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Author name: Marcia

wedding photography costs

The Shocking Truth Behind Wedding Photography Rates

So You Want to Know the Real Deal About Wedding Photography Prices? Hey there! Planning your big day? Congratulations! Amongst all the exciting details, there’s one that might leave you scratching your head (and arguably the most important investment in your big day!): Wedding Photography Prices. Let’s be honest, they can seem a bit steep at first glance. But before you write off those photographers as fancy picture-takers with inflated egos, hear us out! The Truth Behind the Price Tag It’s easy to think wedding photography is just about capturing hours of your special day. But there’s way more to it than that! Wedding photographers invest a ton of time and effort into making your memories shine, both before and after the “I dos.” Think of it like this: you’re not just paying for those picture-perfect moments, you’re paying for the photographer’s expertise, experience, and the unseen hours behind the scenes. The Gear Game: It Ain’t Cheap Let’s talk shop! Those stunning photos you dream of? They come courtesy of top-notch cameras, lenses, flashes, the whole kit and kaboodle. And let me tell you, this stuff doesn’t come cheap. Photographers aren’t just rocking one camera either; backups are essential to ensure everything runs smoothly on your wedding day. On top of the initial investment,keeping this equipment tip-top requires maintenance, repairs, and sometimes even replacements. But Wait, There’s More! Being a wedding photographer goes way beyond fancy equipment. It’s about running a whole business! That means things like accounting, marketing, legal fees, website maintenance, and even software subscriptions for editing and galleries to showcase your photos. All these expenses add up, and photographers need to factor them into their pricing to keep their business afloat. The Hidden Hustle: Behind the Scenes While you might see your photographer for several hours on your wedding day, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. For every hour of shooting at your wedding, there’s even more hours of hidden work. Think editing (and more editing, and guess what… even more editing 🙂, marketing, client communication, social media, and so much more. It’s a full-time job ensuring a smooth shoot and delivering breathtaking final photos. Why Photographers Deserve Their Price Wedding photographers aren’t out there to squeeze every penny out of soon-to-be-weds. They set their prices based on their experience, the time they invest, and the need to make a living. Let’s face it, photographers have bills to pay too! Their pricing needs to cover things like housing, food, and keeping their lights on. In a seasonal business like wedding photography, unrealistic prices simply don’t cut it. Setting Realistic Expectations So, how much should you expect to pay? Well, it depends on the photographer’s experience. For beginners, packages might start around $1,500. This might seem low considering the importance of the day, but it’s a starting point. As experience goes up, so do the prices. Expect to pay between $4,000 and $12,000 (depending on how many hours of coverage you request) for photographers with a few years under their belt. For high-end photographers and destination photographers (who will travel to your far away dream location), the sky’s the limit! These are pricing packages for traditional weddings with guests. For elopements, pricing can vary tremendously depending on popularity of destination, if your photographer will also step in as your planner + their local knowledge of your chosen destination :). The value in finding a local photographer who knows all the ins and outs of your destination is priceless. A Word to the Wise: Beware of Rock-Bottom Prices If a photographer’s rates seem too good to be true, well, they probably are. Anyone can grab a camera and call themselves a photographer, but a true professional invests in their craft and runs a legitimate business. Going with a super-cheap option could mean blurry photos, equipment malfunctions, or even lost memories. Not exactly the fairytale ending you envisioned, right? Invest in Your Memories Let’s be real, capturing your wedding day in stunning photos is priceless. A talented photographer dedicates their experience, skill and time to preserving these memories for you and your loved ones. They deserve to be fairly compensated for their work. While the initial price tag might seem high, remember you’re investing in beautiful images that will tell the story of your special day for generations to come. It’s an investment worth making, just ask any friend that recently married. It’s likely they will say their photographer was worth every penny 🙂 If you would like to chat with an experienced wedding photographer, please don’t hesitate to REACH OUT!  We are happy to assist in any way 🙂  Congratulations to you both!

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elopement cake inspiration

Embrace the Bites: New Orleans Elopement Cakes That Wow!

