The Best Wedding Venues in New Orleans

The popular Race + Religious venue is our top choice

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French Quarter, concert in Jackson Square

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If you're been considering getting married in New Orleans, we've broken down the best venues, whether you’re looking for a small courtyard ceremony or a lavish, luxurious hotel party. Brides seeking intimate outdoor venues will gravitate towards the French Quarter’s lush courtyards, while others might want a rooftop celebration. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite venues, including affordable options, rooftops with views of the Mississippi River and the cityscape, and places where small weddings will feel like a big deal. 

Kelsey Reiss is the Lead Planner for Mint Julep Productions, which recently helped plan singer Michelle Branch’s romantic New Orleans wedding. "I love a venue that has the charm, history, and culture that make New Orleans so great," she said. She looks for beautiful and historic venues, and works to provide musicians, food, and cocktails to “encapsulate that contagious New Orleans energy for a couple's big day.” Many of the brides she works with want a "New Orleans feel.” Mint Julep Productions helps couples get that New Orleans energy either “aesthetically, with a place like Race & Religious, where you feel like you're in someone's French Quarter home surrounded by courtyards, in a building that was literally built with mud from the Mississippi River,” or with a combination of music, cuisine, tradition, and history. 

Read on for a taste of where you can get married in New Orleans, whether you’re a local or want an unforgettable destination wedding. 

Best Wedding Venues in New Orleans

Best Overall: Race + Religious

Race + Religious

Race + Religious

Key Specs

  • Price: $$
  • All-inclusive: No
  • Max Guests: 275

Why We Chose It 

Race & Religious is one of the most popular wedding venues in New Orleans and has an Instagram page that will make you want to bookmark every picture, whether it’s a bridal party posing in front of the exposed bricks or an intimate sit-down dinner with New Orleans-inspired touches. 

Pros

  • One of the most unique event venues in New Orleans with a focus on weddings 
  • Not a corporate hotel, although you can stay overnight with a small group of people 
  • Fits a larger number of guests than most small French Quarter courtyards 
  • Offers smaller elopement packages 

Cons

  • Lower Garden District isn’t walkable for people staying in the French Quarter 
  • The vintage vibe aesthetic is not for everyone
  • Some of the smaller and less expensive packages require booking your wedding on a specific day and at a specific time 

Race + Religious is a stunning venue in the Lower Garden District known for its Instagram-worthy courtyard. Receptions fit up to 275 guests and seated dinners have a capacity of 90. Guests can also choose to stay overnight with up to 11 people. There’s also an Elopement option on weekdays for small weddings, allowing people to rent the venue for up to two hours with 12 guests. The Petite Event package is also available on weekdays, hosting up to 40 guests. Pricing ranges from $8,000 to $25,000 depending on time of year, day of the week, and the package. 

Race + Religious is a venue rental only, but includes some amenities like tables, chairs, linens, security, vendor recommendations, and layout assistance. While the venue does not offer an event coordinator, a day-of coordinator is required. The bride and groom are allowed to bring in any licensed and insured vendors they want to create a one-of-a-kind experience for them and their guests. The Lower Garden District location is unique and there are many convenient new hotels nearby. It would also be accessible by streetcar if people aren’t driving. 

In 2003, Bille and Granville Semmes started renovating properties and connected them with a bougainvillea-lined courtyard and a swimming pool lit by gas lamps (and yes, you and your new husband can climb in for photos). Bille and Granville went on to curate the property with artwork created by family members, vintage Chateau antiques, and local antiques. The antique dealer they worked with was searching for a wedding venue at the end of their project, asked if she could get married on the property, and had the first Race + Religious wedding. The reviews on the Facebook business page are extremely positive. 

