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Getting Eloped

Why Getting Eloped is the Top Marriage Trend

When you think about the top marriage trends, pictures of different kinds of dresses and décor come to mind, but you might be surprised to learn that more recently, couples have been completely changing the way they get married. It’s not really all that shocking considering the costs associated with traditional weddings, combined with the state of our economy and the desire for something new. Couples these days want to focus more on the romance and excitement of their marriage ceremony and not just how to wow a bunch of extended family members. So what about getting eloped makes it so desirable, and why are couples everywhere starting to adopt it? Why Getting Eloped is the new Trend Elopements are Adaptable and Fun! It’s very easy to “elope your way,” which can’t always be said about many other wedding ceremonies that hold fast to the expected way of doing things. In fact, there are many facets of tradition style weddings that are more of an obligation than anything, whereas with an elopement, you can pick and choose what to include, or do away with the “classic” model of weddings altogether. This is extremely appealing for numerous reasons. Maybe you don’t enjoy the stuffiness of long complex ceremonies. Maybe you don’t have many close friends and would rather have a small, intimate ceremony someplace other than a church or wedding hall. Perhaps you want to get married someplace more exotic rather than going there just for your honeymoon. Whichever the case may be, elopements are simply easier to customize. One of the reasons why they are on the rise is because they are easier to fit into people’s busy lives. With all of the financial obligations and various responsibilities we have to deal with these days, planning a full-scale wedding and actually holding it may seem like a whole lot of work. Elopements are easier to fit into everyone’s schedule, because there are fewer people to think about and less aspects that need to be arranged. Elopements also tend to be very spontaneous. There’s a lot more room for fun and deciding on the spur of the moment to try something or visit a certain restaurant that traditional weddings don’t really allow for. There’s more romance and excitement when you’re not tied down to the usual planned ceremonies. This makes for a more exciting, interesting kind of event that has a certain romantic appeal. Also, given current events, having a more adaptable wedding option is more important than ever. You never know when a certain venue may be closed, or how you may be forced to work around certain issues in order to plan your big day. There’s no reason to place all your eggs in one basket when you have the choice and freedom to customize your ceremony exactly how you want it. Elopements are Affordable! It used to be culturally acceptable and even expected to drop huge sums of money on a wedding whether you had the money to spare or not. In the days of family inheritances and bottomless wells of credit, this wasn’t difficult to manage. However, times are changing and new couples don’t have the same kinds of resources that their parents did just a couple generations ago. In fact, the entire economy is currently undergoing a shift, and when this is combined with the clearly evident fact that the Middle Class has shrunk in recent years, you have the perfect storm of financial difficulty. It’s far too burdensome for many couples to shoulder such a massive cost as is usually associated with a traditional style wedding. Elopements offer an affordable alternative that is far more forgiving and customizable. Don’t want full decorations? Don’t buy them. Not particularly sold on having a cake? No problem. The ceremony is completely yours to change and tailor to your needs, rather than adhering strictly to tradition. This frees couples up to spend more on a luxurious hotel suite, or to invest the money they would have spent on the down payment for a house or similar purchase. Couples are looking for ways to make smart financial decisions, and in this economy, eloping just makes a whole lot more sense. Elopements are Low Pressure! This is the big one, perhaps the number one reason why elopements are taking off as the new trend. With all of the other hardships and responsibilities we have to face these days, no one wants to turn their marriage ceremony into an ordeal. Elopements are the furthest thing from a pressure cooker. They can be as lax and as laid back as you need them to be. In fact, they can be a getaway, spa treatment, and fantasy vacation all rolled into one. Rather than piling on a hundred little stressors, your elopement can actually serve to take away your stress and relieve you of your troubles. Planning an elopement is especially simplistic. This makes a world of difference because the typical complexities of planning a wedding actually is proven to be quite stressful for everyone involved, especially the bride and groom to be. This seems quite counterintuitive, and is one of the points regarding our marriage customs that couples are starting to question. Should your marriage be the opposite of a stressful event? By creating a low pressure environment, elopements are appealing and relaxing. You’re not trying to craft these crazy high expectations, you’re not trying to please family members or keep from embarrassing yourself in front of hundreds of people. It’s just you and your significant other living your best life!  To speak with an elopement specialist, text us at 504-292-4856 Grab our 5 secrets to a successful (and stress-free) elopement and receive a FREE checklist!

