Notable Nuptials

A guide to Acadiana wedding destinations.

Maison Madeleine at Lake Martin

The date is set. Now you need to find the perfect, romantic setting for your dream wedding, one that will be remembered and cherished for as long as you both shall live. There are many variables to consider, such as the style of your wedding, the flowers, color themes, decorations, cuisine, music, wedding cake, invitations, bridal party transportation and of course the all-important wedding dress and honeymoon wardrobe. So much to do! Once a suitable location has been found, your happily-ever-after will begin.
    
The first step in selecting a wedding location is determining your budget and deciding if you want an outdoor or an indoor reception or a combination of both (depending on the time of year and climate). Do you want it to be held at an elegant plantation or a clubhouse, in a setting surrounded by nature with perhaps a string quartet under an awning; something exotic and casual with an island theme; or would you rather have an earthy, country wedding with a Cajun band near home? The big decision, of course, is how many guests you want to invite. Based on the number of guests, you can then begin to research appropriate spots to suit the size and style of your reception.
    
A rule of thumb is that you should allow approximately 25 to 30 square feet of space per person for the reception, according to event-planners. When it comes to calculating expenses, they say that no more than 50 percent of your budget should be spent on the reception itself. Optimally, there should be a 10 percent cap on the flowers, and the same goes for the music and the photos and videos. With enough planning ahead and with the help of friends, you will actually be able to relax and enjoy your special day. Here is a diverse selection of wedding reception destinations ranging from casual to elegant.


Maison Madeleine at Lake Martin

1015 John D. Hebert Drive, Breaux Bridge
337/332-4555

Located on the edge of Lake Martin, which is known for its extensive varieties of birds, this small bed-and-breakfast out in the country is a peaceful place to hold intimate, informal weddings. Cajun bands assemble on the front porch, and the reception is usually held outdoors. Owner Madeleine Cenac will set up tables in this bucolic setting for your guests, and when family reunions are held here, the band and guests often gather inside the house to dance. Charming and rustic, it is an utterly Cajun venue.


Maison Madeleine at Lake Martin

1015 John D. Hebert Drive, Breaux Bridge
337/332-4555

Located on the edge of Lake Martin, which is known for its extensive varieties of birds, this small bed-and-breakfast out in the country is a peaceful place to hold intimate, informal weddings. Cajun bands assemble on the front porch, and the reception is usually held outdoors. Owner Madeleine Cenac will set up tables in this bucolic setting for your guests, and when family reunions are held here, the band and guests often gather inside the house to dance. Charming and rustic, it is an utterly Cajun venue.


Le Triomphe Golf and Country Club

100 Club Drive, Broussard  • 337/856-9005

Le Triomphe’s elegant, beautifully appointed French Chateau Clubhouse has a banquet room, the Chantilly, on the second floor that is ideal for weddings for up to 150 people. It extends to the veranda, which overlooks the 18th hole on the signature Robert Trent Jones Jr. golf course. You can say your vows outside on the grounds and then have a stunning reception indoors, which is always preferable during the heat of the summer. Those driving up to the building will find it majestic and impressive. There is a lovely rotunda with a grand piano on the second floor near the reception hall. The food is excellent.


L’eglise

3203 J. Alcee Road, Abbeville • 337/937-0700

If you want your wedding to be staged out in the country, L’eglise provides a quiet, timeless setting in the great outdoors with beautiful gardens, an old church and ancient oak trees. A restored mission, it is popular for intimate weddings and family reunions and can accommodate up to 500. You can arrange for your own caterer here.


Palmetto Club

301 Heymann Blvd., Oil Center, Lafayette • 337/371-0005

Formerly A la Carte, which was a popular place for weddings, Carnival parties and special events for many years, the half-block-long building on the corner of Heymann and Travis streets has been taken over by new owners and reopened in 2012 as the Palmetto Club (as part of a revitalization of the Oil Center). The handsome, contemporary ballroom can accommodate approximately 300 people for a “stand-up” reception with a buffet and 130 people for a seated dinner. They usually have flowers already there, as the staff decorates according to the season and for special events, so you have the option of using these arrangements or purchasing flowers elsewhere.


