The Caldwell House Bridal Show 2013 – will not participate

Thank you for considering participation in the 2013 Bridal Show.

If you change your mind and decide to participate, you may contact us anytime through March 15, 2013 to inquire about whether or not there is booth space available.

We hope to hear from you.

The Caldwell House


Planning a Rehearsal Dinner

A Rehearsal Dinner is a pre-wedding ceremony, typically held immediately after the ceremony rehearsal.  Guests are the bride, groom, bridal party, close family and friends, particularly those who will play a part in the wedding ceremony.  The Rehearsal Dinner provides the bride and groom an occasion to thank those who participated in the wedding preparations and give both sides of the family an opportunity to meet before the wedding day.

The following may assist you in your planning of the Rehearsal Dinner:

Who is responsible for hosting the Rehearsal Dinner?  — Typically, the Rehearsal Dinner is hosted by the groom and his family.  The Rehearsal Dinner should present an interesting counterpoint to the atmosphere and style of the wedding reception.  Love formal dinner parties?  Hate formal dinner parties?  There are no rules.  Your rehearsal dinner can be anything you want it to be — a formal dinner affair, a backyard barbeque or taco party with jeans and t-shirts, or anything in between.  It is YOUR event – usually the kick-off celebration of YOUR wedding.  Even if the wedding is formal, the Rehearsal Dinner doesn’t have to be.  Choose the type of event that you and your family and friends will be comfortable with.

Photo by Shane Falgout Photography

Help! — Don’t know where to start?  No problem.  One call to The Caldwell House is all it takes.  A Caldwell consultant will assist you in planning the rehearsal dinner.  At The Caldwell, you have the freedom to coordinate rehearsal dinner activities as you choose – cocktails, dinner, toasting, giving of gifts, etc. – and The Caldwell staff will be there to assist.  Included in the rehearsal dinner package is buffet service with fleur de lis glass plates, silverware and glassware, sure to impress your family and friends.  Soft music can be played on The Caldwell music system, or you may choose to have a small instrumental ensemble.  Unlike a busy restaurant, your rehearsal dinner will be a private affair and our staff will help make it a stress-free, memorable event for all!

Visit The Caldwell House webpage on what we have to offer regarding Rehearsal Dinners.

Wedding Reception Music

Moore Photography

Wedding receptions at The Caldwell House are held under the West Garden Pavilion on the opposite side of the home from the East Garden Ceremony Site.  While the East Garden is well-suited for the ceremony, the West Garden Pavilion provides a perfect place for the reception, along with the inside of the home for food and beverages.  The reception music may be the same or may be different from the ceremony music.

The choices for reception music are extensive and should be totally dependent upon the personality and choice of the bride and groom.  Perhaps a bride and groom like jazz and desire to have a jazz band for the reception music.  Jazz music adds an elegance and sophistication not found in other music, however, it may not be the type of music family and friends will want to dance to.  Consider your guests and what type of reception you want to have.  If you prefer a low-key reception where guests mingle rather than dance, a jazz band would be a wonderful choice.  However, if the majority of guests are young people who like to dance, they may be bored and feel out of place at a reception with jazz music.

A large band can provide a “big party” atmosphere and make your reception an extremely fun event.  If this is what you envision for your wedding reception, you will probably have many bands to choose from.  While bands with 10 or more members may be expensive (compared to small bands), and may also require staging, tenting, lights, etc., they certainly can make your wedding reception “the talk of the town”.  However, if cost is a consideration, there are other bands which are composed of only a few musicians and their cost and requirements will be much less.

Some bands are now using technology to produce natural-sounding electronic music which is combined with live musicians and instruments.  This allows small bands to create sounds that they could never come up with using only a few instruments.  The Caldwell House has had such a band play at various events and the customers were extremely pleased.  We expect to see much more of this in the future.

DJ’s are the most popular choice for wedding receptions in our area, probably for two reasons:  (1) the cost is easier on the budget; (2) many brides and grooms have friends who DJ.   While the first reason is certainly a consideration, we advise caution on the second reason, particularly if the DJ is not a professional and is not familiar with playing for wedding receptions.  DJ’s are not only expected to provide music, but they must make announcements at the reception, which should be done in a professional manner, and they are often responsible for coordinating the events that take place during the reception, such as the first dance, parent dances, money dance and the bouquet and garter throw.  Not knowing what to say or how to say it could make for awkward moments at a reception.

