After saying “I Do,” there is nothing more quintessentially New Orleans than a bride and groom adorned with intricately designed umbrellas and wedding guests waving celebratory handkerchiefs as they second line their way to the reception. Whether you are dancing in the streets of the French Quarter or taking the New Orleans tradition to another city, here’s a list of local umbrella and hanky purveyors to make your wedding second line an event you and your guests will talk about for years to come.
From elegant complexity to beautiful simplicity, Stella Umbrella Parasols (1233 Decatur St.) offers custom parasols, so customers can design their dream second line umbrella.
“They can be covered with lace, with satin,” says Robert Williams, owner of Stella Umbrella Parasols. “They can be covered with anything they might want. If they want to match the dress, if they want something totally different, and once they are folded, they can be used as a walking cane.”
The Old Town Praline and Gift Shop first opened its doors in 1932. Now an online-only venture, Internet shoppers can pick pre-designed, bride and groom bundles and custom designed umbrellas in the comfort of their living room. While the store does offer a limited amount of pre-designed handkerchiefs, couples can embrace their creative side with its custom work.
Parade in style with handkerchiefs designed by Backyard Printing and Secondline Handkerchiefs in Mandeville. Opt for handkerchiefs trimmed with lace or dyed to match the wedding’s theme and get custom designed umbrellas. Leslie McGoey, owner of Backyard Printing, says handkerchiefs make it easy to take a little bit of New Orleans to a different city.
“The white handkerchiefs with the second line parade on it are a popular choice for those people who do not know what the parade is or what it is celebrating or how we do it,” says McGoey. “They are able to bring that to Memphis or California and it gives them a chance to kind of see the action.”
Perhaps your second line needs more than umbrellas and handkerchiefs? The Gem Printing Company (1904 Veterans Blvd.) has been in business since 1918. Gem carries umbrellas and handkerchiefs, as well as custom printed bridal fans, koozies and bridal glasses to bring bridal bling to your second line.
“We can print what ever they come up with, but sometimes keeping an open mind, they will fall in love with something even better,” says Melissa Mortillaro, manager at Gem Printing.
Bella Umbrella (2036 Magazine St.) is an emporium of everything from stunning patterns to classic designs, the store has an umbrella for every type of bride. Add vintage flair to your second line with the store’s collection of antique umbrellas from the 30s to the 60s available for rent.
This list of course represents just a few of New Orleans’ selection of second line accessories stores, but offers a great start for you and your betrothed. The only thing we can think of that’s more fun than dancing along in a second line is shopping for one.