Founder, Creative Director
"I have the pleasure of being the founder and Creative Director of Gala Productions. I have one son, Josh (a now tall handsome high schooler); 2 cats, Davidson and Honey (both black and both lucky and loving); and one YorkiePom, Bentley (the friendliest little gent you'll ever meet). I've lived in Louisiana for most of my life and although I enjoyed the experience of living in two other states, there's nothing like being close to family. Summer is my favorite season and I love to travel!
I often say the stork dropped me off in the wrong place. I was born and raised in a small town in central Louisiana but I don't eat spicy food and my lips have never touched a raw oyster. My birth tag probably read some place fabulous like NYC or Chicago because I'm a big city glamour girl at heart. It is my personal belief that that even if it's understated or whimsical, there's always a finesse...a luxury...that can be worked into an event.
I'm not completely unhappy with my final destination. Who doesn't love the beat of the Crescent City during a blues festival or tailgating for the Tigers in Bayou Country? The best part of living in South Louisiana is the short hop over to a beautiful beach. Give me sugar sand, a fruity drink and sunscreen and I'm in Heaven. Maybe that stork knew what he was doing after all!
I discovered my wedding designer self at the age of 19. I would be embarrassed to show pictures of that first wedding today but it had innovation and creative elements that were out-of-the-box for its time and setting. Years later, when people started joking about me planning their second marriage when they were still happily married to their first husbands, I knew I was on to something.
In addition to having endless excitement over creating wow-worthy events, I had a burning mission to protect the bride from stress as much as possible. My own wedding day had been the single most stressful day of my life...and I had a coordinator! It was immensely disappointing to have put so much thought and planning into things that fell apart or never happened because I couldn't be in 2 places at once. No bride should have to experience that!
Creating something beautiful is the easy part for me. Staying educated on trends is a priority and it doesn't hurt to have a knack for "getting" a bride's vision. However, I believe my empathy and genuine care for a bride's happiness is what gives her the confidence to trust, and trust is the key to enjoying the wedding planning experience.
I know that I'm doing what I was born to do and I'm happy to be a part of every single wedding that we create. I often hear a bride saying things like, "I can't believe I'm not even stressed!" or, "This is even more beautiful than I imagined!" Those words are what I live for!
The only thing that sounds sweeter is, 'Let's get married at the beach!'"
Eleven years ago, the founder of Gala Productions was engaged to a New Orleans native whose company had transferred the two of them to another state. Having no local family to help, Stacy hired a day-of wedding coordinator who promised to make the day stress-free and seamless. What she got was a disaster!
Head of Operations
"I have a wonderful husband, Anthony, who is my high school sweetheart (ahhhh, oooohh!) and two beautiful children: McKenzie, she's four and a spitfire and Gavin who's two and the sweetest, but shyest little tall guy you'll ever meet. I am a southern girl at heart who rides horses, says y'all and loves the TIGERS...but not the LSU Tigers (go ahead. . boooo!). I'm from Mobile, Alabama so naturally I'm an Auburn fan but for the last 5 years I've enjoyed living in Gonzales, Louisiana.
In addition to being a Wedding Manager for Gala Productions, I'm also Head of Operations for the company. What does that mean, you say? That means that I am the in-house "get it done" girl! When something is needed, I throw myself into getting it done as quickly and efficiently as possible.
I have a Bachelors of Education in Elementary Education from Huntingdon College and I pursued that for 3 years on top of 13 years of experience in childcare. I went to college thinking that was my dream job and what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I was completely wrong! I went through the process of "Oh goodness. .what do I do with my life now?" That's when Gala Productions entered the picture.
I've always had an interest in planning, organization, and learning something new! After I planned my own wedding, I fought the urge to keep thinking of things I could have done differently. Don't get me wrong, I loved every aspect of my wedding. As a matter of fact, I was up early the morning of my wedding decorating my reception space. Of course, seeing how much our brides get to enjoy the morning of their wedding with us on hand, I look back now and think "What was I thinking?!"
So because I couldn't shake the urges to keep planning, on a whim I decided to email Stacy Parker and ask if she could give me some advice on what it takes to be in this business. After a couple of conversations, she emailed me back and said, "I need some extra help on setup; would you be interested?" I leapt at the opportunity to work my first wedding!
The smile I saw on the faces of that bride and groom, the creativity, the process of seeing it all come together was amazing to me! From that point, I was hooked.
It still makes me feel great when the bride or groom says, "Thanks for being here," or "We couldn't have done it without you!” Even with two kids, my life feels easier these days and I rest better at night knowing that today I took the stress off of someone else during a special time in their life. I love every second of putting a smile on my clients’ faces.
I asked for this position of Operations Manager so that I could see every angle of weddings and be prepared to take every opportunity that I can get my hands on. It was the best decision I could have made. Now I LOVE what I do and I can’t wait to renew my own vows!
