In this blog, I’m sharing the 8 of our favorite New Orleans Wedding Traditions. The rich culture of New Orleans weddings gives a guest experience like no other. Each element you add will draw guests into your personal story and your love for all things NOLA.
1. Cake Pulls
At your request, any New Orleans Bakery will hide small good luck charms attached to a ribbon at the back of your cake. Usually between the 2 bottom layers or between the stand and the first layer. Before the cake is cut, the Bride has her friends are called to the cake table. Each friend chooses a ribbon, on the count of three, they all pull on their ribbon and find their good luck charm. All the charms have meanings. Like if you get the ring, you’ll be the next to marry. If you get the streetcar, you have traveled in your future.
2. Street Vendors
Another way to include New Orleans Traditions, is to hire a New Orleans Street Vendor as part of your catering team. Roman Candy, Beignets, Lucky Dogs, Snoballs, Pralines, and Muffulettas are all NOLA favs. You could also bring in something from Brocato’s, which is more of an Italian tradition. But their treats are a local favorite, especially the cannolis and Italian cookies. Another idea is to make the hand grenade or the hurricane your signature drink. But I’d suggest only serving those for an hour or two, they are pretty strong!
3. Mule Drawn Carriage
You’ve probably seen the mule-drawn carriages parked in front of the Jackson Square. Royal Carriages is a 3rd generation family owned business that has been here for more than 75 years. They treat their mules with love and care, with the stable right here in the city. They also have a location on the Northshore and have a specialty carriage for weddings. Leave in a carriage and take a 30 minute ride around the city to wind down after your reception.
4. Dance Krewes
The next one comes straight from Mardi Gras. In between parade floats, there are troupes from formal dancing schools, high schools, and colleges. Intermixed with those are the self organized dance crews that are so much fun. If you’ve heard of any of them, you’ve probably heard of the New Orleans Sirens or the 610 Stompers. Get a dance crew to surprise your guests in the middle of the reception. It gives your guests a boost of energy and fun.
5. Second Line Parade
Next is the Second Line Parade. You can hire a brass band, get your own parade permit (check out our video on how to do that). and have your guests dance their way in the streets from your ceremony to your reception.
6. Mardi Gras Indians
You can also hire Mardi Gras Indians lead the parade. Purchase your own decorative umbrellas for you and your fiancé and custom hankies for your guests.
7. Go Cups
If you’re doing a second line, you may also want to know about Go-cups. Most the country has open container laws, but in NOLA you can take your drink with you from the wedding reception. Order some plastic Mardi Gras cups and personalize them with your wedding details. About 30 minutes before the end of the party, have your bar switch from glass to you go-cups. The best part about a go cup is that if you order too much, you can add them to your kitchen cupboard.
8. French Quarter Pictures
And the last tradition is one you cannot skip. Add some time into your timeline with your photographer to stroll the French quarter and take pictures. Stop in front of your favorite colors, get a picture on a balcony, in the middle of a busy street. The pictures and the experience are quintessential New Orleans.
Thanks for checking out this blog. Keep in mind that you can always create your own version of these traditions. Do something that represents you and your fiancé!
Thank you for reading and happy wedding planning!