New Orleans is a place unlike any other in the world. Our parties are bigger, our music is louder and the fun is never ending. Weddings in New Orleans are no exception to that. From our food, venues and vendors, weddings in New Orleans are without a doubt a celebration you, your friends and your families will remember for a lifetime.
As a wedding planner in New Orleans, I get the privilege of working with some of the best vendors this city has to offer. From intimate ceremonies to over the top celebrations, I want to share with you some tips and tricks for planning your wedding in New Orleans as well as my top choices for your I do’s.
Tips & Tricks
Consider the guests – When planning your wedding, you want to make sure you are planning the day of you and your partner’s dreams while keeping your guests in mind as well. Does someone in your immediate family have food allergies or restrictions? Make sure to consider that when choosing the menu for your reception. Are your grandparents not a fan of loud music? Seat them away from the dance floor so they aren’t uncomfortable. Having a second line parade but have people with mobility issues? Arrange for pedicabs for those people so they can still participate in the parade. These small considerations will go a long way with your guests and make them feel extra special and welcome.
New Orleans is a place unlike any other in the world. Our parties are bigger, our music is louder and the fun is never ending. Weddings are no exception.
It gets HOT in New Orleans – Are you not a fan of the summertime heat in the city but want an outdoor ceremony or reception? Planning your wedding from November to February will spare you the sweat and humidity. November is also the official end of hurricane season so you won’t have any named storms to contend with.
Mardi Gras is a big deal here – If you’re getting married in early spring in New Orleans, be sure to factor parade schedules into your planning. Road closures and parade routes are a way of life during Carnival season, so be sure they don’t interfere with your wedding day plans. Also remember, Mardi Gras is not a one-day celebration around here. Parades begin rolling as many as 5 weeks prior to Fat Tuesday. My advice – check and double check the calendar!
I want to share with you some vendors that will make your wedding day perfect! I have personally worked with all of these vendors. They are professional and fun but most of all they’re welcoming and inclusive. Here are my top picks.
The venue you choose for your wedding should reflect your style and character. New Orleans has no shortage of great venues and each one offers something unique. Determining whether you want your ceremony and reception in the same location is the first step in your venue search. Other factors to consider are table and chair availability, onsite catering, and parking.
Race & Religious – A unique and charming space for outdoor ceremonies and receptions, Race & Religious is an antebellum property constructed in the 1830s. The property consists of three structures all connected by a patio and green space. The buildings include a two-story Creole cottage, a three-story Greek Revival row house and the centrally located two-story slave quarter. Other amenities of this venue include two commercial-grade kitchens, balconies overlooking both the courtyards and the city skyline, plush landscaping, and the versatility of an indoor/outdoor space. Added bonus – you can rent the property all weekend and stay on site. No need for cabs home when the after-party happens just steps from your bed. (510 Race St.; raceandreligious.com)
Hyatt French Quarter – The Hyatt French Quarter is the epitome of style and sophistication. Recently renovated with a contemporary glamorous design, the property boasts comfortable guest rooms, ample meeting room space for the ceremony and reception, and a third-floor courtyard area. Their catering and sale manager, Vera Fauchaux, is one of the best in the business. She will work with you to create a venue floorplan, reception menu, and any added extras the Hyatt French Quarter offers, such as up-lighting and ice sculptures. If a beautiful hotel location is your vision for your wedding, you can’t go wrong with the Hyatt French Quarter. (800 Iberville St.; frenchquarter.hyatt.com)
The Chicory – Originally built in 1852 as a coffee warehouse, this Warehouse District venue has to be seen to be appreciated. With more than 9,000 square feet of ceremony and reception space spread across four different rooms, The Chicory can accommodate up to 800 guests. Exposed bricks, beams, and gas lanterns give the building an authentic New Orleans feeling while the food, prepared fresh in house, is some of the best in the city. Old World charm with fresh modern touches makes The Chicory one of the city’s premier wedding venues. (610 S. Peters St.; thechicoryvenue.com)
You should have a connection with your wedding photographer, because they are one of the few vendors that will be with you from start to finish on your wedding day. Once the day is over, the flowers will be gone, the cake will have been eaten, and the guests will go home. The one thing that remains and will stand the test of time are the photographs from your day. Below are excerpts from some of my favorite photographer’s websites.
Danielle Walters Photography – “We want to get to know you, your story, your style, your family, and all the other details. That groom’s cake in the shape of an armadillo that Aunt Molly baked and insisted on putting beside the cake you actually ordered? Yeah, we want to know about that. The handkerchief you’re tying around your bouquet because it was your grandfather’s? Yeah, we want to know about that, too. The fact is, we’re not just there to take beautiful pictures of a wedding. We’re there to document your wedding. You’ve worked hard to plan a day that celebrates your future while honoring your past. All those little details that are so important to you are important to us, too. We take the time to get to know you and your story so that we can translate that into images you will cherish for a lifetime. “ – Danielle Walters Photography (daniellewalters.com)
Dark Roux – “Believe it or not, we made the decision to get married alone, with no witnesses present. Unfortunately, we didn’t realize the full impact that decision would have on our lives and the lives of our children until a couple of years later. Thus, the love that we share, inspired by the lack of our own wedding images to pass down to our children, was the catalyst for Dark Roux Photography. If our business is the gumbo, then love, emotion, and togetherness are our roux. You and your loved ones are the spice that keeps us coming back for more, as we find inspiration in the simplicity of laughter and love between our clients.” – Dark Roux Photography. (darkroux.com)
Sison Photography – “A dynamic husband-and-wife-run photography company based out of New Orleans. Their style is modern, fun and photojournalistic with a bold feel. They are licensed, insured and members of the Professional Photographers of America and the Wedding and Portrait Photographers International.” – Sison Photography (sisonphoto.com)
Flowers add a touch of elegance and style to any wedding. Remember to include room in your floral budget for extras like candles and accent arrangements. Also – don’t forget those special men and women in your lives and get them each their own corsage or boutonniere.
