This last week was a busy one for me because Chris and I got engaged! Chris was the reason I moved to New Orleans, so for him to follow the wise wisdom of Beyoncé and put a ring on it was a big milestone in my New Orleans adventure.
Now that I'm starting out in my wedding planning, I've been thinking more and more about weddings and how weddings in New Orleans are yet another thing that sets the city apart from the rest of the United States.
I first noticed this when Chris and I made our first visit to New Orleans last year to look at apartments. After a long day of apartment hunting, we decided to do some sightseeing in the Quarter. As we were looking for a parking spot, traffic stopped moving. (As a New Orleans resident of one year, I now know it's stupid to drive straight through the Quarter on a Saturday evening, but at the time I was cursing at the annoying traffic.) We soon saw the reason for the hold-up: a wedding second line. A bride, her groom and all her wedding guests were just celebrating and marching down the street like it was a normal occurence. It was the first time I had ever seen a second line of any kind so I was amazed. Suddenly I no longer cared about traffic and I started taking cell phone photos of this random bride I had never met second lining down the street.
I now know second lines for weddings in New Orleans are the norm. I actually read a lot about weddings here because as a member of Renaissance Publishing, the people bringing you this website, New Orleans Magazine and more, I'm also the editor of New Orleans Bride magazine. When we were working on our last issue, we included a checklist, which is a typical addition to any bridal magazine, but our checklist included information about booking a second line. I just remember thinking how New Orleanian it was. Of course New Orleans brides would have to have a personalized wedding planning checklist; booking a second line is an important step.
I know I talk a lot on this blog about the aspects of New Orleans that make this place so special, but there really are a lot of reasons New Orleans sticks out. New Orleans is good at celebrating everything – Mardi Gras, Halloween, Easter – so of course the city would have a special way to celebrate weddings.
I don't know if I will have a second line at my own wedding, but I like knowing it's an option New Orleanians would find totally normal.