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
Top places to visit in New Orleans, Louisiana
Whenever we travel we always want to experience the best out of every place we visit. Aside from the tourist spots, we look forward to meeting new people, discovering different cuisines, immersing ourselves in the rich culture and making amazing memories. It’s no wonder that New Orleans is one of the most perfect destinations for you to experience all of that and more. As a lifelong New Orleanian, I have composed a list of the very best must see places in New Orleans.
1. The French Quarter
This is the oldest and most famous area in the city of New Orleans. Visiting the French Quarter is like stepping into a new realm where the classic and modern blend well together. Despite various colonial influences each street is filled with harmonious and captivating ambiance which simply makes it unique. Fall in love with its architecture and witness the beauty 18th century French homes and historic buildings.
What to do
Walk around Bourbon Street and party 24/7 or be entertained by the impressive jazz music around the area. Be captivated by the art galleries, antique shops, fine dining and boutiques at Royal Street and listen to wide variety of music at Frenchman Street. Last but not the least, don’t forget to drop by Jackson Square, the historic park of French Quarter. Check out the artworks of local artist and see the beauty St. Louis Cathedral which is also a perfect sight for weddings.
Jazz shows, Hurricane's from Pat OBriens, Daiquiris in go cups and Beignets
2. Uptown/Garden District
If you’re fan of grandeur and elegant Victorian houses, then a trip to Uptown NOLA is something you shouldn't miss. The mansions in Garden District looks like something that came out of a Hollywood movie or something that you have probably pictured while reading classic novel. Uptown is a scene for romantically built mansions, so captivating you cannot help but fall in-love with it.
What to do
The best way to explore the most brilliant part of uptown is riding the oldest operating streetcar line in the world, the St. Charles Streetcar. Riding the streetcar is like hitting two birds with one stone plus it is really affordable. St. Charles Street car is the longest line in the city that will not only take you to the best part of the Garden District but you will also pass though some notable spots like Central Business District, Lee Circle and a glimpse of the National World War II Museum. Then, take a long walk into the streets covered by old oaks and pass by those elegant 19th century houses in Garden District or uncover the beauty of Lafayette Cemetery, which is also one of the must see places in the area.
Shop at Magazine or Oak Street. For overnight stays, the Grand Victorian Bed & Breakfast is certainly “Grandeur” and right on the streetcar line for a quick ride into the French Quarter
3. Natchez Steamboat
Sailing on the historic Natchez Steamboat as it traverses the Mississippi river is a-must when you are in NOLA. You can learn more about the history of the city while looking at its breath-taking view along the river. Make beautiful memories while on board, dine, listen to good music and enjoy the ride.
What to do
Take a cruise either morning, lunch time or afternoon. If you check online, you will already see a lot of option to book a boat tour. You might probably want to take the tour during the afternoon because of the breath-taking sunset, though the steamboat experience itself can be quite satisfying. Imagine being serenaded by live band while surround by the beautiful view of the city along the water. It is one of the best place to celebrate birthday, anniversary and even intimate weddings.
4. Swamp Tour
Get closer to nature by visiting the famous swamps of Louisiana. Be transported to a whole new world of water, wildlife and wilderness. Swamps are a habitat to different kinds of animals and are rich in biodiversity, from alligators to fleeting birds. It is majestic in its own way with abundant trees reflecting in the calm water and the slight thrill of encounter with alligators and other wildlife.
What to do
Get out of the city and take the Honey Island Swap Tour to discover the most beautiful swamp you could ever see. It is nearly 70,000 acres of protected wildlife area and finely laid cypress trees. Taking a swamp tour is a unique and memorable experience that you should definitely try.
5. Algiers point
The second oldest neighborhood in New Orleans and a modest counterpart of the French Quarter. It is dubbed as New Orleans’ Best Kept secret since it is quite isolated and less travelled place in the city but certainly worthy of you time. Out of all the places you will visit in NOLA, Algiers point will be the closest place that feels like home away from home.
What to do
Take a ferry ride from Canal Street to Algiers point. Walk through the path along the river and rest in front of the river bank with the best view of the city. Walk along the streets of colorful Creole houses and historical structures. Visit a glass studio and art galleries then dine at the local restaurant of your choice. This place is called NOLA’s best keep secret for a reason and it is better for you to find out why.
A visit to Algiers Courthouse where many iconic weddings are held.
Known as a melting pot of diverse cultures, New Orleans has a lot to offer from food, history, art and architecture. This place is filled with romantic venues perfect for weddings too, no wonder it's also a top destination for couples who wish to tie the knot. Without a doubt, anyone who visits will never get enough of this truly unique destination. For more information on getting married in New Orleans, visit ElopeToNola.com
You might have heard that New Orleans is one of the premiere romantic destinations and hidden secret for an elopement or wedding, and you’re right. But here’s the problem: with all that this beautiful city has to offer, you might not know where to begin. There’s a hundred gorgeous places in New Orleans that would make a great setting for your special day, but with all of the information online, how do you decide which is the best destination wedding package for you? And...how do you keep the costs below $10,000?
Historic beauty and unforgettable memories are waiting for you right on the other side of the river. It’s typical to think of the French Quarter as the go-to place for New Orleans weddings, but there’s so much more to New Orleans than just this one area. In fact, just a short ferry ride across the Mississippi and you’ll be in gorgeous Algiers Point, heart of Historic New Orleans, a bustling center of art, entertainment, amazing restaurants, and incredible sights.
Algiers has always been a hub of entertainment and rich culture spanning back to the days of the Civil War and beyond. Though undergoing changes over the years, it’s always remained full of charm and heart.
We specialize in helping couples create the perfect wedding experience, so we’re well acquainted with all the sights and attractions in and around New Orleans. There are certainly dozens of interesting locales, but if you really want that historic New Orleans charm without paying an arm and a leg, you have to look around and know the city in and out.
Compass Point: Historic New Orleans Just For You
Compass Point is perhaps the perfect venue for couples seeking a charming place to host an intimate wedding. It sports classy on-site home-style catering, floral arrangements, a gorgeous outdoor dance floor under frosted lights and the boughs of ancient oaks, cozy cottages for your guests, and the experience to ensure that you have the time of your life. Compass Point captures the essence of New Orleans...and is one of our favorite settings for the best wedding experience the city has to offer.
Wedding for up to 40 guests under $10,000 includes:
Yes, it’s possible to have your dream wedding for under $10,000. We’ve personally crafted this package to be the ultimate combination of quality and affordability, the best New Orleans has to offer. With our planning expertise, professional services, the perfect setting, and dedication toward making your ceremony special, you have the recipe for a spectacular wedding.
Why New Orleans Has Become The Best Wedding Destination
A unique blend of culture, charm, location, history, and extravagance has always defined New Orleans, making it the perfect place for to visit, wedding or not. In recent years, the city has become a huge wedding destination, as the secret’s out! New Orleans simply has so much to offer, and people are catching on from all over the world.
New Orleans was recently listed as one of the New York Times must see travel destinations in the world for 2018. There’s really no place else like it anywhere: it has one of the most diverse backgrounds of any major city you can think of, and this has made it an epicenter for art, entertainment, food, and diverse views. It’s a true melting pot, one which has seen its share of ups and downs.
The city has seen a Renaissance of sorts ever since the destruction of Hurricane Katrina, with massive investments in infrastructure and rejuvenation, which has led to the new and old coming together to form a seamless experience of charm and luxury you simply can’t get anywhere else.
If you’re deliberating on the best possible wedding destination, do yourself a favor and make it New Orleans. For more information, we'd love to hear from you! Send us a message at: firstname.lastname@example.org