Are you searching for a step-by-step guide on How To Elope in New Orleans? Here is our list of 8 steps for a stress-free and FUN elopement in New Orleans.
1. Contact a local Officiant or Judge. Once you have decided on romantic New Orleans, step one on how to elope in New Orleans is calling an officiant. This person must be an Orleans Parish officiant if you are wanting to waive the required 72 hour waiting period. Select someone with experience, knowledge and the skills to perform a quality ceremony. Trust us, this matters. We had a couple who asked their dear friend to become an ordained minister specifically for their elopement. Bless his heart, he was sweet as can be but not used to speaking loudly in the middle of the French Quarter. The constant distractions (fun distractions of course; people laughing on the streets, music, performers) were tough and challenging for him.
2. Contact a local Photographer - Hiring a professional photographer for your special day will go a long way. A photographer will know all the perfect locations to shoot at, best timing of the day and will capture the intimate moments during your ceremony that many guests/witnesses would not be able to capture.
3. Decide on a location - Probably one of the main reasons you decided to elope in New Orleans are the many gorgeous and unique ceremony locations. Do you want to marry under 300yr old majestic Oaks or in the French Quarter in a private courtyard? Maybe you'd like to even get married at the Algiers Courthouse? We suggest contacting a local photographer or wedding planner who knows the city of New Orleans like no other and can help you find that perfect "possibly hidden secret" spot!
4. Order flowers for you and your honey - Be creative! Wildflowers, succulents and daisies are all unique flowers to create amazing bouquets.
5. Make travel arrangements and don't forget your wedding attire, your rings and proper legal documents from home. Oh and wedding props too! Think masks, 2nd line umbrellas, beads, special family heirlooms, etc. Tip: Check online for special citywide events that may be occurring during your desired wedding date. New Orleans has hundreds of parties, parades, festivals, etc a year but some events and conventions will fill up all the hotels months in advance.
6. Once you arrive to New Orleans, plan to apply for your marriage license right away. Give yourself some time in the office too as there may be many other couples applying the same day. We recommend carving out 1-4 hours for this. Visit our marriage license page to have all the required paperwork ready. Tip: The office accepts cash only and will remind you about 100 times to only allow your officiant to write in BLACK INK.
7. Ask your photographer or planner for recommendations on hair/makeup, hotels, restaurants and what to do in New Orleans for the other days you will be enjoying our city.
8. Meet your officiant and your photographer at your chosen ceremony location and say your "I Do's!"! After...enjoy a petite wedding cake, cupcake, petite four or a world famous beignet. Have your professional photographer capture additional "Just Married" photos around your ceremony location. Take a pedicab, horse carriage or streetcar to your romantic celebratory dinner.
These are the steps we recommend if you are searching for how to elope in New Orleans. We hope this information is useful and informative. Did you know we offer all-inclusive elopement packages? Contact us today, we would be honored to help you plan your perfect elopement wedding day!
1. Eloping is alot cheaper! According to the popular wedding website The Knot, the average traditional wedding in the USA now costs over $27,000. But if you live in a large city, the cost could be even higher. Of course, prices will vary depending on what you include, and the date of your wedding. But eloping will cost a fraction of a traditional wedding, even a budget wedding. Save that money for a fabulous reception after you get home if you wish. Put it towards a house, a car, a honeymoon....a new pair of shoes! I've never met a person who has regretted saving money and not going into debt for their wedding. Many people these days prefer the intimacy and romance of a small elopement.
2. Elopement means fewer hassles and much less stress - don’t worry about the bridal registry. Do you really need those monogrammed towels or another toaster? Do you care about coordinating the color of the invitations with the guest favours? Guest lists alone have driven many a bride-to-be to drink! We have read reports that 19% of brides say they have more disagreements with their boyfriends after becoming engaged.
3. Eloping is much quicker — most wedding planners agree that it takes at least a year to plan the average wedding. Many popular venues are booked a year or more in advance. Maybe this is a second marriage for one or both of you. Maybe you just want to get started on your new life together. Long engagements aren’t for everyone.
4. Avoid “sticky” situations. How will you control Uncle Jack’s excessive drinking? What about Grandpa’s notoriously bad breath or the divorced aunt and uncle who are still feuding over custody of Fido and each wants you on his or her side? Dodge the family drama when you skip the traditional wedding.
5. No need for thank you notes - hadn’t thought of that? Many etiquette experts say that thank you cards for gifts received on the wedding day should be sent out within 2-4 weeks of returning from the honeymoon. Others say you may take up to 3 months. But to quote Peggy Post: “No fill-in-the-blank cards, no preprinted cards, no phone calls, no emails, and no generic posts on your website.” We suggest a simple announcement that tells everyone that you eloped. You can send this announcement electronically and it won't be frowned upon.
6. Eloping helps you feel the true significance of the moment. You are more likely to live in the moment of this important event when you are in a small group or just with your loved one. Eloping can be truly intimate. And isn’t that what committing your life to another person is all about?
7. No seating charts! Do you know who is feuding with whom? Do you care? Should you put only those who know each other at the same table or mix it up so that singles can meet others? Will someone be offended that you stuck them at the back table with the photographer?
