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Louisiana Marriage Laws

Have you just gotten engaged? Are you just starting the process of planning your perfect wedding? If so, you are at the right place. Louisiana has some great places to visit on your honeymoon. One of the biggest attractions for the honeymooning couple is the city of New Orleans. From river boat rides, French Quarter hotels like the Place d’Armes, and area plantations, Louisiana has more to offer than most wedding and honeymoon destinations. There are three types of wedding you can have in the state of Louisiana. You may pick from an elopement, a destination wedding, or a traditional wedding. But before you start planning your honeymoon there are certain Louisiana marriage license requirements that have to be met before you can receive a Louisiana marriage license.

Louisiana Marriage Laws and Louisiana Marriage License Requirements

Valid US ID

You will need to bring a picture ID and a copy of your birth certificate to the Perish clerk’s office. The two other pieces of information you will need to have on hand is the bride and grooms parents’ names (including maiden and middle names) and their state of birth. You will also need to know both the bride and grooms SSN.


You do not have to be a resident of Louisiana in order to marry in Louisiana.

Waiting Period

There is a 72 hour waiting period for residents of Louisiana unless the waiting period is waived by a judge. This is particularly helpful for those on military leave. If none residents are looking to get married quickly then they will have to get married in the city of New Orleans, which is located in Orleans Parish. Within the framework of the Louisiana constitution each Parish can set the requirements for marriage, and in Orleans Parish the waiting period is waived for non residents.
Note: the waiting period still applies for those couples choosing a covenant marriage.

Length Marriage License is Valid

Unlike both Mississippi Marriage laws and Georgia marriage laws there is only a 30 day window in which you can marry. After the 30 days has elapsed you will have to reapply for a Louisiana marriage license.

Covenant Marriage

To have a covenant marriage in Louisiana both the bride and groom make a covenant stating that their marriage is a life long relationship. Both the bride and groom must attend pre marriage counseling together, which emphasizes both the nature and purpose of marriage. The premarital counseling must be done by a certified counselor.

Medical and Other Tests

There is no longer a blood test requirement.

Age Requirements

Under 16 Years of Age
If either the bride or groom are under the age of 16 the marriage will have to be okayed by a Judge
Ages 16 and 17
If either the bride or groom is 16 or 17 years old then there must be parental consent by both sets of parents. Both parents must be present to sign an office waiver.
18 or Older
Provided all other marriage laws are met, anyone over the age of 17 may wed.

Marriages by Proxy

Louisiana’s constitution does not provide for a proxy marriage. Though, unlike most states, only the bride or groom must appear before the parish clerk to receive their marriage license.

Previously Married

If previously married then a certified copy of the death certificate or a judgment of divorce must be presented to the parish clerk.

Fees and Taxes

Fees start at $25. Make sure you call the parish clerk to get the exact price for the parish you wish to marry in. As is the case with most clerk offices nation wide, there is a cash only policy in most parishes in Louisiana.

Marrying a Cousin

Yes you may marry a cousin in the state of Louisiana.

Common Law

There are no common law marriages in Louisiana.

Same Sex Marriages

In 2004 the Louisiana constitution was amended to strictly prohibit both civil unions and same sex marriages.

Wedding Officiants

In the state of Louisiana there are justices of the peace who can perform an elopement. Other than a Justice of the Peace and ordained minister who has officially registered as an officiant with the state may officiate weddings.


Unlike most states, it is not required that both the bride and groom be present at the Perish clerk’s office when picking up the marriage license.

Please note that all marriage laws can very from parish to parish, so make sure you contact the particular parish where you wish to wed in for exact details. Also make sure you ask if you have any questions because chances are the perish clerk will only give you the very basics as far as requirements go. If you have any questions or concerns then you will have to ask some very direct question.

Obtaining a Copy of Marriage Certificate

If you are looking to get a copy of your marriage license you can either contact the parish you married in or contact the Vital records department at:

Care of the Vital Records Registry
P.O. Box 60630
New Orleans, LA 70160
fax: (504) 568-5391

Premarital Counseling

Premarital counseling is required if the bride and groom choose to enter a covenant marriage.

Surrounding States Marriage Laws and Requirements

If you are looking for something different then the Louisiana marriage laws provided for then you might want to look at some of the marriage laws for the surrounding gulf cost states. Links to our marriage laws write ups are located here: Florida marriage laws, Mississippi Marriage Laws, Texas Marriage Laws, and Alabama Marriage Laws.

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