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French Quarter packages

Top 5 French Quarter New Orleans Small Wedding Ideas

Is it your dream to have a fairytale elopement in the magical city of New Orleans? We can’t blame you. From the stunning architecture to the magnetic Creole culture, it’s a fantastic location to say “I Do.” While there are dozens of picturesque elopement venues in NOLA, nowhere captures the New Orleans spirit quite like the French Quarter. Whether you want a grand, royal elopement or an intimate ceremony, you can find it all in the iconic French Quarter. Here are the top _ French Quarter New Orleans small wedding ideas: French Quarter New Orleans Small Wedding Ideas In Nature If you and your hubby-to-be are outdoors fanatics, there are plenty of captivating locations to choose from that are minutes from the French Quarter. Two of our favorites are Audubon Park- specifically at the Tree of LIfe – and Longue Vue Gardens. Longue Vue Gardens is a historic museum and gardens filled with water features, tree-lined walkways and plenty of foliage. If you adore wedding shoots at plantation-style homes or parks, this venue gives you the best of both worlds with a bit more privacy. The Tree of Life is a majestic spot to say your vows. Nestled in Audubon Park, this massive, centuries-old tree will make your wedding romantic and dreamy- and it adds something unique to your elopement photos! Among the stars There is nothing more breathtaking than getting married on a rooftop overlooking the Mississippi River. With the city lights and cool city skyline as your backdrop, a rooftop wedding will make your elopement truly unforgettable! We have several venues that we coordinate with in the French Quarter to make special days like this a reality. Just a short streetcar ride (another historic landmark of New Orleans) is the gorgeous and historic Canal Street Inn.  This stunning property with 11 private guest rooms is the perfect place to make memories at your New Orleans wedding. Explore the many options and special wedding services they have to offer. In a historic hotel Do you love the royal, grandiose feel of a historic hotel, but want an intimate micro-wedding? Guess what? You can have both! At Elope to NOLA, we have partnered with both the Four Points Sheraton French Quarter and the Residence Inn Hotel to offer two unique elopement packages perfect for you. The Four Points Sheraton is a landmark in the French Quarter. Its quaint balconies juxtaposed with its regal Spanish and French-influenced architecture will make you truly feel like Cinderella. However, if you want a sleek and modern setting, the Residence Inn Hotel is a great option. Overlooking the bustling French Quarter, this hotel is sophisticated, but still offers that unique New Orleans charm. We have several wedding packages available at these stunning French Quarter and Park locations. Packages start around $2000 and all include stunning photography to capture your special day!  To see a detailed list of our elopement packages, click here! Do you want to work with a photographer who is just as passionate about your wedding as you are? Look no further because your wedding-obsessed, self-proclaimed New Orleans expert photographer is here. At Elope to NOLA, we have helped hundreds of couples plan and capture their dream weddings. Click here to learn more about how we can help you! Grab our 5 secrets to a successful (and stress-free) elopement and receive a FREE checklist!

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intimate wedding new orleans

The Advantages of Having an Intimate Wedding

The perfect setting, a warm cozy atmosphere, and the most important people in your life gathered together to celebrate your wedding without any hassles or problems. Sound like a dream scenario? Rather than stick with a large traditional-style wedding, more and more couples are opting to scale down in favor of intimate weddings that feature smaller venues, fewer guests, and best of all, more focus on the bride and groom and less on the pageantry. What exactly is an Intimate Wedding? They go by many names; including small wedding, micro wedding and private elopements, but regardless of the name in question, they all share some commonalities that make them extremely desirable for couples seeking an alternative to the stress and complexity that typically comes with many classic kinds of wedding ceremonies. An intimate wedding ceremony is often a more personal celebration, featuring only a handful of important guests and less focus on decorations and a hundred other distractions. With much less to plan and worry about, these wedding ceremonies seem casual, lighthearted, and fun compared to the potential stuffiness and formal nature of traditional ceremonies. What’s also important to note is that the smaller wedding size allows for more flexibility with venue and overall location. Many couples choose to have a destination elopement in a somewhat exotic location for this very reason. It would be a pain to have to coordinate a full-scale wedding on the other side of the country, but if you’re only talking about a dozen guests and a few simple services, it’s a brand new scenario. Couples love the idea of intimate style ceremonies because rather than get caught up in all of the planning and family politics that can accompany a traditional wedding, these ceremonies flip the script and put the focus back on the couple. These ceremonies often come across as lively, intimate, and romantic because there’s more room for the couples to be themselves and less pressure put on them by family and the gravity of the ceremony. What are the advantages to a Smaller Ceremony? If you are deliberating as to what kind of ceremony to have, and you aren’t looking forward to trying to cater to dozens of people on your special day, an intimate wedding might be just what you want. However, this isn’t the only reason why these smaller ceremonies are becoming so popular. Consider the following points: Much more affordable. The scaled-down size means far fewer costs all around the board. Less on catering, less on decorations, smaller venue. Most of the time, these kinds of ceremonies are only a fraction of the cost of a traditional wedding, which is great for couples who want to start off their marriage with a smart investment, such as a down payment on a new house, or paying off student loans. These days, being frivolous with money for any reason isn’t exactly a smart idea, so this kind of ceremony makes sense. More freedom to make your ceremony unique. Due to the smaller guest list and less pressure to conform to the expectations of a traditional wedding, you can truly own your wedding ceremony by holding it wherever and however you want and then concentrating on your new life with your spouse. In New Orleans for instance, it’s popular to have wedding ceremonies in the beautiful gardens, parks, and aesthetic alleyways that the city features. From luxurious hotel balconies to picturesque park settings, you can easily plan for a ceremony in these kinds of spots because you don’t have to worry about cramming 60 people there. Focus on each other before the “honeymoon.” Rather than make your wedding this formal event that feels stressful and stuffy, you can hold a small, lighthearted ceremony and begin having fun right away. You don’t necessarily have to fly away to a honeymoon location if you hold your wedding in the same location that you want to “escape” to. That’s the great part about destination elopements that more couples are discovering. Why wait for the romance and fun to begin when you can incorporate your wedding and elopement into the same place? Much less stressful in general. It’s a fact that large weddings can be extremely taxing to plan and carry out. There are counseling services that specifically cater to couples about to get married. Between conflicting family personalities, the staggering cost, and trying to arrange a dozen different services so that they all come through for you on that one special day all at the right time, without any hiccups, is certainly cause for some stress. Rather than bother with this kind of aggravation, more couples are beginning to see the value in a smaller, scaled down event that removes a lot of the hassle. With far fewer people to worry about, less services to arrange, and fewer things to think about in general, intimate weddings become fun instead of frustrating. As you can see, there’s many reasons why you would want to have an intimate style ceremony. Whether you are trying to save a little money or if you would simply prefer to only invite your closest friends and family to your wedding, this is the best way of going about doing it. Are there any drawbacks to a Smaller Wedding? You could say that there are potential drawbacks depending on your preferences and the limitation of your venue. For instance, maybe you always had your heart set on a beautiful wedding in New Orleans, but you realize it wouldn’t be practical to invite your entire extended family due to the logistics involved, and because you want to get married in a small, cozy courtyard or alley. For the most part though, there aren’t any real drawbacks to having a small or intimate wedding. Part of the reason for this is because they are so customizable. Since you have so much more freedom to do what you want with the ceremony, there isn’t much room for disappointment. Plus, whatever events or festivities you can’t cram into

