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.