We loved photographing this second line as the Storyville Stompers Jazz Band led this bride and groom along with all of their guests and wedding party through a the streets of the French Quarter. They exited out of the St. Louis Cathedral and went all through the streets finally arriving at the Jaxson reception venue alone the Mississippi River. They had a great time parading and dancing while holding their second line parasols and their guests waved custom handkerchiefs with the bride and grooms names printed on them.
We have seen all kinds of purchased or handmade second line parasols. They have been adorned with college logos, lace, sequins and we have even some that have lights. Typically the bride carries a white parasol and the groom a black one, which usually matches the color of their attire. However, we have seen all kinds of different ones. There certainly is no hard rules to follow when purchasing or designing your own parasols or umbrellas.
One cute thing we have seen is when all the bridesmaids and groomsmen are given mini umbrellas to parade with. Handing out beads or boas has also been popular. Our couple above handed out custom sunglasses they had made to all their guests. It was a bright and beautiful day so those definitely came in handy!
You can have your second line following your ceremony leading you to your reception. We have photographed second lines at the end of the reception and our couples paraded to after party location. One popular after party location is Pat O'Brien's in the French Quarter. You may want to call ahead to make sure they will have room for your guests as it is a very popular spot!
You will need a permit from the city as well as a police escort for your second line if you plan on parading down the streets of New Orleans. Parade permits are available through the City of New Orleans One Stop department. Here is the link https://www.nola.gov/onestop/
You will also need to hire police escorts to clear the road and keep you and your guests safe while parading. The escorts will clear traffic so you don't get caught up.
And don't forget you need to hire the actual jazz band to play and lead you through the streets. Some bands even get the permit and organize the escorts for you. They can also discuss with you different parade routes to take.
I recommend hiring pedicabs for the elderly or people who may have a heard time walking and keeping up. Then they can sit back, relax and enjoy the parade with everyone else.
Not all second lines take places on the streets of New Orleans. You can hire a jazz band to come in to your reception and parade you around the inside of the ballroom. No need for a permit or police escorts here! Some of our brides and grooms have the regular band or DJ play traditional second line music and lead the guests around the venue themselves.