Finding the perfect place for your wedding can be frustrating, taking into account how many guests you’re inviting, what kind of food you want and how you want the place to be decorated.
Whether you want a more traditional reception or a more alternative option, you can certainly find the right place to make a toast and cut the cake. Here are a few locations to suit any taste, whether it’s a classic Southern plantation or a spot on the Gulf Coast.
Chateau Golf & Country Club (3600 Chateau Blvd., Kenner, 467-1351, chateaugcc.com) is most well-known for its cuisine – think freshly peeled Louisiana fantail fried shrimp or fresh lump crabmeat crab cakes – and you can add features such as a boiled shrimp fountain or a gumbo station. The Grand Salon accommodates anywhere from 100 to 225 guests, while the Grand Ballroom, with plenty of dance floor space, can hold more than 275 people.
A large chandelier lights the ivory- and gold-toned ballroom, matching the gold seats with bamboo backs.
The country club has a private room for pictures during the reception, as well a private dressing room for
the bride and groom. The bride, groom and their parents will have three attendants throughout the evening
who load gifts, get drinks and keep everything running on a timeline to ensure that all goes smoothly.
It offers an all-comprehensive wedding package, which includes: three hours of continuous open bar and hors d’oeuvres service, a wedding and groom’s cake credit, engraved napkins and toasting glasses, a coffee station,
a guestbook and more.
Unique Feature: Ample complimentary parking
The Fleur de Lis Event Center (1645 N. Causeway Blvd., Mandeville, (985)
626-9118, fleurdeliseventcenter.com) opened in 2009 after being revamped from an old movie theater. The renovation was highly influenced by New Orleans architecture. Gas lanterns light up the stucco walls in the Pontchartrain Ballroom, which can accommodate receptions of all sizes. It features a fully stocked double bar, a bridal suite, a luxury balcony with its own bar and a wrought iron staircase. For a slightly smaller, less expensive reception, the Jazz Room is available, able to hold anywhere from 50 to 300 people. In the center of the room is a brick LED-lit fountain.
The center constantly changes its extensive menu. Rather than having the bride and groom choose a few items from a menu as part of a package deal, at the beginning of the night, the staff serves an array of dishes that acts as a sort of “test tray” to see what types of food the guests like.
The Fleur de Lis Event Center launched a Bridal Gallery across the parking lot, where you can find a photographer, florist, event planner and cake designer all in the same place.
Unique feature: The starlit ceiling makes it feel as though you’re outside.
The Foundry (333 Saint Joseph St.,
586-1309, foundryvenue.com), a unique renovated 19th-century warehouse, boasts historic bricking and exposed wooden beams with an artistic vibe and warm atmosphere. It provides an inviting location for wedding receptions, as well as combined ceremonies and receptions, and it can accommodate 100 to 1,200 guests comfortably.
The Foundry’s décor is a tasteful depiction of New Orleans and southern Louisiana. Master Chef Horst Pfeifer of Bella Luna Catering offers up an extensive, eclectic menu featuring elegant locally influenced cuisine.
He would also be delighted to customize a menu to suit your specific taste and style.
Located one block from the Convention Center and six blocks from the French Quarter, this 15,000 square-foot space is an ideal location for either a lavish or intimate wedding reception.
Unique feature: The Foundry is equipped with built-in bars, a band and dance area and spacious restrooms. Modern furnishings, linen, china, glassware and silverware are included.
For music lovers, Hard Rock Café New Orleans (418 N. Peters St., 529-5617) hosts receptions in the Satchmo Room on the second floor with French doors opening to a large balcony. It has a great view of New Orleans’ riverfront and the French Quarter. The Satchmo Room – named after Louis Armstrong – is a casual but upscale event space that pays tribute to New Orleans music and the musicians inspired by it.
The room has a full-service bar, a built-in dance floor and spacious marble restrooms. The Satchmo Room and the balcony combined can accommodate up to 225 guests for your reception. Hard Rock offers a special event menu featuring New Orleans specialties. If you choose, they’ll provide house music. It also offers rehearsal dinners and
Unique feature: You can’t beat the view of New Orleans’ French Quarter and the riverfront.