The ceremony might be intimate, but the celebration doesn’t have to be small! While bouquets are a classic elopement tradition, here at Elope to Nola, we believe there’s also another way to add a touch of beauty and sweetness to your special day – the perfect elopement cake! Focus on Flavor: With an elopement cake, all you need to do is choose a flavor that tantalizes your taste buds and a design that reflects your love story. Here are ideas to get you started but you can also ask your baker if other non-traditional flavors/fillings are available:   Cake flavor options – Almond (white), vanilla (yellow), chocolate, marble (2 flavor swirl), red velvet (subject to limitations in hot weather) and special flavors (small additional charge). Filling options – Traditional buttercream, chocolate buttercream, fudge, pineapple, strawberry, raspberry, lemon, toasted almond, caramel, mocha, coconut and passion fruit. Special requests subject to availability and market price (i.e Fresh fruit) For Design Inspiration, visit our Pinterest Page HERE Additional helpful information from your baker, Chez Ru Rene Bakery: • Please provide any/all images of designs you like, at least 3 weeks prior to event date to determine if the details fit into the cake allowance. • Any elements on the cake i.e. flowers, appliques and any other embellishments may be subject to additional charges *Note- some elements may require substitution, due to lack of availability. • I will strive to achieve a design similar to the images provided and aim to minimize any additional costs. • Lastly, I recognize that this is a very special event and want to help you have the vision you are looking for 🙂 Guaranteed Freshness: We focus on seasonal ingredients and local ingredients, ensuring your elopement cake is not only delicious but also boasts the freshest flavors available during your special day. This means no long-distance travel for your cake, which translates to better quality and a lighter footprint. Beyond the Traditional Tiered Treat: Elopement cakes are all about ditching the expectations and creating a dessert that’s as unique as your love story. Imagine single-serving cheesecakes drizzled with caramel sauce, decadent chocolate cakes adorned with fresh berries, or a moist carrot cake with a cream cheese frosting – the possibilities are endless! Presentation Perfection: Who says a small cake can’t be a showstopper? Our partnered baker is an expert at crafting beautiful and elegant cakes. Think custom desserts that echo iconic New Orleans traditions like King Cakes or praline flavors, delicate sugar flowers, or a minimalist design with fresh, seasonal fruits. Making Your Cake Dreams a Reality: Here are some tips to consider when choosing your elopement cake: Elope to Nola: Your One-Stop Shop for Elopement Bliss Whether you’re exchanging vows under the iconic oak trees of City Park or saying “I do” amidst the lively atmosphere of Jackson Square, we’ll help you create an elopement experience that’s both intimate and unforgettable. And don’t forget the cake – the perfect finishing touch to celebrate the start of your forever together! Any questions,feel free to reach out! We are happy to assist!  Congratulations to you both 🙂

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micro wedding in new Orleans

Micro Wedding Ideas That Are Pure Magic

Let’s Talk About Your Dream Wedding (Because It’s Likely Not Going To Be Traditional!) Hey there, beautiful people! I’ve seen my fair share of weddings in my 10 years as a destination wedding & elopement photographer. From over-the-top extravaganzas to heartwarming courthouse ceremonies, I’ve witnessed every kind of love story unfold. But lately, there’s a new trend bubbling up, and let me tell you, it’s got my creative heart singing – micro weddings! Now, don’t get me wrong, a big, beautiful celebration is a joy to many. But for some couples, especially busy couples or second chances at love romances like yourselves, the traditional wedding just doesn’t fit the vibe. You crave something unique, intimate, and unforgettable. Well, guess what? Micro weddings are the answer to your wildest (and most personalized) wedding dreams! So, what exactly is this micro wedding phenomenon? Imagine this: instead of a guest list that reads like a phonebook, you have your closest family and a handful of cherished friends. Instead of a generic banquet hall, you say “I do” amidst a breathtaking tunnel of centuries old oaks, on a sunset drenched beach, or aboard a private sailboat on a serene Lake. Instead of a predictable sit-down dinner, you create a multi-course culinary adventure prepared by a world-renowned chef. This ain’t your mama’s wedding – it’s a celebration of your love story, tailored to your wildest dreams. But why a micro wedding, you ask? Well, besides the obvious perk of avoiding stress, multiple personalities & opinions, there are some incredible benefits for busy, adventurous couples like yourselves. Here are some pro-tips for planning a micro wedding that’s both intimate and unforgettable: So are you ready to ditch tradition and plan a micro wedding that reflects your unique love story? Here are some additional things to consider to make your micro wedding truly magical: Remember, your wedding day is a celebration of your love story, and it should reflect you as a couple. Don’t feel pressured to conform to outdated traditions. With a micro wedding, you have the freedom to create a day that’s intimate,unforgettable, and bursting with personality. So, grab your lovey and get ready to plan a micro wedding that’s as extraordinary as your love! And hey, if you’re looking for a photographer who specializes in capturing the magic of micro weddings, well, you know where to find me! I’m passionate about helping couples like yourselves create a wedding day that feels intimate,authentic, and absolutely unforgettable. Get in touch, and let’s chat about how we can capture the love story that deserves to be told. Go forth and plan the micro wedding of your dreams and congratulations to you both!

