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Big plans for Valentine’s Day? How about a 15-minute, $200 wedding at Rhodes Hall, the castle on Peachtree Street

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Stanley Johnson and Christie Koerwer smooch after their 15-minute wedding at Rhodes Hall on Valentine's Day, 2009. The race for romance returns to the castle this year. AJC file photo

You read that headline. We are talking about the ultimate in romance efficiency — a combined Valentine’s Day and wedding day, all rolled up into 15 minutes that ends with cupcakes for two.

Yes, the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation is bringing back its Cupid at the Castle event, a non-stop run of 15-minute, $200 weddings inside historic Rhodes Hall on Peachtree Street. They tried it for the first time last year, with great success. I broke down the intense 15-minute production line wedding schedule in this story from last year, “Castle plays Cupid to couples.”

Here’s how it works: Couples bring the marriage license and up to 20 guests. Each gets 15 minutes for the wedding, commitment ceremony or vow renewal, and a choice between the front porch or the Victorian-styled Reception Hall. Chaplain Jeremiah O’Keefe-West will officiate the weddings and Ron Jones Photography will be on hand to capture the moment.

Also new this year: mini-receptions! The couple can toast themselves and have a cupcake!

Wedding appointments are available from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., and the cost per ceremony is a donation of $200 to the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation, if you reserve a space by Jan. 31. After then, it’s $225. (The weddings are more expensive this year, but they filled up quickly last year; when I talked with the Trust on Wednesday, fewer than a fourth had been reserved.)

To make a wedding reservation, call 404-885-7812.


This is the Reception Hall at Rhodes Hall. Quite something, huh?

Want to go? Rhodes Hall tours begin every hour, on the hour. $4-$8. Free for Georgia Trust members and children younger than 6. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday. 1516 Peachtree St. N.W., Atlanta. 404-881-9980,

16 comments Add your comment


February 7th, 2010
12:06 am

I was a guest at an event Jeremiah Okeefe officiated. Needless to say I thought that he did a great job entertaining the crowd during the ceremony. However, he deeply offended me AND my girlfriends when, what appeared to be what I hope was a drunken stupor he sputtered the words “wow, were you trying to out do the bride?”. As a bride myself, I realize that this is quite difficult to do considering the amount of money you spend on hair, makeup, etc. But as a guest of a friend’s wedding, I couldn’t be more disgusted. The hole time during the ceremony, I couldn’t think how awkawrd it was to have someone like that foreshadow a “lifetime” together….


February 1st, 2010
8:56 pm

Congrats, Rita. Such a sweet story!

Jamie Gumbrecht

January 19th, 2010
4:57 pm

Hi Rita! I probably won’t be there this year, but if I am anywhere nearby, I will absolutely stop by to offer my congratulations!


January 19th, 2010
4:16 pm

@ Jamie, Will you be there this year? and if so, what time? my wedding will be held at 3pm.


January 19th, 2010
4:04 pm

Thanks Jamie!!!


January 19th, 2010
4:03 pm

I wanted to comment on the fact that some feel 15 min. is rushed. The things that will be missed are: having people to sing, the reading of poems and /or bible verse ect… Trust me, I did the big wedding before; these things are not the thing that are going to hold your marrage together. The most important part of your wedding is the love, honesty and commitment the two of you will bring!!!. Before I called Rhodes Hall we would have been paying $150 for a minister to marry us at his home. For $50 more it’s the best deal ever!!!