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How To Get Married In Exchange Alley New Orleans

How To Get Married In Exchange Alley New Orleans

How To Get Married In Exchange Alley New Orleans? How would you like to celebrate your wedding day? If simplicity is your cup of tea, why not try an intimate but more meaningful elopement in the best place in New Orleans? And when you think about the best place in the city, the first thing that probably comes to your mind is the French Quarter in New Orleans. One cannot deny the fact that the streets of the French Quarter serves as an impeccable wedding venue. A lot of couples have decided to elope in this place and have held the most intimate wedding they could ever wish for. What if I tell you that you can get married at the best spot in French Quarter, hassle free and within your budget? Sounds like a great plan right? How To Get Married In Exchange Alley New Orleans Get married at Exchange Alley Like any other streets in the French Quarter, Exchange Alley has its own beauty and history. This spot is known as one of the most famous walkways in the French Quarter. Previously called Place de Exchange, it was supposed to be the second back entrance to the Merchant’s Exchange on Royal Street where it played an important part in the city’s street commerce. The U.S. district court was previously located in this area before it was destroyed by a fire in the 1960s. Built in 1831 this Alley has been the heart of street weddings in New Orleans. The beautifully situated buildings and shops complements the romantic ambiance for a wedding and serves as a stunning backdrop for wedding photos.  Nowadays where low-key is the new party, you would probably want to spend your wedding in a cozier and more organized venue. Yet if you still want to have that lively vibe with a pinch of intimacy, Exchange Alley is perfect for you. Amongst the spots in the French Quarter, Exchange Alley is one of those distinct streets that feels calm and relaxed ambiance but still full of life. Your elopement here will be a one of a kind experience.  Getting married at Exchange Alley? Getting married at Exchange Alley means you can have that meaningful ceremony with a fun feeling at the same time. Feel that southern comfort right at the center of French Quarter where it is intimate and breezy at the same time. Every corner of Exchange Alley is picturesque representing the finest New Orleans architecture. Imagine being surrounded by an array of colorful structures, romantically positioned lampposts, and beautifully cobbled pavement. Just passing by the alley would make you want to hold hands and get married there at any time of the day. An elopement at exchange alley can indeed be a special celebration and unique experience that you will always remember.  What are the steps to Marrying in Exchange Alley? Contact a local elopement specialist who knows the ins and outs of weddings in the French Quarter, New Orleans.  The alley is open to the public and there is no permit required.  We like to keep elopement weddings under 10 people due to the size of the alley. It’s a perfect, intimate space!  When you hire an all-inclusive elopement company, you will also have your officiant and florals included.  We suggest marrying either really early morning around 8:30am or two hours prior to sunset for the most optimal lighting! Don’t take our word for it, see our recent experience from a sweet couple who married in Exchange Alley:  “Our day was everything and more! From start to finish Marcia was just amazing. The planning was made so simple and seamless, cause of her. I still keep tearing up tears of joy when I look at our photos, she did such a beautiful job of capturing our day. The way Colleen or should I say Mamma C officiated our wedding, was also just amazing, she made our vows so special. We couldn’t have asked for a better team, we consider them family now. “ Grab our 5 secrets to a successful (and stress-free) elopement and receive a FREE checklist!

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What to do on elopement day

What do Couples Actually do on Their Elopement Day?