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top 10 elopement questions

Elope in NOLA: Top 10 Questions Answered for Your Dream New Orleans Elopement

Planning a New Orleans elopement? You’re in for a magical experience! Here are some of the most common questions couples ask to make their elopement truly unforgettable: Q: Where can we find unique and romantic elopement spots in New Orleans? A: Nola offers amazing options, whether you crave nature or urban vibes. Popular picks include City Park’s lush greens, Audubon Park’s historic charm, French Quarter’s hidden alleys bursting with character, or a stunning sunset ceremony aboard a private sailboat with the beautiful Lake Pontchartrain as your backdrop. Q: How much does an elopement typically cost? A: The beauty of eloping is that you control the budget! Costs vary depending on location, vendors, and desired experiences. Talk to your photographer about creating a package that fits your dream elopement. Q: Can we have guests at our elopement? A: Absolutely! Elopements can be just the 2 of you + 2 witnesses or include a small group. Decide what feels most comfortable for you as a couple. Most elopements are under 25 guests, anything more and the elopement becomes a wedding with more logistics and more planning. Q: Will we get all the elopement photos? A: Each photographer offers different packages. Most elopement photographers capture every moment and professionally edit them for a vibrant collection. Typically, they’ll also create some stunning black and white photos to add timeless elegance. Some photographers may only offer a selected amount of images for a discounted session fee. But in my experience, all digital hi res files are released. Q: What makes an elopement photographer different? A: Elopement photographers go beyond just capturing photos; they’re your elopement planning team! They focus on crafting a beautiful experience from consultations to your special day. Pro tip: Browse photographer portfolios to find a style that matches your vision. Q: We’re coming from out of town. Can you help with the marriage license? A: Getting hitched in New Orleans? No problem! Many officiants can guide you through the marriage license process, including the paperwork you’ll need (especially if you’re from out of state). All the packages we offer include your officiant who will personalize a beautiful ceremony for you both. Q: Help! We need hotel and hair/makeup recommendations! A: The best elopement photographers often are natives from the location you select and have a trusted network of local vendors. They’ll be happy to connect you with amazing hair stylists, makeup artists, musicians, restaurants and hotels that will make your elopement even more special. Q: Spill the tea! How can we create a meaningful elopement ceremony? A: Elopement ceremonies are all about YOU! Keep it simple or add special touches. Write heartfelt vows, choose a meaningful reading, or incorporate symbolic elements that reflect your love story. (We loved one couple who serenaded each other with their favorite song during their vows!) Q: What should we wear for our elopement? A: This is your big day, your way! When it comes to attire, comfort and confidence are key. Rock a classic wedding dress and tux, or embrace a more relaxed and adventurous look. Don’t be afraid to add pops of color and unique touches – the beauty of an elopement is that you can personalize everything, including your outfits! See inspiration dresses here! See our Done-For-You Packages OR Get In Touch With Us to start planning your dream elopement!

