Notes From A Cajun Wedding Thursday, Jan 13 2011 

New Orleans is a favorite spot for weddings. Tradition has it South Louisiana could really put on a celebration for a wedding out doing even Mardi Gras.

Harnett T. Kane, a New Orleans journalist and author of, “The Bayous of Louisiana”, published in 1943 by Bonanza Books of New York,  wrote, “The more I saw of this place and people, (Louisiana)  the more I came to appreciate them.”

Mr. Kane once attended a Louisiana wedding and found: “Only one other South Louisiana institution can match the Mardi Gras in its semiregulated horseplay, and that is the French-style charivari.”

Kane said he was once surprisingly invited while visiting in Cajun Country to a charivari. A hurried man knocked at his door and asked if he wanted to see a charivari. On the way Kane was told that an old businessman after his first wife passed away married a young girl, and had returned with her from a private wedding in New Orleans. As usual a charivari developed spontaneously by men in the community. Kane said they stopped in a crowd on the road a short distance from the couple’s home. A loud procession went to the couple’s house but the noise grew louder upon reaching the home. For about 2 hours, the charivari noise went on out side the house. The rules were the group had to be invited in, the noise would go on until the invitation was given.

One man knocked the door of the old businessman’s home. After several discussions the husband came out. He knew the rules; there would be no end to it until the bride as well as the groom joined in the charivari. Reluctantly the husband fetched the bride.

They were urged to kiss and the husband then asked the question expected by the crowd. “Quoi vous voulez, mes bons hommes?” (What do you want, gentlemen?) The leaders of the charivari group, told him they wanted wine, beer, cake, sausage, cheese and whatever available, and they’d even wait for him to go get more food. “Entrez!” called the leaders. Thus the charivari begins. For the next hour music played, food was eaten and toasts made. “Que le Dieu benit les maries!” (May God bless the married ones.) “Que le Dieu benit les noces!” (May God bless the nuptials.) Eventually charivari ended and the couple left in peace. Only one celebration per marriage is allowed but for a Cajun any reason is good enough for an another party.

For further reading on Louisiana Cajun Customs of marriage and the actual marriage celebration see: Pouponne et Balthazar: Nouvelle Acadienne by Mme. Sidonie de la Houssaye; Librairie de l�Opion, Nouvelle-Orleans: 1888 a retelling of the “Evageline” story by a Louisiana Creole author of the time period. See also Cajun Country by Barry Jean Ancelet, et al. Paperback / Published 1991 ISBN: 0878054677.

Traditions are still made in many weddings in New Orleans and the local favorite Pirates Alley wedding tradition first thought to be done by a local pirate who now haunts the Alley. You can have one too, just contact Jerry Schwehm at http://www.figstreet.com/weddings

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Water Meter Lid Fleur De Lid Jewelry from New Orleans Wednesday, Jan 12 2011 


Zazzle now has jewelry,beautiful sterling silver necklace.I’ve added a lot of my art. Sterling silver chain is 18″ with 3″ extender and lobster claw clasp. Necklace arrives in a special black felt bag. Finished with UV resistant, waterproof, glossy coating over the art. New Orleans jewelry now sold at my Zazzle shop. Stop in and see all the necklaces at http://www.zazzle.com/figstreetstudio/necklaces

“Where Yat”, Water Meter Lid Fleur De Lid Jewelry from New Orleans http://ht.ly/3CtS7 #Yat #watermeter #neworleans

The Fleur De Lis and New Orleans Weddings Friday, Jan 7 2011 

The Fleur De Lis is a recurring theme in many New Orleans Weddings.  Both the  City of New Orleans and the beloved New Orleans Saints NFL football team use the fleur de lis as a symbol. I have noticed an increased use of the fleur de lis at many weddings in New Orleans. It shows up on invitations, on napkins, decorations, and even cakes. I am sure there is a wedding dress too with it  embroidered on and a necklace or pin attached. The fleur de lis is also a recurring them in my art and I have created many designs that can be used in invitations, cards, and more. Here is a web page with them, http://www.cafepress.com/figstreetstudio/1925039 and some links to them below.


New Orleans Weddings

Dr. 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 (1972) . He has performed numerous wedding ceremonies both as a Justice of the Peace and Clergyman. He 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 Studio. He may be contacted at the below web page.

www.figstreet.com/guesthouse/weddings.html

For more information on getting married in New Orleans see my weddings web page- http://www.figstreet.com/weddings.

Simply Elope To New Orleans Wednesday, Dec 29 2010 

Fig Street Wedding by Christy May Photography

Couples are wisely budgeting   the money they spend on their weddings. Using money saving ideas like  eloping to a public park, using Google to find and save on services like rentals and flowers, or simply getting married by a local officiant at their home.

Deciding to elope and combine the Honeymoon and marriage all in one trip is a money saving tip. Some cities will offer visitors week day discounts on hotel rooms, food, and other services needed to get married. New Orleans, La. is a place that during the week hotels offer discounts and getting married in one day is easy.  A local retired minister specializes in going to couples at their home or hotel for a quick wedding with no frills.

Meeting a wedding officiant in the historic French Quarter hotel and conducting a simple ceremony or at an old walkway, alley, park, or building has become the way to have a romantic elopement yet save the big costs of a more fancy wedding. People come from all over the USA and some as far as the United Kingdom to get married simply and fast in a beautiful spot in New Orleans then spend the Honeymoon enjoying the savings.

Plan on getting the facts before hand, Using the web to find a discounted hotel room, contacting the marriage license office to be sure you have the right documentation, and making an appointment with the Fig Street wedding minister is easy via  e-mail. The best way to save money is to take advantage of all the discounts offered.  Ask about them or search the web before you arrive and save money.

You can ask a friend to do the photos, and purchase flowers from a food store based florist saving money on those items. No need for a fancy wedding gown, a nice light colored dress and comfortable shoes with flowers in hand looks great. Saving money and having a memorable wedding is easy with help of the world wide web.

To help you plan an elopement in New Orleans more information can be found at http://www.figstreet.com/weddings

New Orleans Wedding Officiant

Dr. 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 (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 Studio. He may be contacted at
www.figstreet.com/weddings

The Ghost in Pirates Alley Thursday, Mar 26 2009 

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.

Today couples can still get married in Pirates Alley  by a German Protestant wedding officiant. For more in formation visit his web page at: http://www.figstreet.com/guesthouse/firstpiratesalleywedding.html


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