When you think New Orleans architecture, you typically think of anything from Creole cottages and victorian mansions to antebellum plantations. Images of flickering gas lamps, French Quarter balconies and exposed brick also come to mind. If you’ve chosen the Crescent City as your wedding destination, it probably means you’re searching for a quintessential New Orleans look and feel. These premiere wedding and reception locations, are a few of the places where you will find it.
Race + Religious
If the walls of Race + Religious seem as though they have a story to tell, it’s because they do. Built using bricks molded from Mississippi River mud, and baked along Tchoupitoulas Street, this venue is a relic of old Louisiana. The property, which contains 6,500 square feet of usable indoor and outdoor space and accommodates up to 275 guests for a cocktail-style reception, is a combination of three historic buildings: a Greek Revival rowhouse, slave quarters, and a Creole cottage.
The Federal Ballroom
The fortress-like Security Center Building, originally built as the New Orleans branch of The Federal Reserve Bank in 1922, is where you will find the Federal Ballroom. Entering the building feels like stepping back into the roaring ‘20s, with Art Deco period marble floors, high ceilings, modern and historic art pieces. At the entrance, you’ll even find an original cash vault. The ballroom, which holds up to 400 guests, was built to impress strength and stability with towering ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, crown molding and stately columns.
City Park offers four different wedding venues each varying in style and capacity: The New Orleans Botanical Garden houses, Pavilion of the Two Sisters, Garden Study Center and Lath House and Conservatory. All year long, the garden offers vibrant splashes of color and lush greenery with more than 2,000 different plants from all over the world. Meanwhile, the Garden Study Center features solid brick walls, a slate roof, and copper gutters reminiscent of an old English cottage. Home to the oldest grove of mature live oaks in the world, a wedding here is something out of a Southern fairytale.
A quick ferry ride across the Mississippi and a drive along the winding river brings you to Stella Plantation. Candles, chandeliers, or flowers can be hung in the 150-year-old lazy live oak, whose sweeping, intertwining branches meet the ground and curve up again to create a magical setting. Stella has a particular affinity for cypress, brick and copper, which make an appearance in many of the varied venues across the property, including the newest building, the Sugar Cane Stable. This plantation isn’t just a wedding and reception location, but a retreat to share with your closest friends and family.
With half an acre of beautifully landscaped grounds fronting St. Charles Avenue, Elms Mansion is a picturesque Garden District locale. Built in 1869, the mansion, which holds up to 400 guests, was designed using a blend of Italianate and Greek Revival design with Flemish oak carvings throughout. Directly situated on the streetcar line, the 4,200-square-foot patio area is canopied by one of the largest and oldest magnolia trees in the city. Brides rave about the food, prepared by an in-house chef that has been with the mansion for over 15 years.
Originally built as a coffee warehouse in 1852, The Chicory is large enough to hold up to 1,000 guests. With 20,000 square feet of exposed beams, brick walls, and gas lanterns, very few decorations are needed to make this renovated warehouse dazzle. Named the best wedding venue in New Orleans by The Knot six years in a row, this one-stop shop provides everything you’ll need — from locally-sourced food created by an in-house chef, down to the Chiavari chairs.
The only home of French artist Edgar Degas that is open to the public, Degas House stands out from other venues for its rich and unquestionable history. Distinguished by the French Ministry of Culture, the house, which holds up to 500 people, represents an authentic experience — this is after all, where Degas created many of his most famous masterpieces. The bed and breakfast portion of the house can sleep up to 32 guests and includes a bridal suite that happens to be the room where Degas painted ”Woman Seated on a Balcony” in 1872.
It’s all in the opulent details at The Roosevelt Hotel. From golden hues and luxurious furnishings to personal attendants for the couple, it invokes a feeling of sublime elegance. Built in 1893 and located directly across the street from one of the city’s oldest and most revered churches, The Church of the Immaculate Conception, the venue, which holds up to 1,200 guests, is an ode to classic New Orleans refinement. Whether it was Fats Domino performing at the Blue Room or Huey P. Long sipping a Ramos Gin Fizz at the Sazerac Bar — New Orleans history unfolded here.
Dickie Brennan’s Tableau
Dickie Brennan’s Tableau shines brightest with its French-Creole dishes. Echoing the Spanish colonial architecture, the interior of Tableau, which holds up to 350 guests, is a combination of terracotta floors, white walls, wrought iron accents and soaring ceilings. A grand staircase spanning three stories connects the private dining rooms, wraparound balcony overlooking Jackson Square and a tropical courtyard — it’s unmistakably New Orleans.
This article previously published in the Summer 2018 issue of New Orleans Bride.