Picking the location for your wedding festivities is one, if not the, most important part of planning your Big Day. The location sets the tone of the entire celebration and New Orleans is full of ideal backdrops for saying, “I Do.”

Each issue of New Orleans Bride Magazine highlights some of the best locales around the city. To make things easier on engaged couples and other readers, we’ve pulled together the locations mentioned by writer Misty Milioto in the last few issues in one handy post.

— Kelly Massicot


The Jerome S. Glazer Audubon Tea Room is the most prestigious of the venues located within Audubon Park. It features gleaming wood floors, soaring ceilings and double doors that lead to the lush Tea Room Garden. Perfectly suited for a New Orleans wedding and reception, the 4,000-square-foot outdoor garden can accommodate up to 300 guests. Get gorgeous photos and florals all in one. audubonnatureinstitute.org


For a luxe-yet-intimate venue for 50 to 200 guests, consider Basin St. Station. This indoor-outdoor event space overlooks the French Quarter and occupies a space that was formerly the Norfolk Southern railway station. The first floor New Orleans Museum is perfect for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, while the fourth-floor, glass-enclosed salon features lavish decor and modern seating. The furnished outdoor terrace, known as The Rooftop on Basin, features gorgeous skyline views, gas-burning lanterns, stone tile flooring and outdoor seating. Rental starts at $1,500. 501 Basin St., 504-293-2600, basinststation.combrakemanhotel.com


A perfect setting for seated dinners (of up to 50 guests), or cocktail receptions and intimate weddings (of up to 100 guests), Bevolo Gas & Electric Lights sparkles with more than 40 handcrafted, gas-burning, copper lanterns and dimmable festoon lighting. The 1,500-square-foot venue features two entrances (from Royal Street and from Exchange Alley); a romantic, interior courtyard; and a workshop filled with antique fixtures, old work tables and vintage memorabilia. Tip: Arrange for Bevolo coppersmiths to be onsite during the event, so guests can watch lanterns being made. Rental starts at $3,000. 316 Royal St., 504-522-9485, bevolo.com


The Benachi House & Gardens is quintessential New Orleans, thanks to the historic interiors, gardens and patios that provide an idyllic setting for weddings and receptions of up to 200 guests. While outdoor ceremonies can take place on the front gallery or in the pavilion, outdoor receptions can be held on the illuminated rear patio. The venue is scheduled to be sold to two couples (Chris Jones and Jessica Walker, and Chris Short and Jessica Serrano) in December. Both couples are event venue professionals (Jones and Walker manager Felicity Church, and Serrano joined the team at the Elms Mansion three years ago), so the Benachi House & Gardens will be in good hands. benachihouse.com


A popular wedding venue since the 1800s, Bourbon Orleans Hotel offers a few options for intimate weddings. The wrought-iron balcony overlooks the French Quarter and is perfect for elopements and small weddings of up to 12 guests. Meanwhile, the two-story corner balcony loft suites are ideal for wedding ceremonies of up to 15 guests. Finally, St. Ann Cottage is available for weddings and receptions, featuring two adjoining salons with 12-foot ceilings and French doors that open to a private courtyard. Rental starts at $2,850. 717 Orleans St., 504-523-2222, bourbonorleans.com


The Burgundy House offers a modern take on old New Orleans charm. The 19th century, 2,700-square-foot space is located just steps from Frenchmen Street and boasts a renovated interior of exposed brick, stunning chandeliers and authentic New Orleans architectural details. Expect a team of on-staff professional coordinators to create the event of your dreams with a seated ceremony and dinner for up to 150 guests. Wedding packages include total customization with reputable local vendors to remove the stress of planning. 2000 Burgundy St., 504-717-3441, neworleansburgundyhouse.com


Café Amelie, located in the 150-year-old Princess of Monaco Courtyard and Carriage House in the French Quarter, is known for its enchanting courtyard. Available for weddings and receptions, the venue can accommodate 100 to 150 guests. Choose from various dining options — all spotlighting Café Amelie’s traditional Louisiana cuisine. Rental starts at $4,500. 912 Royal St., 504-412-8965, cafeamelie.com


Located in the heart of the French Quarter, Chateau LeMoyne was renovated a few years ago and exudes Southern charm. This historic property offers a boutique feel, but with elegant touches perfect for weddings. The charming and romantic courtyard, for example, is surrounded by exposed brick walls and is a classic New Orleans venue in which to say “I Do.” There’s also a beautiful balcony and a stunning ballroom. Chateau LeMoyne also offers top-notch catering and personalized service. 301 Dauphine St., hi-chateau.com