One of the best parts of an elopement is the sense of truly being able to own your ceremony and make it yours. This can leave couples asking however, what in the world do you actually do on your elopement day? Bucking the traditional wedding format means you can pretty much do whatever you want, but this is where confusion can set in. When do you have the ceremony? Can we squeeze in a romantic photo shoot in the park beforehand? Do we have to have a reception at a hall on the same day? What about entertaining our guests? The freedom that elopement offers can seem daunting when it actually comes time to plan everything, but that’s why I put together this handy guide. An elopement doesn’t have to follow the typical structure of a classic wedding. In fact, part of the appeal is in mixing it up and adding activities and events that you wouldn’t normally be able to cram into a traditional wedding day, such as viewing a parade, a night on the town, or a whimsical garden photo shoot. The possibilities are truly limitless and that’s why it’s important to plan your elopement day well beforehand to get the most out of it. Sure, the idea of spontaneity is probably one of the things that attracted you to the idea of getting eloped in the first place, but too much of it will just lead to a mass of confusion and headaches you don’t want. Maximize the excitement, fun, and carefree feel of your elopement by structuring your day with some of these popular ideas. Private Photo Session Pre-Ceremony Isn’t it bad luck for the groom to see the bride before the actual ceremony? Not when you’re eloping! In fact, a rising trend that couples love involves having your own private scheduled photo shoot before the ceremony even begins. Not unlike an engagement shoot or something similar, couples work with their elopement planner or photographer to pick a romantic location such as a garden, public park, or hotel balcony just to have some personal time together before everything gets rolling. Couples claim that pre-ceremony photoshoots (also known as “first looks”) ease tension and can be extremely romantic. Even during an elopement, things can get busy, leaving little to no private time for the couple. Sometimes a little quiet intimacy goes a long way. You can even incorporate the photo shoot location into the ceremony itself if you want. Just make sure to work it out with your elopement planner. Museums and Tours Why not see the sights while you’re getting married? It’s popular to get eloped in cities that are rich in history and culture. Sure, you could wait a couple days to take advantage of these attractions, but nothing’s stopping you from incorporating them right into your special day. If your ceremony is scheduled for the morning, why not spend the afternoon touring a famous museum or spending it exploring the historic streets of places like the French Quarter? These are the kinds of perks couples love about eloping that you simply can’t get with a traditional wedding. If you really want to go all out, you could schedule a tour or witness a parade before your actual ceremony. Embrace everything your location of choice has to offer! Add in Some Adventure Nothing says you can’t add some real spice to the day of your elopement ceremony. Just remember to dress for the occasion and plan accordingly. Want to say your vows on a carriage ride or hop on a steam boat? Or maybe you want to visit an historic cemetery or have a picnic in the park? The choice is yours! An elopement doesn’t have to mimic a traditional wedding at all, if that’s not your thing. How about a Spa Treatment? You’re saving time by not having to deal with a drawn out wedding ceremony, and you’re also saving a ton of money by getting eloped in the first place. Don’t be afraid to treat yourself! Take a slice out of the day to splurge on your hair and nails at the finest place in town. Coordinate with your elopement planner and dedicate a solid block of time for a good pampering. Not only will you look and feel great before the ceremony, this can also act as a stress-reliever. Because you’re not going to be bogged down trying to corral 100 people at a wedding reception, eloping leaves more time open for you to unwind and enjoy life! Romantic Dinner for Two! Yes, you can cap off the night with a classic candlelit dinner. In New Orleans, great food comes with the territory. There are no shortages of five star restaurants and romantic locations to choose from. Because you’re not flying out to your honeymoon destination right after you get married (since you’re already there!), the night of your ceremony is open for you to do what you want with. This means less headaches and more romance. After the ceremony is over, feel free to trot back to your hotel (or ride there in style with a rented limo or horse drawn carriage), get changed into something more comfy, and live it up with a night on the town. What about the Actual Ceremony? This is all up to you as well! Exchange your vows and rings, play some music of your choosing, share a kiss, or mix it up. The beauty of an elopement is that there is no one right way to do anything. Include religious content or don’t. Include traditions like throwing the bouquet or don’t. Or go all out with a unique theme and invent traditions of your own. What’s important is that your elopement speaks to you and that you fill the day with purposeful and meaningful activities. Don’t include anything just because it’s tradition or you think you’re expected to. Own your elopement! Grab our 5 secrets to a successful (and stress-free) elopement and receive a FREE checklist!

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How much is an elopement?

How Much Does the Average Elopement Cost?

Elopements can come in all shapes, sizes, and of course budgets. There is certainly no one right way to have an elopement, especially considering all the options there are for venues, entertainment, photo shoot opportunities, and sight-seeing that you can incorporate right into the celebration. If you’re interested in getting eloped, you might be wondering just how much the average elopement costs, however. Is it similar to that of a traditional wedding, or are there ways to cut costs? This is actually one of the best parts of eloping, and one of the reasons why couples everywhere are starting to consider it over other options. Generally speaking, the cost of elopement is typically quite low in comparison to the average cost of a more traditional wedding ceremony. Most traditional weddings in the United States hover around the $30,000 mark, which is a hefty price tag. We’re so used to weddings costing a ton of money that we don’t really think much of it, but the costs can certainly put a damper on things. Stress related to wedding costs is a rather well-known phenomenon. In some cases, couples even take out personal loans just to pay for wedding expenses. When you think about it, this is a little crazy. Putting yourself in debt just for your wedding seems like a surefire recipe for marital disputes and aggravation down the road. Even cheaper weddings can run well over $15,000. It simply costs a lot of money to pay for catering for dozens of people, decorations, photography, and all the other services and parts that go into a typical wedding. Elopements Focus on What’s Important! Because you’re not inviting 100-300 friends and family, buying thousands of dollars’ worth of flowers and doilies, and buying the most expensive wedding dress on the market, you’re going to save money. Typically, elopements run cheaper than traditional weddings because a lot of the extraneous costs are cut out. You don’t realize how much all the pieces of a wedding add up until you see that final price tag. Most elopements boil down to air fare, a hotel room or two, the cost of a marriage license and officiant, photography, and whatever events and sightseeing you have planned. There is some variation, but for the most part, this is the bulk of what you’re going to be thinking about when creating a budget for your elopement. Compared to what most traditional weddings entail, this is downright simple. We’ll discuss some of these costs more in depth, so you have a better understanding of what goes into a typical elopement and how much it really costs. Travel and Lodging This is where the money will be spent. The major cost involved with most elopement packages is in the air fare and in whatever lodging, such as a hotel, you will be staying at. Elopements almost always involve some kind of travel. It’s like combining the best parts of a wedding and honeymoon together, so traveling to a romantic destination is almost a given. You don’t always have to go fancy either. Maybe there’s a place that’s special to you and your significant other someplace simple out of state that you love or always wanted to go to. Lodging for elopements can run as little as a couple thousand dollars, sometimes even cheaper if you can get package deals. This of course is much cheaper than catering and decorations for a wedding hall. Hotels are typically what most couples use for lodging during an elopement, and whether you are going as a couple or with some friends and family, you can usually find a great place at whatever resort or location you are staying at, and the costs won’t really be all that much. In fact, if you take the time to look around and search for deals, you’re liable to really cut costs and have an amazing experience. Consider Photography Elopement Packages Like any wedding, elopements don’t skimp on photography. This kind of thing can make or break a ceremony, and many elopement planners go to great lengths to ensure that quality photography is their highest priority. Capturing the best moments of the ceremony and bringing out the love that the couples have for each other in every photo is something that photographers spend years learning how to do, so good photographers are usually one of the bigger costs of any elopement. Depending on the size and length of the elopement, they can run anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. Far cheaper of course than typical wedding photography because of all the complexities of most modern weddings. Entertainment and Adventure What’s an elopement without some fun? Much of the rest of the costs of any elopement tend to come in the form of sightseeing, restaurants and bars, tours or cruises, and entertainment. You would think that this adds up, but depending on the vacation or elopement package, you can stuff a ton of romance and excitement into one week for only a couple thousand dollars or less. You just have to know where to look and be savvy about where you spend your money. Many cities, including New Orleans, have very gracious couples packages for sightseeing and activities. If you’re looking for a packed week full of things you’ll never forget, you won’t be disappointed. For the cost of what it usually takes to decorate a wedding hall, you could visit world class museums, have a picnic lunch in a beautiful park, go snorkeling, take a ride on a ferry, eat at the best restaurants in town every night, and still have plenty of money left over for late night room service! The True Cost of Eloping! Only about $2000-$5000 depending on location/destination! You might wonder how that’s even possible, but many couples who elope are concerned more about the romance than the flash and flair. The bulk of an elopement package, which will typically run anywhere between $2000 and $5000, is in the hotel accommodations and

