A Glamorous, Big Easy–Themed Wedding in New Orleans, Louisiana

For Virginia Meltzer (30 and a commercial real estate broker) and Jeff Luther (32 and a regional sales manager), deciding the location of their wedding was a no-brainer. It was New Orleans from the start. "It's a city that's so full of life," says Virginia, who was born and raised there. 

Since the majority of the couple's guests would be traveling in for the occasion, Virginia and Jeff decided to treat their day like a destination wedding and played up the Big Easy vibe. They booked Broussard's, a restaurant in the French Quarter, for the ceremony and reception, and worked with a planner to create an event with a focus on fun and a spotlight on New Orleans traditions. 

Virginia selected a bold palette of black-and-white stripes and accents of deep red and gold. Among the location-centric details: Food stations with Creole specialties such as jambalaya and crawfish; masks, tiaras and beads for guests to don while dancing; and a dessert spread of doughnuts, a nod to the city's famous beignets. Virginia and Jeff danced to "Our Love is Here to Stay" by Nola native Louis Armstrong. 

And the best part? After the courtyard ceremony—which Virginia wrote and Jeff's stepfather officiated—the newlyweds did a "second-line" parade through the French Quarter, accompanied by all their guests, a band and a police escort. "My husband and I love having parties, so I really wanted a vibrant and glamorous experience for everyone," says Virginia. Mission accomplished. —Michelle Thomas