I promise to treat your wedding with the same care and attention that I'd give my own. Your smile is my goal."
Shortly thereafter, as word-of-mouth began to spread and brides began turning to Stacy for help planning their own weddings, she vowed that no bride would ever experience the headache that she'd endured with her planner. This vow laid the foundation for Gala Productions' success and is the driving force behind the company today
Shortly following her move back to Louisiana in 2006, her vision for Gala Productions began to take shape and become a reality. She'd always known her company would not be a one-woman show. She felt that while one planner could help a bride tremendously, a team of creative and organized support staff could take their services to a whole new level. Now each Gala Productions bride has full access to their wedding planner as well as an assigned wedding assistant.
In addition to the extra layers of planning support, full design services were added. This includes floral design, accent lighting, luxury linens and high end rentals.
Since these additions, Gala Productions has won the coveted “Best Of” award for 2012 and 2013 by The Knot. They were also the only wedding planning firm in the state of Louisiana to be chosen for the prestigious Grace Ormond Wedding Style Platinum Vendor List. These honors would not be possible without our dedicated and passionate team. We're happy to introduce...
New Orleans Branch Manager
"I am a pink-obsessed New Orleans girl who loves being a Wedding Manager for Gala Productions. My career path in the wedding industry started when I realized my passion for bringing a bride's vision to life and my knack for organization and event planning. I love providing exquisite service so you can enjoy your engagement and your wedding day just as imagined. Not to mention, I am a hopeless romantic.
I have a puppy, Bella, whom I absolutely adore. She goes everywhere with me - except weddings, of course. When I'm not working, I love sitting outside at Starbucks creating to-do lists and reading. You can find me shopping on Magazine St., running in City Park or dining at a location restaurant.
Most importantly, I love working with brides to ensure their dreams, desires and Pinterest boards are completely fulfilled. Sharp attention to detail and upholding the Gala Productions standards allows me to get everything done accurately and efficiently. Every bride is unique and her big day should be true to her. I can't wait to work with you and make your day absolutely amazing!"
Shannon Cunningham LeBlanc
"I am the Chief Romance Officer of Paradise Vacation Escapes so who better to work with during the most romantic time in your life than me!
I have been working with Gala Productions' brides for over a year now. Nothing gives me more pleasure than to hear the warmth in the bride's voices when we talk about the people who will be filling the hotel blocks I'm setting up for them or to feel the excitement when we begin planning their honeymoon.
Planning a wedding is hectic and often I hear that brides and grooms look forward to their honeymoon, not only to escape everyday life but also to reconnect with each other and enjoy the first days of being husband and wife. Many of the couples remember the fabulous honeymoon I helped them create and later return to me for more romantic journeys. I feel fulfilled knowing that I have a hand in pulling loving couples closer together.
So why "romance travel"?
Growing up as a young girl, the farthest places I had traveled to were Biloxi,MS and Galveston, TX. I had never even been on a plane as my parents had no desire to travel. I remember watching the Travel Channel as often as possible, dreaming of exploring the exotic destinations. I knew traveling would be my passion.
What my parents have as a couple that I truly admire is romance. They are always holding hands, kissing, hugging, dancing and going on dates. I lived in a romantic household and none of that romance ever seemed icky to me! So I knew there were 3 things I wanted in life:
1. Travel the world,
2. Have a man that treated me like my dad treated my mom,
3. Travel the world with that man in romance and love.
The travel part came pretty easily. In high school, geography was one of my favorite classes and when I graduated, it was no surprise that I chose to pursue a career in the travel industry. I majored in travel and tourism and learned the ins and outs of the industry. When I graduated, I chose the travel agency route because that is where you can really help people at special times of their life. I got to help people see the world!
The man of my dreams took a few tries but I finally have that right and am now living my dream. I look forward to helping you live yours!"
If you're getting ready in the same location as your ceremony or reception is taking place, you may have the opportunity to see Renee in action!
Renee leads our setup teams on wedding day. Bradley, Kati Jo, Logan, Kallan, Whitney, Josh, Chris, Gabe and Zach all work with Renee to implement each element of the designs perfectly. They are all trained the "Gala" way and are there to ensure that every detail meets the high standards we are known for.
Our design department is the heart and soul of Gala Productions. It's where innovation flows and spectacular is created.
At Gala Productions, we believe a roundtable of creative minds collaborating for one fabulous cause produces more interesting events than just one person alone. Led by our Design Stylist, Sophie, our team of designers and procurers will discuss, analyze and develop every inch of your wedding dreams and thoughts to provide you with the best version of your wedding design possible.
In addition to an array of linens and specialty rental items, our design department boasts a dedicated lighting specialist and licensed floral designer.
Our services are available separately or as a package.
39512 Rue Royale
Prairieville, LA 70769
Shannon Cunningham LeBlanc