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elope french quarter

Where Can I Elope in French Quarter New Orleans?

The French Quarter, also known as the Vieux Carre’ or The Big Easy, is the oldest and most vibrant neighborhood in the city of New Orleans.  When you think of New Orleans, you think French Quarter and probably world famous Bourbon Street. The French Quarter area has been designated as a historic landmark, with many significant structures and buildings.  It is a prime tourist destination for both visitors and locals alike.  This is the area where you can try the world famous beignets, the hurricane drink and some of the best authentic New Orleans cuisine you’ve ever had.  Shopping, dining, dancing, drinking cocktails and listening to live Jazz bands are some of the many things locals and tourist enjoy when in the French Quarter.  If there is one city in the USA that enjoys and lives life to the fullest, its New Orleans.  Rich in culture and traditions… I can almost guarantee you will fall in love with the city the instant you arrive. Why Elope in French Quarter Many couples have chosen New Orleans and specifically the French Quarter neighborhood for their elopement weddings.  The one-of-a-kind, unique and romantic experiences are what draws couples to choose New Orleans…Not to mention the gorgeous backdrops of the pastel colored buildings and gas lantern streets make for amazing wedding photos! Who will marry us? Since these suggested areas are open to the public, you will need to bring your own officiant to perform the ceremony.  We can help you secure an officiant that will also assist with securing your marriage license.  All of our Elopement Packages include officiant services. Where can I marry in the French Quarter? We recommend: Exchange Alley – under 10 guests – standing room only – no chairs allowed. Pirates Alley – under 20 guests – standing room only – no chairs allowed. Jackson Square – Permit fee required (prices vary depending on guests count) – chairs allowed (rented by couple) You can see photos on our Pinterest Page of each location by visiting our Gallery Page You can also get a good feel of these locations from our best places to elope Blog HERE What is required to marry in the French Quarter? Besides an excellent wedding or elopement planner (which is one of our specialties!), all you’re really going to need is any required permit from Jackson Square. We also highly recommend a New Orleans tradition of a 2nd line wedding parade to complete your elopement experience – rates vary. What is the cost? Please call Jackson Square at (504) 658-3200 for information on permits required. When writing this blog, fees were around $500 for up to 25 guests and $700 for 26-100 guests. Alternatively, your wedding or elopement planner can handle much of these details so you don’t get bogged down. Your planner can help put a package together for you that saves assist you with all your requests to have the best destination wedding in New Orleans! How many guests can we invite? Jackson Square can accommodate up to 200 guests.  Remember that this is still a public park and tourist will still be roaming the area within Jackson Square.  While you will be the only wedding during your scheduled block of time, the park will not secure a section for you to have a private ceremony. The great news is that New Orleans locals and visitors are some of the nicest people you will meet and will respect your wedding during your ceremony.  Many of them will want to just stand on the sidelines, witness and wait for the big kiss so that they can celebrate with congratulatory well wishes. How do we get to the French Quarter – New Orleans? All three locations we have recommended are within the 13 very short blocks of the French Quarter.  Once you arrive to your French Quarter hotel, all of these locations will be walking distance for you.  Or if you prefer, a quick Uber ride from hotel to ceremony location. New Orleans is an extremely easy to travel city, so keep on the lookout for signage that will point you in the right direction. Hopefully you found this information on Eloping in New Orleans useful for your upcoming elopement or micro-wedding. Feel free to contact us anytime if you want to talk about a package deal just for you, so you can experience the magic and romance of the French Quarter for yourself! View Done-For-You all inclusive packages HERE and Congratulations to you both!

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First Look Wedding

What Is a First Look And Why Do Couples Do It?

