The Big Easy. NOLA. N’Awlins. Whatever you choose to call New Orleans, this vibrant and historic city is the perfect place to celebrate your love.
There are endless possibilities for wedding venues here, from decadent courtyards to charming churches. And when it comes to wedding photography, this Louisiana city offers some of the most amazing opportunities imaginable.
In this guide, I’ll give you a rundown of everything you need to know about planning a wedding in New Orleans.
Choosing a wedding date will probably be at the top of your wedding planning to-do list. And since you’re thinking of tying the knot in NO, you’ll want to keep a couple things in mind as far as dates go.
As you’re probably aware, New Orleans is huge on celebrations. There’s always a party, festival, or parade going on around here. And during big festivals, like Mardi Gras, hotels and venues book up fast, and traffic increases. So make sure you check out the city’s schedule of events calendar as you choose a wedding date.
Another thing to keep in mind is the weather. Spring and fall are your best bets. Springtime does bring the rain, but it’s predictable and often happens in the afternoon, so you can easily plan around it. October and November are also great months because they’re relatively dry and cool compared to the hot and humid summer months that come just before.
If you do decide on a summer date, make sure you and your guests stay cool and hydrated. If you have an outdoor wedding, pick a venue with lots of shade trees or near the water. Pass out fans (could double as programs or favors) or umbrellas (sunbrellas?). Stock a table with water and ice cold drinks. Maybe throw in some sunshades for people who forgot theirs at home.
And while we’re on the subject of sun, let’s not forget golden hour. We’ll definitely want to get some of those dreamy golden hour photos, so consider sunset times during your wedding season. The sun sets around 7pm in the spring and summer months and around 5pm in fall and winter. But don’t stress over this too much. We’ll talk about it when we start working on your photography timeline.
New Orleans is home to some incredible venues that are perfect for weddings. The French Quarter Courtyards, Preservation Hall, Race + Religious, Il Mercato, and the Audubon Tea Room provide elegant spaces for exchanging vows.
Personally, I’ve photographed couples at Il Mercato, Pharmacy Museum, and Race + Religious. All offer chic courtyard spaces and that dreamlike New Orleans ambiance. Especially at night when the twinkling lights come on, and the smell of bougainvillea drifts through the air.
You can even get married on the go. Hop on the Streetcar Charter and exchange vows as you coast down the road. And once you’ve said, “I do,” you can have your streetcar drop you off at your reception venue.
If you’re looking for a more traditional church wedding, there are plenty of churches to choose from in New Orleans. The Felicity Church is of my favorites. This nondenominational sanctuary is like something out of a storybook. It offers beautiful architecture and stunning glass windows that make for unforgettable photos.
There’s no shortage of cool stuff to do in New Orleans. And you can easily incorporate some fun activities into your wedding weekend.
One thing I highly recommend is a second line. This New Orleans tradition is a must-do for any wedding in the city. It’s basically a street parade with brass bands. Anyone accompanying the band is called the “main line,” and anyone behind the main line (the wedding party, for instance) is the “second line.”
Not only are second lines symbolic (they signify a new chapter together), they’re a great way to bring everyone together to create an epic memory. No one will forget strutting through a New Orleans neighborhood while a brass band plays. Plus, the photos! Just don’t be surprised if a few passersby jump in on the fun.
Another way to enjoy some New Orleans activities (and immerse yourself in the city) is to schedule a tour. Several companies offer them, including the Historic New Orleans Collection and French Quarter Phantoms. Or you could explore on your own by wandering through the French Quarter and the Garden District.
FYI: the French Quarter is probably the best place to have a second line. And the Garden District is home to the stunning Il Mercato I mentioned above. It’s also just a really charming area lined with lush trees, wrought iron fences, and big ole houses.
If you’re eloping, exploring the city might be an excellent way to spend your time celebrating love in the Big Easy. And we could capture some amazing photos along the way.
And speaking of amazing photos. It doesn’t quite matter where you get married in New Orleans or what time of year because the city will always present you with plenty of photo opportunities. The architecture itself offers an inspiring backdrop for wedding portraits. Colorful buildings, historic cathedrals, mystical mansions, whimsical lounges.
This city is alive and thriving with a big band heartbeat. It’s magical, really, and I couldn’t think of a better place to start the next chapter of your love story.
Of course, you’ll need some badass images to accompany the story! I’ll handle that part. Just send me a message, and we’ll get started. Let’s do this!