Notable Amenities

  • Fee includes bridal suite, chairs, linens, and tables 
  • Swimming pool on site
  • Street parking with the option to add on a parking lot across the street

Most Affordable: The Cabildo

The Cabildo

The Cabildo

Key Specs

  • Price: $
  • All-inclusive: No
  • Max Guests: 500 cocktails reception, 100 seated dinner 

Why We Chose It

The Cabildo is one of the most historic sites in New Orleans. While some of the restrictions can be strict since it’s a museum, it’s worth it to spend your special day surrounded by history and next door to the iconic St. Louis Cathedral in the heart of Jackson Square. 

Pros

  • The Cabildo is a historic museum next door to one of the most memorable backdrops in New Orleans—the St. Louis Cathedral, ideal for pictures 
  • Ceremonies at The Cabildo are much more affordable than other places
  • Easy for guests to get to as it’s located in the heart of Jackson Square in the French Quarter 

Cons

  • While ceremonies are inexpensive, having your wedding party at The Cabildo as well will add up quickly
  • Strict rules since it’s a historic location, including no red wine in case of spillage and no confetti  
  • Seated dinners are smaller than cocktail receptions 

The Cabildo is one of the most famous spots in the French Quarter, located in the heart of Jackson Square. It was built in 1799 as the seat of the Spanish government and was then the site of the Louisiana Purchase transfer ceremonies in 1803. It’s now a museum with interesting artifacts, and you can rent the entire space. The gallery on the second floor has enormous windows that are perfect for wedding photos. 

The rental fee is $1,900 for a ceremony-only wedding. A tax-deductible donation is required for parties. It costs $3,000 for three hours and $1,000 each additional hour. Early building closure costs $250 per hour. There’s a clean-up and repair fee of $200 to $300 depending on the time of day. Wedding planning services are available and amenities include separate bride and groom’s dressing areas, security, venue set up and clean up, a day-of coordinator, public parking, and a dance area. 

Because it’s a historic location, there are restrictions. You must provide your own alcohol; the venue must approve all decorations; liability insurance required; and music is allowed indoors only and must end by midnight.

The Cabildo is run by the Louisiana State Museum, which also rents the Old U.S. Mint if you’re looking for a different historic locale. The museum provides a list of available caterers, including New Orleans favorites like Dickie Brennan’s Tableau and Galatoire’s. Online ratings describe the staff as accommodating and praise the historic touches.

Notable Amenities

  • Bride and groom’s dressing rooms, security, venue set-up and clean up, and more
  • Public parking nearby as well as streetcar access 
  • Day-of wedding coordinator

Best for All-Inclusive: Southern Oaks

Southern Oaks

Southern Oaks

Key Specs

  • Price: $$$
  • All-inclusive: Yes
  • Max Guests: 400

Why We Chose It

Southern Oaks, which offers packages in multiple price ranges and is extremely transparent about pricing, features a mansion surrounded by oak trees with striking lakefront views—and the venue allows the bride and groom to add on special New Orleans touches, from beignets to a jazz band. 

Pros

  • Venue offers multiple all-inclusive packages as well as fun local add-ons including a brass band and beignets 
  • Parking is provided as well as a tram and overflow street parking 
  • Venue is near the airport

Cons

  • Does not offer food tastings because the menu is all-inclusive
  • Some aspects not included like a photographer, florist for the bridal party, officiant, and wedding cake bakery (although the venue provides a list of potential vendors)
  • Location can be difficult to get to for guests as it’s in the suburbs

Southern Oaks offers multiple all-inclusive packages with unique add-ons that make wedding planning easy. The three-hour reception package includes hors d’oeuvres and entrees, an open bar, a DJ, private candle-lit dinner for the bride and groom, personal attendants, professional coordination, security, centerpieces, and much more. 

The cost starts at $18,500 for 100 guests on a Friday night and $21,700 for 100 guests on a Saturday and goes up from there. For 400 guests, the cost is $31,200 on a Friday and $35,400 for a Saturday. You need to provide your own photographer, florist for the bridal party, officiant, and wedding cake bakery, but the venue provides a list of vendors. 