One tradition that has been staple of tradition for centuries is that of a couple not seeing each other on the day of the wedding, until the actual ceremony takes place when the bride enters the room. This tradition is still fairly common and it’s something many couples still believe in and practice. It was considered bad luck for a groom to see his bride before the ceremony, and this sentiment still exists to a degree, though a new wedding and elopement trend is starting to become more prevalent in our photography-rich age of social media. This new trend, dubbed the “first look,” involves the couple meeting up early on the day of the wedding for a pre-ceremony photoshoot. The sense of anticipation for the arrival of the couple (and everyone watching) is something that adds a bit of magic to the entire elopement or wedding ceremony, so it’s no wonder it’s still somewhat expected that one not see the other until the actual ceremony. However, there can be no doubt that the rising first look trend is taking hold: many couples believe there are several reasons to have a first look, and it’s not just about beautiful photos. The Magic of a First Look It’s undeniable that the concept of first look ceremonies might seem awkward to people who area traditionalists or who just haven’t heard of such a thing before. After all, won’t the couple getting married have their pictures taken dozens of times throughout the actual ceremony anyway? That would be the case if a first look was all about the photos. The truth is, one of the most magical aspects of the first look is getting some time to be alone before the action of the ceremony. This quiet time that brides and grooms get to share can be both intimate and soothing for the nerves. For many couples, nerves are the biggest downer and impediment leading up to an elopement or wedding ceremony. Even if there’s nothing to be nervous about and all of the planning has gone right, all of the guests have arrived, all of the honeymoon details have been taken care of, and everything else is lined up, that feeling of unnecessary anticipation and nervousness is not something all couples welcome. Instead, the option of a first look gives couples a chance to spend time together before the day gets too busy, helping to ease nerves and release some tension. There’s also the fact that the couple gets to see each other before anyone else – hence the term “first look.” It’s a more private, intimate setting before the families and friends get involved. A lot of couples are starting to prefer this, as it gives them a chance to mingle and spend some personal time together. Privacy is something that’s hard to come by on your wedding day. Once everything is set in motion, you might go the entire day without getting a shred of personal time with your new wife / husband. A first look bucks this trend and allows for some personal time before the ceremony gets underway and privacy goes out the window. The Perfect Photo Opportunity First Look’s aren’t just about quality time for the couple, there are practical aspects too. One of  the biggest reasons why couples opt to have a first look is for early photographs. Photography is such a huge part of any elopement or wedding ceremony – but cramming in all of the desired angles and moments can be daunting during the actual ceremony itself. A first look gives couples the chance to stage a special photo shoot specifically to take pressure off the ceremony and create easier, dynamic, and romantic shots. Much like an engagement photoshoot, a first look offers couples the ability to choose a special location with very specific lighting and backdrops, and because there isn’t so much pressure, it’s often easier for couples to unwind and be natural during the photos. First look photo sessions have other benefits, including timing. Depending on the time of the year the ceremony is taking place, the lighting may not be ideal after everything is done for post-ceremony photos, especially outdoors. Holding a photo shoot before the ceremony even begins guarantees that you get in plenty of gorgeous photos with adequate lighting. Another benefit is that a photographer or videographer gets to be more involved and can direct the couple if need be into more romantic poses and settings. Despite playing such an important role in the ceremony, photographers can’t really intervene much when the ceremony is going on, so if there is some last minute lighting problems, bad angles, or camera snafus, there’s really not much they can do. It’s much different during a first look, where a photographer can tell the bride or groom to stand a certain way, remind them to pose naturally, look in a certain direction, or move closer to a light source. You’re also free from the prying eyes of family and friends, so you can be as goofy or as passionate as you want, without risk of judgment later on! Planning a First Look! Interested in a first look for your wedding day or elopement? The most important part of planning one is to simply make sure everyone involved is on the same page, that you have easy transportation to the location of the first look, and that it doesn’t put any unnecessary stress on you or your significant other. The key to pulling off a romantic, fun first look is to treat it like a casual date. Let yourself relax and enjoy the time before the ceremony together, your mood will show up in  the photos and they will come out fantastic. You don’t necessarily have to go far or rent out someplace exotic all for the sake of your first look, either. Often the courtyards and lobby areas of certain hotels make perfect places for small intimate photoshoots. Inquire with the hotel you

