Cajun food, umbrellas, and a Rihanna fake-out at Mona & Tammy's New Orleans wedding

New Orleans two-bride wedding from @offbeatbride
Photos by Matthew Foster Photography

The Offbeat Bride: Mona, Las Vegas Photographer

Her offbeat partner: Tammy, Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Date and location of wedding: Latrobe's on Royal in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana — January 11, 2014

Our offbeat wedding at a glance:

Tammy and I met online. She lived in New Orleans and I lived in Las Vegas. We "video" dated every night via Skype since we met and fell madly in love. While I was in Costa Rica on 11/11/11, the clock struck 11:11 p.m. I felt compelled to ask Tammy to marry me. She immediately said, "Yes." After a two-year engagement and her move to Las Vegas, we decided to get married in her hometown of New Orleans. We wanted to celebrate our New Orleans wedding New Orleans-style. We chose the date 1/11/14 at 1:11 p.m. because this sequence of ONES had significant meaning to us, and we felt no better way to join our lives on 1/11 since we were engaged 11/11/11. We always joke that it's amazing what you can find on the internet.

New Orleans two-bride wedding from @offbeatbride

New Orleans two-bride wedding from @offbeatbride

New Orleans two-bride wedding from @offbeatbride

New Orleans two-bride wedding from @offbeatbride

New Orleans two-bride wedding from @offbeatbride

New Orleans two-bride wedding from @offbeatbride

New Orleans two-bride wedding from @offbeatbridee

New Orleans two-bride wedding from @offbeatbride

Tell us about the ceremony:

This was the first lesbian wedding almost all of our friends and family had attended. In fact, Tammy and I had never attended one ourselves. We weren't sure how to pull off a wedding with two brides. We decided to wear wedding dresses because we couldn't imagine Tammy dancing with her father in a sexy pantsuit. Finally, we found raw silk champagne-colored gowns that complimented each other. It was a challenge because we didn't want one bride to overshadow the other.

New Orleans two-bride wedding from @offbeatbride

New Orleans two-bride wedding from @offbeatbride

New Orleans two-bride wedding from @offbeatbride

New Orleans two-bride wedding from @offbeatbride

We chose the amazing venue Latrobe's on Royal in the French Quarter of New Orleans for its architectural beauty. It was completed in 1822 as the Louisiana State Bank designed by architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe. Our ceremony was held inside the converted horse-drawn carriageway of the bank. Tammy's father gave her away, but I asked my two sons (22 and 24) to give me away. As we walked the aisle, Adele's "Make You Feel My Love" filled the air. Candles lined the aisle and window sills. Curly willow branches of purple and white dendrobium orchids arched above us.

New Orleans two-bride wedding from @offbeatbride

New Orleans two-bride wedding from @offbeatbride

New Orleans two-bride wedding from @offbeatbride

Tammy and I wrote our own vows, and neither of us could contain our tears while reading them to each other. The most touching moment was when she reached out to hold my hand and comfort me so I could continue saying them to her. In retrospect, we find it comical we asked two of our best friends to stand in as "Here Come the Brides" sign carriers because Tammy's young niece and nephew had meltdowns minutes before the ceremony.

New Orleans two-bride wedding from @offbeatbride

New Orleans two-bride wedding from @offbeatbride

New Orleans two-bride wedding from @offbeatbride

Tell us about your reception:

Our reception was held in the grand ballroom of Latrobe's. It began with our first dance to Keith Urban's "Only You Can Love Me This Way." However, we shocked our guests as our DJ pretended to mess up and Rihanna's "Umbrella" broke out. Tammy and I tossed off our high heels and began a choreographed umbrella dance. The crowd burst in laughter and applause.

New Orleans two-bride wedding from @offbeatbride

New Orleans two-bride wedding from @offbeatbride

New Orleans two-bride wedding from @offbeatbride

A meal of New Orleans Cajun specialties was served. Guests signed Polaroid photos of themselves hanging on a wooden frame instead of a traditional book. Celebration favors given to guests were 3×3 wooden tiles with photos of the brides, "Mint to Be" mints, and second-line handkerchiefs embossed with our names and wedding date.

New Orleans two-bride wedding from @offbeatbride

New Orleans two-bride wedding from @offbeatbride

Prepared to be comfortable, Tammy and I slipped on orange and purple Converse Chucks as the seven-piece brass band Kinfolk appeared and began playing. Carrying fleur de lis umbrellas, we exited Latrobe's followed by the band and all of our guests. Our guests shook their handkerchiefs in celebration as we danced through the French Quarter with a police escort. Kinfolk played amazing jazz tunes, catching the eyes and ears of all spectators. My sons and nephew felt like celebrities. To our surprise, our Las Vegas friends joined in on the fun and wore multi-colored Chucks, too. Definitely a magical day as we headed to our Royal Sonesta balcony suite for our bead-throwing after-party.

New Orleans two-bride wedding from @offbeatbride

New Orleans two-bride wedding from @offbeatbride

New Orleans two-bride wedding from @offbeatbride

New Orleans two-bride wedding from @offbeatbride

New Orleans two-bride wedding from @offbeatbride

What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding?

The most important lesson we learned is that we are truly accepted as married "wives." Our biggest challenge in planning our wedding was to create a ceremony where our guests would feel comfortable watching two women get married. It felt natural to us because our love was real and we were committed to each other, but we didn't want to be married until it was legal in the United States.

The love and support we received was amazing. Our minister was impressed with the ceremony we wrote, as well as our vows. I guess our advice would be is to follow your hearts. Everyone's love and commitment is real, and it definitely is worth taking a chance celebrating with those you love and who love you.

New Orleans two-bride wedding from @offbeatbride

New Orleans two-bride wedding from @offbeatbride

New Orleans two-bride wedding from @offbeatbride

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  1. So, I love everything about this. Amazing venue, amazing location and amazing everything, really.

    Many, many, many happy years to you both! Many congratulations!

    10 agree
    • Thank you so much for the kind comments. It was a magical day for sure. We want to do it all over again.

      1 agrees
  2. I couldn't be more happier for my niece, Tammy. She and Mona compliment each other so well. From the time I first met Mona, I felt she was part of our family and now she is. I wish them both all the happiness that eternity has to bring them.

    3 agree
  3. You two looked so beautiful. Congratulations!

    Question for you.. I just got engaged and want to do a parade (also rocking converse like you did) did you have to ok it before hand with the city? What steps (pun fully intended) to get it all set up? Did you also do a run through before hand?

    Thanks in advance for any advice!!

  4. Beautiful! Absolutely beautiful. I was going to pick out a favourite photo but can't. Such love and happiness shine out of all of them ­čÖé

    Best wishes to you both!

  5. Gorgeous wedding, it looks like so much fun, and the loving looks on your faces really make it real how much you care for each other. Wishing a lifetime of happiness to you both!

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