After the ceremony, guests are treated to a 30-minute reception service under the live oaks, as well as seating on the lawn. There’s also an indoor option in case of inclement weather. 

Notable Amenities

  • Add-ons include a New Orleans jazz band, a Cafe du Monde beignet truck, and more 
  • Event coordinator as well as personal attendants 
  • Free guest parking in a lot that accommodates about 100 vehicles, as well as a gas-powered tram and overflow street parking

Best for Small Weddings: Cafe Amelie

Cafe Amelie

Cafe Amelie

Key Specs

  • Price: $
  • All-inclusive: No
  • Max Guests: Maximum 150

Why We Chose It

This sweet cafe with royal ties offers one of the most romantic courtyards in the French Quarter, complete with lush greenery and twinkling lights. It would be a lovely backdrop for a small, intimate ceremony with truly decadent New Orleans cuisine. 

Pros

  • One of the most romantic courtyards in New Orleans with lovely, lush greenery
  • Has ties to the Royal Family of Monaco so you’ll feel like a princess
  • Location in the heart of the historic French Quarter makes it easy for visitors to get to 
  • Royal Street location makes it easy for guests to find and fun for after-parties 

Cons

  • Best for smaller weddings as the max is 150 guests 
  • Outdoor courtyard is the draw so don’t book during hurricane season 

Café Amelie has one of the most romantic courtyards and a great location in the French Quarter. The café was founded in 2005 and has unexpected royal ties. It was named for Amelie Miltenberger, the mother of the first American Princess of Monaco, who lived in a connected townhouse in the 1800s.

The outdoor courtyard looks stunning in photos. The restaurant is in a central location in the French Quarter, which makes it easy for guests to walk to if they’re staying downtown. It's open for brunch and dinner, as well as private events if you would rather host a post-wedding brunch instead. And it’s also easy for guests to go to after-parties in the Quarter if they choose. 

This sweet local spot is independently owned and operated. Rental charges for a private event begin at $5500 for four hours, including a $500 refundable damage deposit. Food, beverage, and staffing are additional but handled by the in-house event team. Wedding packages are offered for 100 guests, 125 guests, or a maximum of 150 guests.

While it’s more difficult to book an event at the moment due to the pandemic, add this venue to your list for future planning - it’s worth it. 

Notable Amenities

  • An in-house events team can help with food and staffing, for a fee

Best for Rooftop: NOPSI Hotel

NOPSI Hotel

NOPSI Hotel

Key Specs

  • Price: $
  • All-inclusive: No
  • Max Guests: Up to 150

Why We Chose It

This hotel has a truly fun rooftop with stunning views of the city and the Mississippi River. If the rooftop isn’t for you, the historic hotel also has a ballroom. 

Pros

  • Stunning cityscape views and a rooftop pool 
  • Indoor ballroom in case of inclement weather 
  • Easy to book room blocks for guests 
  • Central Business District location convenient for guests

Cons

  • Rooftop also used as a bar so will need to rent in its entirety 
  • Indoor event space isn’t as unique as the rooftop 

NOPSI opened in July of 2017 and occupies the former headquarters of New Orleans Public Service, Inc., but has since been completely redone while maintaining its history. The lobby still has its original entrance as well as the original transaction tables where New Orleanians paid their bills.

Above the Grid rooftop pool and bar offers an incredible cityscape backdrop for wedding parties that will be perfect in photos. Located in the Central Business District, it’s equidistant from the French Quarter and the nearby Garden District. The rooftop bar is a great wedding location and so is the former loading dock, which is now a ballroom, complete with the original brick, plenty of natural light, and chandeliers. 

The rental fee is $4,000 for an outdoor reception or ceremony. There is a food and beverage minimum applied to all events. The venue allows three hours of event time excluding set up and clean up time. Couples booking this venue should check which offers the hotel is featuring (they have seasonal wedding promotions).

