International Sculpture Day was commemorated at the end of April, which of course made us think about the sculpture garden at the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) in the heart of City Park. The Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden at NOMA covers 11 acres of City Park alongside the museum. It features two lagoons, live oaks and more than 90 sculptures donated by the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Foundation. After its upgrade and expansion in 2019, this gorgeous park oasis became a must see for both New Orleans residents and visitors alike.

Gardens and museum are high on our list of backdrops for a romantic and dreamy “I Do.” There’s something about being surrounded by works of art and large live oak trees that can’t be beat. Lucky for residents and visitors, NOMA and the Sculpture Garden can also serve as the setting to some aspect of your Big Day or wedding event. Because of the Sculpture Garden’s affiliation with the museum, couples are able to add the garden as part of their rental of the museum or singularly for an hour-long rental.

The museum’s great hall is available any day of the week for a three-hour event rental, with prices varying depending on if the event is during the week or the weekend. The newly opened Lapis Center for the Arts within the museum is a modern ballroom space available for up to 400 guests and includes the Coleman Courtyard, an atrium courtyard with a glass ceiling.

(Kelly here: My dream wedding has always been a ceremony in the Sculpture Garden and a reception in the Great Hall. The idea of being surrounded by such beauty, modern architecture and the dreamy flora and fauna provided by City Park sounds like something cut right out of a fairytale. Feel free to make my dream yours and make sure to send me all the photos.)


With the coronavirus still being a major factor for wedding planning in New Orleans, we checked with the museum and they are following all protocols and directives issued by the city and state to ensure the safety of all visitors and clients.

Early Evening Front Portico


Things to consider:

The museum has an exclusive arrangement with Ralph Brennan’s Cafe NOMA to provide all liquor and beverage services – product, glassware, bar tables and bartenders.

Events may begin at 6 p.m. or later and end by midnight or earlier, with winter hours permitting a 5 p.m. start time in the Sculpture Garden between Oct. 1 and March 31.

The museum does not provide an event planner, nor any furnishings such as tables, chairs, linens, specialty lighting, etc. They recommend using event professionals from their preferred vendor lists, as they have experienced the museum space before.

Tenting in the Oak Grove of the Sculpture Garden is only permitted with NOMA’s approval and using a NOMA vendor for the tend with an additional set-up fee.