The Motto of This Intimate Industrial Warehouse Wedding? "Flowers Everywhere!"
In 2008, Reese Williamson had just moved from New Orleans to Texas for a job when he found another reason to stay in the Lone Star State: Margaret Toppin. The two met at a bar one night and began dating—and a few years later, when New Orleans called again, they moved back to the city together. On Christmas morning in 2016, Margaret opened a small box with a kitten-shaped ring holder (a nod to the couple's beloved cat) and a sparkling engagement ring. "Squealing and Champagne soon followed," says the bride.
Margaret, a florist with Leaf + Petal, turned to one of her industry colleagues for a one-of-a-kind venue. "My friend, the owner of Lovegood Rentals, has the most amazing industrial warehouse where she stores her vintage finds," says Margaret. "We joked someone should get married there because it's so incredible, and I was just like, 'Okay, great, it can be me!' And so we did."
As she and Reese began planning their 40-person wedding for May 5, 2018, Margaret took on the event styling and floral design herself—but also enlisted Michelle Norwood Events for help with the rest of the details. "I work in the industry but I seriously had no idea about all the event aspects that have to fall into place to make the entire event run smoothly," Margaret says. "I honestly wouldn't have thought to have an officiant, music, or transportation if left to my own devices." Though the work felt overwhelming at times, she had no trouble with one aspect of planning: the event design. "I just walked in and knew what I wanted," she says. "Flowers everywhere!"
"Since our wedding was a destination for a lot of our guests, we went with a monstera leaf cocktail party theme," says Margaret of the party Reese's parents hosted the night before the ceremony. "But for the wedding invite, I went a little more formal— very simple, very clean." The couple chose an invitation from Minted with navy script accentuating lines of all-caps block text, and left their card free of illustrations. "I liked centering the design around the gorgeous font," says Margaret.
A Mother's Love
After years of working in the fashion industry, "I always believed that my dress would be Valentino—that long, etherial, gauzy look," says Margaret. "I went the complete opposite with design and price point—thank God; I bought my dress from ShopBop on sale for $135!"
Her LNA cotton mini dress had a deep V-neckline, a floral lace pattern, and a summer-inspired sensibility. "I was really overwhelmed with designing the wedding and I just wanted something I knew would look good and be easy," she says. Margaret's mother flew in from out of town to attend—a memorable moment for the bride. "My mom had been sick and was needing a surgery," says Margaret. "That she toughed it out and was there for me all the way from Texas was amazing."
Pretty in Pink
The bride added a bright accent to her look with pink velvet heels from Gucci, which she swapped for floral espadrilles from the same designer at the reception. "I'm a florist," she says. "Everything I have has flowers all over it!"
Margaret carried a "natural in shape, relaxed, and loose" bouquet that included white O'Hara garden roses, cafe au lait dahlias, ranunculus, and mixed eucalyptus and jasmine.
Reese wore a navy blue textured suit and a tie Margaret had given him as a gift years before the wedding. "He wears the suit to work sometimes," says Margaret. "Apparently we're very functional people!"
Ready to Wed
Margaret and Reese traded a first look for an entire morning spent with each other, pausing before the ceremony for photos in front of a wall covered in jasmine. "We got ready together all day," says Margaret. "Reese actually was the one that helped me zip my mini dress!"
The bride calls "hanging out with my husband all day"—including before the ceremony—the best part of the big day: "I had been overwhelmed and it was really the best thing for me. It calmed me down and made me realize flowers hanging from ceilings are not the most important thing."
The couple chose an outdoor courtyard area at the Lovegood Rentals warehouse for their ceremony spot, bringing in dark-toned bentwood chairs and softening the exposed brick with climbing floral arrangements.
"Our aesthetic as a business is basically romantic garden style, which is what I have always seen my wedding being," says Margaret. "I'm just a fan of the classics. For florals I went with a neutral base with really soft blush accents and seasonal fillers."
Margaret and Reese hired a violinist for their ceremony and cocktail hour, requesting "At Last" by Etta James for the processional. "My brother walked me down the aisle," says Margaret. "It was super special."
With this Ring
The couple exchanged vows in a non-religious ceremony tailored to their preferences. "We actually begged our officiant to keep it simple—and quick," says Margaret.
Husband and Wife
Margaret and Reese beamed as their officiant finally named them husband and wife; they shared a kiss before joyfully recessing back up the aisle, hand in hand.
After the ceremony, the couple and their guests moved indoors for cocktails. "It was so fun, because we just kept all the amazing rental pieces out—think hutches and bookshelves—and instead of doing any florals, just did candles all over the place," says Margaret. "We just wanted to make it feel like a separate space, but still cohesive to the overall theme."
After a few quick newlywed portraits, Margaret and Reese joined their guests at the cocktail hour, where passed hors d'oeuvres included crab maison, watermelon gazpacho, and peach and prosciutto toast. The couple also opted not to limit themselves to a signature cocktail, and decorated a display of glassware with an eye-catching floral arrangement. "It's New Orleans—all drinks were offered!" says Margaret.
Against the Wall
The couple served dinner in the warehouse, too, adoring the space near their dining area with wall-mounted floral arrangements meant to look native and a little wild. "The warehouse is an industrial background, which I thought would offset all the lush florals we brought in," says Margaret. "I wanted it to look like the florals were just growing from the ceiling and walls—natural and organic, but still clean and not fussy."
At the Table
Guests sat at a single long wooden table, where brass candelabras and low bunches of flowers and foliage created an intimate atmosphere inside the industrial space. A collection of mismatched rugs helped define the area.
Center of Attention
Margaret filled a collection of 48 blue-and-white chinoiserie vases with white-and-blush blooms. "Oh, those cafe au lait dahlias," she says, "literally straight from the farm!"
Clear glass chargers, crystal glassware, and gold flatware reflected the nearby candlelight, adding a lavish gleam to the natural flower arrangements and industrial space.
The couple ordered a two-tier cake from Bittersweet Confections in French vanilla with buttercream icing, and Margaret added a few fresh flowers before presenting it at the reception.
Party of Two
Margaret and Reese chose a slightly more formal serving style for their post-wedding meal. "I wanted to do something different, and in the South you rarely see seated dinners," explains the bride. "So we did a several course seated dinner, followed by music and passed cafe au lait with beignets."
The menu from Little Bushel Catering Company included roasted beet and spring berry salad, pecan-crusted salmon, and steak with herb roulade. The newlyweds held hands as they enjoyed the meal with their friends and family. "Things will always happen, be it rain or a drunk bridesmaid," notes Margaret. "But the most important thing will always be that you are getting to marry the person you love."
Photography, Lance Nicoll
Venue and Rentals, Lovegood Rentals
Event Planning, Michelle Norwood Events
Catering, Little Bushel Catering Company
Flowers and Design, Leaf + Petal NOLA
Cake, Bittersweet Confections
Bride's Gown, LNA
Bride's Shoes, Gucci
Hair and Makeup, Gabriella Jimcoily
Lighting, House of Modern Vintage NOLA