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elope to new Orleans

Top 5 Reasons To Elope To New Orleans

How Y’all Gonna Make Your Love Story Sing? By Eloping to the Big Easy! Hey there, lovebirds! Love doesn’t have to be about the big white dress and the guest list longer than yo’ mama’s grocery list. Sometimes, what your heart truly craves is an intimate, unforgettable elopements (see unique packages here!). And let me tell you, there’s no place on this good Earth that sets the stage for love’s grand symphony quite like New Orleans, Louisiana. Whether you crave enchanting romance, culinary delights, musical magic, festival fun, or easy elegance, the Big Easy’s got you covered. So, settle in, grab a cup of sweet tea, and let’s explore why New Orleans might just be the perfect elopement destination for you and your forever person. Reason Number ONE: Unforgettable Romance! New Orleans is practically synonymous with romance. Picture this: you and your soulmate standing beneath a canopy of ancient oak trees in the heart of City Park, sunlight dappling your faces as you exchange vows. Or maybe you envision yourself saying “I do” with your custom ceremony on a 35’ private chartered sailboat at sunset 🙂 Elopement packages in New Orleans can help you create this fairytale setting with ease. They’ll connect you with charming venues, from elegant courtyards to whimsical gardens, ensuring your ceremony is as picturesque and unforgettable as your love story. And speaking of pictures, let’s talk about capturing those precious moments… Finding Your Elopement Photographer: Capturing Forever in a Single Frame For sure you will want these memories to be preserved. That’s where a talented elopement photographer comes in. They’ll know all the city’s hidden gems, the perfect spots for a romantic stroll or a breathtaking portrait session. Whether you prefer a photojournalistic style that candidly documents your love story or a more directed approach with a touch of artistic flair, there’s a photographer in NOLA who can translate your vision into timeless images. Now, let’s not forget the after-party for two! Because even though you’re keeping things intimate, it doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate your love in style. Here’s where New Orleans truly shines… Reason Number Two: A Symphony of Flavors at Every Corner Food, honey, is love in its most delicious form. And let me tell you, New Orleans is a culinary wonderland. Imagine indulging in a decadent Creole feast after you say “I do,” the flavors exploding on your tongue like a second line parade. Or maybe you and your sweetheart crave something a little lighter, a romantic picnic brunch amidst the lush greenery of Audubon Park, with fluffy beignets for dessert (because no trip to NOLA is complete without beignets!). Elopement packages can often include the services of a talented baker, ensuring your elopement celebration is highlighted with a custom cake made just for you two.. NOLA offers endless options, from charming cafes to world-class restaurants. Reason Number Three: Music that Speaks to your Soul New Orleans, baby, is the birthplace of jazz. Music is woven into the very fabric of this city. Imagine having a jazz band serenade you and your love as you dance your first dance as a married couple, the soulful melodies painting the air with an extra layer of magic. Or picture yourselves wandering hand-in-hand through the French Quarter, the sounds of street musicians filling the air, creating a romantic soundtrack to your elopement adventure. Elopement packages can often connect you with local musicians, allowing you to incorporate the magic of New Orleans jazz into your special day. But even if you don’t have a band on hand, the city itself will serenade you with its vibrant spirit. Reason Number Four: Captivating Ambiance! This vibrant city, steeped in rich history and pulsating with infectious energy, provides a one-of-a-kind backdrop for your elopement. French Quarter Flair: Capture the essence of New Orleans with music filled streets, vibrant buildings, and charming balconies as your elopement backdrop. Garden District Grandeur: Embrace the elegance of the Garden District with its sprawling mansions and manicured gardens for a fairytale elopement setting. Beyond the Beaten Path: Explore hidden gems like City Park’s enchanting oak groves dripping with spanish moss or peaceful lagoons for a unique and unforgettable elopement experience. Reason Number Five: Elopement Elegance: Stress-Free Doesn’t Mean Sacrifice Listen up, lovebirds. Eloping to New Orleans doesn’t have to be a logistical nightmare. The city boasts a wealth of vendors who specialize in elopement packages. These packages can take care of everything from the officiant who will help with the legalities to the florist who will create a breathtaking fresh bouquet. Elopement photographers, as we discussed, are another key element in capturing the magic of your day. But don’t forget about the hair and makeup artists who can ensure you look and feel your most radiant on your special day. Many elopement packages offer all-inclusive options, ensuring a stress-free and elegant elopement experience. Finding Your Perfect Nest: Accommodation Options for Every Style Now, when it comes to finding a place to lay your head after your vows, New Orleans offers a charming variety of accommodation options. Imagine cozying up in a historic bed and breakfast, the kind with wrought-iron balconies and overflowing flower boxes. Or perhaps a funky boutique hotel in the heart of the French Quarter is more your speed. So, there you have it, loves! New Orleans, with its enchanting romance, culinary delights, musical magic, festival fun, and easy elegance, offers the perfect backdrop for your intimate elopement. With the help of elopement packages and talented vendors, you can create a stress-free and unforgettable experience that celebrates your love story in a way that’s uniquely you. Remember, your love story deserves to be sung from the rooftops, even if those rooftops are adorned with twinkling lights in the heart of the French Quarter.  Embrace the magic of New Orleans, and let your elopement be the first verse in your happily ever after! Chat with an Elopement Specialist Now 🙂

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destination elopement photographer capturing timeless memories

How to Find the Best Elopement Photographer 

Capture Your “I Do” Forever: The Ultimate Guide to Finding the Best Elopement Photographer Congratulations! You’ve decided a big over the top wedding is not for you. Eloping – an intimate, adventurous way to start your forever together sounds like an intriguing choice. But even with little planning needed, one detail stands out: finding the perfect elopement photographer to capture your special day in stunning, timeless imagery. Let’s find your perfect elopement photographer! This guide will help you with everything you need to find the photographer or team who will translate the raw emotions and breathtaking scenery of your elopement into photographs you’ll cherish for a lifetime. What Makes an Elopement Photographer Different? Elopement photographers are a special breed. They’re not just skilled with a camera; they’re experts at capturing the essence of an intimate ceremony, the thrill of adventure, and the raw emotions of a day unlike any other. Here’s what sets them apart: Finding Your Perfect Match: A Step-by-Step Guide Ready to Find Your Dream Elopement Photographer? Don’t wait! With these tips in hand, you’re well on your way to capturing the magic of your elopement in photographs that will bring you joy for years to come. Still have questions? We’re here to help! Contact us today to discuss your elopement photography needs and discover how we can turn your dream elopement into a visual masterpiece.

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where to elope in Biloxi

How to Get Married in Biloxi, MS: Your Beachfront Bliss Awaits!

Dreaming of a picturesque wedding ceremony with the sugar-white sands of Biloxi Beach as your backdrop? Whether you envision a barefoot ceremony on the shore or a quaint celebration near the historic lighthouse, Biloxi offers a unique and unforgettable setting for your special day. But before you start collecting seashells for your custom frames, here’s a quick guide to navigate the legalities and logistics of getting married in Biloxi, MS: 1. Secure Your Marriage License: 2. Find Your Officiant: 3. Pick Your Perfect Beach Venue: 4. Plan Your “I Do” Moment: Beyond the Basics: Ready to say “I do” on the Mississippi coast? Skip the stress, say “I do” on the beach!  Our Biloxi elopement packages are all-inclusive and make planning your small wedding a breeze. We can’t wait to chat with you about your beach elopement vision! Check out our favorite package HERE!

