A really special part of your wedding day is the moment you start getting ready with your nearest and dearest. These are the few hours you have with your closest family and friends, before setting off on your whirlwind day. The intimate moments: the butterflies, the emotions and the laughs that accompany a bride and groom while getting ready. The moments that you’ll want to remember forever. As a photographer I think the ‘getting ready shots’ can often be exceptional. In this article, I want to share some tips on what to look out for when choosing getting ready hotels in New Orleans .
After photographing a whole bunch of weddings in and around New Orleans, I’ve narrowed down some true gems that will help create utterly stunning shots of you and your wedding party while you prepare to embark on your romantic journey of a lifetime.
Thinking about location as a whole can really add some zest to your pre-wedding shots. It’s not only the room that matters! The location can play into your photos in ways that you’d never expect. Does the hotel have some unique backdrops that could lend themselves to interesting shots? What about the facade? Remember that photographers love to find all the stylish backdrops and settings to incorporate. Especially when it comes to those unique and captivating ‘first look’ shots. These will mostly be outside of the rooms, so being able to walk around and have fun within the hotel will allow for your photographer to really snap captivating shots.
Lighting is a photographer’s main play point. A normal photo can be transformed into a work of art by illuminating it properly. For this reason, it’s essential to think about the windows in your ‘getting ready’ room. The ideal situation is a room with windows on either side. This allows for natural light to cascade abundantly onto you while you hop into your dress or suit. Often corner rooms are perfect for this. Make sure to ask for lots of windows when you book. Believe me, your make-up crew will thank you!
Think about what kind of style you like, and pair it with an accommodation you love the look of. This really allows us to create some magic when it’s time for the camera to come out. Sensing what you prefer in terms of color pallet, furnishings, details or interior design of the hotel, will allow you to pick an option that you connect with. There are so many awesome hotels that can reveal elements of your own personal style and, at the same time, flaunt the unique character of New Orleans. Luckily I’ve done all the hard work for you – find inspiration in the hotels listed below and let’s get planning!
The Hotel Peter and Paul has a great location and sensational style. It’s a restoration of an old Catholic school and church, so the building’s design is historic, grand and super distinct from anything else you might have seen. Offering bespoke antique furniture, each room is individually paired with a carefully thought-out color pallet that will add luminance to your photo lookbook as you get ready for your momentous day. The communal areas are aesthetically influenced by 14th-18th century Europe but with a modern flair. They do charge a fee for photographing outside the rooms, but as it’s so tastefully curated – and the hotel has so much character – it’s worth the extra sum if the pocket allows for it.
This uptown 19th century mansion, renovated into one of the best boutique hotels in New Orleans, oozes finesse with its glamorous interior design and remarkable attention to the finer details. Not to forget the exquisite art collection adorning the walls throughout the mansion! They say taste can’t be bought, but with a room in this hotel you might get close. It was designed by Sara Ruffin Costello and boasts an amazing pool that is a unique place to shoot photos or just assemble for a cocktail to calm the nerves. This exquisite location will make you feel like you are in a Wes Anderson movie and perfectly sets in motion your dreamlike wedding day.
One of the most spectacular 5 star hotels in New Orleans, the Maison de la Luz is the definition of decadence. It’s curated with rich coloring and full of ornate details that create a set for photography with absolute style. The suites themselves offer fantastic natural light and interiors that will make you melt. Every turn is exquisite, from the lighting fixtures to the dreamy stairwell that’s just asking to be posed on. This hotel is an absolute gem, and if you’re willing to spend a bit more on luxury – their guesthouse will leave you speechless.
This is one of the many fantastic getting ready Airbnbs in New Orleans. It is historic, luxurious and offers beautiful interiors full of punchy colors. The whole Airbnb has real character which will reflect in your photos. This is a great place if you’re interested in finding a spot where you can rent the whole house. Just you and your tight circle of friends, enjoying the added privacy and independence to do things your way! You can have the most incredible time here, getting ready together in a great location close to the Quarter. The different color palettes beautifully matched throughout the Airbnb are bright and pop with joy. Definitely worth checking out!