Music may be the most important consideration when you plan your wedding reception.  Shop early so that you will have your choice of music and give it a lot of thought for a wedding reception you and your guests will enjoy and remember fondly.

Wedding Ceremony Music

Moore Photography

Brides and Grooms who choose The Caldwell House for their wedding ceremony usually do so because they desire to have an outdoor garden wedding. The beauty of the East Garden provides a lushly-landscaped and magical area for that special event.  The East Garden, however, is on the opposite side of the home from where the reception will take place, so a separate music setup is required.  Most DJ’s can provide two setups, a lighter one for the ceremony site, a larger one with speakers and other supporting musical equipment on the reception side.

Rather than recorded music, however, many brides and grooms choose to have live musicians perform at their ceremony, even if a DJ provides the music for the reception.

JLang Photography

Besides the ambiance and uniqueness live musicians can provide for a ceremony, there are two major differences between live and recorded music for a ceremony, particularly concerning the bridal walk.  Live musicians can “follow” the flow of the bridal walk and will usually have a smooth transition between songs selected for various parts of the bridal walk.  Recorded music provided by a DJ means that the bridal walk must “conform to the music” (rather than the music conforming to the walk).  If the music is recorded and various songs are selected (one for the family, one for the bridal party, one for the bride), there is often a silence as one song is faded out and the next song is selected and begins to play.  Professional DJ’s know how to make this transition smooth, however, many DJ’s who play for weddings are not professional DJ’s and never is that more apparent than during a bridal walk.  Sometimes it causes an awkwardness as everyone waits for the next song to begin.

Music at outdoor ceremonies requires careful planning.  There are many choices for live music.  A harpist can provide elegant and soothing music for your ceremony.  Guests will enjoy watching the harpist play the type of music you select.  Harpists can provide classical, folk, Celtic or pop music.  The East Garden, where the outdoor ceremonies are held, has a beautifully landscaped inset next to the ceremony site which is a perfect spot for your harpist to play within sight of your guests as they wait for the ceremony to begin.  You may also choose to add other instruments to be played along with the harp, such as a flute or violin.

A trumpet can provide a dramatic effect and add a memorable touch to your ceremony.  You would definitely want to make sure that the trumpet player is a professional in wedding music and not your cousin who plays the trumpet in a school band.

JLang Photography

A cello is another instrument which offers a rich and unique type of music for the ceremony.  A keyboard is another popular choice.

Perhaps you prefer to have a soloist perform prior to the ceremony, during the bridal walk or at various times during the ceremony.  A good soloist will add a very memorable touch to your wedding ceremony.

Regardless of what type of music setup you choose, give it a lot of thought so that what you choose will enhance your wedding ceremony.

The Caldwell House Second Annual Bridal Show and Open House

The Caldwell House

105 East Vermilion Street

Abbeville, LA  70510


Sunday, March 18, 2012 – 12:00 noon – 4:00 pm


GRAND PRIZE:  A honeymoon at a Palace Resort in the Caribbean (Mexico)

Complimentary Wine and Soft Drinks provided by Marcello’s!

The Caldwell House is pleased to host its Second Annual Bridal Show.  Wedding service vendors from all over Acadiana will participate.  Come and enjoy a one-stop shopping experience.  Meet caterers, photographers, makeup artists, beverage service providers, hairstylists and many more who will help you create your dream-come-true wedding.  Whether your wedding and/or reception will be at The Caldwell House or nearby, we invite you to come and enjoy the afternoon in a relaxed atmosphere, away from the large crowds at other bridal shows.

One lucky bride & groom will win an overnight stay in The Caldwell’s Evangeline Honeymoon Suite.

Not a bride or groom?  No problem – It’s also an Open House!  We invite everyone to come and tour the home.

