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Friday, February 1, 2013

The Dynamic Duo To Trump Your Wedding

     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!

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