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New Louisiana marriage law goes into effect dropping licensing wait period from 72 to 24
In May, we reported on the recent change in the Louisiana “marriage law.” The bill was passed by the state legislature and last month signed by Gov. John Bel Edwards.
Wednesday, in addition to over 400 other laws, the “marriage law” was officially put into effect for couples planning to get married in the state of Louisiana.
So, what does this mean?
For many generations, the law stated that a couple had to wait 72 hours between being issued a license and holding a wedding ceremony. Though our research has come up empty, we are told by local wedding professionals that the law was allegedly created to protect sailors and other military men stationed or on leave in the port of New Orleans from women who would coax them into marriage when they were inebriated in order to get their death benefits in the event that they were killed in the line of duty. The 72-hour waiting period would either allow the sailors to sober up and make sound decisions or ship out before the chance to make the marriage legal.
Now, with a wait knocked down to 24 hours, this gives couples and wedding professionals more options when planning a Big Easy wedding. Additionally, couples looking to plan a destination wedding in New Orleans can do so in less time.
Rep. Julie Emerson, R-Carencro, proposed the bill in March and it was passed on May 8 in the Senate 33-0, the final legislative passage having already been voted 86-2 in the House.