Sunday, December 30, 2012

Photos At Weddings Are Important

Having photos of your wedding whether it is a small elopement or elaborate affair in a large venue is important. Years later looking at the photos evokes memories of the day that is most likely the most emotional and fun time of your life. In an effort to learn more and to find unique photos I can recommend to couples, I searched through Google. To my amazement I found that some photographers seem to have fetishes  Like the above shoe photo. The recommended photo of the day in the article was of the shoes. Personally I think a shoe photo is fine in a shoe catalog but a wedding album? I discovered a large selection of ideas ranging from pictures of food, to sky, and other things to me not related to a wedding. So my lesson is be sure the photographer realizes it is a wedding album and not a flash photo contest of apparel.
 It reminded me of once I asked a photographer to send me a photo of a wedding I did. I put them in my blog. What I got was a picture of me holding a baby? No wedding ceremony, no bride or groom. Some child at the wedding I held for a moment. Nothing to do with a wedding at all. So it never made it to my blog. Select a photographer who does what you want, wedding pictures. Talk with them before so they understand it is a wedding album not a contest of cool shoe pictures.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Photographers for Simple Elopements

 I am often asked by couples coming to New Orleans for a simple elopement about professional photographer fees. I have worked with several very good photographers who will discount fees when the elopement is short and not at a prime time. They set their fees to reflect a shorter time and less number of prints or a CD with photos on you can print yourself. It is best the couple contacts the photographer themselves. Pick one they like, call them and explain it is an elopement at an easy location to reach and very short in time. Negotiate a price and number of pictures and you are all set. The list I have made is on my web page but you can contact the short list below.

1.Stacy Marks :

2. Kathleen Parker:

 More names are here on my web page of links-

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

New Orleans Wedding Statistics

  The third most frequent destination city for weddings in USA is New Orleans, La with 36,545 Marriages in 2002 the last year of published statistics but increased since Katrina. The average age of the current bride is 25 and uses the internet to plan her wedding. I get about 100 hits on my New Orleans wedding web page per day. Mostly couples just seeking information on New Orleans as a wedding destination Although people think June is the big wedding month in New Orleans it is April, with October coming in second busiest.. Stop in and read my informational web page on how to plan a simple wedding in New Orleans. July and August are slowest and hottest.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

O Tell Me The Truth About Love by W H Auden - Poetry Reading - YouTube

O Tell Me The Truth About Love by W H Auden - Poetry Reading - YouTube:

O Tell Me The Truth About Love

Some say love's a little boy,
And some say it's a bird,
Some say it makes the world go around,
Some say that's absurd,
And when I asked the man next-door,
Who looked as if he knew,
His wife got very cross indeed,
And said it wouldn't do.

Does it look like a pair of pyjamas,
Or the ham in a temperance hotel?
Does its odour remind one of llamas,
Or has it a comforting smell?
Is it prickly to touch as a hedge is,
Or soft as eiderdown fluff?
Is it sharp or quite smooth at the edges?
O tell me the truth about love.

Our history books refer to it
In cryptic little notes,
It's quite a common topic on
The Transatlantic boats;
I've found the subject mentioned in
Accounts of suicides,
And even seen it scribbled on
The backs of railway guides.

Does it howl like a hungry Alsatian,
Or boom like a military band?
Could one give a first-rate imitation
On a saw or a Steinway Grand?
Is its singing at parties a riot?
Does it only like Classical stuff?
Will it stop when one wants to be quiet?
O tell me the truth about love.

I looked inside the summer-house;
It wasn't over there;
I tried the Thames at Maidenhead,
And Brighton's bracing air.
I don't know what the blackbird sang,
Or what the tulip said;
But it wasn't in the chicken-run,
Or underneath the bed.

Can it pull extraordinary faces?
Is it usually sick on a swing?
Does it spend all its time at the races,
or fiddling with pieces of string?
Has it views of its own about money?
Does it think Patriotism enough?
Are its stories vulgar but funny?
O tell me the truth about love.

When it comes, will it come without warning
Just as I'm picking my nose?
Will it knock on my door in the morning,
Or tread in the bus on my toes?
Will it come like a change in the weather?
Will its greeting be courteous or rough?
Will it alter my life altogether?
O tell me the truth about love. 

I Carry Your Heart With Me by E.E.Cummings - Poetry Reading - YouTube

I Carry Your Heart With Me by E.E.Cummings - Poetry Reading - YouTube:

[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                                                      i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)
“[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]” Copyright 1952, © 1980, 1991 by the Trustees for the E. E. Cummings Trust, from Complete Poems: 1904-1962 by E. E. Cummings, edited by George J. Firmage. Used by permission of Liveright Publishing Corporation.

