If you’re looking for a great location to have an unforgettable yet unconventional wedding celebration, New Orleans is the city. Its food, history, architecture, colors, and music make it an incredibly colorful and unique location for any wedding, especially a nontraditional wedding. Here, I have created a guide for the most epic New Orleans wedding experience.
Why? New Orleans weddings are a different breed. They are party and experience centered. With everything New Orleans has to offer, it’s easy to plan anything from a colorful and romantic elopement to a raging party complete with a swing band.
You really can’t go wrong in NOLA, and it’s best to choose an experience that fits your love story best. To get you started, I’ve compiled some of my favorite things in the city to add to your experience.
New Orleans Wedding Venues and Hotels
Race & Religious: For the Non-Traditional Wedding
If you’re looking for classic and timeless meets modern and fun, Race and Religious is the quintessential French Quarter venue for you. The incredibly sought-after New Orleans venue has a neutral color palette and beautiful light. The courtyard is built with ruins-style architecture, jam-packed with vegetation, and the very best part: there’s a pool. Some of my favorite photos from Race and Religious are of happy couples jumping into the pool following their nuptials.
This venue is perfect for non-traditional couples looking to have the epic New Orleans wedding party.
The New Orleans Pharmacy Museum: For the Unconventional Wedding
This venue is best for the couples who want to lean into the spooky history of New Orleans. While the colors and lighting are darker on the inside, the museum includes old apothecary bottles everywhere you look. It also boasts a gorgeous courtyard (courtyards are everywhere in NOLA, let’s be real) with lanterns and climbing greenery. You can really make this venue what you want, by adding modern or bohemian rentals to the courtyard, or by adding the florals of your choice.
Hotel Peter and Paul: For the Modern Wedding & the Anti-Bride
For couples who want a colorful wedding in New Orleans that’s totally off the beaten path, take a look at Hotel Peter and Paul. An old church and schoolhouse converted into a modernized boutique hotel, this venue offers weddings anywhere on the grounds, including the old church sanctuary.
All of this means the hotel has a distinct historic New Orleans vibe without feeling stuffy, so it’s perfect for the modern anti-bride couple.
The Eliza Jane Hotel: For the Colorful Wedding
Jack and I stayed at the Eliza Jane during our last visit to New Orleans, and we couldn’t have been happier about the experience. Not only is the hotel itself a design dream: colorful, modern, and sleek, but the staff is remarkably kind. And it is walking distance to the French Quarter and most other NOLA attractions.
There is plenty of event space both within the hotel and the stylish attached bar, the Couvant. Plus, it is directly across the street from one of the best wedding venues in the city: the New Orleans Board of Trade Building.
If you want inspiration from the Eliza Jane, check out the photos below, and the styled shoot I did there.
New Orleans Restaurants: For Foodies Hosting an Intimate Wedding
Jack Rose: For the Contemporary Wedding
A jazzy and colorful restaurant located inside the Pontchartrain Hotel, Jack Rose has a modern menu in a classic setting. It’s the perfect place for a date night (or for a bachelorette party: you can order a punch out of a disco ball), or renting for your intimate wedding.
The menu is elevated American, and the food is really tasty: last time I was there, we had fresh calamari and decadent short rib. But the takeaway here is definitely the cocktails: they are as unique as they are delicious: I ordered a pina colada with ube, a traditional sweet Filipino fruit. It was bright purple, and to be totally honest with you: it was the best cocktail I’ve ever had.
Brennan’s: For the Classic NOLA Choice
The proud inventor of bananas foster is located conveniently in the French Quarter, and it has some of the best brunch in the city. To say the least, Brennan’s is a New Orleans staple. The iconic pink walls are home to plenty of private dining rooms and the epic Chanteclair Room, which can seat up to 120 people. So if you want a French Quarter venue with historically amazing food paired with a jazzy, intimate atmosphere: take a look at Brennan’s.
Court of Two Sisters: For the Big Party Wedding
Another New Orleans icon, Court of Two Sisters has the timeless Southern feel with the one-of-a-kind Cajun cuisine you might be looking for. They also offer weddings on their grounds: they can house receptions for up to 500 guests!
Court of Two Sisters is the perfect place for a classic and simple venue with an emphasis on the cuisine. You can check out their wedding packages and menus right here.
Cafe du Monde: For a Fun Treat
Would it really be a New Orleans profile if I didn’t mention Cafe du Monde? Odds are, you’ve heard of the place, if you haven’t purchased their beignet mix and French Roast coffee at a local grocery store. Cafe du Monde is known for two things: beignets and cafe au lait. Be prepared to wait in line with other tourists, but the beignets simply cannot be beat. It’s hyped for a reason. While you might not be able to host your intimate wedding here, you can absolutely treat guests or your wedding party to a one-of-a-kind New Orleans treat.
I hope this article inspired you to get hitched in New Orleans, or at least helped you plan a fun weekend trip to the Big Easy. If you are ever looking for a wedding photographer to capture your NOLA celebrations, it is truly one of my favorite cities in the world. It helps that I’ve got some of the best and most reputable vendors in the city in my back pocket!