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Our Top 10 Favorite Wedding Expert Tips for Mardi Gras Weddings
It’s natural to feel the pull of planning your wedding during other celebrations throughout the year. A Valentine’s Day wedding is a natural choice, as it’s the day of love, after all, while a New Year’s wedding is a great choice for couples who want to party the night away. However, if you’re looking for a theme that’s a little different, but no less celebratory, go with a Mardi Gras wedding!
Vintage Inspired Mardi Gras Table Setting: Ciao! Newport Beach
1. Don't Feel Stuck Choosing Purple, Green, and Gold
There’s no denying that purple, green, and gold are perfect for a Mardi Gras wedding theme, but don’t feel like you have to choose those colors. Kawania Wooten of Howerton + Wooten Events says, "When selecting colors to complement a theme, let go of the obvious color combinations." For a Mardi Gras Wedding, that might mean focusing in on just one color, like gold, or using softer shades of purple throughout your décor.
Mardi Gras Table Setting Featuring Gold Details: Separk Mansion
2. It's All About Classy Details
Things can get cheesy really fast when you plan a Mardi Gras wedding, but you don’t want your wedding to look like a kids’ party!
There’s nothing wrong with using masks and handing out beads—more on that in a minute—but quality matters. For example, avoid paper or plastic plates and use metal charger plates instead. Order quality masks instead of bulk masks from a discount supplier, and use classy, high-quality fabrics, like velvet and chiffon in lieu of tulle and satin.
Candelabras Decorated with Mardi Gras Beads: Me and Annabel Lee
3. Mardi Gras Beads Are a Must
Although it’s true that you want to focus on decorating with classy details, no Mardi Gras wedding is complete without beads!
The experts at My Wedding in New Orleans have some great tips for using traditional Mardi Gras beads in tasteful ways throughout your wedding. For example, drape them over chandeliers, include them in guest favors, or drape them on tables and chairs throughout your ceremony space. Custom Mardi Gras beads can elevate the look of traditional beads, if you’re worried about them looking cheap.
King Cake Wedding Cake: Style Me Pretty
4. Focus on Food
New Orleans is known for its delicious food, so of course you should include some NOLA favorites on your Mardi Gras wedding day menu.
Follow Benjamin Liong Setiawan’s recommendations as inspiration when planning your wedding. Include beignets on your dessert table, consider serving a King Cake instead of a traditional wedding cake, and serve pimento cheese grits as a side at dinner.
Second Line Parade for a Wedding: Bespoke Bride
5. Incorporate Southern Traditions
A Mardi Gras themed wedding is the perfect opportunity to incorporate some Southern traditions into your big day. For example, did you know a groom's cake is a southern tradition? For something extra special at your New Orleans wedding, schedule a second line parade and allow your very own brass band to lead you from your ceremony to your reception.
Opulent Wedding Venue: Bride and Breakfast
6. Keep It Authentic With a Tuesday Wedding
Mardi Gras always falls on a Tuesday. Its translation is “Fat Tuesday” after all! So, why not consider having your Mardi Gras wedding on a Tuesday instead of a Saturday?
Lauren Lindley, a photographer who specializes in weddings, mentions the fact that you'll likely have your choice of any venue you want. Not to mention, weekday weddings are always more affordable.
Open Window in the Winter: Seven Ponds
7. Make Sure Your Reception Is Well Ventilated
Because Mardi Gras occurs in February, it’s a good idea to choose your Mardi Gras wedding dress carefully, provide guests and your bridal party with blankets and shawls, and host your ceremony and reception inside where it’s warm, but you should also consider ventilation.
Preston Bailey, event designer to the stars, say, "You want your venue to be warm and cozy but not stuffy. Ventilation is key." Don’t be afraid to crack the windows, use fans, and talk to your vendor about how they manage ventilation for large events.
Bridesmaids Walking Through the Snow: Martha Stewart
8. Plan Ahead for Every Weather Possibility
It doesn’t matter if you’re using a Mardi Gras wedding theme or not, having a wedding in February means planning ahead for every weather possibility.
Rachel Hollis, founder of Chic Events, offers up some questions you should ask yourself, including, "Will they (guests) have to walk along a snowy path to get to the ceremony? Does the reception hall get chilly due to all the large windows? Should valets be stocked with umbrellas so no one gets drizzled on getting in and out of their car?"
Night Photo Featuring a Bride and Groom: Anglo Couture
9. Be Mindful of Sundown
Even though a Mardi Gras wedding is the perfect opportunity to party all night long, and night shots can be quite stunning, you will definitely want to utilize natural sunlight in your pictures.
Be mindful of when the sun goes down. Creative Event Designer, Michelle Kelly of Pocketful of Dreams recommends planning a midday ceremony or working with your photographer to coordinate a first look while you still have plenty of sunlight. Night shots can be scheduled for later in the evening, as long as you make sure you plan ahead for lighting.
Bride, Groom, and Bridesmaid Wearing Masquerade Masks: Green Wedding Shoes
10. Let Guests in on the Theme
Part of the fun of a Mardi Gras wedding is letting guests in on the theme! Send out Mardi Gras wedding invitations that make the dress code clear, no matter what kind of dress code you’re envisioning. And of course, make sure guests know if you’re having a masquerade wedding so they know they can wear their own masks if they want!