Khalil Gibran The Prophet - On Love - YouTube

Khalil Gibran The Prophet - On Love - YouTube:

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Fig Street Weddings Video

 A wedding planner in UK made this Fig Street Weddings video.

History of the Wedding Ring

 " With This Ring I Thee Wed !"


 Gold was made into rings to wear and use as currency back in history. Many gold rings signify wealth and prosperity. Gold wedding bands evolved from the golden rings made for currency in antiquity. Today the circle wedding band signifies eternity  and a promise to be together forever. Gold or other metal signifies strength of the vows made. Some engrave the inside with name, initials, or dates. Tradition has it that, the wedding ring forms the last in a series of gifts, beginning with the engagement ring. This dates back to ancient times.

 Gold and other precious metals were a sign of wealth and the giving of a gold ring to the bride signified the trust the groom has in his wife. It is said the "ring finger" has a vein that goes directly to the heat so the ring signals love to the one given. The wedding vows are the important part of the wedding ceremony but in modern times bride and groom exchange wedding bands as part of the ceremony. The double ring ceremony came into fashion after WWII.

Wedding Invitation Crafts

 Zazzle has a wonderful web page with great wedding invitations, gifts, decorations, bridal shower, and wedding ideas at Zazzle Invitations. Wedding Ideas and Invitations, can be edited on the web. Add names, date, pictures. Create a special invitation, save the date, shower invite, or favors for you wedding.
 You can design your save the date and invitation, then thank you notes all to match. Give it a theme and make your own. All done with a text editor on the web. Bulk prices apply. The more you order the less you pay. Order all at one time for cheap bulk pricing. Professionally printed, shipped direct to you. Save time and gas running all around for save the date notes, invitations, and wedding favors.

Click link here to get some ideas,  Zazzle Invitations Wedding Ideas and Invitations, with web page text editor to add name and date. Here are some I made:

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Budget Weddings: How to save money with a simple wedding

Save Money On Your Wedding 

  1. Wedding Planners
  2. Rental Halls
  3. Bands and DJ's
  4. Caterers and Restaurants
  5. Dresses, Apparel, and Tux
  6. Wedding Officials
  7. Marriage License Information
  8. Wedding Invitations 
  9. Wedding Photography 
  10. Wedding Books and other Interesting Links

Save On Wedding Planners

  Begin your planning with a notebook for that purpose and a list of what you need. There are many web pages with links to wedding services and product providers, use the web to set up your resources. Try to use the free service provided by most rental halls. Catering Directors of most wedding rental places usually have done many weddings and are great people to ask for advice. If you are using a facility the advice comes along free. No need to hire a separate wedding planner unless the wedding is large.  If you use a wedding planner get several quotes on fees and a written agreement. Buy a Wedding Planning Book.
Click here to visit Marriage Preparation Online , for an outline of how to plan a wedding. There are several free guides there about weddings and he also sells a book. The free guides are good information.

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Save On Rental Halls and Chapels

  Some smaller churches and public chapels allow use for a nominal fee. Check with the Yellow Pages and call the pastor. American Legion and VFW Halls rent out to the public. Ask if the price is cheaper on an off day like a Monday or Tuesday.  Some public places like parks and fountains do not charge a fee but require notice of use. A friends lovely home or back yard can be an intimate place to get married. 
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Save On Music and DJ's

  Buy a wedding music CD and have a friend play it in a boom box. Some amateur musicians and music students would play for free as practice, call a music school for information. Have a friend put together the music and be in charge of it at the wedding.
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Save Money On Caterers and Food

  Have friends make and bring food items. The old covered dish wedding.  For sweets buy Ms Debbie Cakes and place them on paper dollies and trays. Have a friend bake your wedding cake. Buy a sheet cake from a food store. Get frozen hors d'oeuvres. at a market or Sam's Club. Buy your flowers at the food store and arrange them yourself. Use disposable paper plates and plastic utensils. Serve grape juice instead of wine. Decorations can be made with candles and holders sold in those Dollar Stores.  Some party supply stores sell wedding decorations, look for sales.
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Save Money On Dresses Apparel and Tux

Save on your wedding dress by shopping early and looking for sample sales. Call the dress shops in your area and ask when do they have sales, then go and shop during that time. Look on E-bay for wedding dresses. After the wedding consider donating your dress to Charity and take the gift off on income tax. Many religious charities have Thrift Stores that accept donations and give receipts for the donated dress. Seek out places that will rent a dress like men can rent a Tux. Borrow a friends dress.
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Wedding Officials