The Chicory, which was built in 1852 and firsts began as a simple coffee warehouse, is now one of the most sought-after venues in New Orleans. The venue features pressed-tin ceilings, gas lanterns, exposed brick and original beams — all perfect for setting a romantic atmosphere. The event space, which totals 20,000 square feet, can accommodate 400 guests. Onsite catering can include vegetarian, vegan, Kosher and gluten-free options. The wedding reception package includes tables with gold Chiavari chairs and ivory linens; china, glassware and stainless flatware; a private room and attendants for the couple; and more. 610 S. Peters St., 504-521-8055, chicoryvenue.com


With a style that’s both classic and cutting-edge, Civic Theatre New Orleans offers a dramatic backdrop for wedding receptions. Originally built in 1906, it has played host to vaudeville and burlesque.shows, musicals and discos. Renovated in 2011, the state-of-the-art facility features AV technology and a modular flooring system that allows for multiple configurations for 150 to 350 guests. Be sure to use the theater curtains for a dramatic reveal of Mr and Mrs. 510 O’Keefe Ave., 504-272-0865, civicnola.com


Hotelier Jayson Seidman has beautifully reimagined the historic Columns hotel, which dates back to 1883. In addition to preserving many of the building’s original architectural details, Seidman integrated new features like an expansive garden, an intimate second-floor event and dining space, a guest lounge, a rooftop deck and a new bar and restaurant helmed by Executive Chef Paul Terrebonne. Seidman drew inspiration from the massive stained-glass medallion at the top of the original mahogany grand staircase to establish the color palette. He also referenced the original marble fireplace mantels, chandeliers, stained-glass windows and plaster details when choosing new textiles and finishes. The original bar, public bathrooms, ballroom, 20 guest rooms (including 10 standard rooms, four junior suites and six suites) and exterior spaces also feature new touches. Through the renovations, Seidman has reinvigorated the property’s spaces while creating an environment that evokes a sense of being somewhere tropical and timeless. Columns provides six venue options for wedding celebrations, including the Library Room, the Chapel Room, the Front Porch, the Tea Room, the Lounge/Ballroom, and the Balcony and Upstairs Lounge. Each space ranges in size, food and beverage offerings, and atmosphere. 3811 St. Charles Ave., thecolumns.com


Creole Gardens consists of a 2,700-square-foot event space, dubbed The Roadhouse, and an outdoor courtyard with lush foliage. There’s a built-in bar, easy access for local vendors (food trucks, anyone?), an in-house speaker system and a Caribbean ambiance that will kickstart your reception with a jovial vibe. 1415 Prytania St., 504-569-8700, creolegardens.com


The Degas House is celebrating 25 years in business and was recently awarded the Maisons des Illustres Award by the French Minister of Culture (of which there are 236 in the world, but only two in the United States. The venue accommodates up to 600 guests (when using both houses and the courtyard), while the courtyard alone accommodates 300 guests. degashouse.com


The Derbès Mansion — previously known as Benachi House & Gardens — is now under new ownership and has been renamed after its previous owner, James Derbès. The new owners, husband-and-wife team Christopher M. Short and Jessica Serrano, have partnered with another husband-and-wife team, Christopher B. Jones and Jessica Walker, to manage the property. The Derbès Mansion will continue to be offered as an event venue with overnight accommodations. Improvements thus far have included new landscaping and the restoration of the cottage and main house. A new pool, refurbished guest accommodations and a renovated kitchen also are in the works. 2257 Bayou Road, derbesmansion.com


Built in 1931, Il Mercato is a European-inspired event space in the Lower Garden District features a beautiful ballroom with herringbone wood floors and Italianate chandeliers, an intimate library and grand arches leading from the indoor event space to a sprawling brick courtyard with outdoor fireplace. The gas lanterns, brass doors and reclaimed brick set the stage for modern, romantic weddings. 1911 Magazine St., 504-827-2400, ilmercatoevents.com


The iconic Jackson Square makes for a quintessential New Orleans wedding with the gorgeous St. Louis Cathedral as the backdrop. As a public park, weddings here require written permission of the Department of Parks and Parkways. As such, the permit allows for only one wedding in the square at a time. While no food, drink or receptions are allowed in the park, a three- to four-piece ensemble is allowed to play three selections during the ceremony. Rental starts at $250. 701 Decatur St., 504-658-3200, nola.gov/parks-and-parkways


For a chic and modern setting, consider La Maison du Lac overlooking Lake Pontchartrain. The venue features an indoor ballroom and an outdoor deck. In addition to the stunning views of the marina, guests will be wowed by the wide-open spaces and nautical atmosphere. Rental starts at $1,000. 7412 Lakeshore Drive, 504-309-0700, lamaisondulacevents.com


