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A New Orleans Love Story

New Orleans is such a romantic city and is perfect for an engagement shoot. It is even better when the bride and groom are from the beautiful city.  Although currently residents of Nashville, Ariele and Shan knew they had to take it home for their engagement shoot. This beautiful couple has made it through long distance dating and are so excited to plan their NOLA themed wedding. Learn more about their love story today!

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Bride Name :

Ariele Johnson

Groom Name :

Shan Foster

Engagement Location :

New Orleans, LA

Engagement Date :


Alma Mater of Bride :

University of Houston

 Alma Mater of Groom

Vanderbilt University

Current City where you live :

Nashville, TN

Bride Hometown :

New Orleans, LA

Groom Hometown :

New Orleans, LA

How did you meet? :

We unofficially “met” via mutual friends on FaceBook. We talked alot via FaceBook, WhatsApp, and Skype. Since he was still playing basketball in Belgium at the time we didn’t officially meet until around Christmas 2011. He visited me in Houston during one of his breaks in the season and we hit it off immediately.

How long have you dated? :

We’ve dated since December 2011, so about 3 years.

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How did he propose? :

He proposed on Christmas at my grandfather’s house in Memphis. We were exchanging gifts when he sent me on a scavenger hunt for my final gift. While myself and other family members were searching his truck for the gift, he was inside preparing my uncle to photograph the entire thing. When I returned with no gift he got on one knee and asked me to marry him. That was the best gift I’ve ever received.

When did you know he was the one? :

I knew he was the one when we met in the airport in Houston. I walked up behind him at the baggage claim and when he turned around his entire face lit up, and I’m sure mine did as well. We had communicated so much while he was overseas that our interactions together just seemed so natural. I immediately introduced him to my parents and when he went to New Orleans to visit his, he flew me there to meet his as well.

What is the cutest thing he has done for you without you asking? :

Shan is always doing sweet things for me without me having to ask, but when we first started dating he was intentional about finding out what my favorite flower was. Unbeknownst to him, my favorite flower is a peony and he had them delivered to my job in the middle of January. When I received them I couldn’t believe he had even attempted to do this, let alone succeeded since they are out of season and very difficult to get during that time of the year.

What is something you love about him that has completely changed your life? :

He is strongly rooted in his faith and has really helped to make that a central part of our relationship. We have a wonderful life together and I completely accredit that to us putting God first in our relationship.

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What part of wedding planning is making you crazy? :

Wedding planning has really been a stress-free process for me. Now that we’re less than 60 days out every little detail is magnified which can be overwhelming at times. But my motto is “Less stress is best”. So far it’s worked!

What part of wedding planning can you not live without? :

I don’t think I could live without my awesome Maid of Honor, Kyle. She’s been so helpful and helps me to remain stress-free. I don’t think I could have done it and remained sane without her!

What was your first thought the day after your engagement? :

I was so obsessed with my ring, so most of my thoughts were consumed with it. Initially I have to have to resized and I went through withdrawals.

What did you love about taking engagement pictures? :

Our photographer, Quinn, was really great! She really captured our love for eachother and our love for New Orleans and made the entire thing look so effortless. It definitely was not as it was 5 AM and about 80 degrees and very humid.

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What is special about being a New Orleans bride? :

What makes New Orleans brides special is the connection to the culture of the city and incorporating that into the wedding. My entire life has been filled with such rich culture and awesome experiences that I really wanted our closest friends as family to experience some of that as well. I truly believe anyone can fall in love in New Orleans because the city is so full of allure and romance.

What do you love about planning a wedding in the South? :

I have thoroughly enjoyed incorporating some of our New Orleans and southern traditions into our wedding. The location is also super convenient for all of our guests.

Who did you tell first about your engagement? :

Well my family was present to they knew first, but I also had an uncle and aunt living in Amsterdam that we immediately called.

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Are you used to the ring yet?

 I am VERY used to it, and rarely take it off.

How many times do you accidentally say girlfriend instead of fiance in a day? :

We’ve had a pretty long engagement so I’ve gotten used to saying fiance. Now I’ll have to get used to saying husband now, which is exciting and a little intimidating.

Photography Via: Quinn Gordon of With Love, Quinntography formerly Q. Bleu Photo :


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Michiel Perry

Michiel is a Black Southern Belle living a lowcountry life. I love all things fashion, home decor and southern! When I am not running around doing fun stuff for Black Southern Belle, I live in antique stores and have a minor obsession with historic homes 🙂

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