What is a New Orleans Second Line Parade or New Orleans Wedding Parade?
Wether you call it a New Orleans Second Line Parade or simply a New Orleans wedding parade you've found the right spot! Leave it to New Orleans and it's Laissez faire attitude to incorporate this deeply rich tradition into its wedding celebrations.
Imagine you and your partner joyfully marching down Royal Street in the French Quarter with your custom ornate umbrellas waving in hand while an authentic New Orleans Brass Band plays that sweet New Orleans Jazz for all the quarter to hear. Doesn't this sound amazing?
If that sounds appealing to you keep reading to learn more about Second Line Parades and how you can have one at your New Orleans Wedding!
A second line parade is the quintessential New Orleans art for which as been used for any and every celebration for several decades. Want to parade before your kick-ass reception? Go ahead! Want to parade after your reception to cap off a day of celebration? That's okay too! All we know is that over time it has become a must have for any New Orleans wedding.
History of the New Orleans Second Line Parades
Second lines are said to have originated in black culture from traditional West African circle dances. The dance was brought to New Orleans, where it became incorporated into processions beginning in the 19th century as jazz funerals. It was thought as way to celebrate the lives of the deceased and ward off negative spirits.
Here's a unique look into the infamous history of The Second Line by Tulane University.
In today New Orleans, the second-line has evolved to encompass any celebration in New Orleans, including memorials, birthdays, weddings, bachelor/bachelorette parties, and even corporate gatherings. It is a welcome addition to any celebration.
Parts of a New Orleans Second Line Parade
The main line or first line is the main and beginning section of the parade which comprises a Grand Marshall, the New Orleans Brass Band and the Wedding Couple. Often outfitted with custom made umbrellas it won't be hard to miss!
The second line follows the newly married couple and comprises all of the guest who want to join in this amazing New Orleans celebration with handkerchiefs in hand that are dancing and strutting to the lively New Orleans jazz music!
If you do plan on having a New Orleans second line parade you must obtain a permit and possibly police escorts. This part takes a little work. We've included some helpful links to help with your Second Line planning for your wedding.
New Orleans Special Events Permit Guide for more information about permitting requirements.
Find out more about the application process of having your New Orleans second line here at City of New Orleans' One Stop Shop
TIP: You'll want to begin the application process at least 2 weeks before the event date
TIP: Ask your photographers and videographers what their experience is capturing second lines. A dynamic parade with unique lighting can be difficult with those unfamiliar with capturing a second line parade.
Our favorite vendors for those special umbrellas and handkerchiefs for your New Orleans Second Line Parade.
Vintage umbrella rental business offering brides from around the country umbrellas for their wedding. They also offer Custom Signature Bella Pagoda umbrellas as well as custom made Second Line umbrellas.
Visit: 2036 Magazine St.
Stella Umbrella Parasols
Umbrella shop where you can consult with a couture expert to design your one of a kind couture umbrella or parasol.
Visit: 1233 Decatur St.
Backyard Printing and Second-line Handkerchiefs
Custom-printed and embroidered handkerchiefs with custom-designed umbrellas.
Visit: 1960 Surgi Drive, Mandeville, LA
New Orleans Brass Bands We Love
Founded by brothers Percy and Richard Anderson in 2005. Their style of music encompasses melds Mardi Gras Indian chants, New Orleans funk, modern jazz, and traditional brass band sounds.
The Jaywalkers are the quintessential second line parade band, having played for many hundreds of Weddings. An optional second Lady Grand Marshall is available, too!
The traditional brass band dressed in “traditional” uniform—black pants, white shirt, black shoes, tie and band cap playing traditional New Orleans music.