New Orleans knows how to throw a good party, so it makes sense there are plenty of places to choose from when looking for the perfect place for your wedding reception. Here are 10 places that will help you have a great time.
Though the classic New Orleans restaurant was founded in 1920, Broussard’s went through a million-dollar makeover in 2013, which is bringing new attention to the spot. “We have had great responses,” says Trent Verges, the director of marketing for Creole Cuisine Restaurant Concepts, which now owns Broussard’s. (The restaurant company also owns other popular New Orleans restaurants such as Kingfish.)
The courtyard at Broussard’s is one of its main draws, which brides can rent out on its own. Verges says the courtyard specifically is something that sets Broussard’s apart from other New Orleans locales. “Where there are so many brides who want a French Quarter wedding,” Verges says, “you cannot ask for anything more beautiful than our courtyard.”
When it comes to food at Broussard’s, the restaurant offers banquet menus, but a bride and groom can also add items to the menu if they prefer.
2. The Chicory
With its brand new building, The Chicory has become one of the largest wedding venues in New Orleans. Centrally located in the historic Warehouse District, the building was once a coffee warehouse and has since been transformed into an elegant event space.
“It gives that rustic New Orleans feel, with exposed beams, exposed brick walls and brass gas lanterns still intact,” says Brent Bogan, the wedding sales manager at The Chicory.
There are currently three rooms and a bridal suite in the original Chicory building, but the new building right next door, which will be called The Gallery at the Chicory, will feature three floors, one being a 5,000 square foot rooftop deck. Bogan says it will be perfect for cocktail hours and ceremonies.
Since acquiring the new building, The Chicory owns the whole block, which is a plus in the New Orleans nightlife scene. “We don’t have restrictions on noise or hours anymore, because we own the whole block, so we will be able to accommodate the after parties,” Bogan says.
The most important thing for any wedding, though, is the atmosphere, and Bogan says The Chicory prides itself on running on “a completely different model than most other wedding venues.” “From the food, the uniqueness of the venue and the service of our staff, we are different than anything else in the city,” Bogan says.
3. Courtyard on the Ridge
Located in a quiet area right on the Mississippi River about 20 minutes from downtown New Orleans, this scenic location is perfect for couples looking for a New Orleans wedding without the hassle of being in business of the city.
The interior has a French Quarter feel, with a courtyard and fountain, but is able to be decorated as you wish. The outdoor courtyard adds to this feel, says Bill Laderer, the chef and owner at Courtyard. “You can go outside and take pictures or enjoy a cocktail near the fountain in the courtyard.”
The big draw to Courtyard on the Ridge is that it is family oriented, and all the food is made on site by Laderer. “There is enough room for a large dance floor that everyone can get out on all at once, and the tables are big enough for a whole family to sit at, and still put food on the table, too,” Laderer says.
This homey feel attracts brides. “There is a simple ambience, not glitzy and gold,” Laderer says. “It is just truly New Orleans.”
4. Hampton Inn and Suites New Orleans Convention Center
One of the best-kept secrets in options for New Orleans wedding receptions is the Hampton Inn and Suites New Orleans Convention Center.
Located in the Warehouse District and exuding that old New Orleans feel, Hampton Inn and Suites New Orleans Convention Center is not your typical Hampton Inn, says Amanda Baker, the location’s conference services manager.
All the weddings are held in the 5,400 square-foot ballroom, which attaches to an outdoor courtyard and pre-function area. The main ballroom has high ceilings and crystal chandeliers, as well as traditional wood flooring and exposed brick to give it the vintage feeling.
“People don’t expect it when they walk in, but it’s great because we aren’t in the French Quarter,” Baker says, “so we have parking available, and you’re not stuck in one place. You can move around the city if you want to.”
The wedding packages are also all-inclusive, which makes it easy for brides since it is an all-in-one venue. Wedding guests can stay in any of the 300 rooms that the location offers, which is nice because it is centrally located for out-of-towners.
“If guests want to go out after, it’s only a 15-minute walk to the French Quarter, and there are plenty of local bars, shops and restaurants along the walk,” Baker says.
5. House of Blues
In a music town like New Orleans, it seems appropriate to celebrate your marriage at a music venue like House of Blues. The French Quarter location is a funky spot, perfect for a music-loving couple. “House of Blues is perfect for the nontraditional bride,” says Chloe Tassin, the special event sales manager at House of Blues. “It’s a very unique space, and we’re a one-stop-shop. From production to décor to furniture, we have everything you need.”
Part of what makes the House of Blues unique is it’s made up of a variety of spaces. The Parish Room, which holds 100-150 people, is “probably our most popular wedding venue at this time,” Tassin says. The second most popular is the main hall, House of Blues’ music hall, which holds 200-500 people.
Another aspect that makes House of Blues a “one-stop-shop” is how the staff can help brides find wedding entertainment. Since House of Blues is mainly an entertainment location, the staff has great relationships with many local and national acts.
6. Latrobe’s On Royal
If you are looking for a beautiful and historic rustic New Orleans space, Latrobe’s on Royal is the perfect spot. Located in the heart of the French Quarter, Latrobe’s is in one of New Orleans’ many architecturally significant buildings.
“Latrobe’s is in the national registry of historic buildings, so the building itself is a museum,” says Milli Adler, an owner of Latrobe’s. “The historical significance of the building speaks for itself.”
Originally used as a bank in the 1800s, Latrobe’s features original stonework, a whisper dome, bank vault room and courtyard. “We don’t rent the space room by room, because each room flows into each other, even though the two main areas have two different vibes,” Adler says.