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How to Elope Guide

Top How to Elope Guide

For some couples, the prospect of elopement can seem like a massive undertaking. There’s certainly a lot of misconceptions when it comes to just what an elopement entails. In this “How to Elope Guide” I want to provide you with some help to overcome these hurdles. It’s common to wonder if an elopement is right for you, or what you can or cannot do in an elopement. This guide will demystify your fears and set the record straight. I want couples feeling happy and confident with their decision to have an elopement, and there’s no better way to accomplish this than informing them. Here’s everything you need to know on how to get eloped! How to Elope Guide Pick a Location! It all starts here. Part of the appeal of having an elopement is that you’re not bound to the traditional expectations of holding your ceremony at your family church or local hotel or similar venue. You’re free to pretty much tie the knot wherever your heart desires. Think of an elopement as a wedding and honeymoon in one, and you can see why the practice is becoming more and more popular. Having the option to fully control every aspect of your ceremony and truly make it your own, in every way, this is something that a traditional wedding can’t really offer. It’s also worth mentioning here that a location can largely dictate what kind of elopement you want to have. Looking for a tropical getaway and an elopement ceremony on the beach? Someone where in the mountains? A gorgeous historical park like the kind found in New Orleans? Do some research into the kind of ceremony you want and then plan your location accordingly. Intimate or Inclusive? The next major step in planning an elopement is deciding the size and style of it. Do you want your ceremony to be nearly as complex as a wedding, with dozens of guests, full catering, and tons of decorations? Or are you looking for something far more intimate, perhaps only you, your significant other, and a magical week together for just the two of you to share? Something in between? The size of an elopement largely dictates what you can and cannot do, as well as where you can hold the actual ceremony, what kinds of catering and planning expenses you incur, as well as the overall “feel.” Part of the appeal of elopements are the ability to have a much more intimate, simplified experience compared to the average wedding. Less people you hardly know, less expenses, less stuff to think about, less stress, less drama. Elopements tend to focus on the couple, not just traditions. This is why small, intimate elopements are so popular. The small size of most elopements enables you to save money on accommodations and catering, which gives you the ability to book really nice hotels and spend more money on fun and enriching experiences rather than suits and flowers. On the other hand, if you have an extended family that really wants to see you get married but you just can’t fathom going the traditional route, there’s nothing wrong with packing your entire family and holding your ceremony halfway across the country. You just have to plan for it first! Plan Your Budget! The least fun part of any wedding, but the good news is, elopements certainly simplify the process quite a bit. In fact, compared to most weddings, you’re going to be cutting out a lot of the fat and saving a ton of money. There’s just certain things that don’t really come up in an elopement. You’re not going to be decking out a wedding hall for 60 people, buying expensive catering, hundreds of floral displays, balloons, confetti, decorations, table settings, and all the other little things that make planning a wedding a financial nightmare most of the time. When planning your elopement budget, you want to focus on three main things: Your marriage license (typically very cheap) Your travel expenses Your accommodations Once you have these three points down, you can kind of play around with your budget a bit and add or subtract as you like. The next most important thing you should splurge a bit on is either an elopement package, elopement planner or elopement photographer, or all if you’re lucky. You should also take your time looking for airfare and hotel deals. Don’t make snap decisions, you can save a lot of money if you just take your time, plan your destination, and hunt for deals. Every penny you save in the travel and accommodations, you can spend having the time of your life once you finally tie the knot! The Legal Side of Things Of course, the marriage license aspect of an elopement is important too. This is why you have to decide where you want to get married before most of the rest of your planning, because the laws on marriage licenses differ from state to state and at times even from county to county in those states. The majority of the time, there is a slight waiting period after you sign a marriage certificate application, that can range from 24 hours to about 72 hours. There is also always a clerical fee attached to the process of filing a marriage license application. Please do your homework in this area. The last thing you want is have your ceremony bungled because you mistimed the waiting period or worse yet, decided to get married during a federal holiday! If you’re interested in getting eloped in New Orleans, we’ve already written an extensive guide that covers everything you could ever need to know about getting a marriage license there along with professional and experienced officiants who will help with all the legalities required. There are also a few other legal matters to research before taking the leap and spending money, such as the regulations a park might have for the size of certain groups, park or beach permits for parties or gatherings, and

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How to Get Married in New Orleans During COVID

How to Get Married in New Orleans During COVID

How to Get Married in New Orleans During COVID? Have you met the love of your life? Are you ready to say those two words- “I Do”? Do you want to get married now? Say no more… If you want to get married in New Orleans during COVID, you’re not alone. Plenty of couples have booked elopement packages in New Orleans since early 2020. In fact, more couples have eloped in the past year than ever before. Due to COVID restrictions and new safety guidelines, many couples have opted to elope now rather than wait for a large traditional wedding until post-COVID. Getting Married In New Orleans If you want a small, intimate New Orleans elopement, you’re in the right place! I’ve helped plan and photograph hundreds. Here are the 3 steps you need to follow if you want to get married in New Orleans during COVID: Know the local COVID regulations COVID regulations vary by city and state and frequently change based on current infection rates. It’s important to stay up-to-date on New Orlean’s COVID guidelines when planning your elopement. At the time of this writing, New Orleans is in Modified Phase One of Safe Reopening. In this phase, everyone must wear a mask and remain at least 6 feet from each other. Weddings are currently only permitted if all attendees are from the same household. However, the city will move out of this phase on January 30 and restrictions will ease. You can find more information about New Orleans’ COVID restrictions here Hire an experienced elopement planner Eloping may be new to you- thanks to COVID- but it’s not new to us! We have been planning and photographing elopements for over 6 years now. As NOLA’s resident elopement experts, we know everything from the best local vendors to the most romantic photoshoot locations. And we would be honored to help plan your micro wedding! Pick an outdoor location The best thing about a New Orleans elopement is that there are plenty of COVID-friendly outdoor wedding venues. From Audubon Park’s iconic, centuries-old Tree of Life to the lush botanical garden in City Park, there are several beautiful and intimate venues to choose from. When it comes to eloping during COVID, the most important thing to remember is to choose an outdoor venue. Elopements outside are the safest option during the pandemic because it’s easy to social distance and prevent the spread. Now you’re ready to elope in New Orleans! Of course, there are other details that you might want to know how to get a marriage license or what elopement packages we offer. You can find this information and more on our website! Feel free to contact us if you have any lingering questions or concerns! We would love to help you plan your special day. Grab our 5 secrets to a successful (and stress-free) elopement and receive a FREE checklist!

