Wedding Reception at Academy of the Sacred Heart in NOLA
Michael Caswell Photography

Wedding Reception at Academy of the Sacred Heart in NOLA

While wedding ceremonies in the chapel of Academy of the Sacred Heart in New Orleans are not uncommon, many people don't realize that Sacred Heart can also host wedding receptions, as was the case with this wedding on a gorgeous spring afternoon.

The ceremony took place right across the street at St. George's Episcopal Church on St. Charles Avenue, and the reception was held in Sacred Heart Academy's courtyard. There's no denying the pleasing architectural beauty of this symmetrical and distinctive building, which was constructed around 1900. A highly regarded Catholic school for girls, I always love when brides who were educated here return to be married in the school's beautiful chapel, and this was my first time photographing a reception at this venue.

This particular shot was one of those instances where I know right away I had captured a very memorable and special image. The enthusiastic guests with streamer sticks provided a wonderful send-off for the bride and groom at the end of the event. The energy and excitement of the friends and family was transferred to to the bride and groom as they ran through the streamers, and I love the resulting expressions. And, certainly not any less important, the timing of the departure was perfect in terms of light, being about 20 minutes before sunset. I'm not sure if this was the intention, but I appreciated it nonetheless!

This couple had another unique element to their departure. Rather than being whisked away by limousine, they instead walked to nearby streetcar stop, boarded, and off they went! While it's not uncommon for a wedding to feature one or more chartered streetcars to carry off the newly married couple with perhaps the bridesmaids, groomsmen, some family members, and some of the guests, that was not the case here. Instead, they enlisted the help of one of their friends who was assisting with the coordination of the wedding, who drove several blocks away to watch for an incoming car, and then conveyed this information back to another coordinator, who then quickly rounded up the guests for the send-off. The result was a perfectly timed ending, with the couple leaving through the cheering crowd, and a streetcar pulling up to the stop moments later as if on cue.

Location: 4521 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans LA 70115.