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Becoming a Big Easy Bride
What you need to know before tying the knot in New Orleans
New Orleans acts as a vibrant and festive backdrop for any party, most importantly a wedding. The architecture, food and music create amazing pictures and memories to last a lifetime. And only in the Big Easy can you Second Line through the French Quarter with an authentic brass band and finish your after-party in the wee hours of the morning.
New Orleans sees thousands of weddings each year, making it one of the top wedding locations in the country. With the additional buzz around the city's tricentennial, the New York Times naming New Orleans the No. 1 city to visit in 2018 and the change in waiting time to obtain a marriage license from 72 hours to 24 hours; there's no doubt more couple's will be flocking to the Crescent City to say, "I Do."
Though it can be easy to get swept up in the music or distracted by the beignets, there are some requirements a couple must meet before second lining into marital bliss. New Orleans and Company (formerly the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau) lays out all the guidelines for both a visiting and local couple. The biggest requirement is a marriage license.
To obtain a marriage license the couple will need the following things:
- Certified copies of birth certificates: if either party is from out-of-state, this requirement may be waived by a judge
- Current driver’s license, current state ID or passport.
- Must know Social Security numbers, but no documentation is required
- If previously married, a final divorce decree is required.
- If widowed, a certified copy of death certificate is required.
- $27.50 for marriage license in Orleans Parish (fee is non-refundable).
- LOUISIANA RESIDENTS – 24-hour waiting period between issue of license and wedding, may be waived by a judge. Bring marriage license to judge at First City Court, 421 Loyola Ave., Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call 504-407-0400 for more information. The license is valid for 30 days.
- NON-LOUISIANA RESIDENTS – If both parties reside outside of Louisiana and the services will occur in Orleans parish AND be performed by a registered Orleans officiant, that officiant can waive the 24-hour waiting period with a waiver. The waiver must be attached to the completed marriage certificate when it is returned to Vital Records.
- Both people in the couple are needed to appear in person to fill out the application.
The New Orleans and Co. also gives some insights into obtaining a permit for pictures or a ceremony in Jackson Square, as well as what a couple must do to have a second line down a street in the city.
A permit is required in order to take pictures or perform a wedding ceremony in Jackson Square, located in the French Quarter in front of the St. Louis Cathedral. To gather more information or ask questions about events in Jackson Square, call 504-658-2176 or click here.
To have a Second Line, the couple must get a Parade Permit. The price of the permit itself is determined by the size and route and amount of police officers needed. For more information and to request a permit, visit nola.gov/onestop. Additional information can be found here.
Food, music and fun are all part of the New Orleans culture and it should be a part of your wedding. So get all your paperwork ready, hire a band and have the wedding of a lifetime.