The “vault bar,” an area that was once the safe where the money was kept, is a popular room as well as the “outdoor courtyard area” which was actually enclosed in the early 1900s, Adler says.
“It was originally an open air courtyard, but even today, a lot of people think they are outside because it feels like you are outside, but its protected from rain and humidity,” Adler says.
Another bonus is that Latrobe’s works exclusively with John Besh Catering Services. “We have an emphasis on amazing food and service,” Adler says.
And you can’t forget the location, as it’s only blocks away from the center of the city. “It’s a great location, especially because it gives guests a fun place to go out immediately afterwards,” Adler says.
7. Marigny Opera House
The Marigny Opera House sets itself apart from reception locations mainly because it’s not technically a reception location.
“The mission of the Marigny Opera House is to support local performance artists,” says Brandon Sanford, the location’s wedding and event coordinator. Weddings help fund those local performances, so the location allows one to two weddings a month. So in addition to having a wedding, brides at the Marigny Opera House are also helping the New Orleans arts community. What brides pay for the location is tax deductible, since it is a donation to the Opera House.
The Marigny Opera House is also unique because of its aesthetic. Originally built in 1853, the structure is one of New Orleans’ beautiful old buildings, which adds to the reasons brides like it. “It’s got a rich history about it,” Sanford says. “It’s a very unique-looking building inside and out. It has an Old World charm to it that’s untouched.”
8. Race and Religious
The eclectic décor and storied history of Race and Religious is drawing brides from across the country, says Property Manager Sarah Sadler Worsley: “People will say ‘Oh, I saw you on a blog, and I want to get married in New Orleans just so I can get married at Race and Religious.’”
As soon as you walk on the grounds of Race and Religious, it’s easy to understand why the location is a popular spot for both local and out-of-town couples. Even the smallest wedding package includes access to the location’s three spaces, a security guard and furniture, such as tables and chairs. Some brides will rent the grounds for a whole weekend and hold their rehearsal dinner, ceremony, reception and post-wedding brunch all at the same place.
The spot also has plenty of room for the couple and their family to stay over night. “About 70 percent of our couples stay overnight,” Worsley says. “A lot of our brides and grooms are from out of town, so they rent the place and their family comes in and stays the whole time.”
The staff at Race and Religious is flexible regarding how long couples can reserve the space. The flexibility of the locations also allows you to bring in your own caterer and your own alcohol, plus your own decorations if you want to personalize the space.
Redemption puts a whole new spin on the traditional wedding reception.
True to its name, the restaurant and event space is in a reclaimed and newly renovated 100-year-old church in the heart of Mid-City.
“Your really have to see it to believe it,” says Executive Chef Greg Picolo. “It is just gorgeous.”
The space features a large dining room, which is in the main part of the old church with high ceilings, wooden floors and stained glass windows.
There is also a large pergola that has a beautiful fountain and seating area. “It’s probably one of the prettiest rooms in the city,” Picolo says. “When the light comes through the golden stained glass windows, it’s just stunning,”
Unlike other properties, when you have your reception at Redemption, you are booking the entire property, which gives each couple a specialized experience. “We like to think of ourselves as a premier party space with an amazing restaurant added on,” Picolo adds.
When you’re ready to choose your menu at Redemption, the staff works with customers to make sure you get exactly what you are looking for.
“I don’t believe in the typical ‘column A, column B’ type of wedding reception,” Picolo says. “It’s a special day, a special event, so we customize it exclusively for them.”
At Redemption it is the combination of a beautiful historic space with great food to go along with it. “It’s not just your standard hotel or ‘anywhere in the world’ type reception space,” Picolo says. “It’s unique.”
10. Republic New Orleans
As a vibrant music venue and nightclub in a 160-year-old building, Republic New Orleans mixes the old with the new, creating a very fun but beautiful reception space for New Orleans brides.
“Republic exudes vintage New Orleans charm with hand-painted murals, exposed wooden beams, and stunning crystal chandeliers while also utilizing modern luxuries like state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems,” says Jessica Talazac, the director of special events at Republic New Orleans.
The rustic feel of the space paired with the nightclub experience and young staff makes it a special spot. “We embrace the fact that we are a non-traditional venue that strays from the cookie-cutter ballroom setting and allows you to customize the space so that your wedding is one-of-a-kind,” Talazac says.
What attracts young brides is that Republic New Orleans’ major function is to be a nightclub and music venue so it allows for a fun environment for wedding guests. “Our experience as a nightclub ensures that we know how to throw an amazing party,” Talazac says.
And the best part is guests can stick around after the wedding, Talazac adds. “It is a great ‘built-in’ after party venue.”
for more information:
Broussard’s, 819 Conti St., (504) 581-3866, Broussards.com
The Chicory, 610 S. Peters St., (504) 521-8055, TheChicoryVenue.com
Courtyard on the Ridge, 407 Folse St., Harahan, (504) 737-6660, CourtyardOnTheRidge.com
Hampton Inn and Suites New Orleans Convention Center, 1201 Convention Center Blvd., (504) 566-9990, NewOrleansHamptonInns.com
House of Blues, 225 Decatur St., (504) 310-4970, HouseOfBlues.com
Latrobe’s On Royal, 403 Royal St., (504) 299-0601, LatrobesOnRoyal.com
Marigny Opera House, 725 St. Ferdinand St., (504) 948-9998, MarignyOperaHouse.org
Race and Religious, 510 Race St., (504) 523-0890, RaceAndReligious.com
Redemption, 3835 Iberville St., (504) 309-3570, Redemption-Nola.com
Republic New Orleans, 828 St. Peters St., (504) 528-8282, RepublicNola.com