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If you’re been considering getting married in New Orleans, we’ve broken down the best venues, whether you’re looking for a small courtyard ceremony or a lavish, luxurious hotel party. Brides seeking intimate outdoor venues will gravitate towards the French Quarter’s lush courtyards, while others might want a rooftop celebration. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite venues, including affordable options, rooftops with views of the Mississippi River and the cityscape, and places where small weddings will feel like a big deal.
Kelsey Reiss is the Lead Planner for Mint Julep Productions, which recently helped plan singer Michelle Branch’s romantic New Orleans wedding. “I love a venue that has the charm, history, and culture that make New Orleans so great,” she said. She looks for beautiful and historic venues, and works to provide musicians, food, and cocktails to “encapsulate that contagious New Orleans energy for a couple’s big day.” Many of the brides she works with want a “New Orleans feel.” Mint Julep Productions helps couples get that New Orleans energy either “aesthetically, with a place like Race & Religious, where you feel like you’re in someone’s French Quarter home surrounded by courtyards, in a building that was literally built with mud from the Mississippi River,” or with a combination of music, cuisine, tradition, and history.
Read on for a taste of where you can get married in New Orleans, whether you’re a local or want an unforgettable destination wedding.
Best Wedding Venues in New Orleans
Mint Julep Productions local wedding planner Kelsey Reiss said the most popular venues all have one thing in common: “‘that ‘New Orleans feel.'” “They’re all so different from a typical wedding venue that you’d find in another city. These venues are all unique and most of them are in buildings that are over 100 years old, which gives a wedding a sense of historical depth. They all create a beautiful and enchanting backdrop for clients, both local and destination, to enjoy on one of the biggest days of their lives.” All this to say: it’s hard to go wrong with any of the above venues.
But if you have to choose just one, Reiss recommends Race + Religious, the best overall winner. It’s such a standout venue that the wedding planner actually chose it for her own big day. “I’ve always loved Race + Religious, so I knew that’s where I would want to get married. The charm, the beauty, and the detail create such a cool space. We were also able to bring in our caterer and bar, which was super important to us since food plays such a huge part in not only the wedding, but the reputation of New Orleans as well.”
Kelsey often tells her clients to make sure to show their guests the city, so add that to your weekend planning. “If clients want to have one event of the wedding weekend in the French Quarter, I always recommend choosing a different part of town to host another event that weekend, just to show their guests some of the other assets this city has to offer. I also always recommend having a second line! Parading through the streets is a great way to either kick off your reception or end the party with a bang.” (Note: a second line is a traditional New Orleans wedding parade.)
How to Choose Wedding Venues in New Orleans
We looked at a variety of New Orleans venues, from hotels to cafes and event spaces, to make sure there was a mix of options. We consulted with New Orleanians, including brides, as well as residents who had attended multiple weddings in the area to learn about their experiences.
We looked at wedding planning services, local wedding publications, and the reviews for weddings. We also focused mostly on central New Orleans, keeping convenient location in mind.
We tried to find venues that have that extra something special, whether it was a stunning courtyard, a swimming pool, or a rooftop view. All of the venues provide something different, whether it’s an inexpensive option at a famous museum or an elegant evening at an all-inclusive mansion.
Guide for Choosing the Best Wedding Venues in New Orleans
Is a Wedding Venue in New Orleans Right for You?
New Orleans is the ultimate wedding destination because it truly offers something for everyone, whether you’re looking for an old-school Southern vibe complete with a second line, an unforgettable party followed by a night out in the French Quarter, or an elegant affair in the Garden District.
New Orleans has many unique hotel venues, which also makes planning easy. Your guests won’t have to go far and you won’t have to worry about transportation. The city is also extremely easy to get to, complete with a recently redone airport. Guests can come from all over and easily Uber around without renting a car or dealing with public transportation (although taking the streetcar is always a sweet touch).
The city, while known for the French Quarter, Bourbon Street, and beignets, also has so much more to offer. Guests can visit art museums, historic houses, and spend time in Audubon Park once the ceremony is over. There are also so many incredible restaurants, whether guests are interested in Southern cuisine or more innovative fare. If you’re a Southern bride, it’s the perfect place for all of your guests to gather.
Another huge highlight? The stunning French Quarter courtyards that make outdoor weddings romantic, with just the right hint of Southern flare. Many restaurants, cafes, and hotels have their own courtyards, complete with antique lighting pendants, exposed brick perfect for Pinterest pictures, and some even have swimming pools.
Comparing Wedding Venues in New Orleans
If you’re choosing a New Orleans venue, there’s a lot to take in consideration. Package prices, venue amenities, and of course the size of your wedding also must be considered, as some of the spaces and courtyards can’t fit many guests, especially for a ceremony.
- If you’re looking to keep the price down, consider one of the small courtyard venues in the French Quarter or Lower Garden District. Many of these venues offer small packages for brides who only want to host a small party, although many times these will have limitations based on date and time.
- If you’re planning a larger wedding, a hotel in the French Quarter might be your best bet, as they’ll have room for far more people than a smaller venue or restaurant. Other options could include large event venues in Metairie or other neighboring suburbs, though that makes it more difficult for guests to travel to the festivities.
- Unfortunately, most venues don’t offer parking, so it’s easier if your guests fly in for the event or drive in and then walk to a nearby location. You can also consider a party bus. Many New Orleans brides choose a Second Line, or parade complete with umbrellas, handkerchiefs, and a brass band, as a way to get from the ceremony to the party.
- A downtown location will probably be most convenient for your guests. That way, they can stay in the Lower Garden District, Central Business District, French Quarter, or Marigny and still be close enough to easily get to the venue.
- While New Orleans has many event venues that are dedicated to weddings, some of the best venues are the local hotels because they’re all so unique. By getting married at a hotel, your guests can all stay on the property which makes it easy to host a destination wedding.
Book Your New Orleans Wedding Venue Today
If you’re considering booking a New Orleans wedding, many of the venues are transparent about costs, although some require you to call or inquire through the website. The all-inclusive options are more difficult to find, but those are the venues that truly break down the costs. Other venues offer a cost to rent the venue and provide some amenities and then will work with you and/or a wedding planner to bring specific vendors in and make the day really special. If you can’t find prices online, it’s easy to inquire with the forms provided or call/email the venue. Many of these venues are even active on Instagram and can respond to quick questions there.
The most inexpensive options can start around $100 if you just want an extremely simple French Quarter elopement ceremony, but most have starting costs of around $3,000 or $5,000 depending on the venue. The all-inclusive venues can range up to around $20,000 because they include food, DJ, decorations, and more.
The most beautiful wedding venues in New Orleans tend to be historic locations downtown. The French Quarter has stunning courtyards that are unlike any other location. The Lower Garden District also has special venues that stand out because of their deep history, antiques, and beautiful outdoor spaces. Some of the rooftop options are also lovely because you can capture the New Orleans skyline. The surrounding suburbs also offer some beautiful venues, including historic homes with elaborate gardens.
Most wedding venues in New Orleans are not all-inclusive. Many of them offer a variety of packages, but don’t take care of all of the costs upfront.
Many of the wedding venues partner with in-house restaurants to create delicious menus. Others allow you to bring in vendors from a specific list. Some are all-inclusive but it’s a bit more difficult to find. Some venues offer fun local add-ons, including jazz bands and Second Line parades before the party, where guests parade through the French Quarter with carousels while music plays. Most venues offer a day-of planner or the ability to work with one, and they can guide you through your wedding day journey.