Last week, we began a series aimed at helping destination brides, from an hour away to thousands of miles away, efficiently plan and execute their New Orleans wedding. Our first part tackled wedding photography with helpful insight from Red Leaf Weddings and The Red M Studio. This week we are focusing on the main aspect of a wedding: location, location, location.
Location is everything for a wedding, and the most important part when planning your wedding from afar. A great location helps set the mood and if chosen wisely can evoke the spirit of the couple and the city. When planning from another city however, the couple often doesn’t have the luxury of scouting out multiple locations and has to go on the trust of others, photographs and the planners that work on site.
“The most important thing for brides who are planning out of state is to find trustworthy vendors that they can really rely on,” says Kimberly Ellison, catering sales manager at the Maison Dupuy Hotel.
Ellison also says reading reviews is the best way to ensure remote wedding planning is a breeze.
Maggie Zschiedrich, director of sales and marketing for Messina’s at the Terminal echoes that sentiment.
“Don’t be afraid to ask questions, whether it’s regarding our event venue or the city in general,” says Zschiedrich.
Especially dealing with something as integral as the ceremony or reception venue, it’s important to have an open and honest dialogue with the professionals. Couples need to ask all the questions they have and keep communication open.
Brent Bogan, wedding sales manager at The Chicory, says because 70 percent of their weddings are destination events, he stresses how important it is to promptly respond to phone calls and emails – but the same goes for the couple.
“I tell them we are going to be emailing a lot and they will need to check their email on a daily basis,” says Bogan.
In addition to communication, both Bogan, Ellison and Ashley Brodie, wedding sales manager for Brennan’s Restaurant, stress the importance of couples researching the time of year they would like to get married and ensuring they are aware of any and all festivals and events held around the city. With more festivals than there are days in a calendar year, a couple must decided if they want to work around an event or schedule their Big Day at another time to avoid any issues.
“Some brides love the idea of having their wedding over major festivals so their guests can spend some time enjoying the fest before or after the wedding,” says Ellison. “However, other brides find festival weekends a major negative because their bigger priorities are lower airfare and hotel rates to make the trip affordable for their guests. Either way the bride just has to find her style and vision and the venue will find a date that is perfect for her.”
The key to eliminating the stress of picking a venue is finding the space and professional team that is willing to go the extra mile. The Messina’s team offers flexible hours and even conducts FaceTime tours with couples. Ellison provides with a list of potential vendors for other aspects of their wedding. The Brennan’s team takes time to ensure all feelings of stress or being overwhelmed are lessened as much as possible. While Bogan takes the time to explain local traditions and New Orleans flair that can be added to a couple’s Big Day, while embracing the culture that surrounds them.
New Orleans is one of the best cities to say “I Do.”
“This city was made for weddings,” says Zschiedrich.
The music, the food and the beautiful architecture produce a vibe unmatched by any other city.
Bogan’s humorous take brings it home, “there ain’t no party like a NOLA party ‘cause a NOLA party don’t stop.”
Laissez les bon temps rouler!
- Messina’s at the Terminal. 6001 Stars and Stripes Blvd. 504-241-5300. messinasterminal.com
- The Chicory. 610 S Peters St. 504-521-8055. chicoryvenue.com
- Maison Dupuy Hotel. 1001 Toulouse St. 504-586-8000. maisondupuy.com
- Brennan’s Restaurant. 417 Royal St. 504-525-9711. brennansneworleans.com