Film is the perfect medium for documenting the emotion of a wedding day and making it tangible. I photographed Juan Pablo and Katie’s Riverview Room wedding on film and Polaroids. The result was a collection of tender, authentic images that they’ll be able to treasure.
The Riverview Room is a ballroom-style wedding venue on the edge of the French Quarter. Unlike a lot of ballrooms with unfortunate carpets and poor lighting, the Riverview Room has fun details and lots of big windows. The ceiling has geometric champagne tiles. A custom window arches across one wall. The walls are papered in a subtle black and white design that adds a classic element to the decor. Overall the palette is very neutral but refined.
As you may have guessed from the name, the Riverview Room is located near the Mississippi River in New Orleans’ French Quarter. A Riverview Room wedding happens in the heart of the historic neighborhood. Locals and out-of-towners alike enjoy the experience of an intimate private event in the midst of the bustling French Quarter with its vibrant nightlife.
Since the Riverview Room is on the Mississippi, its large windows offer beautiful views of the French Quarter and the river. The best part is not the ballroom itself but the adjacent terrace. The large terrace overlooks the French Quarter and the river. It’s big enough for seated ceremonies with cafe lights strung overhead. Watching the sunset over St. Louis Cathedral is pure magic. Guests can watch the Steamboat Natchez rolling down the river as they sip cocktails. It’s an incredible way to experience the city.
I was excited to photograph Katie and Juan Pablo’s wedding for so many reasons. One of the biggest was that they decided to prioritize film photography and Polaroids. I really value giving couples photos that they can feel. With film wedding photography, not only do couples feel emotional when they look at the images, but they can physically hold them in their hands. That’s a whole experience in itself.
The importance of tangible momentos is why I love offering full Polaroid albums. It gives couples a material way to experience their images immediately. Polaroid wedding albums can sit out on a coffee table so couples can relive their weddings over and over again. It’s something that they can feel with their hands and hearts.
Wedding photography on film makes perfect sense for Katie and Juan Pablo. Their love for each other is palpable. As individuals, they have such unique energies. Together you can feel how visceral their love is. Film was a perfect fit for documenting their wedding day, and they were both excited to incorporate it. Instead of worrying about getting the perfect shot, we could focus on capturing the emotion and energy of the day. Of course, their digital images are incredible in their own right, but Katie and Juan Pablo have really loved their film images. The couple thinks film is cool, but they also have a deeper appreciation for the craft that goes into it. That made working with labor-intensive film worth it for me.
Katie and Juan Pablo’s wedding at the Riverview Room was an amazing reflection of who they are as a couple. They’ve been together for seven years. Originally, they’d planned to marry in October 2020. At that time, COVID restrictions made international travel uncertain, and most of Juan Pablo’s family was traveling from El Salvador to attend the wedding. In a quirky coincidence, I spent several extended periods in the same city where Juan Pablo’s family lives. We enjoyed sharing that connection.
In the end, the couple was grateful that they waited until Juan Pablo’s family could be there with them. After a moving ceremony on the Riverview Room’s terrace, the couple danced the night away with their guests. They really knew how to celebrate!
By the time I left, I felt emptied out in the best way. Shooting film, Polaroids, and digital at one wedding is hard work, but I gave it my all. Honestly, it was so rewarding to see the images and hold them in my hands. I know Katie and Juan Pablo feel the same way.
Are you interested in having me photograph your New Orleans wedding on film? Reach out, and let’s make it official!
Thank you to the vendors who made Katie and Juan Pablo’s wedding possible:
Venue: Riverview Room
Florals: Crystal Vase Flowers
Hair and Makeup: Salon Du Sud
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