For many women, finding the right dress can be one of the most important, and daunting parts of planning that goes into a wedding.
The same holds true for an elopement. Just because you’re looking to save money and have a small ceremony doesn’t mean you have to skimp on the dress. Despite what you may have heard, most women who elope still get a special dress for the occasion, and it can be every bit as fancy and elegant as a typical wedding dress.
We’re here to help you find a dress that’s the right combination of stylish and affordable – perfect for a romantic destination elopement or small wedding!
Finding the Right Elopement Dress
An elopement dress doesn’t have to be this $5000, showy thing, but it also doesn’t have to be informal. The best part about an elopement is you don’t have to stick to the norms and you can think outside the box a little.
Having more freedom with wedding dress choices is one of the best parts of an elopement: you’re also not pressured to invest so much money, because an elopement should focus on the romance and fun, not the extras!
One of the important points to remember in searching for your elopement dress should be comfort. Don’t settle for a stuffy dress that you feel like a fish out of water in. Sometimes simple and elegant beats extravagant by a mile. Besides, part of the fun of an elopement is that you can make it yours: don’t stick to norms if you don’t want to, and choose the dress that best fits your elopement theme and your style.
Dressesonline Women's Bohemian Wedding Dresses Lace Bridal Gown
This simple yet elegant bohemian style dress is the icing on the cake for a perfect elopement. It was modeled specifically for informal kinds of weddings yet still retains plenty of that effortless elegance you want for your special day.
An elopement dress doesn’t have to be a typical traditional white lacey deal with a long train, veil, and sequins, but if your idea of a simple romantic destination elopement includes a white dress for the ceremony, this would be the one to set your sights on.
Ellenhouse Women's 2018 Lace Vintage Country Style Bridal Wedding Dress
Want something a little more classic, but with a lavish twist? This dress from Ellenhouse is fashioned after classic southern ball gown styles, yet has a distinct wedding aura that makes it perfect for any size ceremony.
The simple style accentuated with lace gives this dress a truly vintage feel, which makes it especially ideal for a New Orleans style wedding or elopement ceremony!
Babyonline Women's Double V-Neck Tulle Appliques Long Evening Gown
Looking for something a little more flashy? This dress might be what you’re looking for.
Technically a cocktail dress or fancy party gown, this number caught our eye for its sheer simple elegance mixed with stark color and beautiful design. The best part of an elopement is you’re free to choose how formal you want to go, and if you want to stray from the traditional white wedding dress trope, you can’t go wrong here.
Lace, tulle, flowery yet simple, this quality dress is also extremely affordable. The last thing you want to do if you’re planning an elopement is getting caught up with spending a fortune as you would planning a traditional wedding. You absolutely don’t have to spend a month’s pay just to look stunning when you’re getting eloped. This dress definitely proves that!
Elleybuy Women's Two Pieces Beach Wedding Dresses
Want something good for an outdoor ceremony? There’s nothing more romantic than an elopement in a beautiful park or beach. This dress fits that niche rather nicely!
It’s actually a two-piece style dress, something you don’t see very often at weddings, but it works. With lace and a light gown that’s meant to catch the wind, it makes it a stunning choice for an outdoor elopement.
Lovelybride Elegant Empire Chiffon Bridal Beach Dress
As far as elopement dresses go, if you’re looking for something a bit more spicy and elegant, this one from Lovelybride might catch your eye.
Simple, shoulderless chiffon with a cinched waist and undeniable class, it’s the perfect answer to the quandary of finding a stunning elopement dress for any kind of ceremony. What makes this dress stand out compared to some of our more traditional selections is that this one is unabashedly modern, so if that is your taste, you’re going to love it!
Obqoo Gorgeous Sweetheart Beaded Lace Appliqued Ball Gown
Our last selection is possibly the most unique one. Your elopement should be special and if you want to go all out and feel like Cinderella at the ball, you should. And you can with a dress like this!
Like something custom made for a fancy ballroom dance party, this shoulderless dress features tulle lace with sequins, a corset style bodice, and a true classic ballroom skirt, for a purely eye-catching fantastical look.
Your Elopement, Your Style
Regardless of the look you choose for your ceremony, the thing to remember is, make it yours! Don’t feel tied to traditional ideas of what wedding dresses are supposed to look like. An elopement is your chance for a romantic celebration of your love with your partner. Don’t get pigeonholed into a “classic” kind of dress if that’s not what you want.
Whether it’s a ballroom look you’re going for, or a colorful outdoors feel, the first principle you should follow when looking for your elopement dress is: does it fit your style? This is your day, live it up! For eloping tips, affordable packages or to find an elopement photographer in New Orleans, contact us at ElopeToNola.com
There’s nothing like a nice dinner with the right atmosphere to set the mood. Good food and an elegant setting can make all the difference if you’re looking for a romantic night out, especially for newlyweds who just married or eloped in New Orleans.
