Whimsical Tigermen Den Wedding

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.

Guests wave handkerchiefs as the couple kisses outside the Tigermen Den wedding

Tigermen Den

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 grooms pose outside their reception at the Tigermen Den wedding

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.

Interior photographs of decor for the Tigermen Den wedding

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.

A bar set up with fresh fruit for the Tigermen Den wedding
A marrier holds a cocktail at the Tigermen Den wedding

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!

A gate opens to the Tigermen Den wedding  patio

A Riverside Ceremony

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.

Polaroid wedding photos of the first look
The grooms kiss before their Tigermen Den wedding
The marriers walk around Crescent Park before their Tigermen Den wedding
The grooms sit in the park before their Tigermen Den wedding ceremony
The grooms hold hands before their Tigermen Den wedding

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.

A Tigermen Den wedding ceremony by the Mississippi River
A photograph of the grooms looking at the officiant during the Tigermen Den wedding
The first kiss at the end of the Tigermen Den wedding ceremony

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 grooms walk through the guests at the Tigermen Den wedding
Guests prepare to head to the Tigermen Den wedding reception
The grooms lead their guests over the bridge at the Tigermen Den wedding
The grooms lead the second line to the Tigermen Den wedding reception

Kyle and Ryan’s Intimate Celebration

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.

Polaroid wedding photos from the Tigermen Den wedding second line
The second line goes to the Tigermen Den wedding through the Bywater
The couple signs their marriage license at the Tigermen Den wedding

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.

A wig stand at the Tigermen Den wedding
Guests dance in wigs at the Tigermen Den wedding
Tigermen Den wedding dance party

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.

Creole Creamery sets up an ice cream bar at Tigermen Den wedding
The grooms dance and eat ice cream at the Tigermen Den wedding

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

Brass Band: KnockazSigns + Invites: Amy Bloch

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