A bill to shorten the waiting period for getting married has advanced to the House floor. The legislation by Carencro Representative Julie Emerson would reduce the wait time from the time paperwork is filed to officially hitched to 24 hours from the current 72. Emerson says Louisiana has an abnormally long wait time.

“This was a little bit of an outlier, and at some point you just have to let people make their own decisions in that regard.”

The current 72 hour delay is in place to dissuade impulsive marriage decisions that may seem like a good idea at the time, but quickly lose their appeal with a full night’s sleep and a splitting headache the next morning. Emerson says the one day wait should still prevent those awkward situations.

“I did agree to the 24 hours because I certainly wasn’t trying to encourage someone get intoxicated and make a lifelong decision such as marriage.”

Emerson says Louisiana’s long wait time is a rarity in state marriage laws.

“There are 30 states that have zero waiting period on the front and back end. If its not heavily effecting those states, I don’t think it will effect Louisiana.”