We’ve compiled a list of the best of the best romantic restaurants in New Orleans for you to sink your teeth into.
We start our restaurant tour with Tableau, a trendy eatery located right in the gorgeous Jackson Square in the French Quarter. This restaurant is most known for its trendy style and Creole cuisine, replete with its own tiny theater and atmospheric private dining hall.
Their bright dining area full of chandeliers and ornate furnishings epitomizes class and is exactly what you would want in a romantic setting for you and your significant other. It doesn’t hurt that they have mouth-watering dishes like BBQ Shrimp & Grits, and Grilled Gulf Fish Curry.
Must Try Dessert: Crème Brulee (Less custard and more carmelized sugar!)
The newly reopened historic restaurant located right on Royal Street in the heart of New Orleans, has plenty of luxury and charm, with the food to back it up. Delicious New Orleans favorites like seafood gumbo and barbeque lobster meet new delights, such as their unique take on the Buddha Bowl.
Perfect for a couple looking for a classy spot for a ritzy dinner, or simply to enjoy classic New Orleans at its best.
Must Try Dessert: Bananas Foster (A longtime Brennan’s tradition!)
Specializing in traditional southern food in a trendy modern setting, this restaurant is another gem of the Mississippi.
They locally source their meat and seafood, their roots are Cajun, and they excel at hosting special events, with private and semi-private dining options located right in their restaurant. If you’re looking for classic Cajun food with a romantic setting, you’re in the right place.
Must Try Dessert: Grasshopper Pie (Don’t let the name fool you, if you’ve never had this traditional southern treat, no one does it better than Cochon!)
This award-winning historic restaurant is a New Orleans staple, and the perfect destination for a newlywed couple looking to share a romantic dinner together.
With live music, private dining options, a wine room, exquisite atmosphere and 5-star food, the Commanders Palace might be just what you’re looking for. Their specialty Haute Creole dishes and list of accolades makes them one of New Orleans most famous dining locations.
Must Try Dessert: Bread Pudding (The epitome of New Orleans comfort food!)
Antoine's on St. Louis
Hailed as the oldest French Quarter Creole restaurant in New Orleans, Antoine’s is another historic landmark in the heart of the city that people flock to for great traditional eats.
What began in 1840 as a simple classy restaurant with great food is now an elegant foodie destination with ten massive dining rooms, exquisite furnishings, top quality Creole dishes, and a tradition of quality service. What more could a newlywed couple want?
Must Try Dessert: Peche Melba (Antoine’s signature, it’s just as good as it sounds!)
This Arts District Staple is another Creole and Caribbean food Mecca. Their menu is based around traditional Caribbean folktales and its modern but classy setting makes it another excellent selection for couples looking for a place to have a romantic night out.
Headed by Chef Nina Compton, this recently-opened New Orleans gem is sure to please any newlywed pair wanting a taste of what the city has to offer.
Must Try Dessert: Roasted Banana Zeppole (A dessert so yummy, it was mentioned in the New York Times!)
Dickie Brennans Steakhouse
New Orleans’ signature steakhouse, Dickie Brennans has been specializing in beef preparation for decades, and is known for its awards and accolades from across the country. Not only are their steaks something to write home about, they also cook up delicious New Orleans favorites such as turtle soup and crabcakes. They also feature a full bar and private dining options.
If you’re looking for upscale dining with a focus on “roadhouse” style eats, a couple couldn’t go wrong making their destination here.
Must Try Dessert: Sweet Potato Doberge Cake (Hulking seven layers of rum-soaked cake goodness.)
Ralph's on the Park
Another renown New Orleans restaurant located in the heart of Mid-City, specializing in luxurious events and parties. Traditional southern fare with an international, refined twist. They pride themselves in establishing relationships with local farmers, and source all of their ingredients right from these small, dedicated farms. They place high importance on the “farm to table” aspect of their dishes, and it shows. Their food is top quality, as is their service.
If you’re looking for an upscale eatery with a diverse selection of great food, with plenty of space to accommodate a party or simply you and your significant other, you can’t go wrong with Ralph’s.
Must Try Dessert: Banana Bread Pudding (A decadent New Orleans favorite!)
We finish our restaurant tour with a French Quarter staple. This fancy French bakery is home to a wide variety of pastries, cookies, cakes, and mouth-watering confections. They’re not a restaurant in the traditional sense, as they only serve brunch, but if you’re looking for a downright magical outing, Sucre is where you want to be.
Stylized as a “sweet boutique,” Sucre has been producing high quality sweet and treats since 2007, and has since become one of the city’s best known landmarks for foodies and tourists, and just about anyone looking for something to quell their sweet tooth.
