Lovely Locales

Current-day etiquette calls for smaller weddings allowing plenty of space for guests
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Southern Oaks Plantation

With the introduction of a global pandemic, fiancées around the world have adopted the mantra, “Love isn’t cancelled.” Instead, couples are finding ways to have smaller, more intimate weddings that allow for plenty of social distancing. These local venues provide both indoor and outdoor space — allowing for plenty of elbow room — making them perfect for the current climate. And, with a smaller number of guests, couples can afford to focus more on the details that make their wedding unique.

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The Chicory

The Chicory

The Chicory, which was built in 1852 and first began as a simple coffee warehouse, is an historic New Orleans event space that simply begs for weddings and receptions. The venue perfectly blends Old-World charm (think pressed-tin ceilings, gas lanterns, exposed brick and original beams) with modern amenities (the wedding reception package includes tables with gold Chiavari chairs, china, glassware, stainless flatware and ivory linens). 610 S. Peters St., 504-521-8055, chicoryvenue.com

Creole Gardens Guesthouse & Inn

Creole Gardens consists of a 2,700-square-foot event space, dubbed The Roadhouse, and an outdoor courtyard with lush foliage. There’s a built-in bar, easy access for local vendors (food trucks, anyone?), an in-house speaker system and a Caribbean ambiance that will kickstart your reception with a jovial vibe. 1415 Prytania St., 504-569-8700, creolegardens.com

Il Mercato

Built in 1931, this European-inspired event space in the Lower Garden District features a beautiful ballroom with herringbone wood floors and Italianate chandeliers, an intimate library and grand arches leading from the indoor event space to a sprawling brick courtyard with outdoor fireplace. The gas lanterns, brass doors and reclaimed brick set the stage for modern, romantic weddings. 1911 Magazine St., 504-827-2400, ilmercatoevents.com

New Orleans Athletic Club

A venue previously reserved only for members, the New Orleans Athletic Club has a few onsite spaces that are open for weddings and receptions for 20 to 500 guests. The Bienville Room, with its attached, open-air courtyard (the largest private courtyard in the French Quarter), is ideal for smaller weddings with about 8,000 square feet of space. The courtyard has brick and industrial features and a classic flagstone patio. 222 N. Rampart St., 504-525-2375, neworleansathleticclub.com

New Orleans Pharmacy Museum

Located in the heart of the French Quarter, the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum features a 19th-century courtyard that comes to life with tropical foliage and twinkly lights. This opulent setting is perfect for small, romantic weddings — all with that perfect touch of New Orleans flair. 514 Chartres St., 504-565-8027, pharmacymuseum.org

Paradigm Gardens

Paradigm Gardens initially began as a community garden, but has grown into a lush landscape perfect for intimate and casual weddings and receptions (with space for 30 to 125 guests). The in-house planning team assists with every aspect of the special day. The private events chef also will customize the menu using seasonal ingredients, while a custom bar package can include specialty cocktails using the garden’s ingredients. 1131 S. Rampart St., 504-344-9474, paradigmgardensnola.com

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Race + Religious

Race + Religious

Located along the riverfront in the Lower Garden District, Race + Religious is a romantic compound consisting of three buildings built in the 1830s. It offers 4,000 square feet of indoor space connected by a 2,500-square-foot courtyard with a swimming pool and flickering gas lanterns. Architectural details include unvarnished staircases, French tiles, wrought-iron gates and stained-glass doors — all of which ensure beautiful wedding photos. 510 Race St., 504-523-0890, raceandreligious.com

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The Rooftop on Basin

The Rooftop on Basin

For a luxe-yet-intimate venue for as little as 50 guests, consider The Rooftop on Basin at Basin St. Station. The fourth floor features a kitchen, a stage, banquet space and a furnished outdoor terrace. Overlooking the French Quarter, the event space also offers stunning skyline views of downtown New Orleans, gas-burning lanterns and a magical setting for the Big Day. 501 Basin St., 504-293-2600, basinststation.com

Rosy’s Jazz Hall Events & Catering

An award-winning venue for weddings and receptions, Rosy’s Jazz Hall acts as a beautiful backdrop for a New Orleans wedding thanks to its hardwood floors, brick walls and outdoor patio. There’s also an indoor balcony that overlooks a two-story atrium. All events are fully catered in-house, and wedding packages start with pricing for 75 to 99 guests. 500 Valence St., 504-896-7679, rosysjazzhall.com

Southern Oaks

The quintessential Southern venue, Southern Oaks is an all-inclusive event space featuring an historic mansion and meticulously landscaped grounds offering plenty of breathing room. Expect an unforgettable wedding and reception with delicious cuisine and exceptional service, surrounded by towering, picturesque live oaks. 7816 Hayne Blvd., 504-245-8221, southernoaksweddings.com

Make the most of smaller weddings by inviting only the closest family members and friends, and spend the extra cash on glorious cuisine, unique entertainment, cascading florals and extra wedding photography. Love isn’t cancelled; it’s simply done differently.