Poppy & Mint Floral Company – Poppy & Mint is the perfect combination of everything vintage and floral. Owner Destiny Pinson is the mastermind behind this unique floral studio. Incorporating crafts, fabrics, vintage finds and flowers, Poppy & Mint is your one stop shop for one of a kind floral designs and décor. (poppyandmint.com)
NOLA Flora – At NOLA Flora, no event is too big for their “flower ninjas”. Ashley Watkins-Bateman and her team will “floralize” your wedding with custom floral designs to meet every need. Specializing in weddings and events and with extensive experience with destination clients, NOLA Flora can handle it all. (nolaflora.com)
Fat Cat Flowers – Diane Mouton is the self-proclaimed flower child and owner of Fat Cat Flowers. This innovative and imaginative floral design studio offers a twist on tradition while still bringing style and elegance to any celebration. Fat Cat Flowers offers personal attention and an approach to floral design that is whimsical and fun. (fatcatflowers.com)
Getting the party started at the reception is determined in large by the type of musical entertainment you provide for your guests. A live band provides unique characteristics with their performance while a DJ may have a larger song catalog to choose from.
Louisiana Spice Band – Louisiana Spice Band is a big band inspired group with a bold orchestral sound. They combine both oldies and current hits to create a playlist that will keep your guests on their feet all night long! (louisianaspiceband.com)
Rock It Productions – If a DJ is more your style then there is none better than John Lejeune at Rock It Productions. Rock It Productions does more than play music. Lejeune and his team interact with your guests to make the reception lively and fun for everyone. (rockitpro.info)
Your invitations set the tone for your wedding. Other than save-the-date cards, invitations are the first piece of information that your guests receive regarding your special day. A general rule is that save-the-dates should be sent out six months prior to your wedding and invitations should be sent out nine weeks prior to your wedding.
Scriptura – Modeled after European papeteries, Scriptura offers imported papers and products to bring style and elegance to your wedding invitations. Sisters Margaret and Sallie Jones will walk you through every step of the process from picking papers to designs and grammar. (scriptura.com)
Stationary Studio – Fergie Lewis is the owner and master of design at Stationery Studio. A couture wedding invitation and stationary boutique, Stationery Studio creates one of a kind designs that reflect you and your partner’s personal style. From custom monograms to artwork Stationery Studio will exceed your expectations and provide you with elegant invitations and products for your wedding. (stationery-studio.com)
Gem Printing – Family owned and operated since 1918, Gem Printing offers invitations and stationery to second line umbrellas, napkins, and cups. You can get everything you need for your wedding at Gem Printing. Quality service and workmanship are their goals, and they always deliver. (gemprinting.com)
When you picture you and your partner on your wedding day, what do you see? Beautiful wedding gowns? Handsome, tailored tuxedos? Whatever the case may be, the vendors below offer the best in selection and service there is in New Orleans.
Blanc – From bold and robust silhouettes to simple, clean-lined dresses, Blanc Bridal Couture offers a hand-selected, curated mix of wedding dresses that meet every taste and budget. Bohemian chic wedding dresses, vintage-inspired gowns, and beachy wedding dresses are all part of the mix. (blancbridalneworleans.com)
Linda Lee Bridal – A full-service bridal boutique offering an exclusive collection of designer gowns and accessories. Linda Lee Bridal’s knowledgeable staff is there to make your experience easy and stress free. (lindaleebridal.net)
John’s Tuxedos – John’s Tuxedos has one of the largest inventories of current, designer styles. With all of their inventory held in house and alterations done on site as well, John’s can help you get the style and fit you’re looking for without any hassle. (johnstuxedos.com)
Rome’s Tuxedos – Rome’s Tuxedos offers a variety of styles and colors to match your wedding day design. Their friendly staff and same day alterations make finding the right tux for you or your partner as easy as it gets. (romestuxedos.com)
Wedding cakes often make a statement at the reception. From traditional to whimsical, your cake is a delicious treat for you and your guests. My biggest wedding cake tip? Don’t save the top of the cake! No matter how well it’s wrapped and frozen – it will never taste as good as it did on that day. Your photographer will have enough pictures of your cake before it’s cut so take those pictures and have a bakery recreate the top layer on your first anniversary. It will be fresh and delicious just like it was on your wedding day.
Bittersweet Confections – Cheryl Scripter knows a thing or two about cake. As the owner of Bittersweet Confections, she uses local ingredients to create delicious wedding cakes in any style. Cheryl uses her shop to celebrate the resilience and spirit of New Orleans. You can see her passion in each of her cakes and they taste just as good as they look. (bittersweetconfections.com)
Swiss Confectionery – For 90 years, Swiss Confectionery has set the standard for wedding cakes in New Orleans. Family owned and operated for five generations, the confectionery remains committed to the traditions that have earned their excellent reputation. Traditional, contemporary or European – they create it all. (swisscakes.net)
Sucre – A unique pastry boutique, Sucre designs and builds custom wedding cakes. From the traditional to beyond, their expert pastry chefs will design a one-of-a-kind creation as memorable as the day itself. (shopsucre.com)
All in all, your wedding should be about the most important thing – the love you share between you and your partner. Don’t lose sight of the purpose of your wedding day and get weighed down in the planning. Have fun, enjoy yourselves, and cherish the accomplishment of planning your perfect day.