Whether you opt for a huge church wedding or an outdoor ceremony with family and friends, where you have your wedding is crucial and it says something about your interests as a couple. Whether you’re food lovers, history buffs or art aficionados, you’re bound to find your dream location in Southern Louisiana.
For The Foodie
Located in the heart of the French Quarter, Tujague’s Restaurant (823 Decatur St., 525-8676, tujaguesrestaurant.com) is just as known for its Creole food as it is for its historic building. The second oldest restaurant in New Orleans is steeped in gastronomic history. According to the restaurant’s website, Guillaume and Marie Abadie Tujague started the restaurant in 1856. The operation is currently run by second generation owner Mark Latter, a member of only three families that have owned and operated the restaurant. Guests can enjoy traditional Creole fare in a beautiful French Quarter setting perfect for not only weddings but rehearsal dinners as well. To enhance the New Orleans tradition, many couples opt to exchange vows in Jackson Square then second line over to the restaurant.
For the Hopelessly Romantic Couple
A mainstay on St. Charles Avenue, the stately House of Broel (2220 St. Charles Ave., 522-2220, houseofbroel.com) was literally made for parties—at least the first floor was. When William Renaud, a previous owner, decided he needed more space to accommodate guests, instead of moving, he opted to have the house hoisted up in 1884 to add another floor underneath. Many brides are attracted to the property for the old mansion feel, complete with high ceilings. The house can accommodate up to 150 guests for the ceremony and 350 for the reception. There’s the Complete Wedding Package, which includes an open bar, a wedding cake, a buffet and more. Smaller ceremonies can also be accommodated, including couples looking to elope. “Just got to have a bride and a groom,” jokes Bonnie Broel, the owner who is also an ordained minister. The House of Broel also contains a dollhouse collection on the second floor as well as a fashion industry museum, comprised of 40 gowns made in the 60s up to present day.
For Fans of the French Quarter
The French Quarter is the quintessential destination wedding spot, so the search for a venue is paramount. The Hyatt French Quarter (800 Iberville St., 586-0800, frenchquarter.hyatt.com), situated on Iberville Street in the old D.H. Holmes department store, dates back to the 1800s, and has one of the largest courtyards in New Orleans. For brides choosing an outdoor ceremony in the courtyard, the atrium provides a built in backup space in case of rain, yet lends itself to an outdoor feel with its original exposed beams from the old department store. The location of the hotel also makes it easy to second line down Bourbon Street if you please, and it has a private exit out to Canal Street. For visiting parties, the hotel touts the largest rooms in the Quarter, equipped with 12 foot high ceilings.
For the Patriotic Couple
For brides opting to add a little red and white to their something blue, The National World War II Museum (945 Magazine St., 528-1944, ddaymuseum.org) lends a patriotic touch to a wedding. Military families in particular are attracted to having their wedding here, from families of WWII vets or active military, history buffs or brides just looking for something new. “It takes kind of a unique bride to have it here,” states Corporate and Convention Events Sales Manager Ingrid Troxler. With a dance floor, catering from John Besh’s American Sector restaurant and, if you wish, performances from the Victory Belles, there are many unique ways to add a sense of authentic WWII-era entertainment that all of your guests will appreciate.
Located inside the museum, the Stage Door Canteen is a fun, cozy venue with great lighting that holds 200 people and features a built in stage and a state of the art high definition screen, perfect for sharing a slideshow of your favorite engagement photos. There’s also an in-house audio and visual team that can assist with band equipment if you choose to bring in your own entertainment.