They specialize in everything from gourmet chocolates to giant decadent cookies (literally Big Awesome Cookies), custom cakes, delicious coffee and more. There’s no way we could pick any one must try dessert: you have to try everything here and see (taste) for yourself why this place has such a high reputation!
For more information on marrying, eloping in New Orleans or hiring an experienced New Orleans wedding photographer, please don't hesitate to contact us at: IbayPhotography@gmail.com
You decided against the big wedding and instead opted for a more fun, intimate adventure at a beautiful elopement destination like the New Orleans French Quarter. You’re not worried about family drama, planning for a hundred people, expensive decorations, or any of that other typical wedding stuff.
But wait, you still need someone to capture those special moments! This is a situation many couples find themselves in. They make the choice to get eloped, forgo many of the typical trappings of planning for a big wedding ceremony, but forget that they still need a professional to man the cameras. Believe me, you don’t want to leave this task up to a local hobbyist or your niece who bought a GoPro last year and who suddenly thinks she’s a star on Instagram.
Elopement photography is almost an art unto itself: often it’s about capturing more candid moments than in a normal wedding. It’s about grabbing those magic moments, the intimate setting, the romantic day trips, the quaint aura of the ceremony, and all the little memories in between.
The Perfect Elopement Setting at the Historic French Quarter
Imagine a place where gorgeous ambiance meets historical class: that’s the New Orleans French Quarter summed up. There’s a reason why this area sees thousands of couples every year for their special destination events, because it offers everything you could want in a romantic getaway.
Active nightlife, exquisite restaurants, fancy boutiques, art, entertainment, and photogenic vistas, all with traditional New Orleans style. What’s not to love?
Capturing these moments is so important, especially for an elopement. If the French Quarter is your dream destination, you don’t want to leave the job of capturing those memories to any second-rate photographer.
This is one of the greatest issues couples face when planning for a big wedding. Booking a reliable “camera guy” is perhaps one of the biggest headaches outside of the catering. There’s many amateurs out there, and still others just don’t have the eye for the romance and fun of an elopement. You’re looking for a “set it and forget it” kind of service, someone who knows what they’re doing and will transform ordinary pictures into memories that will last a lifetime.
Your elopement photography should be something you can cherish forever. That’s what we at IBAY Photography believe. Our goal is to do all the work so you don’t have to: we provide the tools, we put ourselves in the right places at the right time, we capture all the golden moments (and the silly ones!) and ultimately take the burden of having to worry about your photography completely out of the picture. Your elopement should be about you, no stress, no hassle. That’s why we’re here.
Expert New Orleans Photographers Specializing in Elopements
There are a lot of photographers out there, and many who do weddings as a side gig. We however have perfected the art of attention-grabbing, romantic elopement shots, it’s our specialty!.
We live to capture all of your best moments on film so you can have them forever, without forcing you to break the bank or have to rely on outsiders. We’re located right in New Orleans, minutes from the historic French Quarter itself. We know the area and pride ourselves in delivering top quality service to couples from around the country.
Here’s just a taste of some of our recent elopement shoots.
We work intimately alongside couples to help them plan their day, arrange shoots, and even provide elopement package plans that take care of everything you could possibly want in a romantic destination elopement.
Stunning photography is one of the cornerstones of an amazing wedding or elopement, this is not an area you want to leave to chance. Contact us for more information on how you can have us capture the magic moments in your elopement!
New Orleans is one of the US cities that have been in existence for 300 years! Because of that, there can never be a shortage of a historic and beautiful venue for a small wedding in this great place. There are a couple of new and renovated venues, whose architecture and art qualify them as the best places to pronounce those three magic words, “yes, I do”.
Here is a list of top five memorable spots where you can have that small but amazing wedding in New Orleans.
Bourbon Orleans Hotel
With an amazing history behind it, the majesty of Bourbon Orleans will give the guests a chance to rewrite their own story and even relive it. This is why it is one of the best places for a small wedding in New Orleans. Having begun in 1817 as a ballroom, one of the most historic and unique ballrooms in the city, the hotel has grown to transform itself into one of the best destinations for wedding in New Orleans.
Many years ago, in 1827 to be specific, this spot became the house and state legislative meeting point, with talk going round that one of the candidates for presidency in America, Andrew Jackson announced its candidature at this historic New Orleans spot.
Things have changed so much since then, and this hotel is today listed among the best places for eloping in New Orleans. It gives its guests a unique experience, one that you can only find in New Orleans as well as providing access to the city’s best dining, nightlife and shopping.
This is easily one of the best locations for a destination wedding in New Orleans. Apart from the countless wedding that have been held here, the spot has also played host for various meetings, dinners, as well as receptions.