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tree of life new orleans

$5000 Elopement? Yes its Possible

When it comes to celebrating love in a unique and memorable way, few places can compare to the magical city of New Orleans.  Getting married in a beautiful location doesn’t always have to be expensive. You’re in luck if you’ve been hoping to have a romantic elopement in New Orleans without going over budget. The lively city’s vibrant culture, historic allure, and captivating atmosphere make for the ideal setting for a reasonably priced celebration of your love. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how to put together a lovely elopement wedding in the heart of New Orleans for less than $5,000. Selecting a Reasonably Priced Location New Orleans provides a variety of venues that won’t break the bank. Explore picturesque neighborhoods with quaint courtyards or public parks like Audubon Park. By choosing an outdoor location, you can keep the costs of your wedding location down so that you can spend it on other memorable things. And, what else is more beautiful than getting married in nature’s splendor. Click here for a list of our recommended locations Consolidate as you personalize Some couples choose to elope with the barest of essentials. If you do choose to incorporate some traditional elements, don’t be afraid to get creative. To dress up the cake, request that the florist who makes your bouquet to add a few extra blooms. This is a low-cost way to dress up the dessert while still having it coordinate with your wedding flowers. Don’t feel like you have to follow convention since eloping is by nature unconventional. Choose what is best for YOU! A Taste of the Local Cuisine It’s essential to indulge in the flavors of New Orleans, which is a culinary paradise. Instead of a formal reception, choose a private dinner at a local Creole or Cajun restaurant. Numerous restaurants provide reasonable prix-fixe menus so you can enjoy the city’s world-famous cuisine without going over your spending limit. Get in touch with us for our recommendations. Get married during the week Did you know that most vendors offer discounts for weddings held on a weekday? What a great way to keep costs down without compromising the experience. Plus, if you have your wedding on a Monday or a Tuesday, when many places see their fewest visitors, you’re much more likely to have the venue to yourself. Just make sure to check online ahead of time to confirm that the place you’re visiting is open on the day you intend to stop by. Have an intimate guest list This one is simple if it’s an old-fashioned elopement! Your future spouse and you alone. This can be more challenging for contemporary elopements with a larger guest list. You can create a personal and meaningful experience while effectively managing costs if you only invite your closest relatives and friends. A smaller guest list enables you to select more budget-friendly locations, streamline catering choices, and concentrate on the factors that are most important to you and your partner. With this strategy, you can have a more intimate elopement and spend more time with the people who are important to you while also keeping costs down. *** Check out our Custom Packages! Select a restaurant with a $50 per person post-celebratory brunch or dinner for 20 people… and you are still at $5000! *** Eloping in New Orleans on a budget is possible and can result in a charming and unforgettable experience. You can create a romantic celebration that captures your love story for less than $5,000 with careful planning, considerate decisions, and an emphasis on what matters most. New Orleans offers the perfect setting for couples looking for a magical elopement on a budget, thanks to the city’s historic charm, vibrant culture, and mouthwatering cuisine. As you say “I do,” embrace the energy of the city and go on an unforgettable journey. And Yes, an elopement should be exciting and unplanned, but you want to save money while still having a good time, right? Work with an experienced local business like Ibay photography that has the knowledge to help you save money while still getting the most out of the experience and guarantee that you stay under $5000. Hiring an elopement photographer has many advantages. With the assistance of an elopement photographer, you will have someone take care of all the last-minute hassles and complications on your special day, allowing you to simply enjoy the occasion. We can guide you through all the details and make sure you do not forget anything. Unlimited planning support, including access to the Ibay Photography team for assistance with ceremony location (*permit fees may apply; not included in package pricing…Click HERE for suggested ceremony locations), vendor recommendations, activities suggestions, and a timeline. We are by your side at every turn! Reach out to us for more details, and we’ll work with you to make your dreams happen!!

