Beautiful Chiavari chairs, sparkling crystal chandeliers, perfectly manicured lawns, magnificently presented
cuisine-details like these have differentiated Southern Oaks Plantation from other venues since our inception.
However, more than the décor, the landscaping, or the incredible menu, it is the hard work of two very unique
and ambitious individuals that has made Southern Oaks Plantation one of the most popular wedding venues in
The story of Southern Oaks Plantation dates back more than twenty-five years, when New Orleans natives and
newlyweds Sue and Bobby Asaro were working in the medical field. After almost ten years in medicine, Bobby
as a vascular technologist and Sue as an ultrasound technician, they were anxious to move onward, upward,
and embark on a new challenge. Bobby had recently become engrossed in photography, and began shooting
weddings as a progression of his new hobby. Sue was soon joining him during the events. Together-young,
creative, and energetic-Sue and Bobby quickly became the most sought after photographers in the business.
However, after working so closely with brides, wedding reception venues, and catering companies, Bobby
realized something was missing: personalized service. As he recollects, "While shooting weddings in the mid 80’s,
I noticed there was nobody paying personal attention to the bride, groom, or their parents. That is when the idea
of Southern Oaks Plantation began to evolve." During dinner one evening, Bobby began sketching on a napkin,
conveying to Sue his idea of opening their own reception venue. He was determined to realize his ambitious
dream, and decided the first step was to find a suitable location.
While driving along Hayne Boulevard one afternoon, Bobby happened to catch a glimpse of a stately antebellum-
style home sitting vacant and neglected. Although most people drove by and noticed only the overgrown
landscaping and a boarded up building, Bobby knew it could be the beautiful venue he had imagined. However,
a string of six failed business occupied the building after the home’s original owners moved out, leading many to
conclude the mansion was cursed. The Asaros’ friends and family members tried to persuade them from investing
their money in a doomed venture, but Bobby was convinced they would buck the trend and achieve success.
In January of 1987, Sue and Bobby Asaro opened the gates of the newly christened "Southern Oaks Plantation"
for the first time, and incredulously, the bad luck that had shadowed the property for years seemed to vanish
instantly. They booked their first celebration that very same day.
"I am so proud of what we have accomplished," beams Bobby, crediting their success to an intense focus on
great food and exceptional service. "In New Orleans, the food has to be good. You can have a beautiful setting,
but if the food is no good, the venue doesn’t work." This is why Southern Oaks provides one inclusive package
providing everything needed, instead of several, differing tiers.
"Most people can’t believe how organized we are, and how everything is accomplished in a professional, timely
manner." Excellence is the sum of many little things done well, and the Asaros are very conscious of those little
things. Atmosphere, body language, smiles, and cleanliness are carefully monitored during the ceremonies and
receptions. Sue and Bobby believe in impeccable service, and they aim to exceed the expectations of everyone
who attends a reception at Southern Oaks Plantation.
When looking for inspiration, the Asaros sought out the best in the business. Walt Disney and the Disney Company
have been tremendous influences on Southern Oaks. "He is my idol. The man was a genius," says Bobby. Having
attended numerous seminars at the Disney Institute, many pieces of the Asaros’ operation are modeled after the
Disney theme. "Each employee is hand-picked, and each understands our philosophy of top service. They are all
properly attired, neat, approachable, and smiling. Our employees are genuinely proud to work at Southern Oaks."
Over the years, as business has increased, so has Sue and Bobby Asaros’ vision for new ways to improve
their operation. As Bobby says, "It was easy making it to the top. The challenge is finding how to remain there."