Besides Mardi Gras, the French Quarter, and jazz, New Orleans is also known as one of America’s most popular wedding destinations. The reason many couples choose The Big Easy as the place to tie the knot is simple–they’ll be able to host a wedding highlighted by unique traditions, incredible cuisine, stunning venues, and can take their pick from among some of the best players in the world for musical entertainment.
Tourism is bouncing back to its healthy pre-Covid numbers
Now with Covid infection rates dropping and vaccination rates skyrocketing, more and more couples are returning to The Crescent City to say their “I do’s.” Hotel occupancy rates are back up and once again near full capacity. Likewise, tourism numbers are bouncing back nicely. New Orleans welcomed 19.75 million visitors in 2019, and expects to far exceed that number in 2021. Why? Positivity rates in the city are very low and residents are being vaccinated at a high number. Wedding parties can celebrate with 250 guests indoors and up to 500 in outdoor venues, and bars and restaurants are back to 100% capacity, making New Orleans the most been open since the pandemic began. Now is the perfect time to begin planning your special day in a city that truly (and safely) sparkles, both day and night.
The right venue makes all the difference for a New Orleans destination wedding
No matter what type of wedding you dream of, New Orleans can deliver it. With its stunning architecture, horse-drawn carriages, grandfather oaks, European roots, lush courtyards, and an undisputed history of knowing how to have a good time, it’s no wonder New Orleans has often been referred to as the most romantic city in America and a top wedding destination.
We boast one of the largest varieties of special event spaces in the country with everything from Rooftops to courtyards, and grand ballrooms to historic homes. Some of our favorites include Batture Bistro & Bar at ONE11 Hotel with its indoor/outdoor event space, The Rooftop on Basin with its sweeping views high above the French Quarter, and the historic elegance of the Chateau LeMoyne.
Turn to a seasoned pro to help plan the perfect New Orleans destination wedding
We are proud to have recently been awarded the NACE (National Association for Catering & Events) Awards for Menu of the Year and Best Catered Event Under $50,000. We have been in business since 1961, and are renowned for our stunning special event spaces throughout the city as much as we are for our food. One of our exclusive venues, the art-deco style Lakefront Airport was even named the “Most Beautiful Place to Get Married,” in New Orleans.
Don’t forget the authentic New Orleans cuisine
New Orleans has always been a crossroads of cultural diversity. With strong influences from French colonialists as well as Cajun, Creole, Caribbean, French, African, and Spanish settlers, the foods that have made the city famous are equally diverse and a melting pot of flavor. That’s why you should make sure you’re weaving these flavors and local ingredients into your catering menu for an authentic ‘Nawlins event—right down to the gumbo. To leave out dishes like crawfish etouffee, muffulettas, or BBQ shrimp would not only be missed opportunities, it would leave your guests questioning where the New Orleans is in your New Orleans catering menu.
Whether it’s full-service catering for a wedding for 200 or a corporate event for select shareholders, serving traditional New Orleans fare brings any event full circle.
Plan to incorporate some of New Orleans hottest trends in your NOLA wedding
Now that the wheels are turning about where to host your wedding and what to serve, think about weaving one-of-a-kind New Orleans traditions into your special day. Some new and some old, these traditions are the hallmark of why so many choose New Orleans for their destination wedding.
Unique Entertainment. While you might expect the bouquet or garter toss, father-daughter dances and cake cutting, many couples are dropping some of these traditional moments in favor of something unexpected. Think cultural dancers, drum lines, magicians, poets and the like. New Orleans has no shortage of cultural and unique entertainers to choose from.
Second-line wedding parades. We’ve all seen the brass bands followed by umbrella carrying revelers as they are a staple of many New Orleans events, ranging from Mardi Gras pre-parties to funerals. These types of parades date as far back as the Civil War, and are becoming more and more common in New Orleans destination wedding planning as a fun way to punctuate a perfect day or night.
Want to make the most of your NOLA destination wedding? Partner with a local
An experienced New Orleans caterer can make your NOLA destination wedding unforgettable for all the right reasons. From extraordinary menu options and table settings and food staging to lively spirits bars and inventive chef stations, Messina’s can tailor the catering menu to fit your unique tastes and budget and still give your wedding a distinctive New Orleans flavor. Learn more by visiting us at MessinasCatering.com.