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elopement new orleans

Best Places to Elope in New Orleans

Are you looking for magical moments for your Elopement Wedding or Vow Renewal, consisting of dreamy, picture-perfect backdrops? If so, you must consider these gems of the city. Not only are they the Best New Orleans Elopement Venues but they won’t break the bank, all locations have permit fees of $500 or less (valid for couple only elopements or up to 20 guests), and some are even free! Here are the best places to elope in New Orleans… ⛵ Just you two? Click here to see our favorite package which INCLUDES a sunset ceremony on a private sailboat ⛵ Keep in mind, even if some are tucked away, each location is in a public area so we can’t control visitors or locals in the area.  However, most people will stay out of the way if they see a wedding or vow renewal in progress :). Everyone in New Orleans loves a wedding! New Orleans Elopement Venues The 6 Best Places to Elope to Nola 1. City Park – McDonough Tree or Butler Fountain                If you’re looking for all the whimsy and beauty New Orleans has to offer, City Park is the perfect spot for you. As one of the oldest established parks in the country, City Park offers beauty and history you can see and feel.                The McDonough Tree is a popular spot. Dripping with historic Spanish Moss and limbs that stretch far into the space, the McDonough Tree is the perfect backdrop for your ceremony. Not only will your pictures capture the whimsy of New Orleans, but being surrounded by the chirping birds, gentle breezes, and all the beauty City Park has to offer will make you fall in love all over again.                Tucked into the twisting paths of City Park, Butler Fountain makes a beautiful setting for your intimate ceremony. Surrounded by Oak Trees and lush greenery, you will feel like royalty in your own personal garden. Private enough to not be disturbed, but with fantastic views of the park, Butler Fountain might be the perfect spot for sharing the love. Click HERE for information on obtaining a permit for an elopement at City Park. 2. Audubon Park – Tree of Life, Hyams Fountain, Gumbel Fountain                Audubon Park is another beautiful spot if you’re looking for romance and whimsy. The Tree of Life offers a beautiful backdrop of limbs and light. Legend says that the tree was planted as a wedding gift to a bride many years ago, and the gift of love still stands strong today. You can’t get much more romantic than a long history of love.                Nestled in a private area of Audubon Park, you will find Hyams Fountain. Like many other pieces in New Orleans, this fountain has a unique history. Sara Hyams donated her jewelry collection so that children would have a place to enjoy the summers. The Hyams Fountain is surrounded by lush gardens and cool breezes that sing the songs of New Orleans’s history that you can feel.                Gumbel Fountain is another beautiful backdrop for water and nature. Sitting among well-kept gardens, the fountain will make you sigh with its beauty. It is every bit as magical as a movie. Click HERE for information on obtaining a permit for an elopement at Tree of Life. 3. Washington Park across from Jackson Square                If you’re looking for the New Orleans city feel, look no further than Washington Park! This park overlooks Jackson Square and St. Louis Cathedral. An outdoor space dripping in history and beauty all in one, Washington Park boasts stunning views of Jackson Square that are picturesque and breathtaking. Get that picture perfect venue for your weekday elopement – not recommended Friday thru Sunday due to popular tourist photo spot! 4. Exchange Alley                Your wedding day should be stress-free and easy. For the couple who wants gorgeous simplicity, but still wants that New Orleans charm, Exchange Alley is your perfect spot. What is more “New Orleans” than the French Quarter? How does intimacy sound in a city that is always full of life? Just moments away from the bustling noise of the most amazing city, your private ceremony awaits you. Feel the southern charm and comfort while the area is still full of life. 5. Pirates Alley                Charming parks aren’t your style? No problem! New Orleans has something for everyone and Pirates Alley might just be perfect for you. This seemingly simple alleyway is anything but. As part of the Historic French Quarter, Pirates Alley puts you in the heart and soul of New Orleans, while still offering a spot for some privacy. The unique architecture as a backdrop mixed with the natural lighting provides a beautiful space for you. The atmosphere of Pirates Alley is a draw for many couples looking to tie the knot. Once there, you can see what all the fuss is about.                            6. Armstrong Park                Just a quick walk away from the French Quarter and downtown New Orleans, the iconic arch of Armstrong Park welcomes visitors to experience all the different areas it has to offer. This 32-acre park, named after famous jazz musician Louis Armstrong, has enormous oak trees and is home to historic Congo Square. Armstrong Park comes to life in beautiful daytime ceremonies. Armstrong Park can fit every vibe, from the whimsy of oak trees to the industrial vibe of the arching bridge. Brick pathways will line your walk, giving you a traditional feeling of walking through Old Time New Orleans. Click HERE for information on obtaining a permit for an elopement at Armstrong Park. ⚜️ Ask us about Hotels and B&B’s that offer their courtyards or parlours for a more private ceremony location ⚜️ Don’t forget to check out our All-Inclusive Elopement Packages HERE! Click HERE to learn the 5 secrets to a successful (and stress-free) elopement and BONUS checklist!

