You won’t be surprised to know that we are advocates of getting married in New Orleans regardless of season, but if you’re thinking about choosing a scorching summer date there are some things we thought you should consider. We’re going to cover every season, but while we’re sweating buckets right this second, summer weddings are on our minds.
New Orleans is home to some of the most romantic and spectacular courtyards in the country, rich with history and texture. If your dream is to have a summer courtyard celebration, you want to be sure you have air conditioning available as well. To be respectful to your guests and specifically the elderly, you’ll want to provide respite from the heat. The sun doesn’t set until 8:00pm in the summer here, so if you’re planning an outdoor ceremony it will definitely be sunny. Please be brief, and remember your guests arrive 20-30 minutes before you do. You could consider providing fans, umbrellas or tenting.
If you’re considering an outdoor venue for either the ceremony or reception you’ll be required to put a hold on a tent, and factor that cost into your budget. Stormy weather is extremely unpredictable in the Southern summer, so having a solid rain plan is key. You should expect to put a non-refundable $500 deposit down to hold a tent for your day. Depending on size the final cost can be anywhere from $1000-$5000 dollars (or more!). For your budget’s sake, you’ll want to know this potential number before you book the venue. Any venue representative should know the approximate cost.
New Orleans is known around the world for our Creole cuisine, but summer isn’t necessarily the time for gumbo. Think about your guests’ experience eating hot and spicy food, dressed in suits, in 90 degrees. Offering lighter dishes (local vegetables and seafood come to mind) makes sense in the warmer months, just be sure to consider where your buffets are being set up: salad and oysters won’t last long in direct sunlight.
Many New Orleans neighborhoods are totally walkable, but you shouldn’t expect your guests to be comfortable walking in their finery. Providing buses or pedicabs will make your guests feel taken care of, and will ensure they aren’t arriving with nasty armpit stains. Transportation for the bride (and groom, ok) is obviously necessary.
Steal the Deal
Many venues have open availability in the summer months as they are less popular. This not only means you’ll have an easier time picking the day you want, but you may also be able to negotiate a deal on pricing. This goes for vendors as well, but be aware that August is a month where many vendors skip town in search of cooler weather.
Be sure to talk to your makeup and hair team about creating a sweat and frizz friendly style. Blotting papers are magical.
Added again at the end for impact. Always figure in the cost of a tent if you do not have enough inside space for all of your guests to comfortably party. This can be an enraging last minute expense if it pops up out of the errrrr… dark grey and rainy sky.