Ceremonies

Afternoon or early-evening outdoor ceremonies take on a distinctly New Orleans flair when set in one of our front garden locations: the gallery at the entrance to the house, or the Beaux Arts pavilion. Guests enter through the cast iron gate as the setting sun bathes the yard in a lovely glow. Our festive lighting completes the picture.  After vows are exchanged the event moves to the rear garden for the reception.

For more intimate ceremonies, two additional settings, one indoor and one outdoor, are available: the double parlors off of our central hall and the garden gazebo near the Cottage. A reception for up to sixty guests may be comfortably contained within the house, with music and dancing on the front gallery. Small events include a built-in inclement weather contingency.

Dressing and Preparation

We provide a separate, private dressing room for each bride and groom. The larger of the two is upstairs, opening onto the balcony.  That dressing room is the largest bedroom in the house. Attached to the Suite is its large private bath. Across the center hall from the Suite are the three small parlors. The Suite and parlors provide the privacy and staging area for the application of all the essentials required by a 21st C. bride and her entourage.  A second “Private” dressing room, with adjoining bath, is likewise available on the first floor.  Though by comparison more modest than the “Private Suite,” it is entirely adequate.

For ceremonies attended by up to sixty guests, two additional locations are also available: the parlors of the Benachi House, and the garden gazebo in the back yard.

In the Front Garden

The setting takes form with the placement of chairs and decorations. For a ceremony on the front gallery, chairs are set in the garden, on either side of the walkway.  For a ceremony in the Beaux Arts gazebo, chairs are placed arena-style around the structure, or at its end nearest the house, reserving an aisle for access. Both locations may be personalized with decorations of all sorts, including banners, flowers and potted plants.  

Ceremony music, performed by a string ensemble or played from a recorded format, adds a welcoming dimension.  Our portable sound system is available.

Guests arrive via the front gate and take their seats. The wedding couple and their attendants have each prepared in their separate dressing rooms.  The celebrant awaits their arrival.

For entrance, members of the wedding most frequently choose the front gate, and then proceed along the walkway, around the Rococo fountain to either the gallery or the pavilion.

In our traditionally orchestrated ceremonies, the groom and groomsmen assemble on the gallery or in the pavilion, where they await the entrance of the bride, who enters at the gate escorted by her father, and preceded by her attendants.

For most of the many LGBT events hosted here recently, the brides and grooms make separate, formal entrances through the gate.

These ceremony locations may also be entered from the front doors of the house, access frequently chosen for ceremonies in the pavilion.

While the ceremony is under way, tables on the patios, already set with decorations, are readied for dining.  The caterers are standing by.

Our equipment storage is limited, and we have only 115 chairs. Some hosts save the cost of additional chair rental by having the caterer and/or the guests move the chairs from the ceremony location to the reception on the patios.

As the celebration moves from front to rear, the guests experience a marvelous change of scene.

Intimate Ceremonies

For ceremonies attended by up to sixty guests, two additional locations are also available: the parlors of the Benachi House, and the garden gazebo in the back yard.

In the parlors, while guests sit and stand nearby, vows may be exchanged in front of the library mirror. The dining room may be set in advance with seating and buffet service; and the music and dancing placed on the front gallery. When the ceremony ends, dining tables may be added to the parlors.

The garden gazebo provides another intimate, outdoor alternative. Guests may be seated on the small patio in front of the Cottage.  The members of the wedding may enter from the back door of the Benachi House, and proceed to the gazebo via the walkway and the bridge across the pond. Buffet service and reception dining may then occur in the Benachi House and its parlors or elsewhere on the patio. These intimate ceremony choices with optional overnight stays in our Cottage may be of particular interest in connection with destination weddings.