Monday, May 19, 2014

James & Mariah’s NOLA Wedding #jariah

Meet James & Mariah!

This is one of my favorite couples. Jonathan & I absolutely LOVE them both to pieces!! They are like peanut butter and jelly; awesome individually, but even better together! They are hilarious, so much fun, and some of our great friends. We laugh & laugh with them and they are super easy to be around. You can read all about them & how they met here…or here. I actually introduced them/hooked them up and “sparks flew” (no pun intended…or maybe it was). So yes, you can add MATCHMAKER to my resume. (They’re currently my 3rd success story! Just sayin’!!)

Their wedding was May 9th in New Orleans. James is originally from NOLA and Mariah was in grad school in Baton Rouge, so it was a perfect location.  I have been to New Orleans once before (pre-blogging era, boo!) when I taught Jazzercise & had a blast. I was so pumped to go out for the wedding  & get to hang out with some of our favorite AdvoCare friends. We flew out on May 8th (Thursday) for the rehearsal & rehearsal dinner. We got in pretty early and enjoyed a delicious lunch with James and Mariah and her parents. YUM!! I’m not even a burger person but this was DELISH. Hands down best burger I have ever had.


Jonathan & I had an interesting time navigating the roads in Nola. I think all couples should experience that before getting married to put their relationship to the test. I was the navigator while Jonathan drove, and let’s just say we should probably take that OFF of my resume. I feel like I’m pretty smart, but there are some things I don’t do well. Deciphering the directions on my phone’s GPS is one of those things. (Seriously, can it give me just a little more notice?  That’s all I’m askin!) We had a BLAST spending time together though. It’s been a while since we’ve traveled alone and it’s always good for us have that quality alone time to reconnect. It felt so strange not worrying about Baby Jase but we knew he was being taken great care of at home with all of his grandparents.

The cathedral was absolutely STUNNING. Catholic churches are gorgeous anyway, but St. Joseph’s was beyond beautiful. It has the longest aisle in all of New Orleans! My crappy cell phone pics hardly do it justice. I sent a few to my dad because he grew up Catholic and appreciates some good architecture.


I was so honored to be one of Mariah’s bridesmaids and stand beside her on her special day. All of her other bridesmaids were so fantastic! I LOVED them! (Her friend Jillian has an awesome food blog- you can check it out here: Newly Bread. And her other extremely talented friend Candice is a Personal Stylist. How cool?!? ) Candice & Michelle are both rock stars on our AdvoCare team too.

The rehearsal dinner was at the Yacht Club and was beautiful & absolutely delish!  Loved finally meeting Justin (Michelle’s fiance- whoop whoop! Another champion couple in our life) and spending more time with the other bridesmaids. We had a fabulous time & talked until they basically kicked us out of the Yacht Club. Jonathan had filet and I had trout. Bread pudding for dessert. When in New Orleans, one must thoroughly enjoy the food. If I wasn’t still nursing I would have been loading up on some Carb-Ease!

Mariah was the most laid back bride EVER & that helped make the whole experience such a joy.

Friday morning we headed downtown for brunch to Café Beignet with some of our friends. YUMMMMM!!! Beignets basically taste like funnel cakes, but they seem special because of the name. If it’s French, it’s gotta be good, right? (And yes, I’ve had Café Du Monde’s before too. But our fellas needed some real food too.)

We enjoyed brunch outside under some big trees and listened to talented locals sing old hymns on the streets. It was such a cool experience & we always have a blast with all of these friends. (Sweet Beth was outside holding our table.)

I’m just gonna throw this out there…Big Jon is seriously like a fine wine….getting better with age! I mean, I know he’s my hubby, but dannnng he is FINE!! Lookin like a stud.