Notable Amenities

  • Rooftop bar offers cityscape views and there’s also an indoor option in case of inclement weather 

Best for Outdoor: Eliza Jane Hotel

Eliza Jane Hotel

Eliza Jane Hotel

Key Specs

  • Price: $
  • All-inclusive: No
  • Max Guests: 50 for a ceremony only, 175 for a reception utilizing the courtyard and indoor space

Why We Chose It

The lush courtyard provides the perfect backdrop for an intimate outdoor wedding in a convenient location for guests. The hotel, which was previously a printing house, has historic ties and was inspired by poet turned publisher Eliza Jane Nicholson. 

Pros

  • Lush courtyard is perfect for an intimate outdoor wedding
  • Hotel can provide custom catering from its French brasserie, Couvant
  • Guests can stay at the art deco hotel, which has 196 rooms and 50 suites 

Cons

  • One of the smaller venues, especially if you have a courtyard wedding 
  • Part of the Hyatt hotel collection, even though it has a fun, local feel
  • Standout courtyard doesn’t fit as many guests for a ceremony as the venue can fit for a reception 

The Eliza Jane Hotel’s open-air courtyard is ideal for an intimate wedding, complete with beautiful exposed brick and a Venus-inspired fountain by local artist Brent Barnidge. The hotel has an ideal location that makes it convenient for guests staying in the French Quarter, Central Business District, and Arts District as the hotel is on Magazine Street downtown. The boutique hotel is part of the Unbound Collection by Hyatt.

The hotel has historic ties as it was inspired by 19th century New Orleans poet-turned-publisher Eliza Jane Nicholson, who was America’s first female publisher of a major paper, and the property was previously a printing house.

Fifty guests fit in the courtyard for a ceremony only but the venue can host 175 for a reception utilizing both the courtyard and indoor space. This is an inexpensive option, with room rental rates on the courtyard $2,000–$3,000 depending on the time of year and event set-up expectations. There are three different food and beverage packages that can be chosen or the hotel can custom create a menu if the couple has a specific vision.

The venue has all five-star reviews on WeddingWire and the hotel has 4.5 out of 5 stars on TripAdvisor. 

Notable Amenities

  • Three different food and beverage options make wedding planning easy and the hotel will also work with you to create a unique menu
  • Property has a Conference Service Manager who handles hotel elements including set-up, time frames, and menu detailing

Best for Luxury: Windsor Court Hotel

Windsor Court Hotel

Windsor Court Hotel

Key Specs

  • Price: $$$ 
  • All-inclusive: No
  • Max Guests: Depends on which space you choose but 500 for maximum capacity in La Chinoiserie 

Why We Chose It

Windsor Court is one of the most elegant, luxurious hotels in the city. After a multi-million dollar renovation, it’s an ideal spot for weddings given its multiple options, including a top floor space with epic views. 

Pros

  • One of the most elegant hotels in New Orleans, it underwent a multimillion-dollar renovation in 2018
  • Event planner deals with many of the major details 
  • On-site catering makes it easy to customize dining options  
  • Location in the Central Business District makes it convenient for visitors 

Cons

  • Doesn’t have an outdoor courtyard like many other local hotels 
  • One of the pricier wedding package options
  • Rooms are expensive

The Windsor Court is known for being the most luxurious hotel in town, and it's a favorite with celebrities who stay in the city (including Oprah), especially as more television shows and movies have been shot in New Orleans.

If you’re looking for a little bit of Hollywood glam mixed with a bit of British charm, you’ll love Windsor Court. The Preferred Hotels property was developed by James Coleman, Jr. in 1984 and was purchased in 2009 by The Berger Company in partnership with Crow Family Holdings. The hotel underwent a $15 million renovation in 2018 and is now more luxurious than ever. The hotel is also famous for its afternoon tea, a lovely pre-wedding bridesmaid activity. 

