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.
Click HERE to learn the 5 secrets to a successful (and stress-free) elopement and BONUS checklist!