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  • Writer's pictureAlicia LaHaie

Save $$$: Get Married in New Orleans!!

Updated: Jun 18

Getting married in New Orleans is so much more than your standard destination wedding. It’s an experience that will set your wedding apart from anything your guests have ever experienced. If you are a lover of history, music, and world-renowned food, then New Orleans is absolutely the place to start. Getting married in New Orleans is not a 1-day affair for your guests, it is an entire experience that you can customize and make it the weekend that you and your guests deserve.

As your guests arrive in New Orleans, they’ll be driving past the Superdome and the National WWII Museum. Depending on where they are staying, they’ll drive along St. Charles Ave underneath the miles of majestic oak trees covering the beautiful, historic multi-million-dollar homes of old New Orleans. Or if they’re staying in the French Quarter, they will see places like the Sazerac House and the larger-than-life murals on all the buildings along the way. Entering the city of New Orleans for the first time is an enchanting moment and one that is not soon forgotten. It’s both a world that is like nothing else they have ever seen and yet almost feels familiar, like home, even for those who are just arriving.

The first evening of your wedding weekend, you and your fiancé’ join your wedding planner, officiant, bridal party, and parents for your wedding rehearsal. From there, you all walk along the cobblestone streets of the French Quarter to your Rehearsal Dinner at one of the famous restaurants like Muriel’s in Jackson Square, Tujague’s, or Brennan’s. You dine on New Orleans classic dishes like Gumbo, Crawfish Etouffee, or Shrimp Creole. And finish off your dinner with a classic dessert of bananas foster made table-side. At almost any restaurant in New Orleans, you are greeted by the history and the pride of those that call New Orleans home. From the black and white tiled floors, the 200yr old bar, or the pink and green paint scheme that embodies the heart of so many New Orleans locations.

You set up a meet-n-greet for your guests as they arrive in town, to meet you at the historic Pat O’Brien’s courtyard for a hurricane near the flaming fountain or at Lafitte’s Guest House Piano Bar for a cocktail and an intimate courtyard setting. Later that night, some of your guests enjoy a late-night local tour of their choice, either Haunted or Cocktail.

For your wedding day, your guests’ morning can start with beignets and café au ’lait from Café DuMonde while watching the horse drawn carriages next to Jackson Square and seeing the local artists set up for the day along the alleys in front of the St. Louis Cathedral. Later, your guests can enjoy the daytime tours of the city and see the sights of things like St. Louis Cemetery #1 where Marie Laveau is interred, or perhaps a tour of the Garden District. They even have the chance to try out some local favorites like po-boys or yaka mein, especially recommended for those who have a hangover from the previous night’s cocktail tour.

Now, it is time for your guests to head to your wedding, are you picturing your wedding ceremony in one of the beautiful cathedrals around the city or perhaps you are seeing yourself standing in a New Orleans courtyard setting with cobblestones, a fountain and ironwork surrounding you. As you stand in that place, saying your vows, surrounded by the love of friends and family, you realize that your story is now intertwined with so many others over the centuries that have stood here. Your love story is unique to you and your fiancé, but it now has a place in history with grand significance because where you stand is not new but steeped in the historic love stories that have come through this city and now you too are part of New Orleans history.

After the ceremony, you and your guests are greeted by the enchanting sounds of a brass band awaiting you outside, as your own personal parade through the streets begins, a classic New Orleans Second Line to celebrate your new marriage! You’ll dance through the streets with friends and family to the lively music of the brass band playing just for you. You may even find new friends along the parade route that will dance with you for a moment and give their congratulations.

As the second line ends and your guests enter your reception venue, they’ll be welcomed with a drink and passed hors d'oeuvre to keep up the energy and excitement from the parade. You’ll make your big entrance as newlyweds into the reception and get the party started! As the reception begins, you can offer your guests one-of-a-kind entertainment that only New Orleans can offer such as a performance by the Mardi Gras Indians, a tarot card reader/fortune teller, or a caricature artist directly from Jackson Square. And of course, for dessert, fresh-made beignets or petit fours are always a huge hit, or during Carnival season, you can offer your guests an assortment of King Cakes to try something truly New Orleans.

So finally, your reception is coming to an end, but you are still too energized to call it a night and so are your guests. Now is the time to really give your guests the best that New Orleans can offer with an after-party. You and your guests can head out to one of the many world-famous jazz clubs like Preservation Hall, Tipitina's, or Maison Bourbon. Or if Jazz isn’t what you’re feeling, Bourbon Street has a list of must-see bars. Famous spots like Tropical Isle, where you can find the ever-potent Hand Grenade cocktail, Spirits, home of the Resurrection cocktail, and Cat’s Meow, for karaoke and dancing.

Of course, the weekend’s festivities are not quite over yet. There is Brunch to be had and so many options to choose from on where to enjoy the best meal of any weekend. Almost every restaurant in town offers brunch, so choosing whether you want just to go with just your new spouse, or a group of people will make a difference on where. There are entertainment choices for brunch, as well, like a Jazz Brunch at The Court of Two Sisters, or an all-day option at The Ruby Slipper, a restaurant that came up from the ashes after Hurricane Katrina.

So now that you know you want to get married in New Orleans, here is the best part, New Orleans is the cheapest of all major US cities in which to get married. The average cost for a New Orleans wedding is $28,250. The average cost for a wedding in Brooklyn, NY is $34,000. And San Diego is averaging $37,000. Even Phoenix, AZ is around $40,000. So, it just makes sense to have so much available to you for your wedding and to have so much that you can offer your guests for their wedding experience in New Orleans.

Statistics on Average Wedding Cost from

So, what are you waiting for,

Let’s get those good times rolling for your wedding!

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