Whether you are a local or planning a destination wedding, anyone getting married in New Orleans can experience a classy, traditional, and FUN wedding in this city.
As the summers in New Orleans can be unbearably hot, the best time to be married there is in the spring or winter, when the temperature is cooler. However, from February through May, the city holds numerous festivals, including Mardi Gras, which can make it overwhelmingly crowded.
This makes winter the best time for a wedding when the prices are lower and the streets are clearer. A winter wedding in New Orleans can be a delightful, once-in-a-lifetime experience. Here are a few ideas for a magical winter wedding in New Orleans.
Why New Orleans?
New Orleans is the land of jazz and blues, scrumptious Creole dishes, warm accents, and even warmer Southern hospitality. The natural beauty, the distinct variety of culture, and the vibrant people give a unique glow to this bustling port city.
The city has beautiful architecture and greenery. Most of the indoor venues are at least a century old (if not more!). The outdoor venues are numerous, including courtyards, gardens, streets, and even on a cruise on the Mississippi River.
You will see trees everywhere you go, and the gardens are filled with flowers that are either colorful or fragrant or both. The day temperatures in the winter are perfect and range from around 50 to 65 degrees Farenheight.
Picking the Venue
Venues are one of the key reasons why weddings in New Orleans are always memorable. Most venues in New Orleans are so beautiful that some people spend very little money decorating them!
If you are looking for an indoor venue, you can let the style of architecture be your guide. Here are a few notable wedding venues you can choose for your winter NOLA wedding:
- A sophisticated venue with intricate design details is Magnolia Mansion Hotel. Situated in the elegant Garden District, this Victorian-style manor and its surrounding property can hold a wedding party of up to 500 people. The classic interior of this boutique hotel has a haunting beauty that does justice to the city’s gothic reputation.
- Another notable wedding venue is the Il Mercato, a Spanish colonial-style establishment. The venue was once a food market in the Garden District, but now it has been converted into a wedding venue that has the capacity for up to 225 guests for seated dinners (or 450 for a cocktail-style reception). It has a beautiful courtyard and Spanish-influenced interior, making it perfect for an indoor-outdoor blend wedding.
- Beauregard-Keyes House and Garden is a historic mansion built in the Greek Revival style. This house residing in the heart of the French Quarter is currently a museum but is commonly used as a wedding venue. This property is nearly 200 years old, so choosing to marry here is like adding a piece of history to your treasured memories. It can entertain 250 guests.
- Elms Mansion is another historic mansion built more than 150 years ago. It is a classy Italianate building with a tastefully landscaped garden; however, the house and the garden are not the scene-stealers for this venue. One of the key attractions of the mansion is the gazebo situated in the garden, which often becomes the place where the vows are exchanged or where the couple has their first dance.
Other Possible Venue Options
- Riverboats: Float down the beautiful Mississippi river as you start your new life with your partner in front of your friends and family. Riverboat weddings are romantic, unique, and a perfect choice for people who love the water.
- Opera Houses, Museums, or Other Old Establishments: Marigny Opera House is a prime example of an old establishment that can serve as your wedding venue. Almost every museum in New Orleans offers itself as a wedding venue, each with their own attributes that make them unique.
Enjoying the Outdoors in Winter
One of the perks of a winter wedding in New Orleans is that you can hold an outdoor wedding with ease. The weather is super comfortable, so the bride won’t have to worry about freezing to death (or roasting) in her wedding gown.
Most of the venues mentioned above have gardens where the main event can take place so that the pleasant weather and the beautiful nature can enhance your wedding experience.
The city’s handful of botanical gardens is also great for hosting a wedding. You will find azaleas still in bloom during the early winter days. The bright and colorful camellias also adorn the gardens in winter, along with other winter blooms.
Evening reception parties can be a hoot in New Orleans, even in winter! If you want a lively affair where everyone is having fun, NOLA is perfect for your destination weddings. The best part of having an evening reception is getting to have a party with dancing and live music. New Orleans is one of the best cities in the country for live music so you’ll have a ton of options. Hiring a local jazz or brass band means that you can light up the dance floor with excellent music and lively vibes.
If you want to throw a night reception in the true Creole style, hold your reception in any of the many French Quarter courtyards. When the reception is held outdoors, fairy lights, hanging lamps, and other romantic lighting elements can create a magical atmosphere that is both intimate and gorgeous to photograph. The night ambiance there will leave a lasting impression on your guests and make your wedding unforgettable. This is particularly recommended for anyone who has dreamt of having a French Quarter wedding.
The holiday lights are lit on the first Friday after Thanksgiving and stay up until the 1st of January. During this time, the entire city is beautifully adorned with lights, making it a holiday wonderland. Imagine the gorgeous florals we could design for a holiday wedding! This is a great time to have an intimate wedding in one of the many churches in the city.
Winter Wedding Florals
Winter is fabulous for wedding floral design! We can use the most sumptuous, dramatic colors in the arrangements, or we can keep it ultra-classic with whites and ivories. The selection of flowers in season is exquisite as well: Amaryllis, Anemone, Camellias, Casablanca Lilies, Forget-me-nots, French Tulips, Gardenias, Holly, Jasmine, Orchids, Mini Gerberas, Paperwhites (Narcissus), Poinsettias, and Roses. No matter which color palette you select for your winter wedding, luxe, custom floral design will make your celebration unforgettable.
Food and Drinks
New Orleans is blessed with some of the most wonderful food in the world so be sure to take full advantage of the amazing catering options at your disposal. Planning your wedding menu with a “generous helping” of New Orleans cuisine is an absolute must. Impress your guests with local food bursting with unique, mouthwatering flavors, especially the must-try NOLA seafood dishes.
The city also has its unique drinks, which were created due to its vibrant nightlife culture that has developed over 200 years of this port city’s inception. Famous NOLA drinks like Sazerac, French 75, Hurricane, Hand Grenade, and even Absinthe can become great wedding cocktails if you are looking for a vibrant, roof-raising reception party.
Having your wedding in New Orleans during winter is a great idea for a beautiful ceremony. Use these ideas to enhance your dream NOLA wedding. You can check out our galleries for more New Orleans wedding inspiration or contact us if you have any questions or would like a quote.