Parasols raised, hankies waving and a brass band belting jazz, New Orleans wedding celebrations get the party started with a traditional Second Line Parade. Tradition weaves its way into most New Orleans weddings and honeymoons, coupled with a dash of modern panache that appeals to today’s globally minded couples. The city’s iconic romantic activities have “newlywed” written all over them: from a carriage ride through the French Quarter to the quaint Garden District with its wrought-iron balconies and historic homes, to leisurely jazz cruises on the Steamboat Natchez, the area’s oldest working steamboat.
Be sure to hop on a streetcar while you’re in town. With its polished wooden seats, the St. Charles Ave. line is a popular choice. Stop by the mahogany bar at the Columns Hotel for a mint julep while you listen to some live music and mingle with locals. Your honeymoon evenings might involve dancing cheek to cheek at any number of venues such as the Ritz-Carlton’s Davenport Lounge where headliner and namesake Jeremy Davenport blows his horn twice a week; the Irvin Mayfi eld Jazz Playhouse, a local music powerhouse; and Frenchmen Street, a district of music clubs and bars.
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Feast on turtle soup, eggs Sardou and chicory-laced cof ee at a leisurely Sunday morning brunch. You’ll fi nd fi ne examples of bold brunches and brazen live tunes at Brennan’s, The Court of Two Sisters and The Ruby Slipper Café. Once you’ve experienced the city’s signature étouf ées, jambalayas, gumbos and bread puddings, learn to make them at home. Langlois, The New Orleans Cooking Experience, and the New Orleans School of Cooking are fi lled with couples eager to replicate their honeymoons’ flavors in their own kitchens.
WEDDINGS Antebellum plantation homes, ornate churches and extravagant ballrooms are among the seemingly countless venue choices. HONEYMOONS Since New Orleans is on the water, cruise ships frequent the port. Honeymoon on a weeklong cruise that departs from the city. Tie the knot, celebrate and hop onboard. TOP TIP The New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau will help with wedding planning — for free. It will help you choose a date and a hotel that won’t confl ict with major conventions and events, and will arrange for visitor guides and materials to fi ll your guests’ welcome gift bags. CONTACT 800.672.6124, neworleanscvb.com