Cozy, quirky and with a kickass courtyard, this is one of the best AirBnBs in New Orleans French Quarter. Sleeping 5 (in a one bedroom + loft and a sofa bed situation), this elegant condo is located right in the heart of the historic French Quarter – I’m talking 50 steps from Bourbon St! The ‘Armstrong’ apartment is located on the third floor and faces the lush courtyard that’s perfect for morning coffees or an afternoon apéritif. The decor is an eclectic mix of classic, modern and natural with a ton of cute corners and interesting accents to make your getting ready photos pop!
The Pontchartrain will captivate you from the outset. Its beautiful facade and characteristic features are so eye-catching that you can’t help but stop and take it in! The interior of the hotel is equally enchanting. A blend of rich and romantic color schemes, sumptuous textures and old school touches, the Pontchartrain is a perfect blend of art deco and modern design that is New Orleans to the core. The aesthetic in this hotel is just perfect for a photographer and there will be limitless ways to incorporate elegance into your getting ready shots.
Once a printing house and bitters factory, the Eliza Jane is historic and creates a beautiful facade to border your experience. There are amazing spots for photography inside the lobby, the garden courtyard or even the literature-themed lounge. The rooms are warm, stylish and neat, with a muted color scheme that creates a subdued richness to pair with the exquisite gold finishings. This hotel is great for larger groups as there are beautiful, spacious rooms to get ready in as well as the stunning areas outside the rooms to play with too.
This hotel is very modern and hip with interesting and stylish communal areas. The pool and rooftop area is bright, fun and totally chic – a great place for your photographer to shoot you and your posse. There are interesting artistic elements throughout the hotels, boasting a very contemporary touch. Bright and breezy rooms with modern finishings and stylish decor – everything here feels fresh and fun! Plus they can cater for big groups and are located in a fantastic part of town which makes them one of the best hotels to get ready for weddings in New Orleans.
Situated in the lower garden district of New Orleans, this hotel is full of beautiful 19th century architecture and open green spaces. It’s an optimal choice for a photographer to shoot using the iconic features of the hotel as well as stylish retro rooms with a modern twist. The rooms are not huge, but they are stylish and funky with patterned feature walls and eclectic furnishings! The surrounding areas are perfect for photographs too, offering ornate filigree facades as you take the steps up to the entrance of the hotel. There’s also a luxurious pool area lined with palms and beauty, making the photography opportunities endless in this hotel.
Our third AirBnB on the list oozes New Orlean’s trademark charm. This house is an absolute party – but an elegant one … the crisp white paint job creates a perfect canvas for the kaleidoscopic color accents used throughout the house. The stainless glass mosaic at the entrance is a stunning example and provides a beautiful light in the hallway that’s ideal for capturing some unique getting ready photos. While this house is a stunning example of a New Orleans-style fever dream there are countless other beautiful properties throughout our city. I urge you to spend some time looking through what’s on offer until you find somewhere that really meshes with your wedding party’s vibe. I’m always around for recommendations as well, so if you want to brainstorm, just reach out!
A historic creole mansion renovated with modern style! The Royal Frenchman showcases illustrious local artwork, which adds local flavour to the experience of each room. There’s also a beautiful courtyard lined with festoon lights, featuring an eye-catching fountain. It’s perfectly situated for those looking to party and have a good time as it’s close to many of the hippest bars and restaurants.
The Saint Hotel is a beautiful blend of glamorous Hollywood regency style and art deco modernism. The hotel is curated with incredible and unusual artwork and furnishings that show off its artistic streak. Styled in juxtaposition – some rooms are light, revealing tastefully exposed brick with a color pallet of whites and blues; other rooms are dark, decadent and bold with a color pallet of black and red. So pick your flavour and enjoy the ride – it may get wild! The Saint is ideally located walking distance from Bourbon Street and all the vibrance the French Quarter has to offer.
This Bywater bohemian mansion with a private pool was once a BNB. The owners are now focused on hosting private events and weddings. Hosting 8 rooms each with its own private bath, It’s perfect for your full wedding party to rent for the weekend. The house has a unique collection of artwork by local artists, a huge backyard, off street parking, a lovely front porch and light filled balcony. The location is perfect for accessing the Bywater, one of the more fun and funky neighborhoods close to the French Quarter.
Now that you know where to get ready for your memorable day, maybe I can help with capturing it! I’m a passionate, knowledgeable, open-minded and creative wedding photographer with 30 years’ experience in the field. Get in touch now and let’s chat about bringing your vision to life.