We talked about food and drinks in Part I of our Event Vision: New Orleans Inspiration Series. Today, we’ll focus on décor. Since your cocktail hour will be a less structured and traditional part of your wedding reception, you can really embellish with details and color. Unfortunately many people believe that the only thing available for New Orleans inspiration is Mardi Gras—which can quickly turn your event from a stylish fete into an instant cheesefest. There is so much more to New Orleans than Mardi Gras and food—however, the same principals can apply to your décor: go big and bold…with no apologies.
One thing New Orleans is known for is parasols. You can opt to use them as props for your pictures or photo booth, but definitely consider having them become an integral part of your décor. Don’t confuse them with the oriental parasols, but seek out colorful and ornate Victorian parasols and hang them from the ceiling of your tent or reception venue. They make a great entrance or lighting fixtures!
If your wedding is outside, you can still have your bit of New Orleans. One of my favorite things is the French Quarter’s wrought iron balconies. You can have your own variation by bringing in your own iron elements such as arches, gates and fences and hanging lush ferns from them.
New Orleans is an old city—full of rich history and culture. Many of its architecture and design influences come from baroque periods and designers. You can bring the old world into the new world by incorporating modern pieces like these tufted benches for seating and baroque mirrors and frames.
I really do love this arrangement of lush flowers on this antique gold stand. Its fullness makes up for its size but provides soft colors (but feel free to go bolder!) which will look great on cocktail tables and bistro sets.
Speaking of bistro sets, toss a few around in your cocktail hour if it is outside, along with some vintage street lamps. Both are a part of the New Orleans experience and can easily transport your guests.
Don’t forget your décor for your reception either—small touches like naming your tables after New Orleans’ famous streets, making your food buffet look like it’s part of a Mardi Gras float can bring so much authenticity to your event. Don’t forget about the music, either (you’d better not!): Play songs from natives like Louis Armstrong, the Marsalis brothers, etc. to get people in the spirit. If you really want to get people moving—when it is time to get your guests to move on to the reception, do it Mardi Gras style with a trumpet player playing “When the Saints Go Marching In” taking them into the reception pied piper style. If this doesn’t work for your event, you could always do it for your wedding reception entrance or send off, where guests can toss feathers and beads.
I hope this inspires you for your New Orleans’ themed wedding!
*Garnish*: for more inspiration, check out these links: