New Orleans is home to many beautiful spaces and during my research, I turned up a number of stunning French Quarter courtyards, a museum rooftop, as well as several parks, but in the end, City Park and Audubon Park topped my list.
Audubon Park offers numerous shelters, including, but not limited to the Newman Bandstand, the Tree of Life and several sites within the Audubon Zoo itself. Booking your ceremony with Audubon is a great way to provide much needed funds for both conservation and facility maintenance.
|Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano|
City Park also has several beautiful spots to say “I do,” including groves of beautiful live oaks, the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) sculpture garden and The Peristyle, a neo-classical Greek structure on the edge of a small lake.
After visiting both sites, we fell in love with the Newman Bandstand and the Peristyle. Both sites were amazing and offered picturesque views. I was happy that either decision would support the local parks.
My cousin, who is getting married in Spring 2012, decided to have her reception at the beautiful Audubon Park Golf Clubhouse, so we opted for the Peristyle in City Park.
Our modest ceremony fee for renting the Peristyle will go to the restoration of City Park, which was hit pretty hard by Hurricane Katrina. Many of the park's famed botanical gardens were destroyed during the storm, as were its live oaks, so we're thrilled that our ceremony will aid in restoring the park.
|The Peristyle in New Orleans City Park|
While my knowledge of ceremony sites is primarily limited to the New Orleans area, most cities and even smaller towns have public parks and zoos. These places could be ideal options for anyone looking for a non-traditional ceremony site. Some parks and museums rely on facilities rentals to sustain themselves. Check out you local parks, zoos and museums to find out how your rental dollars can help improve your local public space.
Of course, many folks opt to have their ceremony in a church. This is a great option too, as it is a way to give back to their religious community and the faith they were raised in. Since I know less about the church-ceremony process, I’d love to hear from brides whose ceremony took place or will take place in a religious institution to find out how having a"traditional" ceremony can positively benefit one's church and community.