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Why New Orleans

Wedding Pulls

The tradition of cutting the wedding cake at weddings in the New Orleans area is preceded by another ritual tradition: unmarried female friends of the bride each “pull a ribbon,” to which a silver charm or “favour” is attached, from the cake.  Charms can include a ring, a heart, a thimble, a button, a horseshoe, and a clover, each with a traditional meaning. Typically, each woman or young girl holds on to a ribbon as a photograph is taken and then all “pull” simultaneously on cue.

 

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Wedding Umbrella and Handkerchief

The History of the Handkerchief

The tradition for the second line handkerchief originated from the famous New Orleans jazz funerals.  Many involved in the second line would either have an umbrella or parasol to add to the spirit of the precession.  Those who did not have the umbrellas and wanted to join in the festivities would grab the nearest white handkerchief to wave in the air.  The white handkerchiefs were often in the pockets of the gentleman in the old days, or the ladies personal handkerchief.   Today any paper or cloth napkin has been used to wave in the air to allow you to join in and be part of the fun.

The History of the Umbrella

The true origin of the second line umbrella was never really documented, but the common sense of necessity combined with the rigors of a second line stroll through the French Quarter or older neighborhoods of New Orleans before air conditioning hit the city makes it easy to figure out.  The idea of carrying an umbrella for shade was very common and it was also a symbol of southern style, femininity and grace.  This umbrella became an accessory of choice for many southern weddings and was often an indicator of societal statue.  Second Line Umbrellas now reflect attitude and personal style as they twirl and spin as if to say “laissez les bons temps rouler”!

The Second Line Parade

One of the most popular traditions during New Orleans weddings is the famous Second Line.  At a wedding if signifies the start of a new beginning of life for the bride and groom.  The Second Line Band leads the bridal party and the guests from the church to the reception venue or it may take place at the reception itself.  A Second Line has two parts.  The first line is usually a brass band and the ones being honored, the bride and groom.  The newly married couple leads the Second Line holding uniquely decorated umbrellas or parasols.  All of there guest who want to join in the celebration make up the Second Line.  They form a line behind the band and the newly married couple, dancing and strutting to the lively music with handkerchiefs or cocktail napkins!

Street Parade Permit Information:
The application for Parade Permit is $50.25 and can only be paid by cashier’s check or money order, payable to the City of New Orleans.   An officer is needed for your escort, payable in cash due on the day of the wedding.  The parade route and size will determine the number of officers needed.  Each officer escort cost $100.00.

For more information on your wedding second line parade or police escorts, please contact Officer Don Powers at 504.343.5890 or donp1961@aol.com.

For Complimentary wedding assistance in New Orleans click here


Groom’s Cake

The Groom’s Cake Tradition
A long-standing tradition in the southern United States, a groom’s cake is a gift from the bride to the groom.

What is a Groom’s Cake?
A groom’s cake is typically smaller than the couple’s wedding cake, one layer only, and is decorated to reflect a particular hobby or interest of the groom.

The history of the groom’s cake goes like this.  The groom’s cake was not to be served to the guests while at the wedding reception, but rather it was to be sliced up, placed into packages and given to them as favors when they departed.  Single women at the wedding would take their pieces of cake home and sleep with it under their pillows in hopes of dreaming of their future husbands.  However, in these days, you can serve the groom’s cake whenever you see fit.

Popular Themes
Themes often chosen for groom’s cakes include hobbies, sports, sports teams, colleges or universities, and computers.  But, because every groom is different, anything can be used as inspiration to make your groom’s cake personal and unique.

What Kind of Cake?
Basically any kind of cake will do; there are no rules.  It is best, however, to have it made in your groom’s favorite flavor, like chocolate, vanilla, fruit-whatever you know he loves.

