Getting married by a Justice of the Peace in Louisiana could not be easier, particularly in New Orleans. No blood work is required, the fee is relatively inexpensive and the waiting period is minimal. Perhaps this is why many who want to elope choose to do so in the state.
Although you do not need to reside in Louisiana to be married in the state by a Justice of the Peace, you must provide several pieces of information to a local parish clerk's office to obtain a marriage license. A picture identification and birth certificate copy for both the bride and groom must be brought to the parish clerk's office. The full names and birth states for both sets of parents, as well as the social security numbers of both the bride and groom, are needed to complete the appropriate paperwork.
Couples must wait 72 hours from getting the marriage license before holding the wedding ceremony. A judge can waive the waiting period for state residents. In New Orleans, couples from out-of-state could have same-day weddings performed by a Justice of the Peace if a First or Second City Courts judge authorizes a waiver.
Most parishes in Louisiana require all fees be paid in cash, including the cost to file the completed marriage license application, which is about $25. Certified copies of the marriage license cost $5 per copy, plus a 50-cent mailing charge per transaction. Justice of the Peace fees start at around $200 for a simple wedding ceremony
Based in Charlotte, N.C., Virginia Franco has more than 15 years experience freelance writing. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications, including the education magazine "My School Rocks" and Work.com. Franco has a master's degree in social work with an emphasis in health care from the University of Maryland and a journalism degree from the University of Richmond.