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best places to elope

Best Places for an Elopement and Top Things to do Before and After Your Elopement Wedding

There is no shortage of things to do in New Orleans. If you’re planning your wedding there, in a place known to be one of the best places for an elopement, it only makes sense to partake in some of the food, entertainment, art, and history that the city has to offer. After all, New Orleans isn’t just one of the top places for couples looking to tie the knot in style along with the Mississippi Gulf Coast beaches, it’s also one of the most popular tourist destinations in the entire country. There is quite a bit to see and do. So if you are looking to make some memories before the ceremony even begins, we’ve got some ideas for you! 1. Eat beignets (not at touristy cafe du monde, but at Cafe Beignet!) This is basically essential if you’re visiting New Orleans. If this is where you’re getting married, even better. These little fried pastries are a specialty here and you don’t want to miss out on these world famous New Orleans style donuts. 2. Have a cocktail at the carousel bar in the Hotel Monteleone Want to try something a bit unorthodox? The extravagant Hotel Monteleone has a unique take on the typical fancy bar. Known simply as the Carousel Bar, it’s something that has to be experienced to be believed. It’s definitely a different take on the classic bar scene. 3. Take a selfie in Exchange Alley Nearby from Hotel Monteleone, there’s the gorgeous decorative street known as Exchange Alley, a place rich in art, culture, colorful buildings and dining. It’s one of those well-taken care of little city hidden gems that makes for a perfect backdrop to a Newlywed photo. 4. Take the beautiful Algiers ferry to the westbank side of the mighty Mississippi River Once there, enjoy a bite or drink at Dry Dock Cafe or Old Point Bar, two of the best places to grab a drink and mingle with the locals. This is one of those uniquely New Orleans experiences that you don’t want to miss out on.  Don’t forget to take in the New Orleans city skyline from that side of the Mississippi River. 5. Take the Streetcar Down Historic St. Charles Avenue The streetcar will take you from the French Quarter through the Garden District and Uptown New Orleans.  The street is lined with antebellum homes + majestic oak trees that will take your breath away.  The streetcar is affordable and fun and a main staple in the New Orleans landscape!   It’s truly a must see and do.  Tip:  Stop in Columns Hotel or Pontchartrain Hotel (Rooftop) for amazing cocktails. 6. Try and find all the cool rooftop bars with amazing city views, for a memorable dining experience Tip: some are guests only as the pool is rooftop as well and only for guests privileges. Don’t be afraid to call a location beforehand and ask about their amenities. Many New Orleans restaurants and hotels have classic sensibilities and will go out of their way to cater to patrons. 7. Stop and enjoy a conversation with a local!  Local New Orleanians are the nicest people on planet earth. Promise you will leave the conversation with a new friend and a dozen other recommended hot spots to see, not to mention a new take on the city’s history, or simply where to get the best oysters. 8. For the ladies: stop in “Bourbon French Parfums” This shop on Royal street makes custom tailored scents that can be made into your special wedding day fragrance. If you’re looking for that special something to spice up your big day and want to do something out of the ordinary, this is just the right opportunity. 9. Must take photos in Jackson Square The historic St Louis Cathedral is stunning and millions of people make sure to capture photos of the iconic church whenever they are visiting New Orleans. Try taking photos in Jackson Square at different angles with the church in the background. I promise… these will be the photos you will frame and cherish for life. 10. Is traditional New Orleans style music something you’re interested in? ​​Frenchman Street is just a quick stroll outside of the FQ. If you want to hear authentic live New Orleans music, this is the place to go. It’s where all the locals go to hear the real sound of New Orleans! Grab our 5 secrets to a successful (and stress-free) elopement and receive a FREE checklist!

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elopement packages

Top Elopement Packages

The elopement of your dreams doesn’t have to break the bank. Quite the contrary, these trends prove that elopements are still one of the cheapest ways to get married… and we have the perfect elopement packages HERE to consider! While you are here, we also wanted to give you ideas of new trends we are seeing everywhere. Every year more and more couples seem to be looking into “unconventional” ceremony formats, and getting eloped just fits. What’s could be better than a romantic getaway that actually cuts expenses compared to a traditional wedding? That’s music to every couple’s ears. Let’s take a look at a few trends that you might want to incorporate into your ceremony: First Looks are the Trend! A few months ago we wrote about how First Look elopement photography was taking off. That trend has only risen as couples everywhere are learning about this new “tradition.” If you’re not familiar, a First Look is a pre-ceremony activity that allows the couple to meet each other right before the ceremony takes place, to give them a more intimate time together before the actual ceremony starts. This is perfect if you are having a medium to large sized elopement with friends and family, which gives the couple some space before having to present themselves to the crowd. As an added bonus, a First Look is often like a private photo shoot. It is becoming customary to invite the photographer to this intimate meeting, so they can shoot an on-site pre-ceremony collection that often creates beautiful moments. After all, the bride and groom are seeing each other on their special day for the first time and this creates electric photography. First Looks are even more popular in summer months and warmer climates like New Orleans, where couples have the liberty of staying outside for longer periods and can decide to have a fully outdoors shoot if they desire. Less Formal, More Fun! Eloping has taken off in part because it allows couples to do away with many of the old formalities and just get married where and when they want without a ton of hassle. This trend is only increasing, as we’re seeing more and more couples go the casual route when it comes to their ceremony. There’s much more focus on having a good time and an authentic experience rather than spending a fortune on a particular item or place. When there’s less focus on the formalities, it allows couples to unwind and just enjoy themselves, and shouldn’t that be what getting married is all about? It’s so important for couples to realize that if they are feeling pressure in wedding planning maybe it’s time they look into getting eloped. It’s a very different experience when you can just focus on your significant other and not have to plan for months on end just to “get everything right” and please 100 random relatives that insisted on coming. Less formal also often means less money spent. Ditch the expensive trappings of typical wedding ceremonies and just let loose and enjoy yourself. Wear what you want, go where you want, and focus on romance! Back to Nature! What could be better than getting married under the boughs of romantic spanish moss under a 600yr old oak, in the middle of a picturesque park, or right on the riverfront with city skyline views? Holding elopements and weddings in the outdoors is nothing new, but it’s certainly a growing trend. What better way to save money and transform your ceremony into a special adventure than having the entire thing outdoors? This is the perfect answer for couples looking to save a ton of money on things like hotel halls and chapels. Not to mention, a natural backdrop is the ultimate elopement set. You can choose exactly the kind of atmosphere you want to accentuate your big day, whether you want a more earthy event in the middle of the woods or want to go full blown mermaid by the sea. That’s the beauty of having an elopement, you don’t have to worry about the logistics of planning for 100 or more people on a small patch of beach or in a particular corner of a park. The crowd size will be small, no parking snafus, and you don’t have to somehow cater a feast in the woods. And above all, most of the time it’s free! Some parks in New Orleans charge a small event fee for hosting crowds at certain times of the day and after a certain size, but for the most part, if you seek out a particular area of nature that you want to transform into your perfect elopement backdrop, you’re not going to be spending a ton of money. Congratulations to you both! Don’t forget to check out our TOP 3 elopement packages here!Click HERE to learn the 5 secrets to a successful (and stress-free) elopement and BONUS checklist!