Abacus

530 W. Pinhook Road, Lafayette • 337/269-1550

With its classic 1940s architecture and sophisticated ambience, the totally restored building that houses Abacus is embellished with modern amenities. The main floor of this beautiful structure can accommodate buffet lines and seating for as many as 300 guests, plus a space for dancing. You can also request use of the second floor for additional seating or perhaps for the bridal party. The staff provides food and beverages, centerpieces and all the other details, allowing you to have a hassle-free wedding in an elegant, memorable setting in downtown Lafayette.


Grand Opera House of the South

505 N. Parkerson Ave., Crowley • 337/785-0440

Built in 1901, this unique opera house is tucked away in historic downtown Crowley. Following a $4.5 million renovation, it was restored and brought back to its original splendor and reopened in 2008. It is not only a state-of-the-art performing arts hall and a national historic landmark, but it is also used for weddings. The Grand Ballroom is an intimate space that can accommodate 150 on the third floor overlooking Main Street. Le Grand Hall, which is the larger space on the first floor of the building, can accommodate up to 700 guests in one continuous area. It features an entertainment area, a full bar, two lobby-style seating areas, a kitchen and a spacious bride’s room.


Calcasieu Marine National Bank

844 Ryan St., Lake Charles • 337/478-8530

Built in 1928, the Calcasieu Marine National Bank is an impressive three-story building with a neoclassical exterior that features three dramatic two-story bronze arch windows, which can serve as a backdrop for wedding receptions. The stately foyer is popular for bridal portraits. Guests enter the grand banking hall with its 22 colossal Corinthian pillars and an elaborate coffered ceiling. Receptions can be held in the pavilion and landscaped courtyard. You can arrange for your own caterer; locals often use Cajun Café Events and Catering, which prepares stunning food displays and wedding cakes. Many weddings are also held at the casual café located at 329 Pryce St. in downtown Lake Charles (337/439-3722).


Vermilionville

300 Fisher Road, Lafayette • 337/233-4077

A cultural hub with a Cajun/Creole village, weekly community activities, a restaurant and a cooking school, Vermilionville provides a rustic and fun Cajun setting for weddings. The bridal party strolls down a candlelit trail for evening weddings. You can see the village and the period homes along the path.  Most couples get married on the porch of the historic Broussard home. Seating for 350 is possible, and if you elect to open up the courtyard, this increases the available space and the number of guests you can have. Spanish moss is frequently used for decoration and placed in Mason jars as centerpieces. Vintage bridal gowns with bird-cage headpieces are a common theme here. Sometimes, the ring bearer will wear suspenders without the jacket and no shoes. A big attraction is the Cajun food, including crawfish étouffée, fried catfish and jambalaya. As the guests are leaving, they can grab boudin and cracklins to go from the food truck as a sort of party favor.


Coushatta Casino Resort

777 Coushatta Drive, Kinder • 800/584-7263

For an utterly romantic setting and a great place for your guests to stay overnight after the wedding, Coushatta Casino Resort is a popular destination among couples in search of an elegant wedding venue near Lake Charles. You can exchange vows in a ceremony on Coushatta’s deck overlooking the lake or enjoy a ceremony and reception held in the beautiful indoor/outdoor veranda, which is situated in the midst of Koasati Pines at Coushatta, with its state-of-the-art golf course and handsome clubhouse surrounded by pines and towering oak trees. Receptions can also be held in one of the formal ballrooms on the premises. Full catering services are provided, leaving your big day hassle-free. Adding fun to the mix is the 100,000 square feet of gaming and top-notch live entertainment in the casino. Coushatta’s amazing, huge new outdoor Dream Pool has a lazy river and a swim-up bar for adults, and more amenities for the 2013 pool season are being added. It’s great lagniappe for your wedding party, and it can also add luster to your first night as Mr. and Mrs. after you say the two little magic words, “I do.”