It is also important to note that the Bourbon Hotel is situated in an adjacent position between two historic landmarks in New Orleans; Jackson Square and St. Louis Cathedral. Guests attending a wedding here will have the best of times as a friendly and experienced staff will be on standby to offer them any type of assistance that they might require. Although they will be within the building, they will not lose contact to the outside world as a complimentary Wi-Fi will ensure they are connected at all times.
Once the serious business of taking the vows is done, the visitors will walk just outside the main doors and have the best of New Orleans nightlife on historic Bourbon Street. There is still much to offer on Royal Street as well - your choices for entertainment and fun are limitless.
Sucre Balcony is also one of the best places for small weddings in New Orleans. Apart from being located at a nice spot, it can also contain a sizeable number to accommodate any sized small event. The salon, for instance, will give the guests a great French Quarter experience with an access to the nice balcony overlooking Conti Street as well as a private dining room.
You can also opt to host your amazing affair at the Front Balcony, where you will enjoy nicely blended cocktails as you enjoy soothing music from the balcony of Conti Street.
If that is not enough reasons why Sucre Balcony is one of the best places for eloping in New Orleans then you can try the private dining room. This room has been specifically designed for more intimate events such as weddings. Later on, you can move to the lounge and enjoy the best assortment of food and beverages the city has to offer.
Grand Victorian B&B
Not very far from the historic French Quarter, there is an amazing best and breakfast hotel in New Orleans known as The Grand Victorian Bed & Breakfast. This facility has been in operation in New Orleans since 1893 when a famous architect in the city Thomas Sully designed and started its construction.
One thing that makes The Grand Victorian B&B one of the ideal places for intimate weddings is the fact that is situated under the shady and colorful St. Charles Avenue oaks. Even before your guests arrive at the Grand Victorian B&B for the wedding, they will be treated to beautiful scenery of the colonial, Greek revival and Victorian style structures along the historic St. Charles Avenue.
Once inside, there are a lot to have the guests entertained as the events of the day roll in. Grand Victorian B&B opened its doors as an official wedding spot in October of 1998, and since then, it has been offering the best services within New Orleans. Looking for one of the best places for eloping in New Orleans? Then look no further; Grand Victorian is the best place to be.
Dauphine Orleans Hotel, New Orleans
Just in the heart of the great New Orleans’ French Quarter lies the Dauphine Orleans Hotel, one of the best places for small weddings in New Orleans. Having been opened in 1969, the building has undergone numerous renovations and restorations to make the best wedding spot it is today. This hotel is open to all couples, from all eras and ages, as long as they want to enjoy a good atmosphere as they make their lifetime commitments.
The Dauphine Hotel is a special wedding destination in New Orleans as it offers the guests with a romantic roll in the hay before they get to see other services provided within the facility. There are two beautiful, private courtyards that are within this facility and are amazingly surrounded by guests rooms, suites as well as townhouse stonewalls. Still looking for the best place for eloping in New Orleans? Try The Dauphine Hotel today.
Hotel Le Marais, New Orleans, Louisiana
This is definitely another perfect location for anyone thinking about having a storybook wedding. The manner in which it has bucked the traditional aesthetic is something that none had ever thought of. Hotel Le Marais is located next to the historic Bourbon Street and this makes it easy to access. With its amazing half-block buffer, all degrees of civility will be maintained here, weather you'd prefer fine dining or just neon cocktails.
In short, Hotel Le Marais is ideally located and this makes it one of the best places for eloping in New Orleans. When it comes to facilities and service, none actually beats this French quarter spot in New Orleans, Louisiana. Whereas it is not the largest hotel in this city, Hotel Le Marais has a total of 66 rooms and all have nice coffee all gratis, Wi-Fi, as well as bottled water. What else do you need for your small wedding in New Orleans? All can be found here.
The other thing that makes Hotel Le Marais convenient is the fact that it has an access for guests with disabilities. The hotel has been designed with a single ADA – Americans with Disabilities Act compliant room. It is complete with grip bars and roll-in showers. This is one of the best spots to have your small lifetime event while in the city of New Orleans for you and your loved ones.
Plan Your Small Wedding in New Orleans Today
These are some of the best places in New Orleans for those who want to have a small wedding; they have some of the best services needed for a small wedding, from assortment of delicacies to recreational facilities and access to shopping and New Orleans nightlife. Don't forget about booking your photography with us, you can reach us HERE! We would be honored to capture your special day.
Unique and Fun Family Friendly Attractions in Louisiana
Louisiana certainly has its fair share of world–renowned attractions. Let's face it; what would family road trips be without them? Here are a few possibilities to consider.
Storyland (New Orleans)
Featuring a fun and kid-friendly collection of fairytale statues, Storyland is a New Orleans attraction suitable for the whole family. It was originally built to mimic a similar attraction in California. However, it has grown to include an assortment of original works.
When your family is done exploring Storyland, head to nearby Carousel Gardens Amusement Park to enjoy a few fun carnival-style rides as well.
