While it is true that Vegas remains the top place for weddings -- as well it should, with no waiting period and a ceremony perhaps as short as 10 minutes from start (obtaining license) to finish (kiss the bride!) -- New Orleans is becoming nearly as popular a nuptial destination. The city has seen a big boom in wedding business post-Katrina. Potential happy couples should be aware, however, that Louisiana requires a 72-hour waiting period (unless you know the right judge to waive it -- don't laugh, we did) once you have the marriage license. In addition to the nearly endless number of romantic spots from which to choose, you can get hitched at the French Quarter Wedding Chapel, 333 Burgundy St. (tel. 504/598-6808; www.frenchquarterwedding.com). This 24-hour chapel will officiate for traditional and civil ceremonies as well as "alternative lifestyle" unions. A voodoo priestess is on call to oversee commitment ceremonies.
A quick ferry ride to Algiers Point to see Judge Mary "KK" Norman (tel. 504/368-4099) is for the no-frills justice-of-the-peace approach; her office can issue the license as well for a one-stop wedding. If you prefer a standard service in a big St. Charles Avenue mansion, the House of Broel (tel. 800/827-4325 or 504/525-1000; www.houseofbroel.com) offers packages for 2 to 200 people.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.