Reverend Anthony Talavera otherwise known as Rev.Tony of The French Quarter Wedding Chapel is a man who has worn many hats. Born in Los Angeles to a Catholic father and Jewish mother, he’s a preacher of the common sense approach to love, licensed by the state of Louisiana and ordained through both the Baptist and Universal Life Churches.
Rev. Tony is a long retired gourmet chef but currently answers his spiritual calling by serving as the main officiate for The French Wedding Quarter Chapel, runs several successful businesses, hosts an AM radio talk show, and does a wide variety of community and social work in the area. On Halloween of 1989 he had a liver transplant and died on the table. He was revived and used his second chance at life to help inspire others by showing how fulfilling life can be as a transplant recipient. He brought attention to the need the world has for organ donors by passing out over a million organ donor cards on two continents while swimming his way across America (39 cities and 24 states) and also Europe in 1991 and 1992 for the National and then World Transplant Games. Through a series of continued fortunate events, he found himself in New Orleans, was ordained as a Reverend in 2000, and opened the French Quarter Wedding Chapel the same year.
In 2003 Rev. Tony had a kidney transplant but still found the time to lobby and get Louisiana Senate Bill 565 (informally called the quickie wedding bill) passed. This legislation allows officiates in Orleans parish to sign a waiver to bypass the antiquated three day waiting period that was required (and has since been reduced further) because of the stress it causes to current day young couples trying to plan a weekend wedding in New Orleans between a hectic work week. He is currently working on more legislation to make Louisiana a premiere wedding destination since New Orleans was proclaimed the romance capital of the world by the Orleans Parish City Council in 2007.
Rev. Tony has been dubbed the “Ambassador of Romance” for his work with the Chapel and wedding related legislation. The French Quarter Wedding Chapel is the only wedding chapel in the French Quarter and was also recognized by the City of New Orleans in 2011 to be the most romantic place to be married in the city. Post 9/11 tragedy, Rev. Tony did free military weddings for two years because wedding plans were disrupted terribly for those couples. He currently gifts a complimentary bottle of champagne to all military couples he marries.
The chapel was also the subject of a reality TV show Big Easy Brides in 2011 on WETV. Rev. Tony has been a beloved, involved member of the New Orleans community for almost twenty years. He and his parter in the care and keeping of the chapel have performed over 18,000 weddings and vow renewals, he’s the President of The Louisiana Wedding Association, and is currently working to improve the wedding industry. Rev. Tony has many accomplishments under his belt and is always setting his sights on more, with a loving touch and creative spark for new and innovative ideas.