Monday, October 19, 2009

Favorite Wedding Songs

Here are 5 songs that are favorites at weddings:

2. A WHOLE NEW WORLD from Disney's Aladdin
4. COME WHAT MAY Ewan McGregor

Monday, September 7, 2009

Helpful Info To Plan An Elopement In New Orleans

Here is a list of the people and services who help plan weddings. Fig Street Weddings, New Orleans, La. and the American Association of Wedding Officiants,

1. Fig Street Weddings
(504) 617-6359
Category: Elope to New Orleans

Web page with lots of helpful info to plan a wedding in New Orleans. Former Justice of the Peace and retired Minister who does weddings in New Orleans.

Places to have elopements in New Orleans.

2. Pirates Alley Cafe
622 Pirates Aly
New Orleans, LA 70116
(504) 524-9332
Categories: Restaurants, Bars

Walk down, take pictures, drink a glass of wine, buy a book, sit and talk. You can get married here too. The merchants keep the area clean and are friendly stop in and say hello to Tony and Joe.

3. City Park
1 Palm Dr
New Orleans, LA 70124
(504) 482-4888
Categories: Parks, Stadiums & Arenas

Large, beautiful park with many aspects from large stand of Oak trees, to plants and flowers, art, small train. Much to do, even get married here.

4. Jackson Square
506 C Saint Peter St
New Orleans, LA 70116

Category: Parks

Sit, stroll, elope, get married, eat lunch, meet friends in the best spot in the Quarter.
No bikes, no dogs, no drugs, well policed park.

5. Audubon Zoological Gardens
6500 Magazine St
New Orleans, LA 70118
(504) 581-4629
Categories: Cinema, Aquariums, Zoos, Tours

Zoo, park, golf course, restaurant, jogging trail, river front park, many things to see and do here even get married.

6. Maison Dupuy Hotel
1001 Toulouse St
New Orleans, LA 70112
(504) 586-8000
Category: Hotels

Beautiful hotel in the Quarter, good food and a nice place for a wedding.

7. Bourbon Orleans Wyndham Hotel
717 Orleans Ave
New Orleans, LA 70116
(504) 527-0408
Category: Hotels

Comfortable, Friendly are two words that describe this hotel in the heart of the Quarter. Great for weddings too.

8. Place D'armes Hotel
625 Saint Ann St
New Orleans, LA 70116
(504) 524-4531
Category: Hotels

Older centrally located small hotel with great rates. Courtyard is nice especially for an elopement.

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Monday, August 31, 2009

Comical Wedding Video

Some strange things happen at weddings. Here is a link to a German video of some comical weddings that need no translation.

Bridal Couple First Dance Ideas

Don't miss the opportunity to help your friends celebrate by making the "first dance" something to remember. Couple with help from dancing friends can prepare a dance like these found on "You Tube" that will entertain and make the guests remember for a long time. See them at these links:

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

When To Book Your Wedding Officiant?

Let's face it basically marriage is a written contract executed before a registered official. Most states require a couple to declare before a recognized official they want to be married and sign a "contact" before witnesses. History, culture, and tradition adds to it with formal ceremonies, certain music, and apparel but without the signed contract before an official and witnesses a couple does not get married. Often couples ask me when should they schedule a ceremony with me. After years of doing weddings six months seems to be a good time to secure the services of a wedding officiant. All too often couples call me a week before a wedding after they have booked the hall, band, and food. I ask them what is the most important element in getting married, good food and music or a competent officiant who knows what to do and how to conduct a ceremony, execute the documents and be sure they are legally married? Sometimes I get called after they get a license as the license office gives them instructions on how to get married and about the need to have the paperwork completed by a registered officiant. Generally that is way to late to start a search for a competent officiant but if I am not already busy that day I will do the wedding.
My best advice is always consult a Clergyman, Judge, Justice of the Peace as soon as you have picked a date. The official can help you with what is the essential element in getting married and six months before the wedding is a good time to start that process.

