When two West Coast doctors got engaged, they knew they wanted a New Orleans wedding. Kyle and Ryan’s intimate wedding celebrated all the best things about the city and their LGBTQ community. Following an emotional ceremony by the Mississippi River, Kyle and Ryan danced all the way to their Tigermen Den reception. The unique wedding was full of fun and meaningful connections.
In a city full of historic venues, the Tigermen Den manages to stand out as a Bywater gem. The venue is a mix of vintage architecture and interior decor with contemporary local art. The exterior of the Tigermen Den exemplifies this. The historic Creole cottage is painted a fresh white trimmed with tall cheerful orange shutters. Even though the building blends in seamlessly with the Bywater neighborhood, the welcoming awning hints at the exciting things happening inside.
The interior of the Tigermen Den is just as inviting. Repurposed wood brings warmth and texture to the floors and walls. Vintage furniture offers stylish places to sit and enjoy conversations. The tall windows, characteristic of this architectural style, let in long beams of sunlight in the afternoon. With a floorplan of cozy rooms and a standing capacity of 85, the Tigermen Den really is ideal for an intimate wedding or elopement.
Part of the magic of the Tigermen Den is the ease of moving between indoors and outdoors. The venue also features a patio. It’s a great spot to set up a bar or band. During cocktail hour, Ryan and Kyle’s guests listened to a brass band and enjoyed the warm fall afternoon.
Just as the venue’s aesthetic suggests, the Tigermen Den has a long history in the Bywater community. The building itself dates back to the 1830’s. For about thirty years in the mid-twentieth century, a restaurant operated out of the building. It served dock workers who worked on the nearby Mississippi River. Since then, it has become a meeting place for local musicians. The Tigermen Den even hosts a monthly Cajun Brunch!
This Tigermen Den wedding was small but absolutely full of life! Kyle and Ryan chose to have their ceremony overlooking the Mississippi River at Piety Wharf in Crescent Park. We did their first look at the foot of the Rusty Rainbow. I love the Polaroid photos that we took at this part of the day! They capture the emotion and sense of intimacy that was such an important part of the whole day.
Kyle and Ryan had been working towards this moment for a long time! When they met, they studied for the MCAT together but ended up enrolling in med school in different cities, New Orleans and Miami. They stayed together and met up in New Orleans whenever they could. As they fell more in love with each other, they came to love New Orleans too. It was fitting that they have a New Orleans wedding.
The couple’s family and friends were so genuinely happy to celebrate their love on their wedding day. The couple also recognized their place in the context of recent developments for the LGBTQ community. Their ceremony paid tribute to all the Queer activists who made their marriage possible. They even shared the story of learning about the Obergefell v Hodges ruling while on vacation in Thailand. It was a defining moment in their relationship and for so many other Queer people.
The Polaroid photos of Kyle and Ryan’s ceremony gave the occasion a sense of history, and it was apt that the couple chose to second line from the ceremony to their Tigermen Den reception. After all, it’s a New Orleans tradition. Kyle, Ryan, and their guests danced along to the Knockaz Brass Band all the way.
Because Kyle and Ryan’s wedding was so intimate, they focused on giving their guests a memorable experience. The menu featured craft cocktails with fresh fruit. They set up a “wig stand” and encouraged guests to don neon wigs and let loose on the dance floor. After dinner, the couple and their guests spend the whole rest of the evening dancing the night away.
Another fun feature of this Tigermen Den wedding reception is that Kyle and Ryan opted for a sundae bar by Creole Creamery. The sweet treats from this local favorite were a big hit with the couple and their guests.
Would you like me to photograph your Tigermen Den wedding? Reach out to me, and let’s begin our journey.
Thanks to all the vendors who made this magical day possible:
Coordination: Becca Kelly Co.
Venue: Tigermen Den
Catering: Elysian Events Catering