Watch: New Orleans Second Line Weddings

Have you ever walked down the street and see lovers showing out like this? Some were taught to shun public affection, don’t kiss in public and so on but in NOLA bring your love to the streets and put in ya footwork!

There’s nothing like a New Orleans Second Line but a Second Line Wedding! I chase em down every chance I get. To be able to witness this public celebration of love is magical and is proof that love walks the streets and lingers in the Nola air.

In New Orleans, we celebrate nearly every occasion with a second-line parade, it doesn’t matter if it’s a neighborhood block party, a wedding or a funeral. We will take to the streets to celebrate life just because we are living!

Second lines also are part of the city’s wedding tradition. The wedding second line celebrates the newlyweds as they embark on a new life together. The mainline leading the parade for a wedding is made up of the married couple, the brass band and usually a grand marshal. The second line is the wedding party and anyone who want to join the celebration. I always join in on the love celebration, dancing, singing and snapping away.

All second lines stem from the African-American tradition of second-lining for private funerals, where brass bands play funeral songs/chants to accompany the hearse and mourners to the cemetery. After the body is buried, the band plays songs in honor of the life of the deceased.

On many Sundays during the year, social aid and pleasure clubs host second lines, dressed in coordinating attire, some with decorated umbrellas, parasols, handkerchiefs or elaborate hand fan while taking to the streets with a dance we call footwork. They will follow a certain route and make stops at bars and clubs finally settling at one location where crowds of people dance, eat, drink and celebrate together.

People from all over the world admire New Orleans for its rich tradition, culture and for its unique, lively atmosphere. Great times, great food, and great music are not hard to come by. In this city, every day is a celebration. “Laissez les bons temps rouler” translated as, “Let the good times roll” is our motto and there is rarely an occasion that is not considered to be worthy of celebration. Weddings in New Orleans are unique experiences in themselves. One of the most popular traditions of all during weddings is the infamous Second Line.



If you are seeking a location for a destination wedding I highly recommend my beloved city, New Orleans.

A guide to wedding second lines_lowres
Photo courtesy Omunene/Creative Commons

The link below has a great article on Second Line Wedding planning resources.









Source: Dee Hollins, The Nola Chic and The Advocate


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