For the Couple Who Goes Off The Beaten Path
Having just opened their wedding facilities this past July, The Cannery (3803 Toulouse St., 486-8351, cannerynola.com) has quickly become a go-to spot for brides seeking a tucked-away gem in the heart of Mid-City. “It’s a hidden treasure—you would not expect what’s behind the glass doors,” says Director of Sales Kellie Levy. Primarily a family-owned and operated catering company, The Cannery is housed in the historic American Can Company building. The team has been in the wedding business for years and the family was able to build out a space that addressed the needs of brides. The space can accommodate up to 700 people but can work for smaller weddings as well. The inside is modern but retains a sense of understated tradition “The décor is very sophisticated, chic, and clean and the space was designed so that you can put your own stamp on it,” Levy states. Marrying history to modern conveniences, there is a sound system on the grounds plus LED lighting, an outdoor terrace and grand furnishings which helps save on decoration costs.
For the Outdoorsy Couple
The grandeur of the ancient oak trees around the Oak Alley Plantation (3645 Highway 18, Vacherie, (225) 265-2151, oakalleyplantation.com) will make for a picturesque, unique ceremony and reception. Brides from across the globe have said “I do” in the historic oak grove. And while the plantation attracts a wide variety of women, each bride loves the gardens and the history of the place. “The brides want that outdoor venue and they want that wow,” says Director of Sales Hillary Loeber. The formal dining room can be turned into the main buffet, with action stations outside with food prepared on site. Overnight accommodations are also available, perfect for stress-free bridal prep. Oak Alley does all of the catering and can book entertainment as well.
For the Art Aficionados
Having hosted everything from Mardi Gras balls to debutante parties, the New Orleans Museum of Art (1 Collins Diboll Circle in City Park, 658-4100, noma.org) can accommodate most any type of wedding. From an intimate vow exchange in the garden or a grand party, NOMA is the perfect choice for art lovers. “Most people have grown up here and always envisioned their wedding here” says Ruthie Massey, NOMA’s event rental coordinator.
NOMA provides security, free parking, and exclusivity; there’s only one event at a time which ensures your wedding reception will feel special and private. Boasting trees dripping with oversized Venetian glass beads, the Oak Grove in the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden is a popular spot for nuptials. After the ceremony, enjoy cocktails in the front of the museum then head inside and immerse your guests in an artful experience they won’t forget. Guests can roam the museum and view the artwork on their own time; the second floor can be outfitted with tables and chairs, which makes for a truly unique experience as your guests nosh next to historic sculptures and paintings.
For the Gracious Hosts
A proper Southern woman always ensures her guests are comfortably accommodated, and the Maison St. Charles (1319 St. Charles Ave., 522-0187, maisonstcharles.com) serves both as a wedding space and an upscale hotel. With amenities that are fit for even the most persnickety on your guest list, out-of-towners will feel right at home thanks to pet-friendly standard and queen economy rooms, complimentary workouts at the St. Charles Avenue Athletic Club, continental breakfast and free wifi. The Garden District location lends itself to easy exploration of the city, as its on the streetcar line.
The property is comprised of five historic antebellum homes, featuring murals by Louisiana native Robert Dafford. With the beautiful artwork plus three romantic patios, brides have their choice of gorgeous surroundings to complement their dream wedding.
For Fans of the One-Stop-Shop
The New Orleans Hotel Collection (neworleanshotelcollection.com; visit the website for information on each hotel) is a family of locations, each with a distinct old world New Orleans feel. From engagement parties to full wedding packages, brides can select from an array of options from the rehearsal dinner to the big day itself. Treat travel weary guests arriving into town with a welcome close to the airport at the bar in the Crowne Plaza New Orleans Airport hotel. Or imbibe on one of the best wine lists in the city at Patrick’s Bar Vin, tucked away in the Hotel Mazarin just steps away from Bourbon Street.
No matter what a brides’ budget, taste level or guest list entails, the New Orleans Hotel Collection has a property that will suit most anyone’s needs. Guest accommodations can be provided thanks to a portfolio of New Orleans’ most attractive accommodations. Enjoy a formal rehearsal dinner at Louis XVI, a casual meet up with old friends at May Baily’s, followed by an unforgettable wedding reception at the Bourbon Orleans, Wyndham Riverfront or any of the other elegant locations.