How We Do “I Do”
In a city that’s 300 years old, New Orleans is a destination wedding location unlike any other. Here, your wedding day becomes your personal red carpet moment — a romantic affair of sweet Southern traditions and French panache. From a joyous street parade celebrating your love, to fun-filled ideas for your out-of-town guests, we’ve got all the blissful details for your New Orleans wedding. Your new adventure starts here:
The Fun is Always Getting Started
The Crescent City famously inspires indulgence. Your wedding getaway will be dedicated to eating, drinking and merry-making. From the sugar-dusted beignets, to the all-night cocktail hours, to impromptu dancing on the street with outdoor musicians. No one knows how to celebrate like we do. Here, celebrations are equal parts historic and joyous, and part of NOLA’s year-round atmosphere. Festivals and celebrations are held almost every weekend. Before setting a wedding date, check the New Orleans Convention and Visitor’s Bureau calendar for any celebrations or festivals that could impact your wedding weekend.
Keep It Cool
New Orleans weather has a tendency to be temperamental. Winter weddings can suddenly turn warm, and a spring outdoor reception could get rained on. While the city and all its charms are delightful year-round, the best time for weddings is fall and winter, which are wonderfully mild, and springtime with its pleasant days and cool evenings. If you dream of a Southern summer wedding, expect hot and muggy weather.
Your Personal Street Party
Where else can you party in the streets and have a rollicking parade to celebrate your marriage? Second line is one of the most exciting traditions of a New Orleans wedding. After the ceremony, you and all your guests take to the streets – dancing, waving embroidered handkerchiefs, and twirling parasols and umbrellas, all to the beat of a spirited brass band. This long-established tradition is exuberant joy and music all rolled into one. Check with the City of New Orleans parade page to find out how to plan your own.
Wedding Pulls & Groom Cakes
More Fun Ways to Fete
Long-established in Victorian times, wedding pulls are still popular with modern Southern brides. To wish her friends good fortune, the bride will place charms attached to ribbons inside her wedding cake. Her friends and bridal party are then invited to pull a charm from the cake before it is cut and served. Charms have various meanings – chili peppers means red hot romance, a high chair means that the friend is next to have a baby, and a hot-air balloon predicts adventure and travel.
Another fun Southern cake tradition, brides present their groom with a groom’s cake, a small cake custom-created to fit his personality and passions. Most usually chocolate, these cakes are often paired with liquor flavor, like Guinness, rum or brandy. And, they feature themes that revolve around sports, favorite books, movies, or even inside jokes.
Marriage Licenses & Permits
Get Wed Without a Hitch
Some wedding details are blissful and decadent, others are mundane, but necessary. To make sure you don’t miss anything vital, check out the New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau steps for getting a New Orleans marriage license and applying for second line parade permits.
Hotel Room Blocks
Getaway and Gather
Invite your friends and family to experience the laissez-faire lifestyle and the vivacious spirit of New Orleans. They’ll fall hard for our boutique New Orleans hotels, each with its own personality and alluring past. Pre and post-nuptials, your guests can dive into vivacious pursuits throughout New Orleans. Like sipping and savoring their way through the French Quarter, riding an airboat through the bayou, and exploring century-old mansions, plantations, and cemeteries. However they chose to spend their days in the Crescent City, they’re in for sumptuous nights ahead.
Book your wedding room block for your guests. For guest room needs of 10 rooms or less, you are still able offer your guests discounted rates that can be booked online at participating hotels.
Itinerary Ideas for Out-of-Town Guests
Your Big Day, Their Big Easy Getaway
Famously provocative for its bevy of pleasures for every bon vivant, New Orleans has all the lures for your out-of-town guests. When you stay at any of our hotels, the Crescent City’s enthralling adventures unfurl in every direction.
DAY 1: FRENCH QUARTER
You could spend weeks eating, drinking, dancing, walking and soaking in all the glorious history and sights of the French Quarter. But, even a day will be enough to get a great taste of New Orleans’ oldest neighborhood. Stroll, bike or jog along the Mississippi riverfront at picturesque Woldenberg Park.
Take a bite of NOLA’s famous pillowy treat: The sugar-laced beignets at Café du Monde. Sip it all down with creamy, chicory café au lait. If the table wait is too long, take your beignets to go and head across the street to lush Jackson Square for prime people watching. While in Jackson Square, visit St. Louis Cathedral, the oldest cathedral in North America and one of the tallest structures in the French Quarter. The beautiful Presbytere and Cabildo museums are worth checking out, showcasing New Orleans history and culture.
Shop and stroll six blocks of unique finds at the open-air French Market. Or, head to Royal Street for fine antiques, art jewelry and beautiful antebellum architecture. No visit to New Orleans is complete without venturing onto Bourbon Street, notorious for its rollicking bar and nightlife scene. The best time to visit is early evening, before the crowds get boisterous and loud, when it is at its most exhilarating and seductive.
DAY 2: GO BEYOND THE QUARTER
Jump onto the old-world style St. Charles Streetcar, the oldest continuously operated streetcar in the world. Hop off at the Garden District to explore plantation-style mansions, antique stores and quaint street cafes. Wander through the haunting labyrinth of tombstones in Layette Cemetery No. 1, one of the most beautiful above-ground cemeteries in Louisiana. Or, explore St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, the city’s oldest, and still active, cemetery.
Once at the end of the St. Charles Streetcar line, hop onto the City Park Streetcar and head to the City Park. Here you’ll find acres of giant live oaks draped in Spanish moss, the New Orleans Museum of Art and Sculpture Garden, Big Lake, and New Orleans Botanical Garden.
In the evening, venture off the beaten path to Frenchmen Street in the Marigny for a block party vibe, thanks to the numerous music clubs that line the street. Catch live jazz or find a new local band.