There is no shortage of things to do in New Orleans, so if you're planning your wedding there, it only makes sense to partake in some of the food, entertainment, art, and history that the city has to offer.
After all, New Orleans isn't just one of the top places for couples looking to tie the knot in style, it's also one of the most popular tourist destinations in the entire country. There is quite a bit to see and do.
So if you are looking to make some memories before the ceremony even begins, we've got some ideas for you!
1. Eat beignets (not at touristy cafe du monde, but at Cafe Beignet!).
This is basically essential if you’re visiting New Orleans. If this is where you’re getting married, even better. These little fried pastries are a specialty here and you don't want to miss out on these world famous New Orleans style donuts.
2. Have a cocktail at the carousel bar in the Hotel Monteleone.
Want to try something a bit unorthodox? The extravagant Hotel Monteleone has a unique take on the typical fancy bar. Known simply as the Carousel Bar, it’s something that has to be experienced to be believed. It’s definitely a different take on the classic bar scene.
3. Take a selfie in Exchange Alley.
Nearby from Hotel Monteleone, there’s the gorgeous decorative street known as Exchange Alley, a place rich in art, culture, colorful buildings and dining. It’s one of those well-taken care of little city nooks that makes for a perfect backdrop to a Newlywed photo.
4. Take the beautiful Algiers ferry to the westbank side of the mighty Mississippi River.
Once there, enjoy a bite or drink at Dry Dock Cafe or Old Point Bar, two of the best places to grab a drink and mingle with the locals. This is one of those uniquely New Orleans experiences that you don't want to miss out on. Don't forget to take in the New Orleans city skyline from that side of the Mississippi River.
5. Stroll down historic Bourbon Street (tip: do not wear beads when it’s not Mardi Gras - you will scream Tourist!).
With a wide variety of entertainment to choose from, it will be hard deciding where to start! Check out the bars with live music. Anytime of the day, anytime of the year... Bourbon Street is full of laughter, fun and libations.
6. Try and find all the cool rooftop bars with amazing city views, for a memorable dining experience.
Tip: some are guests only as the pool is rooftop as well and only for guests privileges. Don’t be afraid to call a location beforehand and ask about their amenities. Many New Orleans restaurants and hotels have classic sensibilities and will go out of their way to cater to patrons.
7. Stop and enjoy a conversation with a local!
Local New Orleanians are the nicest people on planet earth. Promise you will leave the conversation with a new friend and a dozen other recommended hot spots to see, not to mention a new take on the city’s history, or simply where to get the best oysters.
8. For the ladies: stop in “Bourbon French Parfums."
This shop on Royal street makes custom tailored scents that can be made into your special wedding day fragrance. If you’re looking for that special something to spice up your big day and want to do something out of the ordinary, this is just the right opportunity.
9. Must take photos in Jackson Square.
The historic St Louis Cathedral is stunning and millions of people make sure to capture photos of the iconic church whenever they are visiting New Orleans. Try taking photos in Jackson Square at different angles with the church in the background. I promise... these will be the photos you will frame and cherish for life.
10. Is traditional New Orleans style music something you’re interested in?
Frenchman Street is just a quick stroll outside of the FQ. If you want to hear authentic live New Orleans music, this is the place to go. It’s where all the locals go to hear the real sound of New Orleans!
If you’re wondering if eloping is right for you or if you are having trouble planning and putting it all together, you’re not alone.
There’s certainly thousands of couples in your same exact shoes, getting butterflies and wondering just how they can pull off their elopement without a hitch. There’s this idea that getting married has to be this huge complex beast that oftentimes leaves couples frazzled in the months leading up to the big day.
An elopement should be as stress-free and fun as possible. Here are 5 secrets to planning a successful elopement wedding!
1. Set a Workable Budget
One of the benefits of an elopement rather than a traditional wedding is the money you are likely to save. On the whole, eloping is cheaper than most kinds of traditional ceremonies. That is part of the allure of elopement, the fact that you don’t have to worry about all kinds of extravagant expenses and sinking thousands of dollars on floral arrangements and catering.
However, you are still going to want to setup a workable budget before putting your elopement together. It might sound romantic to just hop on a plane and travel somewhere on the spur of the moment, but if you are looking for something a bit more structured and with less hassle, you are going to want to invest in some elopement services, and other things,,such as the dress, restaurant reservations, etc.
Budgeting properly means less stress when everything is coming together. You don’t want to have to deal with unexpected expenses and financial issues during your elopement. Unlike a traditional ceremony, the goal here is romance and fun with your significant other. That means a little bit of planning can take a lot of the stress and guesswork out of the equation.
2. Don’t Feel Pressured to Invite Everyone
Another benefit of eloping is the crowd size. You’re not here to put on a show for your estranged second cousins and friends of friends of friends. This is about you and your closest loved ones sharing in your special moment.
While there may be tons of people who might want to see you get married, the bottom line is that if you are deciding to elope, it likely means you want a more intimate ceremony without a lot of the chaos that often comes with wedding ceremonies.
By all means, invite who you want, but don’t feel pressured to send everyone an invitation. Keep it simple. Closest relatives and best friends only. The fewer people that get invited, the cheaper the overall cost and the more intimate the experience.
Ultimately it comes down to personal preference, but elopements are often at their best when they are shared only by a select few of the bride and groom’s most closest friends and relatives. This makes everything far more manageable, especially if you are planning to elope far away from where you live.
Tip: Ask your photographer to send you an elopement announcement after your ceremony with a photo or two from your wedding day and share with those who were not present.
