During Jazz Fest, I had a friend visiting New Orleans who wanted to grab a drink at a patio bar. It was the early afternoon, and as most of my usual haunts didn’t open for a few hours, I was stumped for a place to go. The only patio bar that I could think of was Pat O’s, which was pretty packed with tourists during festival time. I couldn’t believe that I had lived in New Orleans, the land of patio bars, for six years and the only spot I could think of was the most touristy place in town. Isn’t it crazy how that can happen? Maybe I was a little overwhelmed with options, or maybe I was just drawing a blank. Either way, it made me realize just how difficult it can be to give the perfect tour of our city – especially when you have something important on your mind. For example… planning a wedding!
A few weeks ago, we posted a list of some food and shopping suggestions for Nola wedding guests on the blog. But, Magazine Street and the French Quarter can only go so far in those days leading up to your ceremony. Even worse, some out-of-town visitors might expect you to take time from your pre-wedding schedule to play tour guide and show them around the city. When we heard that local stylists Aimee Gowland and Corrie Pellerin of ALG Style are offering a new service that leads art and shopping tours customized to your heart’s desire, we were so excited to share the details with you. Finally, we can all stop stressing out about giving the perfect tour to our guests, and let the professional tour guides save the day.
Aimee and Corrie are image consultants and personal shoppers who are experienced with styling everything from casual outfits to bridal parties. Their newest service, Chic Nola Tours, focuses on showing visitors and locals the best boutiques, galleries, and artists in the city. The ALG ladies can customize the perfect shopping adventure to get your guests out of your hair, out of the French Quarter, and into a perfectly styled outfit for your big day.
Each tour is customized to meet the needs, budget and wishes of every bride and their entourage. The Chic Nola Tour provides secret shopping tips and the ins and outs that only a good Nola girl could share. The gals at ALG Style make certain your trip and your treasures are unique and chic. Tour packages start at $180 for two people. This includes your guides and a custom itinerary. Extras would include cost of meals, purchases, spa treatments and possible transportation.
I had the chance to meet up with the ALG girls last Wednesday to get a taste of a custom tour. I’m obsessed with trying out new shops, bakeries, and salons in the city, but somehow Aimee and Corrie managed to pick three spots that I had never set foot in. Not only were the stores beautifully curated and bursting with special items, all three shops were woman-owned businesses, which we here at Mrs.Vintage thought was pretty awesome!
Aimee, Corrie, and I started out the day with espresso and macaroons at Bittersweet Confections in the Warehouse District. Bittersweet was packed to the brim with gorgeous wedding cakes, chocolates, and cupcakes.
After our caffeine fix, we moved next door to Haute, a modern boutique full of racks of colorful dresses and tables scattered with jewelry by local designers. Aimee and Corrie picked out some of their favorite items, and flipped through some of the awesome fashion books spread around the store.
From Haute, we wandered down Julia Street past galleries and restaurants to Buff Beauty Bar, a beautiful new hair and nail salon. As we sipped mimosas, we were treated to a tour of the salon’s mani-pedi station and blow-dry bar.
Throughout my day with ALG Style, I kept thinking that the tour would be a great way to break the ice between friends from different circles before a bachelorette party. My girlfriends from highschool and college could bond over their shared love of cupcakes at Bittersweet, find perfect party dresses at Haute, and get manicures together at Buff.
In a city of eclectic neighborhoods and stores tucked away out of sight, it’s exciting that the ALG girls will take the time to hone in on New Orlean’s most interesting locations. I love the idea of letting ALG Style organize a tour for the group of guests that you aren’t quite sure how to keep busy. For me, that group would be my groom’s friends. I wouldn’t put it past them to show up to the ceremony without a fresh shave after a couple of nights out on Bourbon, so my perfect tour would keep them away from the quarter and out of trouble the day before the wedding. ALG Style could take the groomsmen tie shopping somewhere like Nola Couture, to taste craft beers at a local spot like NOLA Brewery, then on for a pre-wedding shoe-shine at Patina before a haircut and shave.
What group of wedding guests would you want ALG Style to take on a Chic Nola Tour? And, if you like playing the tour guide yourself, leave us a comment with your favorite spots to take Nola guests. Patio bar recommendations welcomed!