Do you have your heart set on a micro-wedding in New Orleans but haven’t quite picked out the right venue yet? This is the guide for you!
New Orleans is full to bursting with charming and quaint little spots that seem almost conjured specifically for small weddings and elopements. Tiny gardens, historic alleys, famous landmarks, beautiful little parks, the cutest hotel balconies you could possibly imagine. It’s all part of what makes NOLA such a great destination for couples in love.
That being said, it can be somewhat daunting trying to get a handle on exactly the right spot to get married at. There really are so many amazing places to choose from, even narrowing it down to “hotel,” or “park” gives you so many great options.
Here’s a simple to follow guide that will help manage your decision-making process so you can find a venue that’s just for you.
St. Ann Cottage & Courtyard
The literal definition of romantic, this small courtyard at the Bourbon Orleans in the French Quarter is just what you’re looking for in a small wedding venue. Nestled between historic buildings, this private and magical locale will make you feel like you’ve stepped into your own movie.
Bourbon Hotel itself is a luxurious delight and gem of New Orleans. Feel like royalty in this award-winning Belle Epoque-style haven.
Maison Dupuy Hotel
Located in the heart of the historic French Quarter, the charming Maison Dupuy Hotel offers an authentic New Orleans experience set in a romantic private courtyard for your intimate wedding. Just 2 blocks from Bourbon Street in the heart of the Vieux Carre, this central location makes it easy to explore the restaurants, shops and local attractions in New Orleans and the French Quarter.
A two-story luxurious cottage with its own courtyard - includes two king bedrooms, two full bathrooms and spacious living area with wet bar. The master bedroom is located upstairs connecting to the master bathroom which features a two person jacuzzi tub and stand-alone shower. The second king bedroom is located on the first floor adjacent to the wet bar and living area
Hotel Le Marais
Another fine location in the heart of the city, Hotel Le Marais stands as a more modernist option while still retaining all the class and charm you’d expect from New Orleans.
An open-air courtyard, pool, quaint balconies overlooking the city, lounge style atmosphere, and central location are just some of its many draws, making it one of the most sought after wedding destinations in the area.
Grand Victorian Bed and Breakfast
The Grand Victorian B&B is one of the ideal places for small weddings because of its charm and natural beauty. It is situated under the shady and colorful St. Charles Avenue oaks, so even before your guests arrive, they will be treated to the lovely scenery of the colonial and Victorian style architecture and structures that line this historic street.
Grand Victorian opened its doors as an official wedding spot in October of 1998, and since then, it has been offering some of the best services within the city of New Orleans for couples looking for micro-wedding and elopement experiences.
Another famous and idyllic hotel with a courtyard, pool, and more. Couples love Dauphine for its cottage-style rooms and distinctly southern feel. For an authentic New Orleans experience, this is the venue you’re looking for.
City Park, Audubon Park, Exchange Alley and More
New Orleans is a city full of hidden gems and small historic alcoves that are a testament to the city’s rich history and unique cultural blend. Not only are there a large number of restaurants, gardens, parks, and hotels that can trace their history to the turn of the last century and are now restored to glory, there are new pockets of luxury and class popping up around the city all the time. The eclectic mixture of Victorian, Creole, Southern, African, French and Spanish architecture, music, food, and art has combined to create a tapestry of dreamlike venues.
Not only are there amazing hotels to hold your small wedding at, you should also consider historic parks like City Park and Audubon Park, with their oak trees, foot bridges, beautiful statues and more.
You should also look into alleys like Exchange Alley and Pirates Alley. These special locations are pedestrian walks, lined with historic architecture, restaurants, and more, and make incredible places to get married at.
One of the best parts of an elopement is the sense of truly being able to own your ceremony and make it yours. This can leave couples asking however, what in the world do you actually do on your elopement day?
Bucking the traditional wedding format means you can pretty much do whatever you want, but this is where confusion can set in.
When do you have the ceremony? Can we squeeze in a romantic photo shoot in the park beforehand? Do we have to have a reception at a hall on the same day? What about entertaining our guests?
The freedom that elopement offers can seem daunting when it actually comes time to plan everything, but that’s why I put together this handy guide.
An elopement doesn’t have to follow the typical structure of a classic wedding. In fact, part of the appeal is in mixing it up and adding activities and events that you wouldn’t normally be able to cram into a traditional wedding day, such as viewing a parade, a night on the town, or a whimsical garden photo shoot.
The possibilities are truly limitless and that’s why it’s important to plan your elopement day well beforehand to get the most out of it. Sure, the idea of spontaneity is probably one of the things that attracted you to the idea of getting eloped in the first place, but too much of it will just lead to a mass of confusion and headaches you don’t want.
Maximize the excitement, fun, and carefree feel of your elopement by structuring your day with some of these popular ideas.
Private Photo-shoot Before the Ceremony
Isn’t it bad luck for the groom to see the bride before the actual ceremony?
Not when you’re eloping!
In fact, a rising trend that couples love involves having your own private scheduled photo shoot before the ceremony even begins.
Not unlike an engagement shoot or something similar, couples work with their elopement planner or photographer to pick a romantic location such as a garden, public park, or hotel balcony just to have some personal time together before everything gets rolling.
Couples claim that pre-ceremony photoshoots (also known as "first looks") ease tension and can be extremely romantic. Even during an elopement, things can get busy, leaving little to no private time for the couple. Sometimes a little quiet intimacy goes a long way.
You can even incorporate the photo shoot location into the ceremony itself if you want. Just make sure to work it out with your elopement planner.