Heather and Josh wanted to show their family and friends how much they love New Orleans and each other, so there was no better way than to have a Race and Religious wedding! The couple both met a few years back in New Orleans, neither a native of the beautiful and vibrant city. Heather, originally from Connecticut, and Josh, a Missouri native, fell in love with New Orleans almost as hard as they fell in love for each other. Since the majority of their wedding guests would be traveling to Louisiana to celebrate with them, they wanted their wedding weekend to be a celebration of all things New Orleans.
Day 1: a Second Line
On the first day of their wedding weekend, Heather and Josh hosted a Second Line through the French Quarter and Marigny neighborhood. They had the Perdido Jazz Band lead us through with their brass jazz. A Second line is a traditional parade usually led by a brass band and followed by the paraders with their handkerchiefs and parasols dancing in the air. Heather and Josh told their friends “dress however you like. The wackier, the better”. They delivered! Random tourists joined in on the fun and others threw mardi gras beads from the balconies.
Day 2: a Crawfish Boil
The second day was a large crawfish boil on the bayou. I had never been to a crawfish boil, let alone eat a crawfish! I still couldn’t be convinced to ‘suck the brains’ out, but I did enjoy the tails! Here was a great recipe I found on cooking crawfish.
Day 3: Wedding at Race and Religious!
On the last day of their wedding weekend, Heather and Josh hosted a Race and Religious wedding for about 120 of their friends and family. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; Race and Religious is not only my favorite wedding venue in New Orleans, but perhaps the whole county. This venue has SO much charm. It’s fun, vibrant, historic, unique, and just plain beautiful.
The couple had a very unique wedding day as well. Heather, an artist herself, did all of the decor! She painted the signs and drew the invites, as well as the cake toppers! They had a casual dinner setup, with a food truck parked just outside the main gates of the venue. Everyone danced the night away under the market lights and eventually jumped into the pool!
More about Race and Religious;
Race and Religious, originally built in the 1830s, sits on the corner of Race St and Religious St. in the Lower Garden District right by the river. It is covered in exposed brick and surrounded by palm trees. It has since been renovated for modern necessities as well as a pool in the center courtyard. The pool seems to be the main attraction, with almost ALL couples somehow ending up in it late night!
The property is made up of three separate buildings, and can all be rented out for the whole weekend if you’d like! It has 4 bedrooms between the three buildings, and two kitchens. (And don’t forget…the pool!).
To rent out Race and Religious for a wedding is $8,000. This does not include catering, bar service, or decor. As mentioned before, you can pretty much do whatever you want for your wedding! Food truck or a full catered dinner!
For ceremonies, most people get married in the center courtyard, with guests seated on both sides of the pool. They can even watch from the balconies like they did at this wedding! I’ve also seen ceremonies done on the front courtyard as well.
The venue is able to hold 250 guests, but I find that 150 is probably the perfect amount, as the space is split up into three smaller courtyards. This does make it a little harder to have one ‘traditional’ space for reception seating. A have photographed a few weddings at this wedding venue now, and have seen it done in SO many ways. I find that most couples embrace the uniqueness of the space and let their guests kind of have a ‘free flow’ vibe. Some sitting here, some sitting there, some even sitting inside! Either way, they always end up on the same dance floor.
You are allowed to have bands and live music at Race and Religious. A lot of couples also have their second line immediately after their ceremony and parade around the block!
Race and Religious is now offering petite events and elopement packages for their wedding venue! But if you still wanted a larger traditional wedding, you might want to hurry. This wedding venue tends to book up over a year in advance!
As you can see, there are MANY reasons to love this venue. I will always have a special place in my heart for Race and Religious weddings!
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