Get it? It’s like Cell Block Tango. Ah, it’s Monday—cut me some slack. True story: I hate making up titles.
Do you have some kind of wedding task that you just keep avoiding? Maybe not for any good reason, but it’s just that line that never gets scratched off of the to-do list? For me, that was searching for our hotel block. Since we’re getting married downtown, I was overwhelmed with the number of hotels in a few-block radius from the Board of Trade. And it’s a lot more than just deciding on a suitable hotel for our guests to stay. This would be where we would get ready on the wedding day and possibly take our first-look and bridal-party photos, and spend our first night as a married couple. So I spent time scouring some wedding photographer’s blogs to find pictures of suites and lobbies to see which hotels had the best spaces.
After contacting a few places for prices and suite availability, I settled on two hotels that were staring me right in the face the whole time. See that building right behind the Board of Trade?
Photo found on What I saw Riding My Bike Around Today
That’s the Windsor Court hotel. It’s definitely one of the nicest hotels in the city, and they just had a major restoration to all of their guest rooms. I thought that it would be too expensive, but the group rates that they gave us were pretty reasonable.
They have a lovely courtyard where we could grab a few pictures before heading off to our (currently undetermined) bridal-party photo locations.
Photo from Windsor Court Hotel
Courtyard bridesmaid photos / Photo by Studio Tran
We visited the Windsor Court to see the hotel and the rooms, and I was happy with all of the offerings. They’ve got a few options for suites that offer a lot of space for sleeping, getting ready, and picture-taking.
Nice and spacious suite! / Photo from Trip Advisor
The suites have large windows which allow for a lot of natural light in the room—a plus for makeup application and photographs.
Having a good place for a beauty station is a big deal to me! / Photo by MQ Photography
And a good place to hang dresses! / Photo by Mark Eric Photography
I initially thought about getting a club-level suite, because what better time for being full out swanky than the wedding weekend, right? The sales manager actually suggested that I just book a regular level and request the highest floor possible. Since the club level requires a room key to access the floors, it might make it difficult with hair and makeup artists, flower delivery, photographers, bridesmaids, and any well-wishing family members that might stop by, since someone would constantly have to be running downstairs to let people up. So I took that great advice and booked a regular floor full suite with a river view for Friday and Saturday night.
Momma P did book a club-level suite, since she expects a lot less visitors in their suite than I do and there’s nothing to stop her from having a swanky weekend. This means we will be able to access the club-level lounge and rooftop terrace if we want to do first-look photos up there. You can’t really get a view of the skyline from the rooftop, but the privacy it offers might be just what we want that day.
Wind on a rooftop is bad for hair, but awesome for veils! But her hair looks amazing too. / Photo by MQ Photography
The Windsor Court works out great for a lot of our needs on the night before and morning of the wedding, but I wanted to offer another hotel that would be at a lower price point. The Country Inn and Suites New Orleans is directly across the street from the Board of Trade. Guests can literally walk (cough *stumble* cough) across the street to get to this hotel. It’s a nice place with decently sized rooms, and it’s at a good price point for the Friday and Saturday night.
We might actually take some pictures in front of the pretty, colorful exterior! / Photo from Country Inns
Even though this was a pain in the booty to get started, I’m glad we got it out of the way so that family could secure room reservations, and that we have no issues now that the information is out to the masses on our wedding website.
Technically, for both hotels we do not have a room block. We instead have a reserved rate for our guests that expires one month before the wedding date. This means that if the hotel fills up then my guests are not guaranteed a room. With not too much going on in the city that weekend, the hotel managers don’t anticipate this being a problem at all, and this way we are not responsible for any blocked rooms that do not get picked up. Since we have a large local guest list, I wasn’t sure how many rooms would get used across two hotels, so this was the better option for us.
Did you lack motivation to contact some hotels? Or was there some other task that you were dragging your feet about? Finally—how cute is this little bar in the Windsor Court lobby? I definitely want to grab a picture with the bridesmaids at it!
Photo from Windsor Court Hotel
Who dares me to sit on the bar in my wedding dress with the girls in the chairs? Do you think they’d kick a bride out of a hotel?