King Cake
A king cake is a cinnamon roll like oval shaped cake with sugary icing with traditional Mardi Gras colored sprinkles on the outside.  A tiny plastic baby is inside each cake.  The king cake is associated with the Festival of Epiphany.  Catholic tradition states that it took the three kings, twelve days for the journey to Bethlehem to honor the Christ Child on Epiphany.  The king cake season traditionally lasts from twelfth night until Mardi Gras Day.  However, by request most venues or bakeries can accommodate your king cake request.

For Complimentary wedding assistance in New Orleans click here


Second Line

The Second Line Parade

One of the most popular traditions during New Orleans weddings is the famous Second Line.  At a wedding if signifies the start of a new beginning of life for the bride and groom.  The Second Line Band leads the bridal party and the guests from the church to the reception venue or it may take place at the reception itself.  A Second Line has two parts.  The first line is usually a brass band and the ones being honored, the bride and groom.  The newly married couple leads the Second Line holding uniquely decorated umbrellas or parasols.  All of there guest who want to join in the celebration make up the Second Line.  They form a line behind the band and the newly married couple, dancing and strutting to the lively music with handkerchiefs or cocktail napkins!

Street Parade Permit Information:

File an Application for a Parade Permit if the event will involve the use of public streets for a parade, jazz funeral, second line, or other mobile street event.  Link to application with the City of New Orleans One Stop: Click here

After One Stop receives Parade Permit a notification of the event will be sent to the New Orleans Police Department, Special Events Division and they will contact the bride to finalize all details. Contact: NOPD Special Events Division, 504-658-6201 or wpowers@nola.gov

Mardi Gras Indians
Want to add a little Mardi Gras to your wedding?  One of New Orleans favorite traditions comes from the African-American culture, Mardi Gras Indians.

Even though the origin of the tradition is unknown, the century old tradition of certain New Orleans’ African-American males dressing on Mardi Gras Day in elaborate Indian costumes has become a staple of our community.

Many brides pay homage to the Mardi Gras Indian tradition by including it into part of their wedding celebration.  Whether, leading the second line parade or announcing the Bride and Groom at the reception – the Mardi Gras Indians are a show stopper.

For Complimentary wedding assistance in New Orleans click here


Uniquely New Orleans

If you plan to create or order gift bags for your out of town guests, the following uniquely New Orleans items are a must:

Pralines
Zapp’s Chips
Pat O Brien’s Hurricane Drink Mix
Pre-packaged customized Jambalaya mix at www.cookmesomethinmister.com
French Market Coffee & Chicory
Café du Monde Beignet Mix
Creole or Cajun Cookbook
Purple, Green and Gold Mask, Beads and Boas
Landry Pepper Company of Louisiana at www.mycustomhotsauce.com

Jackson Square

A permit is required to hold your wedding or take photographs in Jackson Square.  For details: 504-658-2176 or Events in Jackson Square.

Streetcar Charter

Charter a Red or Green streetcar for private events – a unique New Orleans
Experience Contact Dominic Moncada or Glenda Johnson RTA 504-827-8325
http://norta.com/Business_Center/Streetcar_Charters/index.html

Mardi Gras Indian Show

The Second Line Parade Package has you and your guests dancing in the streets with the Mardi Gras Indians to the music of a New Orleans  Brass Band. A tradition that dates to the 1940s, the Second Line Parade consists of the first line, the brass band, who leads the second line of people through the neighborhood. Following behind the brass band would be you and your guests. That’s right! Everyone who follows behind the band dancing to the music is Second Lining. What is so special about this package is that we provide the complete Mardi Gras Indian Show. A traditional New Orleans Brass Band and the Mardi Gras Indians at one time! Put a handkerchief in your hand, and enjoy this exceptional New Orleans experience. More information at wwww.mardigrasindianshow.com.

Uniquely New Orleans Wedding Settings

  • Historic Homes/Plantations
  • French Quarter Courtyard
  • Private Gardens
  • Romantic Hotels
  • Mississippi Riverboats
  • Churches (choose from more than 900)
  • Botanical Gardens – City Park

For Complimentary wedding assistance in New Orleans click here


© My Wedding In New Orleans 2012

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