We witnessed a friend’s wedding recently, and the bride and groom opted for something we don’t usually see. This slight change in tradition intrigued us, and made us think of the logistics and what, if any, differences there were in a traditional wedding with a ceremony officiated by a priest or minister at a church or wedding venue. 

This couple opted to officially get married in front of their close friends and family at what was their rehearsal dinner. The actual big wedding day included a blessing and a party, but the couple was already legally man and wife. 

Even now that the coronavirus pandemic restrictions have been lifted, many couples are opting for small celebrations.

But is the process to get married at a courthouse any different than getting married at say the Cathedral or the sculpture garden in City Park? 

We’ve got the answers.

First, no matter where you get married or who officiates your wedding, a couple must obtain a marriage license. Last week, we put together a “Marriage License 101” post to let couples know the steps for securing a marriage license in both Orleans and Jefferson parishes. Click here to read up on the how-to.

In Orleans Parish, a couple can only be married by First or Second Court Judges. According to our research, there is currently only one judge performing weddings in the courthouse, Section “B” Judge Marissa A. Hutabarat. Some judges charge a fee for their services, but Judge Hutabarat is currently not charging for weddings. A couple needs an appointment with the Judge during her business hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. The phone number is (504) 407-0350.

In Jefferson Parish, there are a few more options when it comes to who can perform your courthouse or Justice of the Peace wedding. Each listed below has individual office hours and fees for performing this service. We would suggest looking into the background for each one to decide on the best match. It’s always important, even when it’s “just a courthouse wedding” to get someone who makes sense for you.

Those who can officiate a wedding at the courthouse in Jefferson Parish:

First Justice Court–The Hon. Vernon J. Wilty, III, (504) 364-2760
Second Justice Court–The Hon. Mark D. Spears, Jr., (504) 349-5407
Third Justice Court–The Hon. Charlie R. Kerner, (504) 689-2208
Fourth Justice Court–The Hon. Leon Bradberry, Jr., (985) 278-1973
Fifth Justice Court–The Hon. Charles V. Cusimano, II, (504) 736-8714
Sixth Justice Court–The Hon. Kevin J. Centanni, (504) 466-7984
Seventh Justice Court–The Hon. Michele P. Holmes, 349-5416
Eighth Justice Court–The Hon. Roscoe W. Lewis, Sr., (504) 461-0130

No matter where you decide to say, “I do,” the marriage license is the most crucial element. The wedding can’t take place without it. But once you have a license in hand, there are judges in Jefferson and Orleans parishes able to help couples looking for a lowkey and quick way to get the job done and get legally married.