Getting Started

Who can perform your wedding?

A Justice of the Peace, a Judge or an Ordained Minister/ Rabbi.
All should be licensed with the Louisiana Clerk of Courts Office.

When to meet with your Officiant?

As soon as you book your venue contact your Officiant and check the date of your Wedding and Rehearsal with their schedule – I have found that most J.O.P.’s will not book months in advance.
Keep in mind that every Pastor, Priest, Rabbi, Justice of the Peace and Judge has his/her own Ceremony guidelines to follow.

Things to go over with your Officiant:

  • How you wish your full LEGAL names to be pronounced.
  • Scripture and Readings: Are there special scriptures or poems you like? Who is reading and what (find out where they are to stand so that you can inform the reader)?
  • Are you writing your own vows?
  • Who is presenting the Bride?
  • Go over what you want that person to say: “I do”, “We Do”, “Her mother & I”, “Her family” etc.
  • How do you wish your names said when the Bride & Groom are presented at the end of the ceremony: “Mr. & Mrs. Joe Smith”, “Mr. & Mrs. Joe & Jane Smith” ,“Joe & Jane Doe-Smith”, etc.
  • Ask the Officiant what the fee is at your first meeting – ASSUME IT WILL BE $300 plus ($1500 for a Rabbi), if the Officiant has to travel some distance to both Rehearsal and Ceremony keep that in mind when deciding how much you pay and please pay in cash, preferably the night of the Rehearsal.
  • If the Officiant is invited to the Rehearsal Dinner/Reception, please tell them as soon as your plans are made (do not assume they will know they are invited).


  • A marriage license may be purchased only at a Clerk of Courts Office.
  • This marriage license is good in any parish in Louisiana but can only be used in the State of Louisiana.
  • The cost is approximately $37.00 plus $5.50 for each extra copy.
  • You will be given 3 copies and an envelope. One is the Keepsake License and 2 Legal Documents that are to be returned, by the officiate, in the envelope provided to the Clerk of Courts Office.
  • Included, also, are the instructions to change your name.
  • A Marriage License can be purchased up to 30 days before the Wedding date, but it is good for 30 days only.
  • You must wait a total of 72 hours before using the Marriage License (Why? Because the Louisiana Law states this!)
  • The Bride &/or the Groom may buy the Marriage License.
  • There is an On-line Application Worksheet on the Louisiana Clerk of Courts Website ( to help you to be ready when you go in to buy your Marriage License.

What you must bring with you:

  • Photo ID of applicant (it must be current)
  • Both Bride & Grooms’ original Birth Certificates (CERTIFIED)
  • Information on both sets of parents (i.e. Father’s and Mother’s full names including mother’s maiden name and  place of birth of both sets of parents)
  • Social Security Numbers for both Bride & Groom
  • Divorce Decree/Death Certificate (if applicable)

Be ready to listen to the clerk as they explain the directions concerning the marriage license. Bring your Marriage License with you the night of the rehearsal and give it to your planner/ Officiant. There is information that must be filled in, by your Officiant, which will help expedite things after the wedding ceremony itself.

East Baton Rouge Parish Clerk of Courts Office:

Hours (approximately) 7:30 AM – 5:00 PM M-F
Bring; Cash, Money Order or CC
Downtown Baton Rouge Clerk of Courts Office  222 St Louis St  (225) 389-3960
Coursey Boulevard Clerk of Courts Office 10500 Coursey Blvd  (225) 389-3960
Baker Clerk of Courts Office 1320 Alabama St.  (225) 778-1866 (no CC @ Baker location)
Online :