We headed back to the hotel and it was SHOW TIME! Jon went and worked out with the other Advo studs while I got my hair did (cuz if you haven’t noticed in all my pics, that isn’t exactly my specialty).  Kristen did an AWESOME job. I LOVED it and would love to learn to duplicate that same look by myself, but not going to get too ambitious. Have y’all seen that youtube video where the girl burns her hair off? Well, I just have a bad feeling that could be me, so I’ll just stick with my nappy pony tails. Anyway, if you live in the New Orleans or Baton Rouge area, the girls (Monique & Kristen) own a salon on St. Thomas called Three Phases. They were incredible & did a phenomenal job on everyone’s hair! Definitely check them out!

(the scary selfie I sent Jon while we were getting ready)


The makeup artist was unbelievable too. Here name is Chris Carter and a link to her Facebook page. She was a pro with those fake eyelashes. (And those things are no joke. They caused my mini meltdown from my wedding.) Side note: The next morning Jonathan called out very hesitantly from the bathroom,”Uhhhh, Danielle….I think you left you eyebrows on the sink.” Hahaha!! I cracked up.


So, the thing about Mariah….She is just as BEAUTIFUL on the inside as she is on the outside. She is so very humble and has no idea what a natural beauty she is. But I’m just going to throw it out there that while I have never seen an ugly bride and I have some majorly gorgeous friends, Mariah is one of the most BEAUTIFUL brides I have EVER seen. She was breathtaking!! You’re welcome, James.


I rode with Michelle & some of the other bridesmaids to the professional pictures, and once again the GPS failed us (or maybe we failed it?) so we took a little detour. Gave me time to pump in the car! Story of my life.

Pre-ceremony fun! (LOVED the bridesmaid dresses. Super classy & chic.)


LOVE my sweet Michelle & cannot wait to see her tie the knot in July! She is such a genuinely funny & sweet person! Going to make a LOVELY bride too!




The ceremony was beautiful and so very sweet. I can’t help but feel a renewed sense of love for Jonathan every time we go to a wedding ceremony.

The reception was a BLAST!! They did such a beautiful job planning every aspect of the wedding, especially for having a short engagement. Loved FINALLY meeting Kathleen (killer weight loss story!) & seeing sweet Faith. LOVE those ladies!!

Classic photobomb. Kim looks like a pro!


Who says moms can’t be fit? Brandi (a future Dallas Cowboy cheerleader) is a mama of 2 boys. She is a lady in the streets, beast in the gym.


Butler’s: Keepin it awkward since 2006.

Some of our favorite Advo people! (Missed you Kathy!) Love these friends dearly & so thankful we get to do life with them. (Doesn’t Rachel on the far right look just like Monica Potter?) Seriously, they were such a blast!

The next morning Jonathan & I drove around New Orleans for a while before heading back to the airport. LOVE my hubby! Oh gosh, and funny story at the airport. I took all my bobby pins out the night before (there were close to 7,486), but didn’t wash my hair (try to pick your jaw up off the ground. Shocker, right?). When we were walking through security, the lady stopped me and patted the top of my head. I cracked up! She told me my poof was causing an alarm. Hahah!! I was transporting breast milk & they checked my POOF? What can I say…the bigger the hair, the closer to Jesus.I likkkkkke big HAIR and I cannot lie…”

James & Mariah- We love you both dearly and are so thankful we were able to share in this time with you. Praying with you as you begin your new journey as husband and wife!! Thank you for allowing us to join you in making these precious memories!


Congrats Rutter, Party of 2!!


Mrs. Rutter said...

YAY! This post was so wonderful and since I haven't exactly started therutterlife blog, (thank you, 1 million thank you notes!) this is such a beautiful way for us to have the day captured! Love you Danielle, Big Jon, and Baby Jase!!

Pamela said...

Gorgeous bride!! Love her dress. You & your husband are too cute!!

Candice said...

Man, what a great read! Thanks for the shout out;) Epic weekend! Cheers to the Rutter's and this new season of life and to new relationships. Loved meeting you guys!

Rachel said...

Fun post, beautiful couple.
I was wondering if you knew the name/brand of your bridesmaid's dress? My sister's getting married this summer and I'm still looking for something elegant and classy that will work well in the heat. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I actually think you look exactly like Monica Potter!