Yup, it’s back! Our super popular Destination Wedding Location Series. We took a hiatus for a bit, but we know you missed it, so it’s back and better than ever because we’ll be sharing at least one location per month. And since today is Mardi Gras, where do you think we’re going? We’re headed to a New Orleans destination wedding to celebrate Fat Tuesday!
New Orleans is synonymous with Mardi Gras and debauchery which doesn’t really lend itself to weddings (more like bachelor/bachelorette parties), but the city is so much more than Mardi Gras. New Orleans is a vibrant city with French, Spanish and African and Caribbean influences. This is the city of jazz, amazing food, and tons of history. And if you take Solange Knowles and Alan Ferguson’s wedding as an example, it’s tons of fun.
New Orleans is a city of festivals like Mardi Gras, Jazz Fest and so many more. Festival season is February to May when the weather is cool. Hotel rates will be higher during this period and harder to find, so if you want to be in the city during a festival, you’ll want to plan in advance. During this time frame, there will be many tourists in town, which could be fun if you want it to be lively, or not ideal if you’d rather the wedding be more low key. In contrast, the summer months are hot and humid and rainy, so naturally it’s also low season. Hotel rates are lower and there are fewer tourists, but the weather isn’t ideal. The fall is also low season and the weather is cooler than the summer, but keep in mind that it’s also the hurricane season (um…Katrina?). Winter is a nice sweet spot as the city is calm and cool and since it’s before the festival season, it’s in less demand. Plus the holidays mean the city is all spruced up.
Getting married in New Orleans is easy. You do not have to be a resident of Louisiana and no blood tests are required. You must be 18 years or older in order to marry without parental consent. Either the bride or groom must appear in person in order to apply for a license and the fee will vary by parish (usually about $25-35 though). You will need to bring picture IDs, certified copies of your birth certificates, and social security cards for both people. One thing to note is that there is a 72-hour waiting period from the time you receive your license to the date you can marry. However, if the services will occur in Orleans parish AND be performed by a registered Orleans officiate, that officiate can get the waiting period waived for you.
So, what kind couple would want a New Orleans destination wedding? This is a city full of life with lots of character. It’s bright and colorful (particularly purple, green, gold and white), a bit mysterious and lots of fun. It’s a city for the couple who enjoys oodles of culture, music, and dancing. This is a city for the couple who likes the charm of the south with a bit of a rougher edge. This is a city for the couple who wants and enjoys a party. Now I’m not talking college spring break craziness, but a party that won’t be contained by a room. This is a place where you can be boisterous and exuberant. Where else does the celebration spill out into the street? Where else does the band follow you? Where else is there a parade in your honor? Nowhere, but here.
(Photos credit for all photos: Josh Brasted/WireImage.com)