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Sunday, April 5, 2009

Getting Married In One Day

It is possible in New Orleans to get a marriage license and get married on the same day. Most states require couples applying for a marriage license to get tests and wait s few days before getting married. The rules in New Orleans have been made easy, no test and no waiting if you get a waiver. The waiver of the delay can be done by a wedding officiant or judge when the couple are from out of state and visiting New Orleans. All the couple need do is ask and get the license during office hours which are weekdays during regular business hours. Calling the license off ahead is good to do to be they are open and discussing the waiver before hand is also a good policy. A wedding officiant needs to attach the waiver done on letterhead showing his office to the completed license when returned to the license office. This makes it easy for visitors to elope to New Orleans to get married in one day. More information about getting a license in New Orleans can be found at this link-

The Ghost In Pirates Alley: Elope To New Orleans

The First Wedding In Pirates Alley New Orleans

The tradition of being married in Pirates Alley in the French Quarter is clouded in secrecy and varies as who tells the tale. One is never sure who was actually the first to get married there but this tale as told to me often during my life is a sure as any tale of pirates, ghosts, and love. Back in the days of the Pirates of Barataria many young men from many places joined in to make a fortune. Called “smugglers” by some, hated by Spain, used by France but admired by Americans as an independent lot who at times would help the poor and ill treated.

I am told one Reginald Hicks, who began as a mere cabin boy on an English ship was taken by some pirates and raised by them. Only a lad in his early teens when captured ultimately raised himself to a first mate of a pirate ship by the time of the War of 1812. He was trusted by all his pirate brethren and their leader Jean Lafitte. He was known to go along with several other men to met with General Jackson to aid the Americans in the Battle of New Orleans, mostly as “cannoneers” as they were very good shots.
Of course Master Hicks was a good looking young man having many a lass looking at him but in his heart was none other but a beautiful Creole French girl, Marie Angel Beauchamp. She too had only thoughts of him and whenever he came into the City they would steal off into the night, keeping their love a secret as it was not permissible for a young Creole Catholic girl to be seeing a Pirate of English extraction.

As things would happen on Master Hicks’ visit to meet with General Jackson he learned that his Marie was expecting their child. He being raised as an English gentleman his first decade of life did not want to leave the city without getting married. His child would have a father and his love would not be scorned for having a child without a husband. All evening they searched in vain for a priest to marry them but most required that they both be Catholic, others would not think of doing a ceremony on such short notice. Eventually they had two options, simply jumping a broom down in Barataria or seeking out a German born baker in the jail who was also an ordained Protestant minister. Master Hicks did not want to take Marie to Barataria which meant she would have to stay and may never see her family and friends in the city again. So they very early in the morning made their way to the Cabildo and asked the jail’s warden if they could speak with the German Minister. He would only allow them to see him through the iron gate facing Orleans Alley. But right there and then they were married. Soon gathered many early arriving workers and some visitors who witnessed the first wedding in Pirates Alley. Documents drawn and signed by a Notary on his way to file others for record at the Cabildo and all present signed making the marriage both Civil and Religious.
Here again the story varies as exactly what happened. What happened to Master Reginald Hicks remains a mystery, some say he was killed in the Battle of New Orleans and seeks out his lovely Marie nightly in Pirates Alley today as a spirit. Others say he and Marie left for Galveston with Pirate Lafitte after Louisiana was sold to America. But if you go to Pirates Alley early in the morning on the right day of the right month you can hear laughter and celebration and wedding bells and a cold breeze passes you by. Could it be the ghost of Master Hicks seeking his bride?

Believe as you may.

JK Schwehm at Fig Street.
Copyright 2003 [Fig Street, LLC]. All rights reserved.
Revised: March 25,2009 by the author

New Orleans Marriage License Information:

   It is possible in New Orleans to get a marriage license and be married in the same day. Brides and Grooms are responsible for obtaining the marriage license from the State of Louisiana  before the wedding ceremony. Either person may obtain the license from the State Office of Vital Records or other Parish Clerks of Court offices. Any valid Louisiana license can allow a ceremony in any Louisiana location. A Louisiana License obtained in Lafayette, Lake Charles, or Baton Rouge, La. is good in New Orleans. The New Orleans Wedding License Office is now open on weekdays from 10:00 to 2:00 but closed Holidays.  Identification is required along with authentic copies of birth certificates and any divorce judgments. In some cities there is a three-day waiting period from the time the license is issued, it can be waived by a judge. In New Orleans the wait can be waived by the minister. Dr. Schwehm can issue waivers when needed for visitors to New Orleans. No medical tests are necessary. The license is good for 30 days. You must present the license to the person doing the ceremony in advance as it requires the officiant to complete some portions.  A ceremony must be conducted before 2 adult witnesses  who also sign the certificates. The cost of the license is  just under $30.00 paid to the State. For further information contact the State Marriage License Office address and phone below. Make New Orleans your wedding destination and get married then enjoy your New Orleans Honeymoon.


