River Region sees itself in pages of C’EST LA VIE

Published 11:45 pm Friday, June 6, 2014

One of the first special projects presented to me upon my arrival at L’Observateur in May was that of our quarterly magazine, C’EST LA VIE.

The lifestyle magazine has an ambitious goal of capturing the vibrant lifeblood of the River Parishes through story and art.

Considering St. John the Baptist Parish, St. James Parish and St. Charles Parish are home to some of the most unique and interesting people in all of Louisiana, it’s a wonderful challenge to capture that spirit in the glossy, color pages of our quarterly magazine.

Our most recent edition, which was placed in the newspaper May 31 and is available in locations around the community, included a wedding theme that went along with regular features, listings and tips for readers.

As many have discovered, the River Region has truly become the destination globally for those seeking a classic plantation as the backdrop for their wedding.

In a story titled, “Plantation Weddings: River Parishes provide perfect backdrops for big day,” Nancy Robert of Destrehan Plantation said the venue recently hosted a wedding for a couple from Scotland, where all the guests were from overseas.

It’s a desire shared by out-of-towners and locals, alike.

Jamey LaBranche, who was born and raised in LaPlace, will be getting married at Ascension of Our Lord Catholic Church June 6, 2015, and her reception will follow at the San Francisco Sugar Mill Pavilion.

LaBranche, like so many others, loves the location’s rustic feel.

“Before I became engaged, I always knew I wanted a rustic, vintage wedding,” she said. “I never considered having our wedding outside of the River Parish region. This is home to us. There is just something special about being from the River Parishes. There’s really no way to explain it. You just have to experience living here.”

LaBranche’s knowledge and excitement is what we’re trying to capture in each edition of C’EST LA VIE.

With a year to go, she is still planning the finer points of her big day, but she does have some advice for those who may soon be in similar shoes.

“What I see from all plantations is that they are all so beautiful already,” LaBranche said. “You don’t really need to do much, because you don’t want to take away from the beauty of the actual plantation.”

Additional wedding-themed stories highlighted in the current edition of the magazine spotlight Reserve native Cherie Carbo Berget, owner of Nola Belles bakery, sharing her thoughts on wedding cakes; and features on brides Chrissy Carter Cifuentes and Kate Abreo Mendelson, each sharing tips about looking your best on the big day.

For those who have not caught a full case of spring/summer wedding fever, there is an informative feature on Amy Lingawi, a LaPlace mother who founded a business online as a marketplace for baby/mommy products.

Readers will also value the financial-goal planning tips provided by Edward Jones’ Robert Hymel and all the fair, festival and food listings needed to plan your summer fun from today through August.

Copies of C’EST LA VIE are being distributed to area hotels, plantation houses, coffee shops, hotels and libraries and can also be picked up at our newspaper office, 116 Newspaper Drive, in LaPlace.

Plans are underway for the fall edition of C’EST LA VIE, but — as this is YOUR River Parishes magazine — we are consistently striving to better serve you by telling the stories you want to read.

Call me at 985-652-9545 or email any comments or suggestions to stephen.hemelt@lobservateur.com. All feedback is valued.

Thank you to all the contributors and advertisers who helped make this edition of C’EST LA VIE a valuable tool for the River Region and, most importantly, happy reading.

Stephen Hemelt is editor and general manager of L’Observateur. He can be reached at 985-652-9545 or stephen.hemelt@lobservateur.com.