Insectarium (New Orleans)
The Insectarium, operated by the non-profit Audubon Nature Institute, consists of larger-than-life (hands-on) displays that keep guests of all ages entertained and educated about bugs... both creepy and cute.
One of the most memorable displays is an over-sized area, which allows your family to experience life on a bug's scale. How cool is that? There's also an area that mimics a Louisiana swamp and an indoor butterfly garden, sure to delight even the youngest members of your group.
Bonnie and Clyde Ambush Museum (Gibsland)
Outlaws Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow unleashed a bloody crime spree in the 1930s, before being gunned down by law enforcement officers hot on their trail. The story has been passed down through the ages and most followers of true crime stories are familiar with the famous pair. The Bonnie and Clyde Ambush Museum is home to tons of interesting information and actual artifacts relating to the case. This includes Bonnie's red hat, Clyde's Remington shotguns and a replica of the car the couple drove on the day of the ambush... numerous bullet holes included! These are just three (of many) Louisiana-based weird roadside attractions just waiting for you to plan a scheduled or impromptu visit. You don't need to spend a fortune at any of these locations and if you're worried about the possibility of crowds, there typically isn't any. What could be better than that?
Hope you enjoy a few if not all of these attractions. For more information on New Orleans, feel free to visit us HERE. Article compliments of Ibay Photography.
By: Matthew Lovett, Crimson Sigil Media
You’ve decided to forgo all the stress of wedding planning and run off just the two of you to say I Do. But just because this plan is much easier to pull off, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to put in some effort. Check out these five things you might forget to do before eloping.
1. Don't Forget To Take Care of Your Legal Work. Nothing gets in the way of a romantic destination elopement more than forgetting to get all of the legalities out of the way. You might think it’s okay if you just wing this part because you’re not planning a huge wedding, but it’s just as important. You don’t want to have to be thinking about this side of things while you’re supposed to be enjoying time with your significant other.
Make sure all of your paperwork is ready, completed, and out of the way. That way, your getaway will be headache free and your union will be official.
2. Don't Forget To Invest in a Planning Service. Local wedding planners are essential and do more than just cater to huge traditional weddings. If you want your perfect day to go off without a hitch, you’re going to want someone managing everything in the background for you.
An elopement should be stress free and full of romantic events planned out – treating it otherwise will only give you headaches. Why would you want to risk not having a reservation at the restaurant you had your heart set on, or not being able to find a certain venue because you don’t know the area that well yet? Elopement and wedding planning services take all the hassle away, save you time, money, and best of all, they are experts at maximizing your enjoyment.
3. Don't Forget To Create a Theme. What direction do you want your elopement to go? Are you looking for an earthy feel, a tropical getaway, something fancy, or super casual? In order to have the best possible experience, plan ahead of time what theme your elopement will have. This will make planning for everything else that much easier.
One of the easiest ways to get tangled in your own wedding plans is to dive in without an idea of what you really want to do. Once you decide on a theme, that will set the pace for everything else, including catering, flowers, decorations, cake, dresses, and more. You might even want to base your elopement destination on what your theme is.
4. Don't Forget To Hire Professional Photography Services. You’re going to want great photos of all your special moments. Often, a good wedding or elopement planning service can help you out in this regard, and others provide in house photography services (like us), but either way, you don’t want to skip over this point.
You might have a few amateur photographers in your family or friend circle, and that’s all well and good, but to truly capture the highlights and special little moments, you need a professional service with all the right tools and experience with special events like weddings. There’s simply no substitute!
5. Don't Forget To Setup Your Transportation. A surefire recipe for unwanted headaches is having to rely on the randomness of taxi or limo services to ferry you on the fly from one place to another. And the last thing you want to be doing on your special day is driving yourself around. That’s a huge no. So the best course of action here is to have your transportation plans laid out before you say “I do.” Make sure you know how you’re getting from point A to point B, and beyond. Make sure all of your guests know how to get to all the important venues as well, and make sure any flights involved are booked well ahead of time. This goes for hotel stays too! If you have a wedding planning service on your side, they usually help immensely in this department, so don’t forget to use their expertise.
6. Don’t Forget To Plan For The Days After Your Elopement! Since you will likely be staying at your destination location for a couple of days, map out what to do in the city as a newly married couple the days after your wedding day. I recommend not coming to a city like New Orleans to marry and then not have a plan for what you will do the rest of the days you are here. I’m all for winging it, enjoying each others company and letting your nose lead you to amazing restaurants but a little bit of planning will ensure you see some very iconic sites in your chosen destination. Even just reaching out to others on social media (or simply asking for recommendations from your planner/photographer who likely live in the area) for advice and tips of what locals do in your destination. What you find on a google search will most likely be very touristy and non-unique.