Contact the American Association of Wedding Officiants for help in locating the right wedding officiant for you. Click AAWO .
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Marriage License Information

 The one necessary item that is not discounted but generally does not cost much.
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Save Money On Wedding Invitation 

  Use computer generated invitations  using Print Shop or any computer based publisher. Have them reproduced at a quick printer. Use Post Cards instead of fancy invitation, can get 4 to a sheet and postage is less. See these invitations sold on Fig Street Art Studio. See what they have or ask to design one just for you.
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Save Money On Wedding Photography  

  Have a friend do the pictures. Ask guests to share their photos with you after the wedding.  Have disposable cameras available and ask guests to take pictures and leave the camera for you to keep the pictures. See disposable wedding cameras on Beau Coup.
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Other Interesting Links

Dollar Store wedding decorations web page-

This page is a service of Chaplain JK Schwehm former New Orleans area Justice of the Peace, and wedding officiant. Links may be out dated, e-mail him for information.
 New Orleans Wedding Officiant, Dr. Jerry Kenneth Schwehm  served as as Justice of the Peace in 1990 to 1994 in  Slidell, La. 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 (1972) 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 Street Studio. He may be contacted at jerryschwehm(at) 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Components of a Wedding Ceremony : Write Your Own Wedding Vows

Components of a Wedding Ceremony
Generally a wedding ceremony consists of several parts beginning with the Entrance of the Wedding Party usually to music then:
1. Welcome or Introduction done by the Officiant.
2. Presentation of the Bride to the Groom by either the parents or special person.
3. Reading of a Poem or Bible verse by Officiant or special person.
4. Recitation of the Wedding Vows either traditional or words written by the couple.
5. Exchange of rings and/or giving of gifts to children of the couple.
6. Any special event like  lighting candles, drinking wine, or other special ceremony addition.
7. Declaration of Marriage where the Officiant declares the couple married and closing remarks.
8. The First Kiss as a Married Couple.
9. Exit or recessional usually to music.

Simple Basic Wedding Ceremony

 The step which you are about to take is the most important into which human beings can come. It is a union of two people founded upon mutual respect and affection. Your lives will change, your responsibilities will increase, but your joy will be multiplied if you are sincere and earnest with your pledge to one another.
 __(Groom)___________, will you have this woman to be your wedded wife, to love her, comfort her, honor and keep her, and forsaking all others, keep you only unto her, for so long as you both shall live? 
_ (Bride)____________, will you have this man to be your wedded husband, to love him, comfort him, honor and keep him, and forsaking all others, keep you only unto him, so long as you both shall live?
 Take hands and repeat after me: I, __(Groom)___________, take you, __(Bride)___________, to be my wedded wife, to have and to hold, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, to love and to cherish, from this day forward.
 I, ___(Bride)________, take you, _(Groom)__________, to be my wedded husband, to have and to hold, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, to love and to cherish, from this day forward.
 Do you have a ring for the bride?   Please place the ring on the bride's finger and say: With this ring, I thee wed. 
Is there a ring for the groom? Please place the ring on the groom's finger and say: With this ring I thee wed. 
Let these rings be given and received as a token of your affection, sincerity and fidelity to one another.
 In as much as _____________ and _____________ have consented together in wedlock and have witnessed the same before this company, and pledged their vows to each other, by the authority vested in me by the State of Louisiana, I now pronounce you husband and wife. (You may now kiss .)

Jerry Kenneth Schwehm  served as as Justice of the Peace in 1990 to 1994 in  Slidell, La. 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 (1972) 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 and South Mississippi area to perform your personalized marriage ceremony. He will go to your location or at his office in New Orleans. He may be contacted at the below e-mail.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Secret to Affordable Weddings

Chaplain Jerry Schwehm at  New Orleans Pirates Alley elopement.

  For over 20 years I have done many weddings in the large New Orleans Metro area. I am often contacted by couples on a budget wanting to be married simply in a beautiful spot without a large expense. For an elopement of less than 12 people attending, several beautiful public spots are available for free to use. A marriage license is less then $30, a free location, several witnesses in a public park runs less then $300. A lot better then an office setting where an elopement may be a little less but also a lot less romantic. Cheap, budget, affordable, whatever you want to call it a simple elopement under $300 in a beautiful location saves the couple a lot of money and a lot of planning.
 Over the many years of doing weddings I have found several beautiful locations around New Orleans that we can meet and do a small wedding. I have pictures on my web page with instructions how to get a license and how to book me to meet you to perform a wedding ceremony. Stop in my weddings web page at and see some of the pictures. E-mail me for further details.