The Crossing at Mervine Kahn

113 E. Louisiana Ave., Rayne • 337/393-2416

The beautifully restored 125-year-old historic building located in the heart of downtown  Rayne houses The Crossing at Mervine Kahn, a special spot for wedding receptions, parties and special events. A full-service staff handles all the catering, music and decorations. The large, multilevel facility features 13,745 square feet on the lower level, which can be used in its entirety or divided up, and a new 10,000-square-foot upstairs area with private rooms for the wedding party, plus a romantic Jacuzzi for the bride and groom. It can accommodate from 20 to 800 people with unlimited layout choices and is flexible enough so that multiple events can be held there in one night. With a full catering operation, the staff can also assist in planning your reception off-site.


Twelve Oaks Plantation

3650 Southdown Mandalay Road, Houma • 985/876-5772

Situated on a 750-acre working sugar cane plantation set amid beautiful live oak trees, Twelve Oaks is a bed-and-breakfast that exudes Southern charm. A lovely place for a wedding, it can accommodate up to 250 guests indoors and 1,000 on the lawn. The package includes basic wedding coordination services (you can bring in your own vendor, and they have a list of recommended vendors), a night for the bride and groom in the exclusive Bonnie Blue suite and two off-duty sheriff’s officers for the reception.


Wolff Banquet and Reception Hall

202 N. Main St., Washington • 337/269-1550

Built in the 1840s and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Wolff Banquet and Reception Hall has that “old South” ambience, plus a 6,000-square-foot space that can accommodate up to 450 guests; they recommend certain vendors, which are optional. The reception area has 16 chandeliers and a copper-lined bar, and there is a courtyard that is suitable for taking your vows. The charming town of Washington, one of the oldest in the South, founded in 1720, is filled with antebellum homes and is worth touring.


Cypress Columns

157 Tourist Drive, Gray • 985/580-1500

Located on several acres with oak and cypress trees between Thibodaux and Houma near the bayous, Cypress Columns is distinguished by its colonial architecture, 8-foot Australian crystal chandeliers, a 12,000-square-foot ballroom, hardwood dance floors, a knotted cypress bar and crackle-glass hurricane vase centerpieces that add to the elegance of the formal wedding receptions that are held here.


Maison de Tours

128 S. Main St., St. Martinville • 337/380-5677

Restored to its original 1855 splendor, Maison de Tours is appointed with exposed beams, longleaf pine floors, marble-and-brick fireplaces and wrought-iron balconies. A side alley leads through a lovely arbor and brick walkway punctuated with foliage. A cascading fountain and copper gas lanterns in the courtyard and on the balconies create a romantic ambience for weddings, which can be held in the courtyard, indoors or at St. Martin de Tours Church across the street. This is a full-service facility, so no vendors are necessary. The staff places fresh flowers throughout the house, and there is a state-of-the-art surround-sound system throughout the grounds and a balcony with a splendid view of the church square. There are also culinary amenities such as a chocolate fountain. The Longfellow-Evangeline State Historic Site is nearby.


Houmas House Plantation

40136 Highway 942, Darrow • 225/473-9380

You can stage everything from an intimate gourmet dinner party for a small wedding to a grand wedding reception with hundreds of guests and all the frills at Houmas House, which provides a gorgeous setting for the big day and photo opportunities around the 38-acre grounds filled with indigenous plants and lily ponds. The historic Greek Revival mansion was built in 1840 and lovingly restored by owner Kevin Kelly. Top chef Jeremy Langlois prepares exceptional feasts for receptions. Kelly recently unveiled his stunning new Carriage House restaurant with cathedral-height ceilings, a grand piano, floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the gardens, fine art and antiques and cuisine by chef Langlois. Touring the grounds is part of the charm for wedding guests.

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