By: Jessica Talazac, Director of Special Events Republic NOLA
In the year 2020, what does it mean to be “atypical” really? Generally speaking, our culture is shifting to a more open mindset where people are embracing the authentic individuals that we all are–so it’s no surprise that mentality is impacting how we think of weddings. While there are many people who love timeless and traditional, it seems to me that more than ever before, couples are striving to go beyond what’s typical to create unique, memorable experiences as a reflection of their one-of-a-kind Love. If you’ve spent your life dreaming of a classic Southern wedding, then this list may not be for you. But if you love pop-culture, rock n’ roll, whimsy, and marching to the beat of your own drum the way I do, then you may want to consider incorporating some of my favorite out-of-the-box, ‘Gram-worthy touches to your wedding experience.
1. Get the Party Started (Right!)
When hiring vendors–especially if you decide to enlist the help of a professional planner–it’s absolutely essential to choose those who align with your personal style and vision. If your goal is to throw a party fit for a rockstar, then hiring a company that has actually worked with rockstars is an excellent place to start.
MY HOUSE EVENTS
Want to have an intimate rehearsal dinner in a sculpture garden, get married in the middle of a historic bridge, or have some of NOLA’s most innovative chefs come together to create a pop-up-style menu made just for you? Then the ladies of My House Events are your girls. This female-owned collective has successfully positioned themselves as a “culinary curation company” that works with incredibly talented chefs, vendors, and interesting venues to customize the experience for every wedding they produce. They offer full and partial planning services in addition to catering & bar curation, and are the cool kids you want to work with if you are looking for personalized suggestions beyond the norm.
inquire via website for a custom quote
2. Balance Your Bachelorette/Bachelor Festivities
There’s no shortage of options when it comes to indulgence in NOLA. If your Krewe is going to make it through a whole weekend of constant cocktails, decadent fine dining, and Bourbon Street pizza at 3am though, I suggest giving them more than packets of Pedialyte and ibuprofen in their welcome bags.
BRIDE TRIBE YOGA
BTY offers private group yoga sessions, with or without mimosas, at your hotel or a nearby park. If that’s not unique enough for you, they also offer poolside sessions on hot pink astroturf (The Drifter Hotel), kitten yoga (Louisiana SPCA), and blacklight glow yoga. Have people in your group who aren’t down with the down dog life? Their instructors can cater to all levels, but it’s not just about the workout. According to the Bride Tribe, “It’s less about yoga and more about creating the space to celebrate you + your tribe + good vibes. Take a moment. Slow down. Connect to the company that surrounds you. (Then pop bottles of champagne and celebrate! This day is about you!) For all of the craziness that surrounds bachelorette and wedding weekend, we bring groups back to the present through movement and mindfulness.”
packages start at $20/person ($150 minimum)
If mindfulness, meditation, and relaxation are your thing, consider an alternative spa experience like Flōt Nōla Float Center & Spa. Their state-of-the-art saltwater filtration system infuses 800-1000 lbs of pure epsom salts into a temperature-controlled pod void of light and sound for a weightless experience that mimics floating in space. It is scientifically proven to promote a heightened-state of relaxation and mental clarity. They also offer combo packages with an array of holistic spa services like massages, facials, or a trip to their Infrared Sauna or Oxygen Bar. So many options to help you detox before you retox!
6024 Magazine St., New Orleans
Packages start at $65 for a 60-minute float session
3. Choose Creative Krewe Attire
Whether for Bachelor/Bachelorette or the wedding weekend itself, matching casual group attire for the wedding party has become a must. But do your bridesmaids reaaaally want to spend $$ on another “Team Bride” tank top like every other one they’ve seen on Etsy (and that they most def will never wear again)? Consider instead choosing stylish, locally made items focused on your wedding destination: New Orleans. For those from out of town, it’s a souvenir and for locals—well, we can’t ever show enough NOLA love!
THE ELIZABETH CHRONICLES
Chic is the best word to describe this beautiful uptown boutique. In addition to a stunning selection of style-savvy clothing and accessories, the brand has its own line of fashion-forward t-shirts, tanks, and sweatshirts that pay homage to New Orleans. With phrases like “j’adore nola”, “seaux chic”, “Krewe of Kouture”, and “geaux girl”, your squad will look sophisticated and thank you for sparing them another t-shirt for the thrift donation pile. All of The Elizabeth Chronicles’ graphic shirts are made-to-order; if you love the look but still want a personalized touch, you can contact them through their website for custom orders. J’adorable!
5430 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA
Tanks & Tees $30 & Up, Sweatshirts $44
This shop is stocked to the brim with NOLA themed clothing & gifts–in fact, they even do full gift registries! For the men in your wedding party, I absolutely love these “Ya Boix” hats, designed in the style of the La Croix logo. They’re available in a variety of colors, including the iconic pastel shades of the soda brand, black & gold, and Mardi Gras (purple, green, gold).
629 N. Carrollton Ave. and 4610 Magazine St., New Orleans
4. LET YOUR SWAGGER SHINE
Fashion is one of the greatest means of self-expression, and your wedding is the chance to choose ensembles that put Jay-Z & Beyonce-level swagger in your step. Besides your actual wedding dress and suit, quirky accessories are a great way to bring some of your personal pizazz to the party.
