Wedding Wednesday: Classic Uptown Venue With Flair

Happy Wedding Wednesday, NOLA Brides!  I hope everyone's week has been lovely so far!  My week has been filled with "to-do" lists as I am leaving the country on Friday for vacation!!  Yes, for two fabulous weeks, I will be exploring Australia with my family!  Unfortunately, that means I won't have much access to the internet, but I will do my best to update Instagram and this blog as much as possible.  I'm hoping I'll have a chance to check out a few bridal boutiques while I'm there (Essence of Australia, anyone??)!  And I'll be sure to share my experiences, if I do! Today, I'll be reviewing Rosy's Jazz Hall, located at 500 Valence Street, on the corner of Tchoupitoulas Street!  I know many NOLA brides (especially the destination ones), prefer their venues to be located in the French Quarter (and I'm no exception)!  However, venues outside the Quarter can be just as fabulous, less devastating to you pocketbook, and equally as beautiful.  Venues like these (South Port Music Hall*, Audubon Park*, City Park*~ reviews to come!) can be exactly what you're looking for, if you'll only give them the chance!

Rosy's Jazz Hall

Though the building itself has been around since 1855, Rosy's Jazz Hall was most notably known as the legendary New Orleans jazz club/music venue of the late 70's, restored by the young Rosy Wilson, who used the club to showcase artists like Stevie Wonder and Ella Fitzgerald.  After its time as a music venue, the building has had several turnovers until it became home to Rosy's Jazz Hall Events and Catering in 1999.  Since then, it has served as a popular destination of wedding ceremonies and receptions for many NOLA brides.

The Venue Space

{Photo Credit: rosysjazzhall.com}
{Photo Credit: rosysjazzhall.com}

For wedding ceremonies, Rosy's houses a lovely two-story atrium that includes an indoor balcony and an outdoor patio, with two ficus trees casting a beautifully romantic setting.  The venue is equipped with hard wood floors and brick walls, providing a very French Quarter feel.  This is especially true due to the balcony, which provides authentic FQ ambiance with a modern twist.

The Details

  • Price and Menu Packages

The first thing you should know is that all events have a minimum requirement of 75 guests.  The maximums are 200 guests for ceremonies and 300 guests for receptions.  (Yes, I noted the difference in the number, and I'm not quite sure how you would work out inviting people to your reception who are not invited to your ceremony, but to each their own!)

As for rental fees, Rosy's does not charge a venue rental fee for any event over 150 guests.  However, fees for guest counts under that amount are as follows:

  • Friday and Sunday (75-99 guests): $2000
  • Friday and Sunday (100-149 guests): $1500
  • Saturday (75-99 guests): $2500
  • Saturday (100-149 guests): $2000

*According to their policy, the venue rental fee will be adjusted on a sliding scale based on the final guest count.

If you wish to have your ceremony held at the venue as well, full wedding coordinator services will be provided at no additional costs.  The ceremony fees are:

  • Indoor Atrium Ceremony (including seating for 45 guests, standing room for up to 160 additional guests, balcony viewing, dressing area, and rehearsal): $850
  • Courtyard Ceremony (including seating for 50 guests, standing room for up to 150 additional guests, dressing area, and rehearsal): $850 {option of adding on 50 additional chairs at the cost of $50}

(As stated above, it appears that not all guests may have a seat during the ceremony.  Depending on the age and health of the majority of your guests, this may not be a problem for you, but it is worth mentioning.)

The menu packages offer a wide range of cold food displays, passed hors d'ouevres, hot dishes, and carved items.  The prices are equally as wide-ranged, depending on how many guests you have in attendance.  Package quotes are:

  • 200+ guests: $54-$70 per person
  • 150-199 guests: $57-$72 per person
  • 100-149 guests: $60-$74 per person
  • 75-99 guests: $64-$78 per person

(These prices are in addition to a 19% service fee and a 9.75% sales tax.)

All reception packages include one hour of passed items, two and a half hours of buffet services, a three-hour open bar (call brands, red and white wine, and domestic bottled beer), tables, chairs, white linens, china, glassware, and silverware.  When compared to my previous review, this package may leave something to be desired for some brides, when regarding inclusive items.

{Photo Credit: Rosysjazzhall.com}
{Photo Credit: Rosysjazzhall.com}

Special Note- Rules and Guidelines

As noted in their policy, Rosy's does provide some rules and guidelines that must be adhered to when booking this venue.

