Wedding Ceremony FAQ
Below are some questions that are frequently asked about wedding ceremonies.
Do you supply the marriage license?
No, after the ceremony, I, and two witnesses must sign the marriage license, and I am required by law to return the completed and signed license certificate to the issuing clerk of court or vital records (whichever applies). You, however, are responsible for obtaining the marriage license at least 72 hours prior to the ceremony from a Louisiana parish Clerk of Court office or, if in Orleans Parish, from the Department of Health and Hospitals, Office of Public Health, Vital Records Registry in New Orleans. No matter which parish you obtain the marriage license from, it can be used in any parish in Louisiana. The Louisiana government website does not have one specific place to get more information, as each parish may or may not include it on the parish site. Please see the list of Louisiana Parish Clerk of Court offices to find out where to go and who to contact to obtain your marriage license in the parish of your choice. Each parish’s rules and costs may differ slightly, so having this knowledge you need ahead of time will save you time.
Can we write our own vows?
Absolutely! This is your ceremony so you get to have as much or as little input as you like.
Do you have sample wording for wedding ceremonies to help guide us?
I have plenty of ceremony samples to choose from, and you can mix and match as desired, or simply use the words as inspiration. Or if you prefer, I can choose for you, and simply get your approval.
Do you require pre-marital counseling?
Absolutely not, nor do I offer it as a service. You are free to get counseling from anyone you choose, but I believe you are adults who are capable of making this decision on your own.
Will you marry us if we are of different faiths, or no faiths, or inter-racial, or same-sex, or have been divorced?
Of course, I will. I believe love is universal, and two loving, consenting adults should be free to marry regardless of their status of faith, race, or previous marital status. The two of you are making the decision to marry. I am happy to help you make that happen.
Do you supply the venue?
Usually no, I will travel to whichever venue you’ve selected for the ceremony. That may be in an event hall, a home, a park, or any place in which you’ve arranged to have the wedding take place. You can have a quick “elopement-style” wedding at my location in Reserve, LA if you’d like. But that would be limited to just the two of you and two witnesses for a quick “justice of the peace” type of ceremony.
What areas of Louisiana do you serve?
Theoretically, I will perform wedding ceremonies state-wide, but realistically, I tend to stay within a 50-mile radius. That means most weddings I officiate will be located in areas such as Baton Rouge, Gonzales, Denham Springs, Hammond, Reserve, LaPlace, Covington, Thibodeaux, Houma, Metairie, and Kenner. See map below to get a better idea.
What are the travel fees for each zone?
Zone 1 (Green) – $0.00
Zone 2 (Purple) – $20.00
Zone 3 (Orange) – $40.00
If you are uncertain which zone your ceremony falls into, just ask.
Do you officiate within New Orleans?
I do officiate in nearby areas such as Kenner and Metairie. I have officiated many weddings in New Orleans in the past, but I will rarely book a wedding within the city of New Orleans in the future. Although New Orleans is close to the outside boundary of Zone 3, several other factors make it difficult for me to travel there. There are good officiants who reside in New Orleans who can officiate at these weddings. If you can’t find anyone, I’ll be happy to recommend someone.
How quickly can you marry us?
It’s best to contact me at least a month or two before your wedding date to make sure I am available, and to give us time to create the perfect ceremony for you. However, if you need an officiant really quickly, and you have a valid marriage license, feel free to give me a call. If I’m available, and you opt for a traditional ceremony without customization, then I will be happy to officiate at your wedding. Just get in touch to see if I’m available.
Can we trust that you will be professional and show up on time?
Absolutely. Your wedding is a very important day and you deserve an officiant that respects you and the memories you will be creating that day. I will always dress professionally, unless you request otherwise. (For example, a couple having a Hawaiian themed wedding may ask that I dress more casually). I will arrive at least 20 minutes before the scheduled start time, barring any circumstances beyond my control, such as road closures, etc. At all times, I will do all I can to make this part of your special day as calm and stress-free as possible.
Do we need a microphone so you can be heard?
That depends. If the wedding is small, or the guests are not hard of hearing, I can certainly project my voice enough to be heard. However, it is often the case that only a microphone will allow guests in the back of a large room, or in an outdoor setting to be able to hear the ceremony. It is possible that your DJ or music vendor will be providing a sound system. If so, they will likely allow me to use the microphone that goes with their system. If you don’t have anyone providing a sound system, I can provide a portable PA system with headset microphone for an additional charge of $30. It works with batteries as well, in case there is no electricity available at the ceremony spot you’ve chosen. In any case, keep in mind that I will be holding a binder throughout the ceremony, so I will either need to use a microphone on a stand, or a headset mic. This enables me to hold the binder, and flip pages as needed.