Part of the beauty in having a New Orleans wedding is the plentiful (not to mention gorgeous) locales available for weddings and receptions. With COVID-19 vaccines rolled out, this is sure to be one of the busiest wedding seasons in decades. Venues also are now open for more capacity, so weddings are back on in full force. Now that the weather is mild, it’s the perfect time to choose an outdoor space — before they are all booked up. Here are some of our favorites.

Benachi House & Gardens

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.

Audubon Tea Room 

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.

Pavilion of the Two Sisters

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.

Southern Oaks

An all-inclusive event space, Southern Oaks features an historic mansion and beautifully lush grounds with towering live oaks that offer plenty of space for social distancing. Weddings and receptions go off without a hitch thanks to the in-house catering and exceptional service.

Degas House

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.

La Maison Du Lac

La Maison du Lac overlooking Lake Pontchartrain is perfect for weddings and receptions with more modern themes. The venue features an indoor ballroom and an outdoor deck. In addition to stunning views of the marina, La Maison du Lac features wide-open spaces and a nautical atmosphere.

The Rooftop on Basin

When looking for a venue with true New Orleans charm, consider Basin St. Station. The indoor-outdoor event space overlooks the French Quarter and is perfect for 50 to 200 guests. The Rooftop on Basin, which refers to the furnished outdoor terrace, features stunning skyline views of downtown New Orleans, gas-burning lanterns and stone tile flooring.

Paradigm Gardens

The community garden on South Rampart Street, known as Paradigm Gardens, is ideal for casual weddings and receptions for 30 to 125 guests. Planning is easy thanks to the private events chef who will customize the menu using seasonal ingredients, and a custom bar package can include specialty cocktails using the garden’s ingredients.

New Orleans Board of Trade

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.

Press Street Station

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.

Regardless of which venue you choose, any of these options will surely fit the occasion thanks to the unique features to be found at each. And while some may say that photography is the most important part of a wedding, the venue ranks just as high. After all, it acts as the backdrop for all of those gorgeous photos. So whether you are looking for modern and classy or rustic and casual, New Orleans has the venue to make all of your wedding wishes come true.