The venue offers multiple packages depending on the room you’d like to book and the number of people you’re hosting. The rooftop overlooking the Mississippi River is perfect for wedding photos, as it was completely redone and has the longest pool in the city at 65 feet. There’s also a spa for wedding prep. The Grill Room is great for the groom to enjoy drinks, as its dark wood makes it hyper-masculine. There’s an outdoor option for photographs and an option on the top floor, but most of the spaces are indoors. 

Windsor Court has a prime location, close to the French Quarter, the Central Business District, and the Lower Garden District. It’s walking distance from many of the city’s major tourist destinations, including Bourbon Street, the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, the World War II museum, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, and the Superdome.

Event space options include the Library, which accommodates up to 50 guests in the 648-square-foot space, and La Chinoiserie, with outdoor terraces and skyline views. 

Event planners are able to coordinate all of the details, including vendor referrals, room block reservations, decorating and entertainment coordinating. There’s also customizable catering. 

Notable Amenities

  • Event coordinator deals with everything from decorations to making room block reservations  
  • Catering services offered with a culinary team led by Executive Chef Vlad Kogan

Final Verdict

Mint Julep Productions local wedding planner Kelsey Reiss said the most popular venues all have one thing in common: "'that ‘New Orleans feel.'" “They’re all so different from a typical wedding venue that you'd find in another city. These venues are all unique and most of them are in buildings that are over 100 years old, which gives a wedding a sense of historical depth. They all create a beautiful and enchanting backdrop for clients, both local and destination, to enjoy on one of the biggest days of their lives.” All this to say: it's hard to go wrong with any of the above venues.

But if you have to choose just one, Reiss recommends Race + Religious, the best overall winner. It's such a standout venue that the wedding planner actually chose it for her own big day. “I've always loved Race + Religious, so I knew that's where I would want to get married. The charm, the beauty, and the detail create such a cool space. We were also able to bring in our caterer and bar, which was super important to us since food plays such a huge part in not only the wedding, but the reputation of New Orleans as well.”

Kelsey often tells her clients to make sure to show their guests the city, so add that to your weekend planning. “If clients want to have one event of the wedding weekend in the French Quarter, I always recommend choosing a different part of town to host another event that weekend, just to show their guests some of the other assets this city has to offer. I also always recommend having a second line! Parading through the streets is a great way to either kick off your reception or end the party with a bang.” (Note: a second line is a traditional New Orleans wedding parade.)

How to Choose Wedding Venues in New Orleans

We looked at a variety of New Orleans venues, from hotels to cafes and event spaces, to make sure there was a mix of options. We consulted with New Orleanians, including brides, as well as residents who had attended multiple weddings in the area to learn about their experiences. 

We looked at wedding planning services, local wedding publications, and the reviews for weddings. We also focused mostly on central New Orleans, keeping convenient location in mind.

We tried to find venues that have that extra something special, whether it was a stunning courtyard, a swimming pool, or a rooftop view. All of the venues provide something different, whether it’s an inexpensive option at a famous museum or an elegant evening at an all-inclusive mansion.

Guide for Choosing the Best Wedding Venues in New Orleans

Is a Wedding Venue in New Orleans Right for You?

New Orleans is the ultimate wedding destination because it truly offers something for everyone, whether you’re looking for an old-school Southern vibe complete with a second line, an unforgettable party followed by a night out in the French Quarter, or an elegant affair in the Garden District. 

New Orleans has many unique hotel venues, which also makes planning easy. Your guests won’t have to go far and you won’t have to worry about transportation. The city is also extremely easy to get to, complete with a recently redone airport. Guests can come from all over and easily Uber around without renting a car or dealing with public transportation (although taking the streetcar is always a sweet touch). 