Located in the heart of the Vieux Carre, the Maison Dupuy is a boutique hotel offering an authentic New Orleans setting for wedding ceremonies and receptions. The newly renovated and secluded courtyard features a pool and a fountain, and it is perfect for intimate weddings of up to 50 guests. In-house Executive Chef Matthew Regan oversees all catering, but menus can be customized to suit the tastes of the couple. Rental starts at $3,200. 1001 Toulouse St., 504-586-8000, maisondupuy.com


Marigny Opera House, a repurposed Romanesque-style church constructed in 1853, was closed in 1997 and repurposed as a non-profit center for local performing artists. With cityscape views, theatrical lighting, and indoor and outdoor spaces with a capacity for 200 guests, the event space is ideal for alternative weddings and receptions—including LGBT nuptials. Enjoy the onion-shaped dome towers, arched openings and the overall elegant lightness of the interior. 725 St. Ferdinand St., 504-948-9998, marignyoperahouse.org


Previously known as the Rose Garden, The Moore is a newly renovated, all-inclusive venue that’s perfect for weddings. In addition to a gorgeous ballroom, The Moore features a large brick fireplace, stained concrete floors and sparkling chandeliers. The neutral color palette provides a gorgeous backdrop for an array of décor. The wedding and event coordinators have more than 15 years of experience, and wedding packages include a full-service bar, centerpieces, china, a wedding cake and more. 5616 Citrus Blvd., themoorevenue.com  


The charming and historic New Canal Lighthouse is one of the most affordable — not to mention unique — venues in New Orleans. It recently has been restored, and it is now available for weddings. Offering scenic views of Lake Pontchartrain, the lighthouse also features a cocktail-hour balcony. The venue offers more than 250 parking spaces, and the outdoor area can accommodate more than 500 guests. The best part, however, is that events held here benefit the New Orleans-based nonprofit organization, Pontchartrain Conservancy, and its mission of environmental sustainability and stewardship through scientific research, education and advocacy. 8001 Lakeshore Drive, scienceforourcoast.org/lighthouse-museum


A venue previously reserved only for members, the New Orleans Athletic Club has a few onsite spaces that are open for weddings and receptions for 20 to 500 guests. The Bienville Room, with its attached, open-air courtyard (the largest private courtyard in the French Quarter), is ideal for smaller weddings with about 8,000 square feet of space. The courtyard has brick and industrial features and a classic flagstone patio. 222 N. Rampart St., 504-525-2375, neworleansathleticclub.com


Established in 1880, the New Orleans Board of Trade features a plaza constructed in 1968 on the former site of the original St. James Hotel. Designed to mimic a small Parisian park, the open court features a fountain surrounded by several planters and pink flagstone pavers. The venue can accommodate 200 guests for wedding ceremonies, 80 guests for a seated dinner and 150 guests for a reception. neworleansbot.com


Located within the New Orleans Botanical Garden at City Park, the Conservatory is distinguished by a spectacular glass dome roof at its center that mimics the nearby Pavilion of the Two Sisters. Perfect for small ceremonies and receptions for up to 40 seated guests, the venue overlooks the garden’s scenic lily pond and also consists of two wings on either side accented with tropical plants. Rental starts at $750. 5 Victory Ave., 504-488-2896, neworleanscitypark.com/botanical-garden


Located in the heart of the French Quarter, the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum features a 19th-century courtyard that comes to life with tropical foliage and twinkly lights. This opulent setting is perfect for small, romantic weddings — all with that perfect touch of New Orleans flair. 514 Chartres St., 504-565-8027, pharmacymuseum.org


The NOCCA Institute is home to Press Street Station, featuring architectural details from its long history as a railway facility and warehouse. This airy dining room features a gleaming white bar, an area for a band or DJ, glass garage doors that can be opened and a professional kitchen—all perfect for standing receptions (for 200 guests) and seated dinners (for 98 guests). Meanwhile, Press Street Gardens is a half-acre urban farm totaling 18,000 square feet with a large courtyard lined with picnic tables and a wooden shade structure. 2800 Chartres St., 504-940-2900, noccainstitute.com


NOPSI Hotel New Orleans offers a number of venues in which to hold a wedding and reception. Dryades Ballroom features exposed brick, large arched windows and a soaring 30-foot ceiling for up to 600 guests; Public Service is a loft-like space with floor-to-ceiling windows that can accommodate up to 180 guests; and Henry’s Gin Yard is an outdoor space perfect for intimate ceremonies. 317 Baronne St., 844-439-1463, nopsihotel.com


