New Orleans knows how to host a party, and wedding celebrations are no exception. A marriage of Southern charm and antebellum elegance, the city offers so many incredible experiences in culture and cuisine. The ladies and gentlemen of The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans have put together their must-experience activities, restaurants, and bars for couples planning a wedding weekend in The Big Easy.
For early arrivals, a streetcar ride down St. Charles Avenue to experience the beauty of the garden district is highly recommended. Make a stop at The Columns Hotel, a New Orleans landmark, to sip a signature Bloody Mary or Pimms Cup, to start the celebrations off right.
Welcome guests and celebrate the evening prior to the wedding at Bacchanal, a backyard wine garden. A hidden gem in New Orleans’ hip Bywater neighborhood, this restaurant is known for their extensive wine selection and customizable cheese and cured meat plates. Guests will love the creative cocktails, impressive menus and live music.
Plush accommodations at The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans on Canal Street at the edge of the French Quarter will ensure travellers rest soundly in preparation of the big day.
It’s important to give a variety of options to guests for things to do the day of the wedding, especially if the ceremony and reception are not until later in the evening. For the bride, her bridal party and close family members, The Ritz-Carlton Bridal Tea is an elegant way to start the day. Enjoy delectable sweet and savoury selections along with English tea for a truly festive yet relaxing experience. Ask to book the Crescent View room on the 12th floor for sweeping views of the Mississippi River, or the Mercier Terrace for a private courtyard setting. Following the tea, enjoy pre-wedding pampering and event hair, nails and makeup at The Ritz-Carlton Spa.
For the more adventurous, take a bicycle tour with Confederacy of Cruisers, for some fresh air and to explore different New Orleans neighbourhoods. Experience the Tremé, Marigny, or Esplanade Ridge on an intimate group tour led by an expert guide. Extend the tour with the Pedal to Paddle tour and take a kayak on Bayou St. John.
For the culture-hound, a 10-minute drive from downtown New Orleans is Vue House and Gardens, a historic estate with a house museum and three hectares of gardens to explore. Longue Vue hosts a rotating schedule of local and regional artist exhibitions.
New Orleans is known for stunning gardens and old world architecture. The concierges at The Ritz-Carlton arrange private walking tours of the Garden District with an expert guide to learn about the history of the stately homes in this breathtaking neighbourhood.
Just before sunset, guests will gather in The Courtyard at The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans, a lush, outdoor venue featuring a wrought-iron gazebo and elegant fountain, to witness the bride and groom exchange vows. The celebration continues in one of The Ritz-Carlton’s recently renovated events spaces that blend southern sophistication and professional polish.
Post-reception, unwind in the Davenport Lounge at the hotel, where Grammy nominated jazz trumpeter Jeremy Davenport performs live Wednesday through Saturday.
For a post-wedding recovery brunch, New Orleans has options for all. Locals would suggest the famous Brennan’s, a French Quarter institution. Since 1946, this restaurant has been delighting guests with classic New Orleans dishes like eggs sardou and turtle soup. Of course, no meal at Brennan’s would be complete without their signature dessert, Bananas Foster, dramatically prepared for you tableside. Café Amelie, in the secluded Princess of Monaco Courtyard offers an intimate garden setting with a tempting Louisiana-inspired menu, while the Jazz Brunch at Arnaud’s is a decadent feast of the senses with Dixieland tunes and unforgettable dishes.