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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

Jamie Gumbrecht

January 19th, 2010
3:52 pm

Aww, congratulations, Rita! That’s sweet!


January 19th, 2010
3:49 pm

My fiance and I are going to be married at the Cup at Castle event and we are very excited. We had our first date on Valentine’s Day 2009. I read an artical from last year’s event and thought it was perfect; short and sweet. Befor I found out about this event we wher going to go to a minister’s home to be married due to the fact the courts are closed on Sundays. We plan to have dinner with 20 family & friends at a very nice restuarant in downtown Atlant, so the commute will only be 8 miles between the two sites. I feel blessed to be able to wedd in a beautiful place with the economy being what it is!!!

Jamie Gumbrecht

January 19th, 2010
3:03 pm

Arlene — the price includes the photographer, but I don’t think it includes prints. I’ll check with them to get more details. I was there last year, and although they moved quickly, the didn’t feel rushed, and definitely not cold. This type of wedding isn’t for everybody, but for those considering a courthouse wedding, I think this is a nice alternative. They cheapest rate for Rhodes Hall, otherwise, is $900 for two hours on a Sunday-Thursday, and that only covers the venue.


January 19th, 2010
2:51 pm

Does this include the photo also? Seems like a cold, rushed ordeal…more time should be allotted


January 17th, 2010
6:24 pm

250.00 divorces are great, my ex cost me 5,000 and two years later to fight for the children but he has never called nor does he see them, his choice.


January 17th, 2010
5:42 pm

$200 and 15 minutes? I’m so glad Georgia defends the sanctity of marriage. Allowing gays and lesbians to marry in Georgia would definitely discount the value of these priceless unions.

GA Girl

January 17th, 2010
2:50 pm

This is much better than the courthouse. I felt like I was at the free clinic awaiting assistance with all of the people standing around. At the DeKalb county courthouse, there’s a courtroom next to the judge’s chamber where the ceremony takes place. You think someone is waiting to get married but they’re waiting for their case to begin. Excellent idea and worth the cost.

Siriusly Folks

January 17th, 2010
1:41 pm

How about offering $200 15-minute divorces? A much better use of time and money.


January 17th, 2010
1:14 pm

Great deal, but I think this is almost worse than a courthouse…15 minutes for such an important part of your life is not enough, but to each its own…Excellent idea for vow renewal though.

Tony from Stone Mountain

January 15th, 2010
11:09 pm

What a deal!