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elopement wedding

How to Pick Flowers for a New Orleans Elopement Wedding

The bouquet is certainly one of the most iconic parts of any elopement wedding or ceremony. It’s a tradition spanning hundreds of years and can make for some perfect and elegant photographic moments as well. When it comes to New Orleans elopements, seasonal flowers are typically what work best and that’s why Elope to Nola specializes in them. It’s important to know beforehand exactly what kind of bouquet you can expect in order to help you plan for the perfect elopement. Seasonal Flowers means better Quality! While the selection may be less broad, this will work in your favor to not have any additional stresses of flower details. With ElopeToNola bouquets, you simply need to select a color theme! The reason we have simplified the flower selection is that some flowers just don’t work because they have to shipped from far away, which is expensive and also tends to damage the flowers in the process. Other flowers wilt fast shortly after they are cut, like the magnolia, and are not ideal for most elopement bouquets. Some simply don’t do well outside in Louisiana’s humid climate, like the lily. Some couples may want certain flowers from a faraway state or even exotic ones like the Hawaiian plumeria, which are quite popular in wedding ceremonies in certain parts of the country. However, it would be extremely expensive and impractical to import such flowers to Louisiana. Remember that elopements rarely take place in the controlled confines of a church, where flowers can be preserved and tend to remain in air conditioned surroundings. Most New Orleans elopements take place in parks, outdoor courtyards or beautiful streets of the city itself; often in less than ideal conditions for certain flowers. Many of the classic pictures of bouquets you can find on Instagram and Pinterest were designed with either church halls or a lot of money in mind. That’s not practical for an elopement, which should be focused more on romance, affordability, and spontaneity. Here’s some of the best seasonal flowers you can expect from one of our elopement package bouquets that ensure top quality. Roses, Peruvian Lilly, Gerbera Daisy, Hydrangeas, Lisianthus and many fillers like baby’s breath are generally readily available.  Our florist on our team will generally ask for a color scheme and then will make recommendations on what will be available during your wedding month. Visit our Pinterest page and view all past bouquets created by our talented florist. You can always ask our florist if a specific flower you want may be available on hand, and she will do her best to make it happen if there is a supplier that can get them (premium flower upgrade fees may apply). Keep in mind if you asked florist for pink roses and that week of your wedding only ivory roses were available, she will incorporate pink color to your bouquet in some other way either by adding another pink flower or using pink ribbon tied around the stems. Because we focus on seasonal, fresh flowers, sometimes substitution is necessary! You can be sure that whatever our florist comes up with, it will be absolutely stunning, and perfectly fit the theme of your elopement. If you have any questions about what kind of bouquet you can expect, or help planning and putting everything together, get in touch with us. Sometimes it takes that expert touch to make everything fit, and creating gorgeous bouquets for our couples is one of our specialties! Grab our 5 secrets to a successful (and stress-free) elopement and receive a FREE checklist!

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Photo Posing Tips

Elopement Photo Posing Tips

The Best Photo Posing Tips for your Elopement Wedding The key to any good couple’s photography is to capture a “natural” or effortless look and feel. Nothing looks worse than stiff bodies and unnatural, complex poses and gestures, especially in photos that are supposed to be special and capture important memories like your elopement. What are the best photo posting tips for your wedding? And… how is this accomplished without going to some kind of modeling school? You’re in luck, we have put together this small guide to help couples take stunning, natural-looking photos without any hassle. *** ALWAYS STAND TALL, SHOULDERS BACK A BIT and LADIES SHOULD DISTRIBUTE WEIGHT ON ONE LEG (Whether crossing one leg over another or shifting all weight to back leg.  This will create an hourglass figure that flatters most ladies) The Importance of Bending Joints Think about how you move around throughout the day. You’re rarely stiff, with your joints locked. This is the number one mistake people make when they “pose” for photos. You never want to lock your joints, it’s what gives you the appearance of being stiff and uncomfortable. Not only this, but these kinds of stiff unnatural poses tend to show on the faces of the people being photographed, which usually means the whole composition comes off as awkward. This is the last thing you want for your elopement photography session!  The more you look at each other, laugh with each other and kiss.. the better the photos come out.  Your photographer will let you know when he/she would like for you to look directly at camera for a more formal pose. When getting into a specific pose, remember to relax your body and bend. Don’t lock your knees (ladies should put all weight on back leg), bend your arms, and make sure your hands are doing something. It’s very rare during the course of a day when our hands are just flat and resting stiffly at our sides. That’s unnatural and it will show in the final product! Always try to touch, hold hands or arms around waist One of the most important parts of capturing natural, stunning elopement or wedding photos is intimacy. No matter what pose or angle you take, there should be some kind of interaction between the couple. There are some basic but highly effective posing tips for capturing natural intimacy that are super easy to do and will take your photos to the next level. To create as natural-looking photo as possible, you should be sure to touch each other as much as possible.  For men, if your hand is not touching your partner, the other hand should be placed in your pant pocket. Belly Button to Hip This simple, classic pose has the typically shorter of the pair facing the hip of the taller, preferably in an embrace or at least touching. Remember to bend the elbows and knees, don’t force yourself into a stiff posture, and try gazing at one another for added effect! Chest to Chest! Nothing says romance quite like a chest to chest pose. Can be an especially powerful pose to highlight peak moments of the ceremony or to show off anything you want to camera (like rings!) if the couples extend an arm toward the photographer. Touch foreheads or kiss for an extra dash of romance. You can’t go wrong with this intimate pose. Together but Open – generally holding hands You don’t always have to be in an embrace to create a romantic composition. This pose has become popularized in social media like Instagram in recent years. All you really need to be doing in this pose is holding hands with your significant other at a distance, but it helps if you look as if you are in the middle of doing something, like sharing a joke or just walking along. Modified Prom A different take on a classic pose. Standing one in front of the other, one embraces the other from behind. Be sure to be touching each other’s arms or hands for added intimacy. This is one of those sweet poses that is easy to pull off and creates the perfect elopement feel. Remember to keep time of day in mind if you are shooting outdoors. You want the light to be favorable and not too harsh, so early morning or evening lighting is preferable to noon or midday. Likewise, if you are indoors, try to take photos in ambient lighting, or with the right equipment so that shadows aren’t too harsh. You want soft light and a primary light source so there aren’t a bunch of messy shadows. There are a lot of factors that go into stunning elopement photos but these are the most important. If you remember to stay flexible, pose naturally, and take your photos in good lighting, it’s easy to create beautiful shots that you will come out just the way you want and that you can cherish forever.  For any additional posing questions, reach out!  We are happy to assist in any way. Grab our 5 secrets to a successful (and stress-free) elopement and receive a FREE checklist!

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