FRINGE + CO.
Specializing in all things sparkle + shine, fringe + co.’s signature tinsel jacket is the perfect thing to throw over your wedding gown when it’s time to go full disco queen on the dance floor. If you’re just a little bit extra and want to do a full costume change before you head to the afterparty, their white sequin pantsuit set is sure to be a showstopper! Though not available for purchase just yet, Owner & Designer Kelsey Campion gave me the insider scoop that she’s working on more wedding-focused styles in 2020, including a bachelorette collection to be released later this year.
Tinsel Jacket $165, Sequin Crop-Top $68, Sequin Pants $115
Fun socks are great way for grooms to interject some personality into their look. I love Bonfolk not only for their vibrant NOLA-themed patterns, but for their mission–for every pair purchased, they donate a pair of socks to homeless initiatives. From favorite football team to favorite food, Bonfolk has an option to suit every dude.
5. MAKE MEMORABLE MOMENTS
As a planner myself, I try to always make sure to remain focused on the “why?” when it comes to wedding planning. The reason behind all the details and special touches is to tell a story that is as unique as your love, and to celebrate that love with your closest family and friends. Having elements that truly engage people through the art of experience is a great way to get your guests to live in the moment, and then remember those moments forever!
Raw oysters are a delicacy that many want added to their wedding menu, but as a station I find it visually unappealing & messy, and the line seems to never die down. The “Roving Oysters” concept from Oysters XO solves those problems by mobilizing their shuckers. Staff wear a hip-holster containing the oysters with standard accoutrements like lemon wedges and cocktail sauce, and they shuck as they walk around interacting with guests. Their services can be booked a la cart, or are available through My House Events as part of your catering package.
Inquire via website or My House Events for a custom quote
SIPMI BY THE GRAND BEVY
Do you know what people love more than photobooth pics printed on strips of paper? Photobooth pics printed on cocktails! The Grand Bevy is the leading high end creative beverage service for the event market across the USA and internationally, and we are lucky enough that they have an outpost here in New Orleans. They specialize in innovative cocktail techniques like molecular sphere and liquid nitrogen cocktails, but their SIPMI invention is the most futuristic of all their offerings. The technology takes the guests’ photo and makes an edible print on top of their cocktail in 30 seconds or less, hence the slogan “Drink Yourself.” Though either option is a luxury upgrade, they also offer a more cost-effective preset version that uses a single photo or graphic you provide in advance. This is one addition that will definitely deliver the WOW factor!
Packages start at $2800 for SIPMI Preset, $3800 for SIPMI Live
LIVE PORTRAITS BY RAVEN JONES
Having a live painter at your wedding is awesome, but they typically are creating a single painting that’s meant for the couple to keep. Local artist Raven Jones can do that too, but her real gift lies in her ability to quickly create stunning watercolor, ink, pencil, or charcoal portraits in 10 minutes or less. She’s a modern alternative to a caricaturist with the artistic integrity of an authentic street artist like you might find in the Frenchman St. Market. Giving your guests a piece of art as a favor is cool—-but art that’s of them, made in front of them? #ballermove
Packages start at $250
6. Party Like It’s 1999
I believe whole-heartedly that the best weddings always leave time at the end for a solid “party power hour”. Once everyone has had enough to drink that even Grandma is letting loose on the dance floor, it’s time to really let your inner wild child shine. To notify your guests that it’s about time to get their rave on, I love a dramatic change in ambiance–like suddenly flipping the switch on UV lighting and throwing glow sticks to everyone on the dancefloor. 90’s nostalgia is extra-hot at the moment, but a neon sign isn’t the only way to create the glow vibe.
POOF COTTON CANDY GLOWSTICKS
The whimsical nature of fresh spun cotton candy is taken up a notch with Poof Cotton Candy’s glow-in-the-dark cones. With flavors like King Cake, Cookies & Cream, Fruity Unicorn, and Bourbon & Bacon, this tasty interactive station is a great way to close-out your wedding reception with a bang! For a more economical option, they do a non-glow version of the action station as well as pre-packaged favors with custom labels. They are also available for booking a la carte, or through My House Events as part of your catering package.
Glow Packages start at $500; Inquire via website or My House Events for a custom quote
About the author
With 12 years of planning experience, Jessica Talazac is the Director of Special Events at Republic NOLA, a renowned live music and events venue located in the Arts/Warehouse District of downtown New Orleans. The 168-year-old historic building has been revived with modern amenities to create a unique, one-of-a-kind atmosphere that has set the stage (literally) for iconic artists like Mumford & Sons, The Chainsmokers, deadmau5, G-Eazy, Diplo, and many more. Jessica oversees the booking, planning, design and execution of all private parties, weddings, and corporate events for the 1000 capacity venue. She enjoys working with non-traditional couples to create the wedding of their dreams and ensure that above all else, FUN is had by all!
Looking for an atypical wedding venue?
828 S. Peters St., New Orleans