Of all the important decisions a couple has to make ahead of their Big Day, the venue is perhaps the most meaningful and the most difficult. To help make sure the location for your wedding serves as a reflection of your personal style as individuals and a couple, we’ve compiled this list of nine one-stop venues ranging from traditional antebellum to the industrial and rustic that can accommodate every aspect of your wedding without leaving the premises.
Stepping into the courtyard of the Spanish-influenced Il Mercato can almost feel like entering another country. The outdoor space, alone covering 3,500 square feet, is lined with tall, red-tiled roofs and rows of archways, plus it features an elaborate fire pit as its focal point. The inside of the venue, an additional 5,000 square feet, showcases herringbone wood floors and walls finished with paint, plaster and a final coat of beeswax. A fully-furnished library off the main space will appeal to the couple looking for a slight touch of masculinity, while Italian chandeliers and warm ivory colors ensure that the tone of elegance is never compromised.
Bevolo Gas and Electric Lights Museum
This French Quarter store only transforms into a retro-futuristic event space about four times a month, but when it does, it casts a powerful spell. Over 40 gas and electric lanterns illuminate the shop’s interior and courtyard, and shining copper and exposed brick help to complete the transformation. Outside, craftsmen are available to demonstrate the lantern-making process for your guests. The venue opens up onto Exchange Place, a near-hidden alleyway perfect for photos or a second line. Bevolo accommodates intimate gatherings of up to 100 guests.
Iconic as Brennan’s is, it doesn’t rely on its history to deliver a memorable wedding experience. For his traditional-yet-modernized New Orleans cuisine, Executive Chef Slade Rushing has been a James Beard finalist for the past three years. Guests can enjoy the on-site catering in one of eight private dining rooms available to host parties of varying sizes. There is even a private wine room with an 18-foot table carved from cypress, and ceremonies can be held among the long, narrow pathways in the lush courtyard. Richly detailed, glamorous and customizable, each event is tailored to the budget and personal style of the couple.
Couples desirous of luxurious finishes and exquisite details will want to strongly consider this venue. Fine bone china, crystal stemware and other elegant touches are tended to meticulously; on top of that, stone floors and columns evoke the opulence of the 1920s. Guests can look up to the French vaulted ceilings towering over the Dryades ballroom, an expansive space that can hold up to 250 people. The hotel contains more than 200 rooms, and late evenings can be spent on the rooftop or patio so that no one has to travel far. Catering is done in-house and is overseen by a banquet manager, and the venue offers planning assistance.
Set out on the Mississippi for an intimate ceremony on the historic Steamboat Natchez. Though ceremonies are usually on the small side, couples can charter the entire boat for about 300 guests. The dining room features ornate ceilings and chandeliers, with accents of maroons, ivories and golds to complement the dark wood. Captains are licensed to marry, and a wedding consultant can be provided to assist with photography, flower arrangements, catering and beverage service.
La Maison du Lac
This modern lake house is nestled on Lake Pontchartrain and offers panoramic views of the marina. The newly-renovated space features a sleek, contemporary design with white marble floors, crystal chandeliers and sophisticated decorations. Enjoy breathtaking, waterside sunsets on the outdoor deck or a late night spent in La Maison du Lac’s glossy interior. Additional offerings include a bridal suite large enough to hold the entire bridal party, and a private yacht commissioned to help you make a grand entrance. The lake house’s indoor and outdoor space can accommodate up to 300 people.
The Elms Mansion
Built in 1869, this historic mansion is located right along the St. Charles streetcar line and is the perfect turnkey venue. Many of the house’s original furnishings are preserved, such as the tapestry wallpaper, stained glass windows and wood floors. Fireplaces of marble and Italian sandstone, along with a free-standing staircase, make for photo settings that capture the mansion’s Southern charm. Outside is a sprawling courtyard and garden customizable to the couple’s needs; ceremonies can be held at the gazebo, with a stunning view of the towering magnolia trees and a terra cotta fountain. Up to 500 guests can be accommodated, and catering and management are available on-site.
Tucked away in the warehouse district, The Chicory was once a coffee warehouse and has now been transformed into an industrial-chic wonderland. For those looking for modern charm with rustic accents, look no further than this venue’s exposed brick, wooden beams and gas lamps. There are no limitations on time or volume, and up to 400 of your closest friends can fit comfortably inside the open space. An in-house culinary team will handle catering, and guests are treated to views of the cityscape from the 4,000 square foot rooftop deck. It’s easy to see why this location has been named the best New Orleans wedding venue by TheKnot.com for the past five years.
Standing along the edge of the Mississippi River is the historic Stella Plantation, a backdrop that makes the most of its Southern heritage. Oak Row is flanked on both sides with huge, 250-year-old trees, creating a stunning display of symmetrical elegance. Smaller receptions and ceremonies can be held in the open air Carriage House, or you can choose to stand in front of the plantation’s split staircase, which can be adorned with flowers, candles and other embellishments. As many as 1,000 guests can enjoy the capacious grounds for a ceremony that promises luxury and majesty. Ask about the new Sugar Cane Stable, created from the plantation’s old Sugar Barn, which features original brick walls on the interior and a wooden exterior with two wings for guest seating. Couples can plan to stay overnight in the main house, which has multiple bedrooms, a gourmet kitchen and several living rooms and lounge areas.
Save the date for the New Orleans Bride Magazine Bridal Show, Jan. 21 at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans. Click here for tickets and more information.