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Marriage in New Orleans – the second line

Posted on Tuesday, May 23rd, 2006.

It’s called THE SECOND LINE, and it’s a die-hard New Orleans tradition at weddings and funerals alike. The first line is made of friends and family of the deceased, who walk with the casket along with a brass band, sending their loved one off in a celebratory fashion. Then there are all the folks who tag along for the music, dancing as they go and waving white hankerchiefs. That’s the second line.

Big Band Wedding

We were invited to wave our hankies at StoryCorps participante Jolëne Bouchon’s marriage to Bryan Christian. (This is Bryan waiting patiently, with the second line brass band in the background.)

NOLA Wedding 5

After the marriage ceremony, the bride and groom often form a street procession behind the second line brass band. These joyous parades have come filing through Jackson Square a few times while we’ve been here, waving white hankerchiefs, sporting the distinctive second line umbrella, and dancing.

NOLA Wedding 4

Well, sometimes there’s a good reason to have a large mob of people making a WHOLE lot of noise outside the recording booth, eh?

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