Keep it simple and you’ll be a lot happier. Have a small party/reception back at home. Don’t worry, your friends and family will understand.
3. Choose the Location and Let a Professional do the Rest
We mentioned earlier about elopement services, and we can’t stress this enough. It is a mistake to think you can pick a random city halfway across the country and decide to get married there on a whim, without planning or knowing the place, and expect everything to go off without a hitch.
You don’t know the sights, the places to get great food, how to avoid tourist traps and really enjoy the authentic experience of the city or location you are visiting.
Rather than winging it, let a professional handle things. Elopement packages provide all sorts of benefits, from photography services, to taking care of catering, seating, hotel arrangements, decorations, the cake, and even sight-seeing advice.
At ElopeToNola.com, we offer elopement packages that are perfect for couples who want to explore New Orleans and have the time of their lives, with everything taken care of.
So it’s important to decide early on in the planning where you want to elope, and then get in touch with an elopement service that’s reputable, so they can take care of all the work, leaving you to focus on what matters: your ceremony and your love!
4. Get the Legal Stuff Out of the Way
You’re also going to want to take care of the legal aspect of things as soon as possible. Don’t try and incorporate all of this right into the ceremony. Many professional elopement services recommend getting to your selected elopement spot a few days early in case there are any legal "waiting periods" from the time of obtaining your license to actually saying "I Do" in your chosen city. If you are selecting New Orleans, the waiting period is 24 hours from your ceremony time.
If you are planning on getting your marriage officiated in the state or city where you are planning your elopement, read up on all of the legalities of marriage in that state so you can familiarize yourself in case there is anything you need to know. Oftentimes, elopement planners will help you out in this regard, as well as provide the necessary person or officiant to run the actual ceremony.
5. Don’t Get Lost in the Details
Finally, don’t let yourself get lost in the details. An elopement should be sweet and simple. Don’t torture yourself worrying about the fluff: cakes, flowers, hair and makeup. Let a professional handle these things and they will work themselves out.
Most importantly, don’t try and do too much. The best part of an elopement is the freedom it gives the bride and groom to explore the city of their choosing, relax, enjoy cocktails and nightlife together for several days, long after the ceremony is over and done with.
To make the most of your elopement, don’t fret over anything, just allow it to unfold. Enjoy the experience, have fun with your guests, and most of all, let yourself be swept up in the romance, not bogged down in the details.
If you take all of these tips into account, your elopement will unfold effortlessly!
The holidays are a time when we come together, count our blessings, and give gifts to our nearest and dearest. This can be an especially joyous occasion for newlyweds spending their first holiday season together!
However, this time of the year can definitely be stressful and chaotic, so it is important to be organized and prepare for the season. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or Diwali, we have compiled several tips and tricks for couples’ first holiday to go off without a hitch!
Be Ready If Traveling
Last year, a record 107.3 million people traveled for the holiday season - which can spell disaster in the event of being unprepared, or just plain bad luck.
If you’re heading to visit family far away, be sure to get to the airport at least two hours in advance for domestic flights, or three hours in advance for international travel. It’s helpful to check in for your flight prior to arriving at the airport, and you can download your ticket on your smartphone - no more lost boarding passes!
Be sure to weigh your checked baggage at home - try using an ordinary bathroom scale and standing on it while holding your bag; you don’t want to be slapped with an additional overweight luggage fee! Remembering your picture ID or passport is paramount, as you will not be able to go through security without it - you and your spouse should remind one another.
Consider a good pair of travel shoes that you can slip on and off - this will make the security line a breeze! Before you hit the airport bar, think about gulping down some water. The low humidity level on planes can dehydrate us, leaving us feeling tired and groggy upon landing.
Prepare Your Place
If you’re hosting your first holiday, it is very easy to become overwhelmed and stressed. Even for those who are naturals at hosting, the prospect of sharing a your home with in-laws can evoke a sense of the Griswold Family Christmas.
But, never fear- with careful planning, you can make the holidays a smash hit! First, determine who exactly is coming in advance to be sure that you have room for everyone. If you are just moving into a new starter home, consider purchasing a new dining room table that’s long enough to comfortably seat everybody; there’s nothing worse than cramming guests around a tiny table!
Online furniture stores like, Arhaus offer many different dining room table options that are sure to wow your guests! Next, make sure you’ve got adequate sleeping space for your guests, complete with enough pillows and blankets for everyone’s comfort. These may seem like simple items on your checklist, but lack of a good night’s sleep can ruin a trip for your loved ones.
Most importantly, keep a tidy house! It’s much better to have your home nice and clean for when your guests arrive, and it will give you one less thing to worry about as you play host to your friends and family.
The holidays are a time filled with tradition, which can sometimes be difficult to adhere to when the family becomes larger!
The best way to negotiate this is by being open and honest about expectations with your spouse. If your family tradition involves chopping down a Christmas tree and bringing it home but your wife has an allergy to Douglas firs, all the Benadryl in the world won’t make her holiday enjoyable!
Conversely, if your family likes to imbibe in alcohol and your husband doesn’t drink, this can make things awkward and uncomfortable for him. The key is compromise - it’s very important to have open and honest dialogue.
This precedent will carry over through your relationship, making this type of transparency valued in your marriage! If possible, make a list of each tradition your family has, and decide which ones your family will continue and which ones will become a pleasant memory!
The holidays don’t have to be chaotic, and through careful planning, you can have the perfect celebration!
By sticking to these tips, you can ensure your preparedness and transform for your home into a beacon of holiday joy. Who knows, maybe things will change next year, or you will set the new tradition for years to come!