Where to get hitched in NOLA?
December 3, 2008 2:11 PM   Subscribe

Where should we get married in New Orleans?

Next fall (October or November) the boy and I want to get married in New Orleans. It's just about our favorite city in the world, and since we want fun rather than formal, seems ideal. We're planning sort of a low key destination wedding-type deal.

We're foodies, so the bit that's most important to us is the dinner afterward (we're thinking a private dining thing at Restaurant August). We don't really want a traditional reception with a band and cake and whatnot, that just isn't our thing.

So the question is, what kind of venue for the ceremony itself. We'll be in NOLA in January to do some reconnaissance, and we'd love suggestions for places to check out. Here are our requirements:

-Holds 25-35 people.
-Indoors or outdoors is fine, but it needs to be pretty enough that it won't require piles of expensive flowers (we'd rather spend the money on food). We like the idea of interesting courtyards or spaces in historical houses.
-This is important: won't require us to do some kind of package with a catered reception there afterward. We'd be cool doing a little champagne toast thing, but we'd mostly be in a hurry to get to the dinner portion of the evening.
-Won't cost a huge pile of cash.
posted by mostlymartha to Travel & Transportation around New Orleans, LA (15 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
maybe this leans a little too heavily on the fun end, but the coolest wedding i've been to in the past decade was at blaine kern's mardi gras world. warning: awful audio, both music & 'cool' click sounds. i have no idea if it's rentable *just* for the ceremony, but it's a (free) ferry ride away from the french quarter, where there are a world o' restaurants. it's also got new orleans character out the wazoo.

you can always get a preacher, justice of the peace, or your friend who's an ordained church of subgenius minister and head to audubon park, which is a lovely outdoor setting for a wedding. (i have some friends who got married there after katrina and it was so soggy they had to wear shrimpers (also known as delacroix go-go boots). the park is a streetcar ride away from the quarter, and there are tons of restaurants uptown. (here's a fairly comprehensive list of places to nosh by nola's pre-eminent radio-show host food snob.)

oh ... and congratulations!
posted by msconduct at 2:51 PM on December 3, 2008

The Audubon Zoo.
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 2:55 PM on December 3, 2008

I live in New Orleans, and I think this is a GREAT idea. One of the most interesting things I have seen is that I think you can rent for special use a streetcar that goes down St. Charles Ave. I think it would be fun to get married on one that's taking the trip downtown. You could see Lee Circle and get off at Canal Street, from there many nice restaurants such as the Bourbon House (and Restaurant August, I've been to the chef's other restaurant and it's wonderful) are in short walking distance.

on St. Charles is also beautiful, and I've seen some nice social events there.

The Columns Hotel and The Marigny House, both on St. Charles Ave, might be places to check out, but I believe both of these would be pricier options, but both beautiful.

posted by Night_owl at 3:02 PM on December 3, 2008

Whoa, that's not how that looked on preview. Should say," The Latter Library."
posted by Night_owl at 3:04 PM on December 3, 2008

Some friends got married at The Columns Hotel and it was lovely. Easy location in the Garden District near good stuff, lots of hotels nearby for guest to stay if they don't stay there. May be expensive, but worth looking into.

I must say I love Night_owl's suggestion of the St. Charles streetcar. How fun is that!
posted by dog food sugar at 4:00 PM on December 3, 2008

When I got married, I had my reception at the Aquarium of the Americas - renting the entire place minus their special show area was about $2K (or was it $4K... crap. It was well under $10K at the time, i.e. pre-Katrina), iirc. I'll bet it'd work out fabulously as a wedding site as well.

The food (buffet) was FABULOUS and when I asked to bring in a whole roasted pig, they even hired staff to serve it. When I left the Special Cake Cutting Knife and Server at home, they brought some up from the kitchen. When we didn't have a pen for the sign in book/table, the found one with a feather top that was perfectly out of place.

The petting area is the (smallish) dance floor and they'll even staff the petting pool for you if you want. Honestly, the folks there were incredibly easy to work with, gracious and a fun-loving bunch.
posted by oreonax at 4:01 PM on December 3, 2008

The petting area is the (smallish) dance floor

That's usually the case with a small dance floor, or so I recall from high school. Or even the more dimly lit large ones. But petting at a wedding?

Seriously, the original post was a little indirect about this, but I think food is to be a separate consideration from the wedding venue.
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 4:43 PM on December 3, 2008

Yeah, thanks Clyde. I could have been clearer. I've got the food thing basically figured out; we're going with a separate, sit down dinner at a restaurant instead of a hot and cold nibblies and a band type reception. We just need access to an attractive place with chairs to have the actual ceremony and take some pictures.
posted by mostlymartha at 5:16 PM on December 3, 2008

City Park has a number of facilities suitable for weddings.
posted by JujuB at 6:02 PM on December 3, 2008

i don't have much to add aside from, i'm happy for you (and jealous! i've been wanting to get hitched there)...and i'm watching this thread for potential plans, hope ya don't mind.
posted by ms.jones at 9:57 PM on December 3, 2008

I went to a lovely wedding on a riverboat. The food wasn't memorable, but it's relatively cheap, so you could just do some snacking, then get off and do your own thing. IIRC, there was about a three-hour cruise after the wedding, with an excellent band and great scenery. This was, however, pre-Katrina.
posted by MrMoonPie at 6:09 AM on December 4, 2008

I'm not sure about the cash part, but The Pitot House on Bayou St. John is very nice.

Also try the New Orleans Opera Guild Home on Prytania Street.
posted by quercus at 8:04 AM on December 4, 2008

The best wedding I've ever been to took place in Jackson Square, and was followed by a parade through the French Quarter which involved the wedding party and all the guests. We stopped at Jazz 300, a small Bistro, for the reception.

It was a blast.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 9:50 AM on December 4, 2008 [1 favorite]

House of Broel! Some friends got married there this past summer and it sounds like it could be a good fit for you. The house is beautiful, right on St. Charles and a New Orleans institution.

I don't think you'd need much in the way of your own decorations since the house is thoroughly decorated already. Maybe you could offer to have your ceremony at a time where they could still book their typical wedding shindig in return for a lower rate?
posted by turbodog at 10:11 AM on December 4, 2008

Jackson Square would be awesome but there would be tons of people around that you dont know and I am not sure about permitting etc. For the super budget outdoor wedding you could always do it on the levee behind Audubon zoo... there is plenty of green space to claim overlooking the mississippi... do the ceremony and then head somewhere great for dinner. I doubt anyone would hassle you... and its new orleans so you can have champagne or whatever (hurricanes?) there as well.

posted by outsider at 5:41 PM on December 6, 2008

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