Destination Weddings

Destination wedding help!

Hello,
My fiance and I are planning on a destination wedding in New Orleans in November 2018.  Only are close family/friends will be attending which is an approximate 40 people.  I am having a hard time finding a location for a ceremony/reception for 40 people.  Most of them are saying that we would need a minimal of 50-75 people.  
We are planning on a very simple ceremony/reception.  My uncle would like to officiate the ceremony and for the reception we're just looking for a relaxed atmosphere with music/dinner. 
Does any one having any insight on different New Orleans locations that would work for us?  
Thank you!
 

Re: Destination wedding help!

  • You might try the local board of this question.  Go the the "Wedding Boards". pull down to "Local Wedding Boards".  This is an international board, and most of us know little about your area.  Good luck!
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  • Thank you!  I will post there!
  • If a location requires a minimum of 50 people, they don't actually need you to have 50 people there. They just need you to pay the minimum costs for 50 people. If you spend extra on food/drinks to get to that level, I think it's very unlikely they will care that you only have 40 guests.
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    ahoyweddingSTARMOON44InLoveInQueens
  • Maybe @short+sassy would have suggestions?
  • If a location requires a minimum of 50 people, they don't actually need you to have 50 people there. They just need you to pay the minimum costs for 50 people. If you spend extra on food/drinks to get to that level, I think it's very unlikely they will care that you only have 40 guests.
    This is a good suggestion! I agree, from what I've seen, they just focus on the dollar amount that x number of people would bring in. Other posters have been able to upgrade the drinks, provide appetizers, etc etc in lieu of having the required number of people. 

    Also, think outside the box of "typical" wedding venues. Depending on what you want, restaurants with a larger room might be an option, or something like a bowling alley, barcade, etc. 

    Good luck! This sounds fun and I love New Orleans :) 
  • I live in NOLA, but don't usually frequent this board and missed the "call out" from @charlotte989875.

    My name is Jenny also :).

    I'm actually surprised you are having trouble finding something for only 40 people.  I've planned a few work Christmas parties in my day and had trouble finding venues that were LARGE enough, lol.

    If you're mostly looking at reception halls and that kind of thing, I could see the difficulty.

    If I were you all, I'd focus on private rooms at a restaurant.  SO many of those in beautiful and amazing restaurants.  Many of which do exactly this kind of thing and have catering menus.  I don't know what your all's budget is, but you can expect the prices to start at $75/person, including an open bar.  But most places will be more in the $100-$125/person range.

    You can probably find cheaper options also, but those are going to be more in the suburbs.  Just not the same "feel".  At all.

    My choices below are all in the French Quarter or are nice restaurants in the city proper.  I can't say for sure these places have rooms for 40 people or less, but it is a good bet:

    • The Columns Hotel on St. Charles Ave. -- This place is just gorgeous, inside and out.  I think it's on the historical registry and is right off the streetcar line.  I went to a wedding here with a guest list probably double yours, but the couple was using multiple rooms, opened up, for the reception.
    • Ralphs' on the Park.  It's in an area called "Mid City" that is 2-3 miles from the FQ.  It's right across the street from City Park.  It's a 4-star restaurant, but the prices aren't bad considering.  I eat here all the time and their food is top notch.  I've looked at them for a work Christmas party and they had a variety of room sizes that they could open up/close, depending on the size of the guest list.  My co-worker's daughter got married here and they were very happy with this choice.  Not sure their guest list size.
    • Galatoire's.  or Brennans.  Both in the FQ.  4-star world famous restaurants.  I'd bet they're spendy, a typical entrée is $30-$50/person, but great food.  If you happen to go with Brennans...or just go for dinner during your trip...get the Bananas Foster dessert.  They invented that dish.  You're welcome, lol.
    • I think the official name is the "Audubon Room", but it is basically the restaurant in Audubon Park, near the zoo.  It's in an area called "Uptown" and is a few miles from the FQ, but right off the streetcar line.  I went to a work Christmas Party here once.  Very nice!  That party was enormous.  But it is also a restaurant and I strongly suspect can be closed/opened to accommodate a variety of guest lists.

    I hope that helps!  Feel free to PM me.

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    charlotte989875eileenrob
  • Thank you so much! I think i was looking at the wrong places, we really don't want a typical reception (no first dances/cake etc)  Just something thats very relaxed that my fiancé and I can celebrate with our family/friends.  I am just absolutely horrible at planning and don't know the right questions to ask different places  :s.  I will definitely look into the places that you recommended! Thanks again!
    short+sassy
  • Thank you so much! I think i was looking at the wrong places, we really don't want a typical reception (no first dances/cake etc)  Just something thats very relaxed that my fiancé and I can celebrate with our family/friends.  I am just absolutely horrible at planning and don't know the right questions to ask different places  :s.  I will definitely look into the places that you recommended! Thanks again!

    I don't know why I didn't mention hotels, lol.  I have a p/t job taking pictures of event boards in the downtown area (which is right next to the FQ).  I see weddings all the time on those boards.  Hotels are great for having a wide variety of meeting room sizes, which can be used for all kinds of events, including weddings.  There are a lot of hotels in the FQ/Downtown/Convention Center area. 
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