Your elopement should be stress free, fun, and memorable, so make sure you take care of what you need to beforehand. Don’t forget to let your friends and family know If your plan is to have an intimate destination elopement with only a few friends and family, or perhaps only you and your significant other, be prepared for at least a little backlash.
Most people agree that it’s best to let the cat out of the bag sooner rather than later. Don’t wait to announce that you tied the knot in some exotic locale on Facebook before telling close relatives or long-time friends. That’s just setting yourself up for a world of headaches.
One of the most important aspects of planning an elopement is deciding early on how big of an event are you planning and who’s invited. The sooner you hash those details out the better, that way you can get the word out to the right people when it’s time.
Knowing what NOT to do on your elopement is just as important as knowing what TO do. With these tips, you'll be better prepared and you will be less likely to make any mistakes along the way. For more information on eloping and best locations, visit our partner site HERE!
Free Things to Do in New Orleans
Quite honestly, there are scads of free things to do in New Orleans... something for everyone. I photograph many weddings in the New Orleans area and I get the same question every time... what should we do while in New Orleans? Keep reading, to learn more about several popular choices. The hardest part is deciding which one to enjoy first.
● Tour the Garden District. This stunning neighborhood, home to lavish mansions, is easily one of the most beautiful areas in New Orleans. Free tour maps are available at the French Quarter Visitor Center.
● Walk around City Park. The 1,300-acre park is home to the largest collection of live oak trees in the world. There are a number of walking and bike trails to explore. Playgrounds and wide-open spaces are plentiful, providing lots of room for children to run around.
● Listen to a concert at Lafayette Square. A 12-week concert series takes place here each year. The lineup includes a number of local bands you don't want to miss. These concerts take place every Wednesday and are free to attend.
● Stroll down Magazine Street for some serious window shopping. Here you'll find a wide variety of shops, situated in historic buildings, selling everything from designer clothing to folk art and antiques and a whole lot more!
● Watch a parade. The streets of New Orleans see their fair share of parades, particularly during Mardi Gras season. These parades, which are always free, provide a great way to immerse yourself in the fantastic culture of the city. As a wedding photographer, I also recommend watching a 2nd line parade with a couple who just married. What a unique and fun way to witness someones special day!
● Sample delicious cuisine. New Orleans-style cooking is a unique blend of African, French, Spanish, Cajun and Creole traditions. For an "insider look" at what the fuss is about, check out Crescent City Farmers' Market. They sell fresh (local) produce and are known to host free cooking demonstrations from time to time.
This is just the beginning when it comes to free things to do in New Orleans. However, these options are all a good representation of what's available. Get ready... get set... experience New Orleans!
If you are thinking of marrying in New Orleans and having a small destination wedding or elopement, reach out to us for some helpful tips or see our packages HERE.
7 Reasons Why Small Weddings are Better
Getting married is typically no walk in the park. Planning for a wedding usually takes a year or less but probably not less than a few months, unless you decided to have a small wedding. A traditional wedding means you have to prepare a lot of things months before the actual event, everything from planning your guest list and entourage to looking for the perfect venue, caterers, entertainers, wedding cake, dress, invitation and the list goes on.
Can you imagine all the preparations you have to make for a one-day event? Planning a traditional wedding not only takes time but it can become very stressful too because it tends to be more about the reception and partying and not the marriage. No wonder small destination weddings are trending nowadays for more reasons than one.
1. Time Efficient – As I mentioned, traditional weddings takes time to prepare but when you decide to get married sometimes you just want to make it happen right away, especially if you have been together for too long and you do not want to waste any more time planning and preparing for the event. Having a small wedding makes it possible to get married in less than a month and skip most of the usual preparations that take time, such as looking for the perfect venue, considering the number of guest you have to invite and other trivial matters. Instead, you can focus on what really is important and that is to tie the knot.
2. Less Stress – Since planning for a wedding takes time, it is also possible that conflicts will arise between you and your partner or from other people involved with the planning. There would likely be disagreement on want to do or not do during the wedding, who will be invited or not and extra opinions that might pop up during the course of the wedding preparation. To keep these unwanted scenarios from happening, you can simply have a more romantic and intimate wedding by choosing the best wedding destination that suits you, inviting only your closest family/friends and sealing the deal. You will be more relaxed and focused on your wedding day than you would be otherwise.
3. No Conflicting Schedule –You never know what can happen during a long wedding preparation, which can make it hard to pick the best date to get married. Conflict of schedules can be a dilemma, especially for couples who wish to have a destination wedding. While planning, there are more people to consider, those who can make it or not and sometimes you just have to deal with the conflicting schedule when you should have focused more on how the two of you will spend your special day. It is even possible for the wedding date will be moved. This is why small weddings are better, aside from the huge amount of stress you can eliminate, you can also avoid conflict in schedule by not dealing with it at all.