Arrival Times and Access:

For brides in search for a venue that provides ample access allowance before their event, Rosy's may fall short.  The jazz hall allows the bride and bridesmaids to arrive approximately one hour prior to the ceremony.  Their guidelines state that all formal family photos must be taken after the ceremony except for bridal photos taken in the dressing room and groom/groomsmen photos taken before the ceremony at the bar.  Though this is how many brides schedule their photos anyway, it is important to note this in your timeline and plan for your guests accordingly; they will be the ones waiting for your big entrance after all!

Decorating Guidelines:

As for decor, Rosy's is slightly strict (in this DIY bride's opinion) when it comes to what is allowed on the premises, when you can drop off/pick up items, and who is allowed to design decorations.  Their policy states that this is due to insurance concerns and other factors.  Other than the guidelines listed below, all non-professional set-ups will not be accommodated.

The guidelines include:

  • Centerpiece floral arrangements must be fully assembled and ready for display when brought to Rosy's.
  • Centerpieces for the tables must be fully assembled and ready for display when brought to Rosy's.
  • Personal photos (5-6) may be brought for the display table, and are only to be arranged by Rosy's.
  • Clients bringing personal items (including pens, champagne flutes, cake sets, guestbooks, or photos) should bring those items the day before the event if at all possible, and are only to be setup by Rosy's.
  • Clients should plan on gathering all personal items, flowers, gifts, and decorations at the end of the event.  Only florists may leave items (such as pillars or urns) and are able to coordinate pickup with Rosy's.
  • NO glitter or confetti.
  • Sparklers and bubbles are allowed outside only.
  • Aisle runners will be allowed, but only when installed by a licensed professional.

All other decorations need to be arranged through a professionally licensed and insured company.

Bands and DJ's:

Even though Rosy's used to be a music venue, the jazz hall does not provide a PA system for use by patrons.  All brides hiring bands or DJ's must communicate with the professional to bring their own sound equipment.

Other musician guidelines listed by Rosy's:

  • Music professionals are responsible for all announcements to be made during the event (cake cutting, bouquet/garter toss, introductions, first dances, etc.)
  • Brides must be specific with bands regarding announcements to be made and the need for recorded music during breaks or special dances.
  • Brides using an iPod for breaks/first dances must ensure that the band has the right plug-ins, correct equipment, and someone designated to set up and function the equipment during the event.
  • Brides should make their hired professionals aware that Rosy's coordinator will guide all events throughout the evening and that the Second Line bands must discuss start and stop times with the coordinator beforehand.
  • Brides hiring a DJ for an outdoor ceremony must specify to the professional that separate equipment will be needed for the outdoors.

Summary:

Rich in history and decor, Rosy's is a gorgeous venue that easily accommodates large wedding events.  The owner, Steve Zweibaum, is quick to reply to emails and appears to really love what he does.  Though I did not choose this venue for my wedding, it was definitely on my list of places to check out.

However, Rosy's rental fees, minimum requirements, and decorating guidelines may cause some NOLA brides to think twice before choosing this venue.  For brides like me who love nurturing their creative side, the decor guidelines are a tad strict.  Additionally, with the minimum amount of guests being 75, brides with a more intimate event in mind may need to consider other options.

Brownie Points:

  • Beautiful, historically rich architecture
  • Wedding coordinator included
  • Wide range of prices with reception options

Drawbacks:

  • Licensed professional required for most decor
  • Minimum of 75 guests required for all events
  • Only accommodates seating for 45-50 guests during ceremony
  • No inclusive packaging

When searching for my venue, I realized quite quickly that Rosy's would not be the venue for me (especially because my preferred date was unavailable!) and thus did not get as much experience with this venue as others.  However, I believe this venue has a lot of character and could be perfect for other NOLA brides, looking for a unique venue experience.  For more information, check out Rosy's website here or, contact the owner, Steve Zweibaum at steve@rosysjazzhall.com.  Again, it was my experience that Mr. Zweibaum is quite prompt when returning emails, which is just the kind of customer service I like to get from my vendors!

So, NOLA brides....what are your feelings towards Rosy's Jazz Hall?  Hit or miss?  Be sure to share your opinion in the comments section below, or on my Instagram at username @newlynolabride!  I also welcome any feedback (questions, concerns, or even general chit-chat) at newlynolabride@gmail.com; I'd love to hear from you!

Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!

-The Newly NOLA Bride