Summer Brides

April 29, 2013
Many couples choose to add the spice of New Orleans to the wedding of their dreams, surrounded by magnificent landmarks and the rich sounds and history of one of the world's most celebrated cities. Some desire an authentic Big Easy style wedding; others prefer an elegant Southern wedding, but whatever you can imagine can be created to assure your special day is filled with memories that will last a lifetime! Romance, after all, has always found its home in the French Quarter and is one of the many reasons that New Orleans is a top wedding destination.

Every wedding tells a story and it all begins with a proposal and a ring. Maison Royal can punctuate yours with exquisite jewelry. Their elegant selection includes vintage, contemporary, and custom designs to best express your personal taste. They have jewelry to complete your bridal ensemble when all eyes are on you, as well as gifts and favors for your wedding party. 501 Royal Street, (504) 524-5045.

Many New Orleans weddings follow the Roman Catholic tradition but have a distinct flair. Weddings in the French Quarter often begin with a ceremony at St. Louis Cathedral then the newlyweds reach their reception venue by a mule drawn carriage or by leading a "second line" preceded by a jazz band. A second line parade at a wedding signifies the beginning of wedded life. The second line band leads the wedding party and guests from the church to their reception or takes place during the reception. The second line originates from the African American jazz funerals and has evolved to become part of many New Orleans celebrations.

The French Market Corporation offers six blocks of wedding and reception possibilities, from the well-known iconic areas to more private, intimate settings for ten or 300 guests. These include Washington Artillery Park, offering a panoramic view of St. Louis Cathedral on one side and the Mississippi River on the other side, and Jackson Square Amphitheatre located directly across from Jackson Square. Latrobe Park and Dutch Alley are perfect for smaller events, while the Farmer's Market Pavilion is suitable for large scale events. Jeremy Smith, (504) 522-2621, Ext. 210.

What could be more romantic than expressing your love aboard the Steamboat Natchez as the sun sets on the Mighty Mississippi? From single couples to hundreds of guests, this last authentic paddlewheeler is an icon of New Orleans and offers catering and entertainment options for your bridal shower, bachelorette party, rehearsal dinner, wedding, or reception. Captains can perform the ceremony or you may invite your own. Food is created fresh on board, and full packages include cakes, flowers and more. Breathtaking views of the beautiful city skyline while floating down the Mississippi River make for a memorable event. (504) 569-1431.

The Royal Sonesta Hotel is the perfect backdrop for an authentic French Quarter wedding or reception. Their elegant Grand Ballroom with sparkling chandeliers can accommodate up to 500 guests. The Fleur de Lis Suite opens to the lush, tropical courtyard and is ideal for intimate gatherings. With over 25 years of experience in the wedding industry, their talented team can help plan every aspect of your big day. Suites are also available for bridal showers, bachelorette and bachelor parties, and honeymoons. Award-winning chefs John Folse and Rick Tramonto offer modern, imaginative reinterpretations of classic Cajun and Creole cuisine in their new Restaurant R'evolution, the ultimate venue for a bridal luncheon or rehearsal dinner. The setting in each of the six unique dining rooms is spectacular with designer drapes, textured white china, original artwork, soothing colors, and light filled spaces. The rooms vary in seating capacities from 10 to 40. For larger events, arrangements can be made for a Restaurant

R'evolution Event Menu in the adjacent Fleur de Lis Suite. 300 Bourbon Street, (504) 586-0300.

Plan a storybook wedding that you and your guests will always remember! Exchange vows on the open-air promenade deck aboard the newly renovated Creole Queen Paddlewheeler, a unique, fairytale venue offering romance on the river. From their fabulous cuisine to their elegant new decor, their event experts will make your wedding or rehearsal dinner an affair to remember! Afterwards, hold your reception in one of their elegant Victorian dining rooms. Complete wedding packages are available. (504) 529-4567.

The Hotel Monteleone offers many options covering everything from the hors d'oeuvres at your rehearsal dinner to the ice sculpture at your reception. Whether it's the grandeur of the Queen Anne Ballroom or a rooftop reception in the Riverview Room, every detail is handled with consideration to detail in making your most memorable experience of a lifetime. From a luxurious suite to a customized menu to a complimentary room on your first anniversary, your wedding will be as perfect as only the Hotel Monteleone can make it. Their wedding planner will help you create a package that will make your dream wedding a reality while ensuring your hopes and expectations are exceeded. 214 Royal Street, (504) 523-3341.

Wedding cakes in New Orleans come with ribbons embedded in the icing, a tradition that dates back to Victorian England. A charm is attached to each ribbon and all the bridesmaids simultaneously "pull" to find out their "fate." Each charm has a traditional meaning. A ring means "next to marry," a heart means "true love," a thimble means "old maid," a clover means "good luck," a fleur-de-lis means "love will bloom," a chili pepper means "red hot romance," a dime means "wealth," and a penny means "poverty." In keeping with the Southern tradition, weddings in New Orleans also feature a groom's cake that reflects his hobby or personality.

Fit Camp is a Boot Camp class that is a great way for the entire bridal party to get into great shape. There is no better motivator than wanting to look your best for that special day! The group setting provides support, motivation, and encouragement from your trainers, other members, and even your bridal party! Check out Emily (pictured) "getting buff" along with her Groom; he lost 18 pounds in two classes!

Get away and pamper yourself for your special day in all that The Woodhouse Day Spa has to offer. Try hot stone and signature four-handed massages, facials, microdermabrasion, manicures, pedicures, body and skin treatments, reflexology, waxing, and over seventy treatments including some for the gentlemen! The Woodhouse Day Spa has been awarded "Favorite Day Spa" by American Spa Magazine's 2012 Professional Choice Awards and would be the ultimate place to unwind and treat yourself special while enjoying hot tea in a luxurious robe. 4030 Canal St., (504) 482-6652.

Experience a magical fairy-tale entrance for that special day as you arrive in an elegant mule-drawn four passenger wedding carriage while your guests await you. Your Royal Carriage driver, dressed in a suit or tuxedo, will pick you up from your hotel, church, or restaurant and deliver you wherever your heart desires. They also provide services for your wedding party and up to 100 guests in larger carriages. One way or round trip packages are available. (504) 943-8820

Consider these lovely options and more to make your special day as unique as the love it celebrates with a French Quarter wedding rich in history, tradition, charm, and elegance.