Set your wedding date for Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day and have a romantic wedding anniversary forever to celebrate.  Join the many couples that will marry at the Gretna Green Blacksmith Shop, a part of the Gretna Historical Museum Complex at 209 Lafayette Street in Gretna.

The ‘marrying judge,’ Vernon J. Wilty, III, the Jefferson Parish Justice of the Peace who legalizes all weddings at the Blacksmith Shop will make everything nice and legal for your lifetime of togetherness. 

“We don’t do mass weddings, each wedding is an individual ceremony.  The Gretna Historical Society members look forward to hosting this special event. It’s a fun-filled day that I enjoy very much,” Judge Wilty said. 

Is it time for you and your honey to make a commitment to each other and romance and excitement is your idea of a dream wedding, there’s a way to get married in a really beautiful way without breaking the bank! 

The weddings are scheduled throughout the day. All you have to do is call inadvance to Judge Wilty’s office at 504.364.2760 between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Monday through Friday. He will give you the instructions on what to do next. Don’t wait another minute. Call now!

One necessary requirement for getting married in this setting will be for you to obtain a marriage license from the Jefferson Parish Clerk of Court, Marriage License Division in the Government Building at 200 Derbigny Street in Gretna.

Already married couples still in love mode might want to experience a vow renewal that is also possible at the Blacksmith Shop on Valentine’s Day. The vow renewals do not, of course, include obtaining a marriage license, but you must call the judge’s office to reserve a time. 

“Special certificates and proclamations will be issued to celebrate the Valentine Day weddings. Many other treats are also in store for the couples,” GHS President Lisa LaFrance said.   

“The brides and grooms couples are escorted to the Blacksmith Shop through the Lover’s Arch by the bagpiper in the fashion of weddings in Gretna Green, Scotland, Gretna’s namesake,” Event Chairperson Sylvia Schwarz said.

“After the rite, blacksmith Tommy Verret will then seal the couple’s promise on the anvil in the centuries-old tradition of Gretna Green Scotland, the city of Gretna’s namesake and toast the couple with the bubbly! A proclamation from the City of Gretna is read to the couple by Summer Cook, a representative from the mayor’s office.

Runaway marriages began in 1754, when an Act was passed in England stating that if both parties to a marriage were not at least 21 years old, then consent had to be given by the parents. This Act did not apply in Scotland, where it was, and still is, possible to get married at 16, with or without parental consent.

This led to many “elopers” fleeing their angry parents to get married in Scotland. The first village they would have arrived at was Gretna Green. The blacksmith shop, the focal point of the village became the center of the marriage trade. The blacksmith’s anvil thus became the symbol of runaway weddings, as not only were metals joined together on the heat of the fire, but couples were also joined in marriage in the heat of the moment. GG.MOV

“The Valentine’s Day Weddings event is a fundraiser for the Society. Judge Wilty generously donates his fee each year to GHS whose members are on the spot serving wedding treats, calming nerves and offering congratulations to smiling newlyweds,” Lisa LaFrance said.

So sweethearts, choose a Valentine’s Day wedding at the Blacksmith Shop and ‘tie the knot’ in a classy, romantic way. You will have very special and historical memories to enjoy each Valentine’s Day in the future.