This year, our great city of New Orleans will host the most important NFL game of the year – The Super Bowl. And following this “National Holiday,”we’ll host the most important “New Orleans Holiday;” Mardi Gras.
What does this mean for our city? It
means three months of last minute construction in order to get the city looking
nice and shiny; week-long events celebrating the big game; then, parades for a
week to follow. The city will welcome swarms of tourists, celebrities and
camera crews invading our streets to broadcast and experience the entire
celebration of the big events. As a result, we will not be able to do
anything unrelated to the Super Bowl or Mardi Gras from the time the parties commence until Ash Wednesday.
What does this mean for your wedding vendors? It means working non-stop for the weeks
leading up to the major celebrations - providing venues, catering, décor,
itineraries, transportation and anything/everything to meet the expectations
of what our clients, tourists and devoted locals are expecting – the
parties of the year!
What is my point? My point is that for
the last week, I have been fielding phone calls from some of my clients that
are getting married no sooner than the summer months, and my vendors have been
fielding phone calls from clients getting married as late as Spring 2014. Even
though we have explained that our response times are a bit slower right now due
to the craziness going on in the city, the clients insist that these are
emergency issues that need to be taken care of on the spot - “emergency issues”
that include everything from room blocks to catering menus all for weddings
that are more than four months away.
I am the first person to push a vendor
for a quicker response as I know New Orleans runs on its on schedule. I am
always someone who answers emails right away, even if I’m on vacation. I take
phone calls on Sunday nights, and while celebrating Thanksgiving with my
family, I’ve been known to excuse myself to answer a client’s call. The
invasion of holidays, weekends and night time hours are a problem in and of
itself, but expecting every vendor to have the ability to operate accordingly
during what will be two of the biggest events New Orleans will see this year, is
more than demanding - it’s impossible.
When you choose New Orleans as your
destination city for your wedding, you chose it because we throw a party like
no other, because we always have something going on and because we have the
best of everything there is to offer- from music to restaurants. With that being
said, please do your research and know when key events are in the city in which
you will wed. Know when the festivals are taking place, as they will drive up
the prices of hotel rooms. Know the city-wide convention dates that will make
it impossible for you to get a hotel room at all. Know when our high wedding
seasons occur so you don’t expect a weekend tasting. But most importantly, know
when our party of the year takes place; for when Mardi Gras rolls in, all bets
are off and we’re shut down for at least the week! Finally, when the apocalypse
of parties happen - Super Bowl and Mardi Gras fall within a week of each other -
either come on down and enjoy the party, or relax until Ash Wednesday.
Unless your wedding will take place within a month of the
festivities, concentrate on the things that do not involve your
vendors. Know enough about what’s going on here to know that this is not like
being in the middle of wedding season, or the weekend of French Quarter Fest where one or two vendors are affected. This is all of those
festivities happening at the same time “x's 10” and there’s nothing we can do about it, so we sure as hell
will embrace it!