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photography for your elopement

French Quarter Event Photography For Your Elopement

French Quarter Event Photography For Your Elopement You decided against the big wedding and instead opted for a more fun, intimate adventure at a beautiful elopement destination like the New Orleans French Quarter. You’re not worried about family drama, planning for a hundred people, expensive decorations, or any of that other typical wedding stuff. But wait, you still need someone to capture those special moments! This is a situation many couples find themselves in. They make the choice to get eloped, forgo many of the typical trappings of planning for a big wedding ceremony, but forget that they still need a professional to man the cameras. Believe me, you don’t want to leave this task up to a local hobbyist or your niece who bought a GoPro last year and who suddenly thinks she’s a star on Instagram. Elopement photography is almost an art unto itself: often it’s about capturing more candid moments than in a normal wedding. It’s about grabbing those magic moments, the intimate setting, the romantic day trips, the quaint aura of the ceremony, and all the little memories in between Historic French Quarter Imagine a place where gorgeous ambiance meets historical class: that’s the New Orleans French Quarter summed up. There’s a reason why this area sees thousands of couples every year for their special destination events, because it offers everything you could want in a romantic getaway. Active nightlife, exquisite restaurants, fancy boutiques, art, entertainment, and photogenic vistas, all with traditional New Orleans style. What’s not to love? Capturing these moments is so important, especially for an elopement. If the French Quarter is your dream destination, you don’t want to leave the job of capturing those memories to any second-rate photographer. This is one of the greatest issues couples face when planning for a big wedding. Booking a reliable “camera guy” is perhaps one of the biggest headaches outside of the catering. There’s many amateurs out there, and still others just don’t have the eye for the romance and fun of an elopement. You’re looking for a “set it and forget it” kind of service, someone who knows what they’re doing and will transform ordinary pictures into memories that will last a lifetime. Your elopement photography should be something you can cherish forever. That’s what we at IBAY Photography believe. Our goal is to do all the work so you don’t have to: we provide the tools, we put ourselves in the right places at the right time, we capture all the golden moments (and the silly ones!) and ultimately take the burden of having to worry about your photography completely out of the picture. Your elopement should be about you, no stress, no hassle. That’s why we’re here. New Orleans Photographers who Specialize in Elopements and Micro Weddings There are a lot of photographers out there, and many who do weddings as a side gig. We however have perfected the art of attention-grabbing, romantic elopement shots, it’s our specialty!. We live to capture all of your best moments on film so you can have them forever, without forcing you to break the bank or have to rely on outsiders. We’re located right in New Orleans, minutes from the historic French Quarter itself. We know the area and pride ourselves in delivering top quality service to couples from around the country. Here’s just a taste of some of our recent elopement shoots. We work intimately alongside couples to help them plan their day, arrange shoots, and even provide elopement package plans that take care of everything you could possibly want in a romantic destination elopement. Stunning photography is one of the cornerstones of an amazing wedding or elopement, this is not an area you want to leave to chance. Contact us for more information on how you can have us capture the magic moments in your elopement! Grab our 5 secrets to a successful (and stress-free) elopement and receive a FREE checklist!

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