Welcome to Ringgold, marriage capital of the South

6:44 PM, Mar 13, 2013   |    comments
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(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

RINGGOLD, Ga. -- A town of about 3,500 in northwest Georgia has established a reputation as a marriage mecca, with between 2,000 and 2,400 marriage licenses being issued there annually.

"It's been called the marriage capital of the South forever," said Teresa James, owner of the Ringgold Wedding Chapel. "People call it 'Little Vegas'."

Ringgold Probate Court Clerk Shawna Cooper said the numbers may stem from Catoosa County having more relaxed requirements for marriage licenses than others.

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Ringgold, the Catoosa County seat, is about 15 miles southeast of Chattanooga, Tenn. and requires one piece of identification from brides and grooms, and $65 for a marriage license.

James says customers have traveled from Europe, Asia and South America to get married in the chapel, which performs 700 to 750 ceremonies annually, and offers a $50 weekday walk-in rate.

(Associated Press)

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