Here are some pictures from last year’s Bridal Show:

Lafayette Jazz Authority
A Flower Cottage, Abbeville
Dons Custom Catering
Shane Falgout Photography
Chef Bobby & Dot Catering
Virginias Cakes
Executive Inn, Abbeville

The Caldwell House Breakfast Crab Quiche’

1 pastry shell (9 inch), partially baked

2 tablespoons onion tops, chopped

1 cup crabmeat

1 tablespoon flour

1 1/2 cups Swiss cheese, shredded/divided

3 eggs

1 cup half and half

pepper and salt to taste

minced parsley

Have a 9-inch pastry shell partially baked. Mix crabmeat, green onions and flour; set aside. Sprinkle 3/4 cup of the cheese in the pie shell, then spread with crab mixture over. Sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup of cheese.

Beat eggs, half and half, salt, pepper and parsley until mixed. Pour into the shell. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees or until set.

Serves 6 to 8 people.

Recipe by Gretchen Frith, author of the cookbook:  The “Bleep” My Family Eats.  To purchase a cookbook, call 337-406-5618.

Choosing a Venue for your Wedding and Reception

Congratulations!  You’re engaged!  The love of your life has asked to marry you.  You, of course, said “Yes!” and you both dream about the wonderful life you will have – being together, loving each other through good times and bad, children, grandchildren.  Your dreams have come true and you are so happy being in love.  But wait!  Now you realize that the magical fairytale wedding that you’ve been dreaming about since you were 4 years old is about to take place.  And all you have to do is make it happen.  Where do you begin?

You should begin with choosing a venue for your wedding and reception which reflects your personality.  If you decide on a church for your ceremony, you may not want to use the hall just because it is attached to the church.  Maybe not the venue down the street which is cheap because it provides nothing other than a large empty space.  You should choose a venue which will reflect your personality, the place where you will be able to create your fairytale wedding and reception.  You should also choose the right venue for your budget.  A hall may be cheap to rent, but once you factor in the decorations, linens, and all the work that it will take to make it fit your dream, you may not be able to keep within your budget and you still have to do the work to create the atmosphere you desire.

If you do have the ceremony in church, you must still decide on a venue for the reception.  This is where difficult decisions need to be made.  Your family and friends will give their opinions, but ultimately, the decision should be yours and your fiance’s.  The reception, particularly if the ceremony is in a church, is where your personality will shine through.  This is where you have the most control to produce the outcome you desire.

Do you prefer to have your reception in a hall where you can have everything take place in one area – dancing, eating, cake cutting, toasting, etc.?  Or are you looking for a venue which has a personality which fits your own – a more intimate venue where different activities take place in different areas or rooms.  If you choose the latter, The Caldwell House is the perfect venue for you!

Photo by Moore PhotographyFirst and foremost, The Caldwell is a home.  It was built to be a home and functioned that way for many years.  The home is over 100 years old and is on the National Historic Register.  The grandeur of the home has always lent itself to beautiful weddings & receptions.  Recent improvements have increased its functionality as a wedding and reception venue.  The Caldwell House provides a grand background for an intimate, memorable wedding and reception.Photo by JLang Photography

The Caldwell House has an East Garden area designed for the ceremony site.  The West Garden Pavilion functions as the reception site, as well as various rooms inside the home  – the parlor for the wedding cake and toasting, the dining room for the food, a study for the bar, and various other rooms in the home for dressing, eating and mingling.  The Evangeline Master Honeymoon Suite is included in the package for the couple on their wedding night, complete with an in-room gourmet breakfast the next morning, a beautiful way for the bride and groom to begin their new life together.

Photo by Moore PhotographyFamily and friends will roam throughout the interior of the home, enjoy rocking on the deep porches, mingling on the brick circle, dining in the home or pavilion, dancing in the main pavilion, or gathering with friends on the north lawn — all the while enjoying the beauty of the home and gardens.

What do you have in mind for your venue?  Do you want a country feel and to decorate with birdhouses and natural plants?  Or would you prefer a more elegant venue with candles and roses?  Whatever you have in mind, The Caldwell House can fit your personality.

Once you book your wedding and/or reception at The Caldwell House, our wedding coordinators will be there to help you every step of the way.  You will not be left on your own. They will help coordinate the wedding and/or reception according to your desires, making it the perfect choice for you.  Our consultants have years of experience and are ready to help you plan the wedding of your dreams.  Call us at 337-909-0050 or email us at to arrange for a free tour and consultation.  We can hardly wait to begin!