Chaplain Schwehm, elopement  in City Park, New Orleans

 I can assist you in locating an officiant in most any city in the USA. I am the President and Moderator of a nation wide group of wedding officiants.

Chaplain JK Schwehm
New Orleans
Wedding Officiant
President American Association of Wedding Officiants

Chaplain Jerry Schwehm at Simple elopement in the French Quarter. Photo by Kathleen Parker.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Changing Name After Wedding

  Most American brides change the last name after marriage. It requires some effort. Here are a few tips, and there are web pages that offer help. A certified copy must be provided to certain agencies, so it takes time. A certified copy of your marriage certificate comes from the office where you obtained your marriage license. The state will mail you a copy for a fee when you requested one.

Changing Your Name After A Wedding
  It is a tradition in western cultures that a bride takes the last name of the husband, it is not a requirement to do so. You need to order several certified copies of your marriage certificate from the office you received your license. Usually this is done when you apply for your marriage license by prepaying for certified copies to be mailed to you.
1. A new drivers license should be obtained by going to your local motor vehicle office with a certified copy of the marriage certificate. That office will help you get a new license with the marriage name. They may charge a fee so you should call before going to get particulars. You may also need to change your auto title and auto insurance.
2. A new Social Security Card should be obtained by getting the necessary forms off the web at:  You can mail the form in or go in person to your local office but you need a certified copy of your marriage license to present to them. You can telephone them for details.
3. A new Passport can be obtained by going in person to a local office or following the directions on the State Department page at
4. You will also need to change your name with banks, credit card companies, landlords, and any other agency that has your name on record. Generally by getting the first 3 done the rest are easier as some agencies will accept the new drivers license as proof of you new name.
5. Be sure the IRS, Voter Registration, your insurance agent, and CPA also knows of the name change so that they make the necessary charges to their records too.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Free Wedding Offer

 A TV Show producer asked I help find a groom willing to do a wedding show where he plans the wedding without bride. I need to hear from groom by July 4,2012 and send her his details for the selection process, e-mail me for more. It is a free wedding if groom follows the story line as a surprise wedding. She does need to agree to be married but the wedding day, date, place, etc is totally in grooms hands. Limited time so act fast to go through selection process.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Garden at Beauregard-Keys house, Weddings French Quarter New Orleans

I do several weddings per year in this classic garden at the Beauregard-Keys House in the French Quarter, New Orleans. More info on booking a wedding in the French Quarter can be read at my web page:

 Several beautiful gardens are available to rent in the Quarter and several small areas can also be used for small elopements for free. See details at the link.

May wedding in the garden Seersucker and hats were the dress of the day.

Weddings Under The Tree of Life, Happiness, and Love

 Best place to elope in the Greater New Orleans area are its beautiful parks and lake front.

City Parks Tree of Life, Happiness and Love are great spots for weddings. For details contact Fig Street Weddings with Chaplain JK Schwehm to arrange an elopement or wedding under the biggest and oldest oak tress in the US. More details can be read at:

 The oldest oak trees are found along the bayou by City Park Ave. Some of these old oak trees are up to 800 years old. They began a forest along a water way that once connected to the Mississippi River. The bayou now forms part of a beautiful lagoon in the park and is populated by water fowl and moss covered trees. A lovely area for small outdoor weddings. More big trees are located in City Park then any other park in the area. Parking is easy. Food is near by in the Parkview Cafe and at Ralph's At The Park. The beautiful New Orleans Museum of Art is a short walk away. The Red Canal Streetcar runs right in front of the park with a beautiful walk to the trees. The park rents spots for larger weddings but a small elopement is OK under the trees with no rental fee for use of the location.

Chaplain Jerry Schwehm at City Park elopement.

 After years of performing weddings I have found it best to obtain information from the prospective Bride and Groom as soon as possible. There is a form that can be cut and pasted to your word processor or download a copy at A downloadeable  ".doc"  format for you to complete and get to me along with the required deposit to book your wedding date.  Chaplain Schwehm does waivers of delay for out of state couples. If Chaplain Schwehm is not available he has associate Ministers who help

Marriage License Info--NOTICE: Vital Records Central Office will offer walk-in services at Benson Tower, 1450 Poydras St, Suite 400, New Orleans, LA. Vital Records Customer Serivce Call Center can be reached at 504-593-5100 . You can also get a marriage license at  Jefferson Parish Clerk of Courts Office or any Clerk of Court in Louisiana.

City Park area has several covered spots.