The city, while known for the French Quarter, Bourbon Street, and beignets, also has so much more to offer. Guests can visit art museums, historic houses, and spend time in Audubon Park once the ceremony is over. There are also so many incredible restaurants, whether guests are interested in Southern cuisine or more innovative fare. If you’re a Southern bride, it’s the perfect place for all of your guests to gather. 

Another huge highlight? The stunning French Quarter courtyards that make outdoor weddings romantic, with just the right hint of Southern flare. Many restaurants, cafes, and hotels have their own courtyards, complete with antique lighting pendants, exposed brick perfect for Pinterest pictures, and some even have swimming pools. 

Comparing Wedding Venues in New Orleans

If you’re choosing a New Orleans venue, there’s a lot to take in consideration. Package prices, venue amenities, and of course the size of your wedding also must be considered, as some of the spaces and courtyards can’t fit many guests, especially for a ceremony. 

  • If you’re looking to keep the price down, consider one of the small courtyard venues in the French Quarter or Lower Garden District. Many of these venues offer small packages for brides who only want to host a small party, although many times these will have limitations based on date and time. 
  • If you’re planning a larger wedding, a hotel in the French Quarter might be your best bet, as they’ll have room for far more people than a smaller venue or restaurant. Other options could include large event venues in Metairie or other neighboring suburbs, though that makes it more difficult for guests to travel to the festivities. 
  • Unfortunately, most venues don’t offer parking, so it’s easier if your guests fly in for the event or drive in and then walk to a nearby location. You can also consider a party bus. Many New Orleans brides choose a Second Line, or parade complete with umbrellas, handkerchiefs, and a brass band, as a way to get from the ceremony to the party. 
  • A downtown location will probably be most convenient for your guests. That way, they can stay in the Lower Garden District, Central Business District, French Quarter, or Marigny and still be close enough to easily get to the venue.  
  • While New Orleans has many event venues that are dedicated to weddings, some of the best venues are the local hotels because they’re all so unique. By getting married at a hotel, your guests can all stay on the property which makes it easy to host a destination wedding. 

Book Your New Orleans Wedding Venue Today

If you’re considering booking a New Orleans wedding, many of the venues are transparent about costs, although some require you to call or inquire through the website. The all-inclusive options are more difficult to find, but those are the venues that truly break down the costs. Other venues offer a cost to rent the venue and provide some amenities and then will work with you and/or a wedding planner to bring specific vendors in and make the day really special. If you can’t find prices online, it’s easy to inquire with the forms provided or call/email the venue. Many of these venues are even active on Instagram and can respond to quick questions there.

FAQ
  • How Much Do Wedding Venues in New Orleans Cost?

    The most inexpensive options can start around $100 if you just want an extremely simple French Quarter elopement ceremony, but most have starting costs of around $3,000 or $5,000 depending on the venue. The all-inclusive venues can range up to around $20,000 because they include food, DJ, decorations, and more.

  • Where Are the Most Beautiful Wedding Venues in New Orleans?

    The most beautiful wedding venues in New Orleans tend to be historic locations downtown. The French Quarter has stunning courtyards that are unlike any other location. The Lower Garden District also has special venues that stand out because of their deep history, antiques, and beautiful outdoor spaces. Some of the rooftop options are also lovely because you can capture the New Orleans skyline. The surrounding suburbs also offer some beautiful venues, including historic homes with elaborate gardens.

  • Are Wedding Venues in New Orleans All-Inclusive?

    Most wedding venues in New Orleans are not all-inclusive. Many of them offer a variety of packages, but don’t take care of all of the costs upfront.

  • What Do Wedding Venues in New Orleans Offer?

    Many of the wedding venues partner with in-house restaurants to create delicious menus. Others allow you to bring in vendors from a specific list. Some are all-inclusive but it’s a bit more difficult to find. Some venues offer fun local add-ons, including jazz bands and Second Line parades before the party, where guests parade through the French Quarter with carousels while music plays. Most venues offer a day-of planner or the ability to work with one, and they can guide you through your wedding day journey.

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