the city and venue that made it all work. Besides, Miami would have been way less fun and much hotter.
WHY: Why did you guys choose Arte de Vie to document your special day!?
We wanted a journalistic approach. A photographer who would help us tell our story for years to come. Your ability to capture moments and emotions was what drew us to your services. After a few phone calls and a glass of wine at our venue, we feel as though you’ll be able to understand what makes us ‘us’ and help us remember the little moments of our day. We love the candid approach.
I left the artistic selection to Casey as she knows this world far better than I ever will, granted I nixed a few others she suggested we talk to for one reason or another: too girly; too antiseptic; too forced/cookie cutter; too cheesy, etc. I also wanted someone familiar with our venues and had the support of our other partners. Once I agreed with the artistic approach she wanted to follow, the rest came down to chemistry with the photographer. Are we just another job? Do I want to spend an entire day with this person, let alone the month’s leading up to the wedding? Are they fun? Are they going to get/deal with our weird sense of humor? Are they going to take charge and rip into the pedi cab driver when he shows up late and wants to leave early? Are they going to be strong in their artistic convictions and convince us that a first look makes sense? CheyAnne is a “yes” to all of the above. Besides, she takes really good photographs and says “y’all” a lot, like a real lot.
Host B&B: Sully Mansion
Ceremony Location: Irish Cultural Museum
Reception: The Gallery
Hair: Aveda Salon
DJ/Band: Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Dozen
Catering: The Chicory
Florist: Arbor House Floral
Event Design/Coordination: Tie the Knot (Coordination)
Cakes: Pies by the Sully Mansion
Wedding Rings: J Sampieri
Bride’s Gown Designer: David’s Bridal
Bride’s Jewelry: Necklace J Sampieri
Bridesmaids’ Attire Designer: Davids bridal
Groom’s Attire: Suit = Richard James Tie is Brioni
Groomsmen’s Attire: Ties are Bigi