While New Orleans is known for its historic charm, sometimes a new coat of paint can do wonders for older venues. These quintessential Crescent City wedding venues have gone beyond new paint with a number of renovations that up the ante on distinctive wedding venues. 

‘I Do’ Venues


Hotelier Jayson Seidman has beautifully reimagined the historic Columns hotel, which dates back to 1883. In addition to preserving many of the building’s original architectural details, Seidman integrated new features like an expansive garden, an intimate second-floor event and dining space, a guest lounge, a rooftop deck and a new bar and restaurant helmed by Executive Chef Paul Terrebonne. Seidman drew inspiration from the massive stained-glass medallion at the top of the original mahogany grand staircase to establish the color palette. He also referenced the original marble fireplace mantels, chandeliers, stained-glass windows and plaster details when choosing new textiles and finishes. The original bar, public bathrooms, ballroom, 20 guest rooms (including 10 standard rooms, four junior suites and six suites) and exterior spaces also feature new touches. Through the renovations, Seidman has reinvigorated the property’s spaces while creating an environment that evokes a sense of being somewhere tropical and timeless. Columns provides six venue options for wedding celebrations, including the Library Room, the Chapel Room, the Front Porch, the Tea Room, the Lounge/Ballroom, and the Balcony and Upstairs Lounge. Each space ranges in size, food and beverage offerings, and atmosphere. 3811 St. Charles Ave., thecolumns.com

‘I Do’ Venues

Saint John

The new Saint John restaurant from beloved local chef Eric Cook of Gris-Gris, has a new third-floor private events space that can be used for wedding events such as receptions, brunches and bridal showers. The space is large enough for a 40-person seated meal or a 50-person reception-style event. The space can be customized (such as the layout and décor) for each event, but all items to be brought in must be approved by the events manager prior to the event. All rentals include dedicated servers and bartenders. Tiered bar options are available as are wine pairings for prix  fixe menus (both of which are customizable, given availability and time). Menu choices include items like cheese and charcuterie, crispy oysters with Cajun caviar, Creole beef daube and River Road shrimp étouffée. 1117 Decatur St., saintjohnnola.com

‘I Do’ Venues

New Canal Lighthouse

The charming and historic New Canal Lighthouse is one of the most affordable — not to mention unique — venues in New Orleans. It recently has been restored, and it is now available for weddings. Offering scenic views of Lake Pontchartrain, the lighthouse also features a cocktail-hour balcony. The venue offers more than 250 parking spaces, and the outdoor area can accommodate more than 500 guests. The best part, however, is that events held here benefit the New Orleans-based nonprofit organization, Pontchartrain Conservancy, and its mission of environmental sustainability and stewardship through scientific research, education and advocacy. 8001 Lakeshore Drive, scienceforourcoast.org/lighthouse-museum

‘I Do’ Venues

The Derbès Mansion 

The Derbès Mansion — previously known as Benachi House & Gardens — is now under new ownership and has been renamed after its previous owner, James Derbès. The new owners, husband-and-wife team Christopher M. Short and Jessica Serrano, have partnered with another husband-and-wife team, Christopher B. Jones and Jessica Walker, to manage the property. The Derbès Mansion will continue to be offered as an event venue with overnight accommodations. Improvements thus far have included new landscaping and the restoration of the cottage and main house. A new pool, refurbished guest accommodations and a renovated kitchen also are in the works. 2257 Bayou Road, derbesmansion.com

‘I Do’ Venues

Chateau LeMoyne-French Quarter, A Holiday Inn Hotel

Located in the heart of the French Quarter, Chateau LeMoyne was renovated a few years ago and exudes Southern charm. This historic property offers a boutique feel, but with elegant touches perfect for weddings. The charming and romantic courtyard, for example, is surrounded by exposed brick walls and is a classic New Orleans venue in which to say “I Do.” There’s also a beautiful balcony and a stunning ballroom. Chateau LeMoyne also offers top-notch catering and personalized service. 301 Dauphine St., hi-chateau.com

The Moore 

Previously known as the Rose Garden, The Moore is a newly renovated, all-inclusive venue that’s perfect for weddings. In addition to a gorgeous ballroom, The Moore features a large brick fireplace, stained concrete floors and sparkling chandeliers. The neutral color palette provides a gorgeous backdrop for an array of décor. The wedding and event coordinators have more than 15 years of experience, and wedding packages include a full-service bar, centerpieces, china, a wedding cake and more. 5616 Citrus Blvd., themoorevenue.com