Location: The Great Outdoors

Here in New Orleans, the two most popular times of year to get married are March through June and October through December, with March and October being the busiest months. This is important to keep in mind when booking your venue, as it may be harder to secure. However, one thing is for certain: These months are so popular thanks to the beautiful weather. And no matter what your taste in outdoor venues, New Orleans has a variety of options from which to choose. Here are some top local spots — each with its own distinct beauty and flair — to consider for your outdoor wedding this fall.

Audubon Park

The epitome of a beautiful outdoor wedding, reception or rehearsal dinner is yours to be had at Audubon Park. Choose from a number of outdoor venues, such as the Audubon Tea Room Garden, Newman Bandstand, under the oaks at the Audubon Clubhouse or in Oak Grove, and other breathtaking spots. The Audubon Event team is the first caterer in Louisiana to earn Green Certification through the Green Restaurant Association. 6500 Magazine St., 504-861-2537, audubonnatureinstitute.org

Benachi House & Gardens

For a truly magical setting, the Benachi House & Gardens fits the bill. The historic interiors, gardens and patios provide an idyllic setting for weddings, receptions and rehearsal dinners. Outdoor ceremonies can take place on the front gallery or in the pavilion, and outdoor receptions can be held on the illuminated rear patio. An added bonus: You and your guests can even book an overnight stay in the cottage. 2257 Bayou Road, 504-525-7040, benachihouse.com

City Park

For venues within a venue, City Park is the optimal choice for weddings of all sizes. Popp Fountain, the Peristyle, New Orleans Botanical Garden, and the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden all make for gorgeous backdrops. There are also numerous bridges, and buildings with neoclassical revival and Art Deco styles, in which to frame your wedding photos. 1 Palm Drive, 504-482-4888, neworleanscitypark.com

The Elms Mansion and Gardens

For an elegant wedding venue that will exceed your expectations, turn to the historic Elms Mansion and Gardens in the Garden District. The Italianate-style mansion is nestled among lush gardens and patios  perfect for extravagant cocktail parties, wedding ceremonies and receptions with seated dinners. Expect fine silver, crystal, linens and gourmet dining. Receptions also include three hours with an open bar. 3029 St. Charles Ave., 504-895-9200, elmsmansion.com

English Turn Golf and Country Club

For something a little different, book English Turn Golf and Country Club. Here, your outdoor wedding ceremony will be held among water fountains and year-long lush greenery with the 18th hole of the PGA course in the background. The venue will even supply chairs for the ceremony, and the event manager will help you secure other vendors to make the day complete. 1 Clubhouse Drive, 504-392-2200, englishturngolf.com

Il Mercato

This European-inspired event space in the Lower Garden District features distinct architecture with grand arches leading from the indoor event space to a sprawling brick courtyard with outdoor fireplace. Meanwhile, touches like gas lanterns, reclaimed brick and French wall panels give the space a modern romantic aesthetic. 1911 Magazine St., 504-827-2400, ilmercatoevents.com

Jackson Square

As a public park, Jackson Square can be secured for weddings, but it also must remain open to the public. If you’re OK with uninvited guests, this is a stunning and historic place to say “I Do” with the beautiful St. Louis Cathedral and gorgeous flowers in the backdrop. Just remember to leave the rice and birdseed at home, as neither are permitted here. Be sure to hire a band for a second line, as the French Quarter is the ideal place to strut your stuff when heading to your reception site. 751 Decatur St., 504-658-3200, nola.gov

Press Street Gardens

Managed by The NOCCA Institute, Press Street Gardens is a half-acre urban farm located where the Faubourg Marigny meets Bywater. In addition to the lovely gardens (think amazing photos and floral arrangements all in one), this venue can accommodate a wide variety of groups. There’s a large courtyard that can hold nearly 200 people, and an even larger lawn at the opposite end of the Gardens. The courtyard features picnic tables and a wooden shade structure that are great for creating separate event spaces. 7 Homer Plessy Way, 504-940-2986, pressstreetgardens.com

Race + Religious

Located in the Lower Garden District, Race + Religious is an event space featuring a collection of three buildings connected by a 2,500-square-foot brick courtyard with lush palms and a fountain-flanked swimming pool lit by flickering gas lamps. There are working fireplaces, balconies overlooking the courtyard and downtown New Orleans, and exterior speakers. Talk about romantic! 510 Race St., 504-523-0890, raceandreligious.com

Southern Oaks Plantation

Selected as a “Best of Weddings” winner by The Knot for nearly a decade, the antebellum-style mansion and meticulously landscaped grounds are the perfect location for a true Southern wedding. In addition to wedding ceremonies and receptions, this all-inclusive venue offers several enhancements, such as a Mardi Gras-style parade, a horse-drawn Victoria carriage and a fireworks presentation. 7816 Hayne Blvd., 504-245-8221, southernoaksplantation.com

Location: The Great Outdoors
Audubon Park

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