Grand plantations and antebellum homes have their appeal, but for couples looking for something a little more sleek and modern: fear not, New Orleans has those too. Whether it’s a renovated warehouse or upscale nightclub, here are nine contemporary venues to serve as a swanky backdrop for your Big Day.
Located on the edge of St. Charles Avenue, this multipurpose event space literally used to be part of the Eiffel Tower. The materials were taken from a restaurant inside the iconic landmark and brought to New Orleans in the 1980s. Today, it’s an edgy and lively space catering to couples looking for less of a traditional affair and more of a party. The floor to ceiling windows, open multi-level floor plan and art installations make Eiffel truly distinct.
What was once a warehouse for the American Can Company is now a versatile and modern venue. The Cannery is not a rustic or industrial space; with a neutral color scheme, four separate rooms and an outdoor courtyard, the Cannery is known for its customizability. Though the Cannery is known to accommodate anywhere from 50 to 1,000 guests, it will never be booked for more than one event a day. The goal of its owners is to create an event to suit each couple and design the space to be eclectic enough to adjust to any taste.
Originally a sugar mill, Generations Hall keeps close to it roots, which it does while simultaneously pulling off an ultra-modern look. With exposed brick, exposed beams and high ceilings, it’s not hard to imagine the original space. However, the chandeliers, sleek furniture and high tech, customizable lighting pushes Generations Hall into the 21st century. The space is vast and can hold up to 25,000 people between three rooms. This space is for couples who are looking for a wedding that is a bit out of the norm.
The main draw of this Uptown eatery is just that: the food. La Thai is modern, with crisp colors and minimalist fixtures and serves distinctive and delicious Thai-fusion cuisine. The newly renovated restaurant offers a private room for parties as well as an outdoor courtyard space. Ceremonies and receptions are easily accommodated, but La Thai is most popular for rehearsal dinners, bridal showers and engagement parties.
Housed in what used to be a 1930s food market, Il Mercato is a Spanish-colonial building that has been restored to include herringbone floors, beeswax walls and Italianate chandeliers. The space is neutral enough for couples to add their own flair, but also stands alone for those who want to take advantage of the existing architectural and decorative elements. Il Mercato can serve a wide range of themes, from classic glamoor or rustic charm to something more chic and modern. The courtyard is lined with arches and has a central fireplace many couples choose for a backdrop. Combined with the massive ballroom, Il Mercato can accommodate up to 450 guests.
For couples dreaming of a Big Day with classic New Orleans flavor and a modern twist, Emeril’s Delmonico is a choice option. This historic building is situated in the Lower Garden District on St. Charles Avenue, just off the streetcar line. The overall atmosphere of the restaurant is nostalgic and luxurious, but Delmonico wants customers to feel comfortable and to have fun. With huge windows, minimalist chandeliers and sleek furniture, this restaurant is far from stuffy. Delmonico offers both partial and full buyouts, which can include two floors, a courtyard and the secret cornstalk room. Plus, it’s an Emeril Lagasse restaurant, so you know the food is going to be delicious.
Left: Il Mercato, Right: Broussards
Named Best Venue in New Orleans for five years in a row by The Knot, The Chicory knows how to put on a wedding. The 25,000-square-foot event space was once a coffee warehouse and embraces its industrial-chic charm. The exposed brick walls, gas lamps and wrought iron details are undeniably, classic New Orleans. However, having been a warehouse, the space is open and airy and more rugged than it is glitzy. The Chicory also features a swanky rooftop space with panoramic views of the Warehouse District. Up to 600 guests can be accommodated, however most are in the 200 to 300 range.
This new luxury hotel is housed in the former headquarters of New Orleans Public Service Inc. and the name isn’t the only thing that stuck. Opening at the end of June, the hotel is being renovated to look like it did in the 1920s. The columns, vaulted ceilings, arched windows and exposed brick and pipe will remain. The hotel is rich in history, but it is a far cry from your traditional venue. With a ballroom, courtyard, rooftop and five breakout rooms, NOPSI can serve anywhere from 25 to 600 guests.
Tucked away behind the classic French Quarter restaurant, Broussard’s Courtyard is cozy and chic. Brick walls surround the space, with fairy lights strung from balcony to balcony. Covered in lush vines and greenery, the courtyard is ready for a beautiful garden wedding as is. However, its simple charm can be easily transformed with any sort of decor that you wish. Couples can choose to have both the ceremony and reception in the courtyard, and can pick from the restaurant’s banquet menus as well as add their own items.