8. Elopements can be more memorable than run-of-the-mill weddings. Get creative. Think of the stories you can tell your friends for years to come. Imagine getting married atop a glacier or in a hot air balloon! Deciding to elope doesn’t have to mean running to the courthouse in your work clothes or going to the drive-through chapel in Vegas (unless that turns your crank). It can still be very memorable and special.
9. Spontaneity can be very romantic. You’ll never look at a pineapple the same way if you use one for a bouquet! If you choose to elope to New Orleans, you will likely grab some beads...find a balcony in the French Quarter and throw them at random strangers. Or dance in the middle of the streets to amazing street performers. Can you do that at a traditional wedding?
10. Not everyone likes to be the center of attention. Believe it or not, there are some women who do not care to be “Queen for the day”. Men too don’t always like being in the spotlight.
Why Choose to Elope?
By Best Elope Ideas
If you’re reading this, chances are you’re thinking about getting married soon. Congratulations! It’s hard to find the love of your life and even harder to make that big leap into such a huge commitment for the rest of your life. A huge celebration is in order! Right?
We’ve all dreamed about our wedding day(s) since we were young. Some of us pictured the priest, the chapel, flowers. Some of us wanted princess gowns and horse-drawn carriages. Still others had binders with every single detail mapped out in excruciating detail (okay, you caught me).
The problem is that over time, the wedding became more about this grand event, and less about what it was supposed to be about. It’s a ceremony celebrating the love between two people (who, by the way, are no longer even necessarily a “bride” and a “groom”). Nothing more, nothing less.
With times changing, finances being rough for many, people struggling to do this whole “adulting” thing, it’s no wonder why people are choosing elopement more than ever before!
Here are some of the top reasons you might choose to elope:
1. Money, Money, Money, Money. Money! — The most popular and most unsurprising reason why people elope is because of budgetary reasons. Why spend thousands (or hundreds of thousands of dollars) on a wedding when you have bills to pay? If it’s going to leave you struggling to pay your mortgage or utility bills next month, are you really living happily ever after? Elopements have less pomp and circumstance, less food, less people, and are overall much, much cheaper.
2. Who ARE These People? — Speaking of money, a top complaint from brides with large weddings is that they feel like they didn’t get to meet and greet all of their guests, and sometimes brides and grooms didn’t even know all of the attendees at their wedding because of dates (not to mention even the possibility of wedding crashers). If you’re paying $50 a person, you really should at least know a person’s first name, don’t you think?
3. It’s All About Priorities! — Let’s go back to that list from when you were a kid. Maybe flowers are extremely important to you. Maybe your Grandmother who’s no longer with you loved roses but hated carnations. Roses are expensive and not always possible if you have a 300 person guest list. By eloping, you’re able to simplify the entire process and focus on the few things that are absolutely make or break for your big day.
4. Elopements Can Actually Be More “Grand” — I had a friend recently who was married in a hot air balloon, hundreds of feet in the air. I know someone who was married on horseback. These days, you can have an underwater submarine wedding, a cruise ship wedding, or even a wedding on top of a unique national like the Eiffel Tower, but that’s not possible when you have a huge wedding party. With elopements you are free to do some wild and crazy things that might really appeal to you or describe your relationship perfectly.
5. Location is Everything — With that said, elopements make it possible to have a destination wedding. You can fly to Vegas and get married by Elvis. You can come to New Orleans, and have an amazing Carnival celebration. We can absolutely help you with that at BestElopeIdeas as we’re part of the Be NolaWed network. The point is that the fewer the people, the easier and more affordable it is to make travel accommodations.
We also have some amazing locations in New Orleans that are picture perfect but not accessible for a large wedding party. The Grand Victorian Bed and Breakfast has some beautiful locations and rooms but they won’t fit more than 20 people. Tableau, a restaurant owned by the Brennan Family, has some amazing balconies that overlook the St. Louis Cathedral and the entire French Quarter, but more than 4-6 people on the balcony and you’re not going to be able to make it work. Elopements and smaller parties just make the impossible possible.
6. The Timing Is Right — With elopements, you aren’t restricted to scheduling. There are brides and grooms who have to wait 18 months to get married before they can find an available Saturday in their church. Not only do you have flexibility in terms of available dates because the venues may not get as many requests, but you also have flexibility in terms of the people who need to be there. You, your love, a few of your closest friends and family members, the officiant, photographer, wedding planner(s). That’s it. It makes it a lot easier to get married on a Wednesday afternoon or a Thursday morning. This makes it not only even more affordable, but also enables you to get married on a special date like an anniversary, or on a romantic date like Valentine’s day.
7. Secrets are More Romantic — Speaking of romance, did anyone watch “The Office”? Jim and Pam had the most adorable relationship ever, and one of the best things ever was when the audience found out (spoiler alert) that that had secretly eloped at Niagara Falls before their “big” wedding. This made it much more easy to bear when everything started to go wrong on their big day. They were already married, they had an intimate ceremony, and everything went perfectly. Above all, how romantic is it to have a secret wedding date? Elopements enable you to surprise people later with the news of what happened and that you’re finally hitched!
If you can’t tell already, we love all things wedding, and elopements are our specialty! If you need additional help or advice on your big day, don’t hesitate to contact us!