4. Private and Personal – All your guests in one photo? Why not! Having only the most important people in your life to celebrate your wedding day gives you more opportunity to interact with them during the celebration. Unlike the typical wedding wherein you need to hop from one table to another just to greet everyone (which can take longer if you have a huge guest list), at a small wedding the involvement with your guest will be more up close and personal. Everyone is at ease, there is more freedom and more photos taken together! Say no to unwanted guests and unfamiliar faces.
5. More Unique – Some unique wedding ideas are better executed when you have less to decorate. You can have more time to add personal touches, DIY some wedding decorations and invitations, plus you can put more attention to hand written thank you notes after. Aside from that, you can certainly have a unique and unconventional wedding venue and get married on a boat, streetcar, tree house, museum, plantation house, national park and even in the streets of your favorite city surrounded by the people you love most. You have more freedom to choose a theme for your wedding that will suit your personality and at the same time make it more memorable.
6. Budget Friendly – Why spend more money for your wedding day when you can save it for later to jump-start your married life. You can eliminate unnecessary expenditures when you choose to have a small wedding because the small number of guest will positively cut your expenses on food, outfits, hair and make-up etc., without compromising the quality of service. You can save more by spending less on wedding favors, decorations, extra entertainment and larger wedding venues which can also be expensive. Plus, there are a lot of affordable and excellent wedding packages for small weddings like this HERE.
7. Eco Friendly – Yes, smaller weddings are more friendlier to the environment than you think. This is an advantage especially if you are a minimalist. Parties create a ton of trash, and a wedding is no exception. However, with a small wedding you can definitely cut down the trash from the wedding invites alone. Smaller venue and fewer guests can mean less wedding paraphernalia’s and less waste. It is even easier to choose more sustainable wedding ideas and you’ll be more likely to find affordable organic and specialty catering.
Sometimes you can lose sight of what’s really important when your wedding preparation becomes overwhelming. A wedding is no longer a celebration of marriage when it is not as sentimental as it should be but more of a production. At the end of the day what matters is not the luxurious venue, expensive wedding gown, the guest list and everything else. It is about the couple and the wonderful memories created on their special day. Sharing the momentous event and capturing them behind the lens is just as magical as the occasion itself and you can check out some stunningly captured small wedding moments HERE.
If you have any questions about eloping or need some sound advice, feel free to email us at: info@ElopeToNola.com
How to get married at the Tree of Life in Audubon Park New Orleans
If you’re looking for a unique place to get married in beautiful New Orleans, then you’ll want to hear about the Tree of Life in Audubon Park. Previously a sugar cane plantation, the land that is now called Audubon Park was bought by the city of New Orleans in 1871 and is bordered by the stunning Mississippi river and picturesque St. Charles Avenue. The expansive park features everything including sports fields, a zoo and the renowned Tree of Life. The Tree of Life is a sprawling centuries-old oak tree that is loved by locals. The Tree of Life’s original name was the Étienne de Boray Oak, named after New Orlean’s first may. However, in recent times the extraordinary oak tree has been renamed to The Tree of Life, perhaps because it is so large and old that it seems to have been around forever. While no one knows the exact age of the tree, the Life Oak Society estimates it to be anywhere from 100-500 years old. The Tree of Life has large, gnarled branches perfect for climbing or acting as a backdrop for photo shoots- which is what makes it the perfect wedding location. If you’ve always dreamed of an outdoors wedding in a mystical, fairytale atmosphere, then the Tree of Life should be your dream venue.
As a photographer, every wedding that I shoot is special. Each venue, couple and group of guests creates a different atmosphere, which makes for one of a kind photos. But let me be honest. I love being behind the camera in any setting, but when I get to shoot a wedding in a unique location, I get especially excited. There are few venues in New Orleans as unique as the Tree of Life. The way that the tree catches the light, and casts shadows and beams of light on those standing beneath it, is absolutely stunning. The Tree of Life is so unbelievably huge that it acts as the centerpiece in most pictures, but rather than look overbearing, the tree completely transforms a traditional outdoors park wedding into a magical wonderland. I have few clients who opt for The Tree of Life as a wedding venue, however, so I put together this blog post to share more information on how to get married at what I consider to be one of the most charming wedding venues that the city of New Orleans has to offer.
Who will marry us?
As the Tree of Life is located in a public park, you will need to bring your own officiant. We can help you secure a reputable, knowledgeable and personable officiant who is licensed in Orleans Parish. We even include officiants’ services with most of our packages.
When can I get married at The Tree of Life?
Audubon Park is open from 5am-10pm every day of the week, so you can get married nearly any time of the day or day of the week that suits you best! ElopeToNola.com does recommend you select a time just after sunrise or around 2 hours prior to sunset for the most optimal wedding photos.
What do I need to get married at The Tree of Life?
