Happy 'Day after Twelfth Night,' everyone! I have been hard at work trying to get this blog on its proverbial feet, and the day of my first official vendor review is (finally) here. This post will also commence my very first 'Wedding Wednesday,' on which I will generally post new vendor reviews and general information pertaining to NOLA brides! Today's vendor review is a venue report about the charming Pat O's on the River, which was one of the first venues that I looked into. I absolutely fell in love with the location and the authentic French-European decor that styles the venue. I was also blown away by how inclusive the wedding package was. For brides in search of a riverfront, French Quarter location with comprehensive packaging and a venue with beautiful decor, Pat O's on the River might be just what you're looking for!
Pat O's On The River & The Briar's Suite
Most New Orleans brides have their heart set on finding the perfect venue nestled in the heart of the French Quarter. And if you're anything like me, the idea of having a wedding with a waterfront view is swoon-worthy. On both aspects, Pat O's delivers. This venue (and the handful of other venues in the same building/area...to be discussed in other reviews) provides a unique setting for brides desiring an authentic French Quarter (FQ) wedding with a scenic background of the Mississippi River. Another plus is that Pat O's (600 Decatur Street) is located just adjacent to Jackson Square and is an ideal distance away from Bourbon Street for brides wanting to avoid the rowdiness. This location (not to be confused with Pat O'Brien's Courtyard) is conveniently situated on the third floor of the Jackson Brewery Millhouse.
The Entire Venue Space
Pat O's on the River is the combined space of The Grande Terrace and The Promenade, two rooms that can either be rented separately or together. Rental of the entire venue space allows you to access two outdoor balconies overlooking the water, two bar spaces, and a generous dance floor/seating area with floor-to-ceiling views of the Mississippi. Rich in decor, the whole venue is lined with textured walls, wrought iron gates, and antique chandeliers, which sets a very authentic, FQ vibe. For brides that are in search of venue space requiring minimal decor planning, Pat O's is a wise choice.
The Grande Terrace
The larger of the two spaces, the Grande Terrace hosts a bigger balcony, dance floor/seating area, and bar than the Promenade. Unique to the Grande Terrace use of the private bridal suite included with its rental. The suite is a small, private room with a door leading to the bathroom, and would provide a convenient place to freshen up during your event. However, if you are looking for a large, luxurious space to get ready and take pictures in, you may want to make arrangements for a separate hotel room.
Just adjacent to the Grande Terrace is the slightly smaller (3,800 square feet) Promenade. Similar to the Grande Terrace, this room also has its own private balcony, bar, and seating area, in addition to a painted mural of the Pat O'Brien's Courtyard adorning the wall. Rental of this space, however, does not include access to the private bridal suite located in the Grande Terrace.
Minimums for Pat O's on the River are as follows:
- Entire Venue- 200 guests
- Grande Terrace- 100 guests for events held on Sunday through Thursday; 125 guests for events held on Fridays and Saturdays
- Promenade- 60 guests for events held on Sunday through Thursday; 75 guests for events held on Fridays and Saturdays
Should you wish to hold both your ceremony and reception at this venue, a flat ceremony fee of 800 dollars will be assessed. Typically, ceremonies are held in the Promenade, and afterward, guests are directed to the Grand Terrace for the reception.
The menu packages offer a great selection of options, included passed hors d'oeuvres, pasta stations, carving stations, and New Orleans Specialty stations. Menu package prices range from 67 dollars per person to 77 dollars per person, plus 9.75% sales tax and a 20% service charge. All of these prices are based upon a three-hour reception and include a full, premium bar. Should you need additional hours, another 12 dollars per person, plus the sales tax and service charge, is applied.
The wedding package includes all of the following:
- A three-hour reception
- Full, open, premium bar, including Pat O'Brien's Signature Cocktails
- Continuous food service
- Use of the private bridal suite dressing room (only with rental of the Grande Terrace)
- A bridal coordinator to assist the Bride and Groom
- Wait staff dressed in professional attire
- A going away box of hors d'oeuvres for the B&G, and the parents of both the B&G
- China and linens
- Table centerpieces with candles
- Coordinating floral arrangements for the buffet lines and guest book table
- A wedding cake allowance from local, selected bakeries
- Champagne passed upon guest arrival
As you can see, the wedding package is quite detailed, and would be ideal for brides wanting a more comprehensive arrangement with their venue!
Special Note- Pat O'Brien's Briar's Suite
The Briar's suite is located on the second floor of Pat O'Brien's Courtyard Restaurant on Bourbon Street. An intimate parlor with a balcony overlooking Bourbon, the Briar's Suite is best suited for smaller weddings or rehearsal dinners. Similar to Pat O's on the River, this venue is styled in French-European decor and has very little need for further embellishment. Pat O's lists the guest accommodation range from 35-100 for a cocktail-style reception; however, please schedule a viewing of the venue before deciding. While beautiful in decor and set in a prime location, the suite did not appear large enough to host more than 50 people comfortably (in my humble opinion). Larger parties have the option of renting out the famous FQ Courtyard in Pat O's for groups ranging from 300-1500+ guests. The menu possibilities are similar to that of Pat O's on the River, with varying station options, and a price of $57 per person, plus sales tax and service charge. If you are in search of a fun, Bourbon-side venue for an intimate wedding or rehearsal dinner, the Briar's Suite is a comparable option!
I am smitten with Pat O's on the River. The location is prime, the package is very inclusive, and they allow four-legged ring bearers if that is part of your dream (MAJOR plus for me!). However, those planning for a more intimate wedding, the guest minimums may be a little steep. Also, for those wanting to host a Second Line (which, who doesn't?!), if you have both your ceremony and reception at Pat O's, the Second Line will be performed after the reception- not after the ceremony. This is probably not a deal-breaker for most brides, but for the few out there that have their hearts set on the Second Line taking place promptly after the ceremony, holding the ceremony at a separate venue might be a better option. It's always fun to Second Line from one venue to the next!
One final point to mention is that, if you are renting only one room of the event space (either the Promenade or the Grande Terrace), the other room is available for rental by other parties during the same day and time as your event. Again, this may not be an issue for most brides, however, I feel that it is worth mentioning.
- Inclusive packaging
- Riverfront, French Quarter location
- Pet friendly
- High guest minimums
- Second Line performed after reception
- Potential of shared event site, possible guest confusion
Well, there you have it! You can grab more information on Pat O'Brien's here. What are your thoughts on Pat O's on the River or the Briar's Suite? Are there any brides out there that have used this venue or have attended an event there? I would love to hear your comments!
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Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!
-The Newly NOLA Bride