Houmas House (40136 Highway 942, Darrow; (225) 473-9380, houmashouse.com) was first built in
the mid-1700s and was reconstructed and expanded with a Greek Revival exterior in 1840. Weddings at Houmas House have a romantic setting under the Cathedral of Oaks in front of the mansion.
Houmas House has two ballrooms:
the Pavilion Ballroom and the Neptune Ballroom. The Pavilion Ballroom has a transformed old world and elegant carriage house feel, and it can handle receptions from 150 guests to 600.
The Neptune Ballroom, formal yet comfortable, is a glass box overlooking the magnificent gardens. Both ballrooms have courtyards for outdoor cocktail hours. Latil’s Landing Restaurant performs all catering. Houmas House can hold up to 3,000 people, depending on how they set things up.
Unique feature: Houmas House offers the beauty of the Old South with its grand mansion and fruitful gardens.
Hyatt Regency New Orleans (601 Loyola Ave., 561-1234, neworleans.hyatt.com) will reopen this fall after being closed for six years due to Hurricane Katrina.
It has since been completely repositioned with a new entrance on Loyola Avenue.
It now has double the event space:
The revitalization and contemporary design will give it a second life.
The expanded space includes two 25,000-square-foot ballrooms.
The Empire Ballroom will be an ideal setting for weddings with its floor-to-ceiling windows and an outdoor balcony overlooking Loyola Avenue and the streetcar line. It can accommodate weddings from 50 people to 1,000 people. It has 11,000 square feet of pre-function space, which also has floor-to-ceiling windows, an outdoor balcony, and is accessed by a beautiful spiral staircase from the lobby.
The Hyatt’s team will work with the bride and groom to customize the ballroom to create a unique event that reflects the couple’s needs. The Hyatt does all of the catering in-house, with newly appointed Executive Chef Eric Damidot from Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas heading his team. They will prepare custom menus and tastings
for all weddings.
Unique feature: The contemporary design combined with natural light and an outdoor balcony allows for a trendy atmosphere.
Legendary Inc. (10 Harbor Blvd., Destin, Fla.; (850) 424-0675, legendaryinc.com) offers several settings for a wedding ceremony and reception. One of them, Emerald Grande, hosts wedding ceremonies on the Captain’s Deck and the Sunset Deck, which overlook the Destin Harbor, East Pass and the Gulf of Mexico.
You can choose to use Emerald Grande as a location only – the tables, chairs, silverware and basic white linens will be provided – or you can choose from four tiers of all-inclusive packages. The package options come with different sizes and numbers of centerpieces, specialty linens, bamboo arbors and designer lighting (where the couple’s initials are on the dance floor).
Emerald Grande can accommodate anywhere from 10 people to 300. It offers a 50-page menu for food and beverages; also, if you’re looking for something specific, the chef will customize the menu. Additional options include Legendary Yacht Club for an intimate sunset wedding and Rutherfords 465 at Regatta Bay for a more traditional style, which are both Legendary Inc. properties.
Unique Feature: Emerald Grande is an all-inclusive hotel with a full-service spa, a fitness center, fishing trips, golf courses, shops, restaurants and weekly events at HarborWalk Village.
Southern Oaks Plantation (7816 Hayne Blvd., 245-8221, southernoaksplantation.com) was once an overgrown, boarded-up estate, but Bobby and Sue Asaro repaired it to be a beautifully landscaped plantation under live oaks – a great place to choose for an outdoor summer wedding. Garden ceremonies take place on the front lawn of the plantation. For evening ceremonies, the plantation is lit up, and you can choose to add fireworks to your night. (Bobby describes the ceremonies as “magical and Disney-like.”)
For a reception, the antebellum-style mansion at Southern Oaks greets guests with a spiral staircase, crystal chandeliers, intricate moldings and graceful décor. The grand ballroom offers views of the plantation’s pool
and rear patio.
The bridal room features a private bar with premium liquors, an assortment of artisan cheeses, fresh fruit, petits fours and more. The bride and groom may choose to have a private, candle-lit dinner with champagne so that they can sample hors d’oeuvres and other dishes.
Unique feature: Horse-drawn carriage rides are available upon request.