The second day of wedding planning in New Orleans started off with a 13-hour wait at BWI due to several flight delays, rescheduling, and all manner of bad luck. Yelena, meanwhile, was sound asleep in New Orleans without a care in the world. When she opened her eyes at 4 AM CST, there was a gigantic text message string from me detailing my multiple delayed flights. At that time, I was under the impression that I would still make it to New Orleans before lunch. Little did I know how wrong I would be.
The second day of the trip was filled with multiple appointments with various wedding venues with our wonderful wedding planner Belinda of Blue Gardenia Events. Due to my late arrival, Yelena had to attend all of the tours herself. Luckily, we always agree on aesthetic judgments, so I knew that we were in good hands.
Belinda picked Yelena up at 9 AM with a large cup of coffee and a breakfast sandwich to fuel up for the long day ahead. I, on the other hand, was on my second Snickers while explaining to my co-workers that every call will likely have the background noise of someone speaking on an intercom while I was un-muted.
Capital at Barrone
Yelena’s first stop was the Capital on Barrone which was originally built in 1927 as a bank. This was one of the reception locations we’ve been eyeing for several months and were excited to tour in person. Yelena excitedly told me that the pictures online didn’t even do it justice -- this was one of the most beautiful ballrooms that she had ever seen. The high ceilings, tall columns, and classic interior design made this a one of a kind venue.
New Orleans Museum of Art
The second stop was the New Orleans Museum of Art. This is the city’s oldest finest arts buildings known for its large sculpture garden situated among live oak trees covered in Spanish moss. They’re almost ready to unveil a totally new and modern event space early in 2021, which is one of the reasons we considered NOMA as a possible wedding venue.
Located in City Park surrounded by oak trees covered in Spanish moss, the Peristyle is a Grecian style open-air pavilion overlooking the Bayou. It was built in 1907 for parties, dancing, and all manner of events. We were considering doing our ceremony here and the Peristyle was just as picturesque in person as it was in the photos.
Galerie de Galatoire
I looked down at my phone and saw a text detailing how Yelena was touring a venue named “GG” which I later found out was Galerie de Galatoire. She later explained that it was too tricky to pronounce or type out, so she unilaterally gave it a nickname. This is a brand new building in the French Quarter, which has beautiful balconies and is catered by the famous chef of Galatoire’s Restaurant.
Right in the heart of Jackson Square next to the famous cathedral is the Louisiana State Museum, which is home to the Cabildo venue space. It’s an elegant Spanish colonial building with many rare artifacts, and was the site of the Louisiana Purchase agreement signing ceremony in 1803. It’s a multi-floor venue, which has a large sunroom upstairs for hosting events.
One of the more in-demand and architecturally significant buildings constructed in 1803 as a bank, Latrobe’s is a unique venue that is located in the French Quarter. Interestingly, features of the original building like the bank vault are still part of the building and add novelty to the venue.
Yelena’s next stop was the Orpheum Theatre, where she was greeted with a sign warmly congratulating us on our engagement and champagne. The outside of the theatre was stunning and definitely one of the more beautiful buildings in New Orleans, which is located right on Canal Street. The interior is unique with a brand new speakeasy bar in the basement, as well as a separate whiskey tasting room.
The Roosevelt Hotel
Beautifully decorated for Christmas, Yelena knew that I would be a fan of the Roosevelt Hotel. It’s been in operation since 1893 and was home to some of the most powerful Louisiana political figures. The hotel has several ballrooms and a gorgeous rooftop perfect for a ceremony.
Marigny Opera House
This was originally a church that was repurposed as an opera house in 1853. It’s a stunning piece of architecture which isn’t far from the French Quarter. With high ceilings and beautifully stained glass, the Marigny would be a very unique and classical location for a wedding ceremony.
After a whirlwind day that included me working from the airport, eating like a five year old, and being awake for 20 hours, I arrived in New Orleans to find Yelena drinking wine and eating cheese for a holiday Zoom party. I quickly changed out of my travel clothes and we jumped in an Uber to eat at Justine’s with our good friends (and gracious hosts) Jess and Chris. The food was amazing. I would highly recommend the French Onion soup, Gulf Seafood Bouillabaisse, and the tartare.
Stay tuned for day three of our wedding planning adventures. And don’t forget to always see the world and eat the food.