1010 Common St
New Orleans, LA

(504) 568-3620
Hours: 8 am - 4 pm Mon.- Call to confirm office hours.

New Orleans French Quarter Weddings

Chaplain Jerry Kenneth Schwehm
   served as as Justice of the Peace in 1990 to 1994 in  Slidell, Louisiana and was ordained in 1989 as a Lay Minister after serving as Elder and Deacon in his church for many years. He has a BA and JD from Louisiana State University (1974) and an Honorary Doctor of Divinity from a  local Bible Church in 1990. He has performed numerous wedding ceremonies and is available in the Greater New Orleans area to perform your personalized marriage ceremony. He will go to your location or at his office in Fig House. He may be contacted through his web page.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Favorite Old Testament Verse Read At Weddings

Although Ruth 1:16–17 is the favorite Old Testament verse chosen by most brides I have married there are many others that reflect on a wedding or couple getting married. Below is a list of a few others.

The Favorite:

Ruth 1:16-17 reads "Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried beside you. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me."

Genesis 1:26-28

Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth." So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.

Genesis 2:15-24

The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to till it and keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, "You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die." Then the LORD God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him." So out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for the man there was not found a helper fit for him. So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh; and the rib, which the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, "This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man." Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh.

Ecclesiastes 4: 9-12

Two are better than one: they get a good wage for their labor. If the one falls, the other will lift up his companion. Woe to the solitary man, for if he should fall, he has no one to lift him up! So also, if two sleep together, they keep each other warm. How can one alone keep warm? Where a lone man may be overcome, two together can resist. A three-ply cord is not easily broken.

Proverbs 31:10-3

A wife of noble character, who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: "Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all." Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Song of Songs 2:10-13

My beloved speaks and says to me: "Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away; for lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. The fig tree puts forth its figs, and the vines are in blossom; they give forth fragrance. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away."

The Song of Solomon 3: 9-11

You have captured my heart, my own, my bride, you have captured my heart with one glance of you eyes, with one coil of your necklace. How sweet is your love, my own, my bride! How much more delightful your love than wine, your ointments more fragrant than any spice! Sweetness drops from your lips, O bride; honey and milk are under your tongue; and the scent of your robes is like the scent of Lebanon.

Song of Solomon 8:6-7

Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is strong as death, jealousy is cruel as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, a most vehement flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If a man offered for love all the wealth of his house, it would be utterly scorned.

Easy Wedding On A Budget

In today's economy, brides and grooms can save money by having a simple wedding on off times. May places discount rooms during off months and weekdays. Weekday weddings have increased since October 2008 as couples try to save money. Asking when is the best time to save money on a wedding is a good question to ask before you sign any agreements. Better still think elopement. Asking a wedding officiant to help you save money and recommend the cheapest wedding package is also a good question to begin with when planning a simple wedding on a budget. Most professional wedding officiants do a lot of weddings and know where it is cheapest to do a simple elopement. Some photographers also work with an officiant to do simple wedding packages at a lower cost than the bigger wedding books.
The American Association of Wedding Officiants helps brides and grooms find professional wedding officiants with knowledge on how to plan a simple elopement. New Orleans is a good place for a nice elopement in a historic setting. The French Quarter and several parks have spots where the couple 2 witnesses and the officiant can do a simple wedding for no rental fee. It is possible on a week day for a couple to get a marriage license in New Orleans then get married the same day then spend the night in a historic hotel all for under $500.00. You can have flowers delivered by FTD to your hotel room, eat out at a famous restaurant, take a carriage ride through the French Quarter or get married where the pirates did in a secret alley in the old section of the Vieux Carre.

To help plan a marriage on a budget here are some links:

1. How To Save Money On A Wedding-

2. Elope To Pirates Alley, New Orleans-

3. American Association of Wedding Officiants-

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Keeping An Accurate Calendar

An essential element of planning a wedding is having an accurate calendar. Several web based services like Yahoo and Google provide a calendar that is easy to use and can be downloaded into a computer program and printed out for hard copy. Know where to be, with whom, and what information is not only a smart thing to know but makes the meeting go smoother. Enter all events, time, names, and contact information. In case of a problem, put cell phone numbers in the date and time just for those unexpected break downs.
Whether it be the Bride and Groom meeting with the Minister, Event Planner, Caterer, and scheduling rehearsals or a Minister, who has a hectic schedule of weddings a good accurate calendar is a must.

Here are some helpful links;

The American Association of Wedding Officiants is a professional organization that helps couples find qualified wedding officiants in the USA and Canada.