Founded by Jimmy Seely and Joel Hitchcock Tilton, Paradigm Gardens initially was a community garden that has grown into a larger operation to supply restaurants on Rampart Street. The lush gardens provide a lush escape from the city for intimate and casual weddings and receptions—with space for 30 guests (plated dinners) to 125 guests (for larger receptions). The best part? The private events chef can customize your menu using seasonal ingredients, while a customized bar package can include a full bar or limited bar with a specialty cocktails using the garden’s ingredients. 1131 S. Rampart St., 504-344-9474, paradigmgardensnola.com


Located at City Park, and modeled after a classic European orangerie, the Pavilion of the Two Sisters offers a scenic backdrop for weddings and receptions. The pavilion features two outdoor terraces with flagstone tile floors, while the Zemurray Azalea/Camellia Garden (located on the eastern grounds of the pavilion) features multiple sculptures and can seat up to 300 guests for ceremonies. neworleanscitypark.com


Located where the Faubourg Marigny meets the Bywater, Press Street Station (managed by the NOCCA Institute) features architectural details from its long history as a railway facility and warehouse. The indoor area has glass garage doors that can be rolled up during nice weather, a marble bar and a professional kitchen. Meanwhile, the garden area (aptly named Press Street Gardens) features a large courtyard that can hold nearly 200 guests and an even larger lawn. The 18,000-square-foot urban farm features picnic tables and a wooden shade structure. pressstreetgardens.com


Built in 1817, the historic Creole mansion known as Preservation Hall has been home to traditional New Orleans jazz for more than 50 years. The perfect ambiance for small weddings and receptions, the venue features historic wrought-iron gates, distressed walls and a sizable courtyard. The best part, however, might just be the second line led by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Call for pricing. 726 St. Peter St., 504-522-2841, preservationhall.com


With luxurious amenities, a unique atmosphere and a rich New Orleans history, Race & Religious is perfect for vintage weddings and receptions. Located in the Lower Garden District, the event space features a collection of three buildings built in the 1830’s and offers 6,500 square feet of indoor and outdoor space for up to 275 guests. The brick courtyard is lined with lush palms and a fountain-flanked swimming pool lit by flickering gas lamps. Unvarnished staircases, French tiles, Buenos Aires wrought-iron gates and stained-glass doors further provide a perfect backdrop. 510 Race St., 504-523-0890, raceandreligious.com


For a luxe-yet-intimate venue for as little as 50 guests, consider The Rooftop on Basin at Basin St. Station. The fourth floor features a kitchen, a stage, banquet space and a furnished outdoor terrace. Overlooking the French Quarter, the event space also offers stunning skyline views of downtown New Orleans, gas-burning lanterns and a magical setting for the Big Day. 501 Basin St., 504-293-2600, basinststation.com


An award-winning venue for weddings and receptions, Rosy’s Jazz Hall acts as a beautiful backdrop for a New Orleans wedding thanks to its hardwood floors, brick walls and outdoor patio. There’s also an indoor balcony that overlooks a two-story atrium. All events are fully catered in-house, and wedding packages start with pricing for 75 to 99 guests. 500 Valence St., 504-896-7679, rosysjazzhall.com


Southern Oaks Plantation is the quintessential Southern venue. Over the last three decades, the Antebellum-style mansion and meticulously landscaped grounds have been the go-to for couples seeking an all-inclusive space with the legendary hospitality of the South. The picturesque live oaks provide a stunning backdrop, while the delicious cuisine, exceptional service and distinctive Southern ambiance provide an unforgettable experience. 7816 Hayne Blvd., 504-245-8221, southernoaksplantation.com


The new Saint John restaurant from beloved local chef Eric Cook of Gris-Gris, has a new third-floor private events space that can be used for wedding events such as receptions, brunches and bridal showers. The space is large enough for a 40-person seated meal or a 50-person reception-style event. The space can be customized (such as the layout and décor) for each event, but all items to be brought in must be approved by the events manager prior to the event. All rentals include dedicated servers and bartenders. Tiered bar options are available as are wine pairings for prix  fixe menus (both of which are customizable, given availability and time). Menu choices include items like cheese and charcuterie, crispy oysters with Cajun caviar, Creole beef daube and River Road shrimp étouffée. 1117 Decatur St., saintjohnnola.com


The Westin New Orleans Canal Place recently completed a $30 million renovation that transformed all public areas, event space and guest accommodations. The newly unveiled Guest Reception on the 11th floor features a brass-clad circular bar and two-story windows, while the Riverbend Ballroom (also on the 11th floor) is ideal for up to 250 guests with floor-to-ceiling windows and an outdoor terrace. Meanwhile, the Grand Ballroom on the 12th floor can accommodate up to 350 guests with custom textured Italian glass-rod chandeliers and floor-to-ceiling windows. 100 Iberville St., 504-566-7006, marriott.com


– Misty Milioto