Algiers Courthouse Wedding
Are you interested in having a wedding at the Algiers Courthouse in New Orleans? The Algiers Courthouse is one of the most quaint and picturesque locations to get married in New Orleans. It is considered a focal point of the city and for good reason! Couples have been photographed having their weddings inside the courthouse and even on the balcony situated above the main entrance. Built in 1896, the Algiers Courthouse is the third oldest continuously operating courthouse in the state of Louisiana. While the building still retains its Queen-Anne Victorian style architecture and rustic feel, the City of New Orleans made renovations to the building in 1979 and 1984, which have only improved the building’s appearance. The most recent renovation was finished this year and cost the city $1.2 million! The courthouse features large pillars that frame the entrance, a quaint balcony and a rich history. There are many ideal shooting locations for couples looking to have their wedding photos taken at the Algiers Courthouse. While the inside of the courthouse may look traditional, the exterior has several hidden spots that highlight the signature features of the Queen-Anne style: stone quoins decorating the corners of the building and fine brickwork. There are so many prime spots for photo ops that you won’t even know exist unless you search the grounds yourself or have a photographer familiar with the location. Algiers Courthouse is a great location where newlyweds love to be photographed, whether they were married at the courthouse or elsewhere.
There is a certain intimacy inherent in civil ceremonies that, as a photographer, I find so honored to capture. I have photographed many of these intimate scenes, but have found that many couples who want to elope aren’t sure how to proceed. After being the recipient of several questions about this subject, I have decided to put together this blog post detailing how to get married at the Algiers Courthouse to help couples like this turn their dreams into reality. Hopefully this guide is a helpful reference when planning your elopement. If you are interested in hiring a photographer for your Algiers Courthouse wedding, please don’t hesitate to contact me! I would love to be a part of your special day!
At Algiers Courthouse, you are married by a judge employed by the courthouse. The judge is the only person that officiates all weddings held at the Algiers Courthouse whether indoors, on the steps, or on the 2nd floor balcony.
You must make an appointment ahead of time and keep in mind that the courthouse is closed on Saturdays and Sundays. The hours are Monday to Friday from 8am-3pm. While they are closed on weekends, you can request a weekend date (based on Judge’s availability) and pay the extra fee for a Saturday or Sunday or “after hours”.
How Much Does It Cost to Have a Ceremony at The Algiers Courthouse?
While eloping is significantly cheaper than throwing a large wedding, there are still costs to consider. In the state of Louisiana, a marriage license costs $27.50 (plus $5 for each copy of your marriage license to be mailed to your home – order at least 2 copies) and can be obtained at the Algiers courthouse. Keep in mind that when you obtain your marriage license, there is a 72-hour waiting period before you can legally get married so you must obtain your marriage license before your ceremony date. However, a marriage license is only valid for 30 days, so make sure to plan your ceremony for some time before the 30 days is up. If you both hold out of state drivers’ license, you can apply for a license 15-30 minutes before your ceremony time and the Judge will waive the 72-hour waiting period. You will be married that day!
If you plan to have a ceremony at the courthouse, there will also be an additional cost to the Judge - last time I checked around $100 (Additional fee for weekends and after hours – call Courthouse for exact pricing).
Another cost that you don’t want to leave out is for a photographer. Some couples make the mistake of asking a friend or family member to photograph their ceremony and they end up with blurred photos and bad shots. Don’t make a choice that you’ll regret! Everyone deserves to have an album full of wedding photos that they can look back on fondly. See my intimate wedding package HERE.
What will our ceremony look like at the Algiers Courthouse?
If you’d like to get an image of what your ceremony at the courthouse might look like, here are the answers to some commonly asked questions:
How many witnesses will we need?
Louisiana state law requires that you have two witnesses sign the marriage license at the time of the ceremony.
Who will marry us?
A Judge from the Algiers Courthouse will marry you.
Where can I get more information on what to bring to the Courthouse to apply for a license
Visit our Marriage License requirements page HERE. The phone number to the Algiers Courthouse can be found on this same page.
How many guests can we invite?
Due to the size and capacity of the Algiers Courthouse, I recommend inviting no more than 10-15 guests if you choose to have a ceremony on the premises. Please call the courthouse for an accuracy on guest count.
Is there parking?
Yes! There is a parking lot across from the courthouse that charges only $5 to park. There is also street parking based on availability. Watch for any meters as well.
What day/time is best to get married at the courthouse?
As long as you book an appointment well ahead of time, you can get married anytime the courthouse is open. However, keep in mind that Friday afternoon is the most popular day, as the courthouse is closed on the weekends. Book your appointment in advance (typically 60 days in advance is when the courthouse will add your date to their books) and you’ll have your choice of any day and time that works best for you!
I hope that you found this guide informative and helpful! If you would like to contact me to capture your special moments, please email me at: ibayPhotography@gmail.com or via my contact form HERE. I would be honored to photograph your intimate wedding!
Congratulations, You're Married!!!
Now that you guys have just celebrated the best day of your lives...what are the best things to do after your wedding day? Tour the most romantic city in the world of course!
Here is an ideal perfect day in New Orleans:
1. Have beignets and coffee at Cafe Beignet on Royal Street. Most tourist believe the only place to enjoy our famous beignets is to visit Cafe Du Monde on Decatur St. Just a few short blocks is a very quaint shop called Cafe Beignet that sells (in my opinion) even better beignets than the original. An added bonus...no 2 mile long lines here!
2. Catch the free shuttle service to Mardi Gras World and see the amazing Mardi Gras floats up close and personal...then catch the streetcar that follows St. Charles Ave and take it all the way to the river (ask the driver which stop drops you off at Camelia Grill for lunch). The antebellum homes and historic areas of Uptown New Orleans will impress you..... OR after beignets and coffee, jump on the Algiers Ferry and take a short ride over to the westbank side of the river (soak in the great city views while on the ferry). When you arrive in Algiers, walk over to the Rosetree blown glass studio and grab lunch at Dry Dock Cafe.
3. When back in the French Quarter, grab a daiquiri "to go" from anywhere on Decatur St and walk along the river toward Crescent Park OR grab a super short uber ride over to City Park and see the magestic oaks with picturesque moss, cobblestone bridges and the vast beauty of this 1300 acre green space. Did you know that City Park is actually larger than Central Park in New York??
4. End your day back in the French Quarter at the Hotel Monteleone for cocktails (are you getting the theme here in New Orleans? It's all about the spirits...haha) before dinner. The Carousel Bar is world re-known for it's replicated Carousel bar that revolves around just like an actual carousel (verryyy slowly) while you enjoy some of the best drinks you've ever had in New Orleans.
For a list of truly authentic New Orleans restaurants to try for dinner, visit our page HERE
Hope you enjoy your mini-moon here in New Orleans after your wedding day. For elopement packages here in New Orleans, click HERE. For elopement ideas and inspiration anywhere in the USA, click HERE