Elopement under tress Scott Myers Photography

Elopement by Scott Myers Photography


MAP OF CITY PARK:  Tree of Life, Love, and Happiness

View Larger Map
Video of one of the many big trees in City Park.
The Morning Call Coffee Stand has food and large rest rooms. We can meet there to complete the paperwork, it is a covered area with easy parking. Map link below:
Video of Wedding in City Park:

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Cafe in Pirates Alley. Place to meet before and after a wedding in New Orleans

Pirates Alley. Nice place to meet before and after a wedding in Jackson Square, French Quarter, New Orleans, LA. Chaplain JK Schwehm, Fig Street Weddings will assist.

 Couples meet at the Pirates Alley Cafe then find a nice spot to get married near Jackson Square for a small romantic elopement. Several spots in the French Quarter are available for an intimate ceremony. Larger weddings need to rent a place but for a few people a nice stand up ceremony can be done in certain public areas,

 A short walk from Pirates Alley are the gates to Jackson Square that also can be used for a short small elopement. More info here-

 Very short video of area by St Peter St gates to Jackson Square from Youtube.


View of St Louis Cathedral from spot in Jackson Square, New Orleans. Nice spot for a wedding. Some spots rent out some are free for small elopement.

Gates St Peter St to Jackson Square

Chaplain Jerry Schwehm at gates to Jackson Square simple elopement.

                                    Elopement at gate to Jackson Square, New Orleans, LA..

Photo by Kathleen Parker.

NOTICE: Vital Records Central Office will offer walk-in services at Benson Tower, 1450 Poydras St, Suite 400, New Orleans, LA. Vital Records Customer Serivce Call Center can be reached at 504-593-5100 . You can also get a marriage license at Second City Court, Algiers or the Jefferson Parish Clerk of Courts Office or any Clerk of Court in Louisiana.

Google Map to Pirates Alley Cafe area   :  MAP Jackson Square Area

View Larger Map

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

How, Who, Why of Wedding Rehearsals

This discussion is about who, what, where of a wedding rehearsal.  The wedding rehearsal is for the participants to know what to do. Generally  the wedding rehearsal is a day or two before the actual wedding in the afternoon as not to conflict with other weddings being held. It is attended by the wedding party. The wedding party are the immediate family, attendants, and bride and groom. It is conducted by the coordinator or staff of the venue generally at the spot the wedding occurs. The wedding party also may go after to a rehearsal dinner. The wedding Minister is generally not needed if they are well versed in weddings and the ceremony is selected before the wedding day. Some musicians may attend but usually they too are well prepared and they charge to be there so having only those needed saves expenses.

Most weddings do not need a rehearsal depending on how large it is. All rental halls have a staff person who schedules and conducts a walk through. That is the person to contact and talk over when and how the rehearsal is to be conducted. When a couple contacts a person to participate they need to discuss with them what is expected. Think about how many attendants and realize the more you have the more rehearsal it takes. Small weddings a walk though can be done right before the ceremony. There are many web pages with info on who walks when and who sits where. Reading over those before the selection of attendants help you plan before you ask people to be attendants. Wedding planners are well versed on what is needed for big weddings and may be needed to help you plan. Small weddings a friend who has done weddings may be helpful to discuss things with.

Advance preparation by reading up on rehearsals, processional, and recessional is best before asking someone to be an attendant. Usually best man, and maid of honor is all that is necessary with ushers to seat people. Plan out in your mind who stands with whom. Who seats who, when, where. What children will participate and realize kids may wander off. keeping things simple is best. All wedding halls have a system they follow for each wedding and they use that program for the rehearsal. More or less a package system they follow for each wedding.

More details can be found by doing a search on the web like this planning page at Martha Stewart: . 
With a chart for standing:

Realize it is your wedding and follow a plan you like best.

Here is a nice web page with outlines on wedding planning. Online Marriage Preparation

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Military Weddings

 Often I am asked to assist military couples who need to married before deployments. Being close to the Mississippi Gulf Coast military bases I get calls and e-mails about doing an elopement fast and have done them for many years. A license office is close. Nice parks, and places to meet up and do the necessary paperwork and ceremony is easy. Just e-mail me at for details or stop in this link for more information-

 Several business in Slidell and Pearl River Louisiana welcome military couples who need to be married quickly. Getting a marriage license is convienent and you can get a nice meal at the many restaurants nearby.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Fig Street Weddings: Video of recent wedding.

 I do a lot of weddings in New Orleans but rarely do couples share the video taken. Here is one e-mailed me that I did recently. I have very short opening in the video but it a well done piece.

Amy and Brandon's New Orleans Wedding Trailer from Dyle Films on Vimeo.