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.

According to the Association for Wedding Professionals, New Orleans sees 36,000 weddings each year, making it the No. 3 wedding destination in the country (Las Vegas and Gatlinburg, Tennessee are No. 1 and No. 2, respectively).

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. The New Orleans Conventions & 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
  • 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 – 72-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 – An officiate may waive the 72-hour waiting period upon application of the parties giving “serious and meritorious reasons.”
  • Either the bride or the groom must appear in person.


The New Orleans CVB 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 permit itself is $50.25 and a motorcycle police escort is required. To request a permit, contact Sergeant Walter Powers, Jr. in the New Orleans Police Department at 504-658-6201 or



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.