Understandably, there is some planning that needs to go into a wedding at The Tree of Life. However, it’s much less involved than booking a prestigious indoor venue! To get married at The Tree of Life, you will need to contact the city at 504-212-5420 to obtain a permit.
How much does it cost to have a ceremony at The Tree of Life?
Nothing if it’s just the two of you! For a ceremony with any guests involved, a $75 - $150 (fees may change, call to get accurate amount) permit will be required. One of the benefits of getting married at this famous oak tree, aside from the jaw-dropping aesthetics, is that it’s absolutely free for couples only and very minimal costs for weddings with guests. Opting for a free wedding venue as beautiful as this means that you can spend more money and time taking wedding photos than you would be able to if you had a large wedding venue bill.
How many guests can we invite?
As many as can fit! A blessing with outdoor weddings, including those at Audubon Park, is that there is no limit on how many guests you can invite. However, if you want any type of seating for guests, you’ll need to bring your own chairs and remove them immediately following the ceremony.
How do we get to The Tree of Life?
Many couples who get married at The Tree of Life don’t realize that they need directions. While The Tree of Life is one of the oldest and largest oak trees in the world (aka it’s incredibly hard to miss), Audubon Park spans a whopping 350 acres. If you don’t know where you’re going in the park, you’ll be wandering for quite some time. The good news is that, with directions, The Tree of Life isn’t too hard to find.
The best way to get to the tree of life is: From magazine street, turn on Calhoun (towards the river), turn right on Tchoupitoulas. From there, make a right on East Drive and park anywhere along the road (you will see the tree on the left side).
I hope that you found our Tree of Life New Orleans marriage guide useful! If you are getting married anywhere in the New Orleans area, I would be honored to photograph your wedding. Please don’t hesitate to email me at: ibayPhotography@gmail.com or via my contact form HERE to learn more about my process and the packages available.
Best French Quarter Small Wedding Package
How would you like to celebrate your wedding day? If simplicity is your cup of tea, why not try an intimate but more meaningful elopement in the best place in New Orleans? And when you think about the best place in the city, the first thing that probably comes to your mind is the French Quarter in New Orleans.
One cannot deny the fact that the streets of French Quarter serves as an impeccable wedding venue. A lot of couples have decided to elope in this place and have held the most intimate wedding they could ever wish for. What if I tell you that you can get married at the best spot in French Quarter, hassle free and within your budget? Sounds like a great plan right?
Get married at Exchange Alley
Like any other streets in the French Quarter, Exchange Alley has its own beauty and history. This spot is known as one of the most famous walkways in the French Quarter. Previously called Place de Exchange, it was supposed to be the second back entrance to the Merchant’s Exchange on Royal Street where it played an important part in the city’s street commerce. The U.S. district court was previously located in this area before it was destroyed by a fire in the 1960s. Built in 1831 this Alley has been the heart of street weddings in New Orleans. The beautifully situated buildings and shops complements the romantic ambiance for a wedding and serves as stunning backdrop for wedding photos.
Nowadays where low-key is the new party, you would probably want to spend your wedding in a cozier and more organized venue. Yet if you still want to have that lively vibe with a pinch of intimacy, Exchange Alley is perfect for you. Amongst the spots in the French Quarter, Exchange Alley is one of those distinct streets that exuberates calm and relaxed ambiance but still full of life. Your elopement here will be a one of a kind experience.
Getting married at Exchange Alley means you can have that meaningful ceremony with a fun feeling at the same time. Feel that southern comfort right at the center of French Quarter where it is intimate and breezy at the same time. Every corner of Exchange Alley is picturesque representing the finest New Orleans architecture. Imagine being surrounded by an array of colorful structures, romantically positioned lampposts and beautifully cobbled pavement. Just passing by the alley would make you want to hold hands and get married there at any time of the day. An elopement at exchange alley can indeed be a special celebration and unique experience that you will always remember.
In addition to that, Exchange Alley has a 24/7 live streaming Web Camera so your loved ones can also witness the wedding and share this wonderful moment with you even from afar:
Our Intimate Elopement Collection
For Just $1355 USD, you can get married at one of the historic spot in the French Quarter like Exchange Alley. Whether it’s just the two of you or bring along up to 10 of your closest family and friends to celebrate the special day. Aside from the beautiful location this package includes the essential services that you will need to achieve a worry free wedding.
You are free of the burden of looking for an officiant, you will receive specially prepared flowers and most of all a professional photographer to capture the most important moments of your big day with perfect detail. We will arrange all this for you HERE.
This by far is the best French Quarter Small Wedding Package that guarantees memorable, convenient and intimate experience for you and your guests. Sometimes the best things in life are made of special once-in-a-lifetime moments shared together specially if it’s in a wonderful place. For more information, feel free to email Ibay Photography at: ibayPhotography@gmail.com