I’ve been down to New Orleans quite a few times, but never for a wedding. When my good friends from New York City, Megan and Tony, invited us down to celebrate their wedding day in New Orleans, I could not wait. After flights were booked and months of anticipation, the big day had finally arrived. On a picture-perfect Saturday, we gathered at Race & Religious for an evening of non-stop Nola partying with friends.
The venue was absolutely perfect, boasting bold character and southern charm. The rustic touches of the antiquated space made you feel as if you were partying right in the comfort of a friend’s old city home. Just before sunset, the lovebirds exchanged personalized vows in the center of the brick courtyard shaded by florals and greenery. Following the formal “I do’s” we stayed right in the courtyard where drinks and passed appetizers were served to the backdrop of tunes played by one of Nola’s favorite jazz guitarists. A few speeches were made, dancing ensued, and I found my way over to some soul food in the dining area. Grits, Gouda mashed potatoes, seafood and more, the food was incredible. As the night grew darker, candles placed oh-so perfectly throughout the space glowed in a way that created the most romantic and intimate ambiance for all. My soul felt warm that night. A southern sensory overload in some sorts, indulging in savory foods and sweet jazz tunes, it was one of the most enjoyable wedding experiences for Ladyhattan.
And as if the night could not get any better, the music grew louder and massive amounts of powdery beignets were served. Someone told me that I had at least five, noting that the waiter even referred to me as the “beignet lady over there,” throughout the night. Unfortunately, this is probably accurate. Somewhere between the late-night desserts and dancing, the groomsman and bridal party ended up jumping in the pool located within the event space. Wet and covered in powdered sugar from those God damn delicious beignets, the formal wedding had ended and yet the party continued into the night. The bride and groom, known for their love of dive bars, took us to what was referred to by my uber driver as the “dive-iest dive bar in all of Louisiana”… I can’t remember the exact name of this particular dive bar, perhaps it was something like “Jake’s Snake Pit,” but I do remember that it sure was “divey” alright. The next morning the groom surprised his new wife with a surprise trip to one of my favorite hotels in the world, Crillon le Brave located in the heart of Provence, France. I tried really hard to stuff myself in their suitcase, but it didn’t work out for me. Maybe it was because of all the beignets I ate the night before.
All in all, this was a wedding to remember and a venue that I highly recommend when planning a big event in the city of New Orleans. To learn more about the special location where the wedding took place, scroll on down for glimpses of my photographs from the evening and a detailed overview of Race & Religious. A big thank you to my dear friends, Megan and Tony, for hosting such a memorable event. I love you guys. To a lifetime of love and happiness, and until the next sweet escape y’all!
More about Race & Religious
Race & Religious is located along the riverfront of the Lower Garden District of New Orleans, between the Convention Center and Magazine Street. Built in the 1830’s, a two-story Creole cottage facing Religious Street was purchased by owner Granville Semmes in 1977 in complete disrepair. He spent nearly thirty years gutting the property, restoring its original beauty and adding hand-picked antiques and layers of decor.
Years later, Semmes became eager to acquire the neighboring corner property at 510 Race Street, which he eventually purchased in August of 2003. The addition was a three story Greek Revival Rowhouse accompanied by the historical Slave Quarter, a hallmark of the property. The labor of love required extensive renovations, including his decision to re-imagine the space by merging the separate homes together with a lush brick courtyard and swimming pool lit by the flicker of gas lamps.
The unified space includes two commercially-equipped kitchens, working fireplaces, interior and exterior speakers, balconies overlooking the courtyard and downtown New Orleans, and the option of four bedrooms, comfortably sleeping up to ten guests for your big event. It’s hard to find such a large and accommodating space for a truly customized event. Having had the chance to visit this property, I highly reccomend considering Race & Religious for your next big event in Nola!