Get Married in France - The Ultimate Guide To Getting Married And Planning Your Dream French Wedding

Are you considering a destination wedding or elopement in France, most romantic country in the world? Look no further than France! From the stunning beaches of the French Riviera to the historic charm of Paris, France is the ultimate destination for a fairytale wedding.

Imagine exchanging vows with the Eiffel Tower as your backdrop or saying "I do" on a picturesque vineyard in the heart of wine country.

The possibilities are endless in this beautiful and romantic country. With its delicious cuisine, world-renowned wine, and scenic landscapes, France is the perfect place to celebrate your love with your nearest and dearest.

So why wait? Start planning your French dream wedding today! "

A happy wedding couple at they French Wedding

Giving you all the information you need!

But before you start planning your wedding ceremony, it's essential to understand the legal requirements for getting married in France. Don't worry. I've got you covered.

This blog post will cover everything you need to know about getting married in France, from obtaining a marriage certificate to navigating French wedding traditions. I will also provide tips for choosing the perfect venue and planning a stress-free wedding day.

So whether you're a foreign couple looking to tie the knot in France or a local couple wanting to have a destination wedding in the most romantic country in the world, this blog post is for you. So let's start planning the French marriage of your dreams!

But hang on! Who am I? My name is Lukas and I am a destination wedding photographer that wants to help you plan a perfect wedding and maybe even be part of your wedding day as a photographer.

A beautiful bride before getting married in France

Legal requirements for getting married in France - Documents required for a French wedding

Before you start planning your dream wedding in France, it's essential to understand the legal requirements for getting married in France. In addition, if you're a foreign couple, there are a few extra steps you'll need to take to ensure that your marriage is legally recognized in your home country.

First and foremost, you'll need to obtain a marriage certificate from the French government. This can be done through the local town hall (Mairie) in the city or town where you plan to get married. In addition, you'll need to provide proof of identity, proof of residence, and proof of your marital status (e.g., a divorce decree or death certificate, if applicable). It's important to note that French law requires a 40-day waiting period between the time you submit your documents and the date of your wedding.

In addition to a marriage certificate, foreign couples may also need to provide certain documents to the French authorities to get married in France. This may include a certificate of no impediment, a document issued by your home country stating that there are no legal obstacles to your marriage. You may also need to provide a translated and authenticated copy of your birth certificate.

There are also specific residency requirements for getting married in France. If you're a foreign couple, you'll need to have been resident in France for at least 40 days before your wedding. This requirement can be waived in particular circumstances, such as getting married in a French consulate or embassy abroad.

Finally, it's important to note that there are two types of marriage ceremonies in France: civil and religious. A civil authority must perform a civil ceremony (e.g., a mayor or deputy mayor). It must take place in a town hall or other designated location.

A religious authority can perform a religious ceremony (e.g., a priest or rabbi). It can occur in a church, temple, or other designated location. It's important to note that a religious ceremony must be preceded by a civil ceremony to be legally recognized in France.

Choosing the perfect venue is one of the most important decisions you'll make when planning your wedding abroad. France has a rich history and diverse landscapes, so endless possibilities exist.

Popular wedding destinations in France include Paris, the French Riviera, and Provence. Paris, the city of love, is famous for couples looking for a romantic and sophisticated wedding.

The French Riviera, with its stunning beaches and Mediterranean climate, is perfect for a beachfront wedding. And Provence, with its rolling hills, lavender fields, and charming villages, is ideal for a rustic and intimate wedding.

When choosing a venue, there are many options to consider. Some popular choices include chateaus, castles, and beaches. A chateau or castle wedding is a luxurious and grand affair, perfect for couples looking to make a statement.

These venues are often in stunning and historic locations, such as in the heart of the French countryside or on the banks of the Seine River in Paris. On the other hand, a beach wedding is a laid-back and intimate affair, perfect for couples looking for a more relaxed atmosphere.

Here are a few tips for choosing the perfect venue for your French wedding:

Choosing the perfect venue for your dream wedding in France


Make sure to follow these tips!


Set your budget!

Before you start looking at venues, it's crucial to have a clear understanding of your budget. This will help narrow down your options and make decision-making easier. Be sure to factor in additional costs, such as catering, decorations, and entertainment.

consider the number of guests

Think about how many guests you'll invite to your wedding and choose a venue that can comfortably accommodate your group. You'll want to consider factors such as the size of the venue, the number of available bedrooms (if you're planning on having a multi-day wedding), and parking availability.


think about the atmosphere

Do you want a grand and formal wedding or a laid-back and intimate affair? Choose a venue that reflects the atmosphere you want to create. A chateau or castle might be a perfect choice for a grand and formal wedding. A beach or a small village chapel might be more suitable for a laid-back and intimate affair.


consider the location

Consider the venue's location and whether it's easily accessible for your guests. You'll also want to consider the proximity to local amenities, such as hotels and restaurants. If you're having a destination wedding, you'll want to choose a venue that is easy to get to and has nearby accommodations for your guests.

Planning your marriage in France

A wedding couple is walking between their cheering guests in Cabo.


Hire vendors!

You'll need to hire various vendors to bring your wedding vision to life. This may include a florist, caterer, and entertainment. Do your research and choose vendors that are experienced in French weddings and have a good reputation. You can find vendors by searching online, asking for recommendations from other couples, or contacting wedding planning companies in France. Don't forget that I am a photographer by the way, you can find some more info about me at the end of this blog.

Navigate French wedding traditions


France has it's own wedding traditions that you may want to incorporate into your big day. For example, the "bouquet toss" (lancer de bouquet) is a popular tradition where the bride tosses her bouquet to a group of single ladies. The one who catches it is said to be the next to get married. The "garter toss" (tirer la jarretière) is another popular tradition. The groom removes the bride's garter and tosses it to a group of single men. It's important to note that these traditions are not required, and you can choose to include or exclude them based on your preferences. You can also add your own personal touches and incorporate your own cultural traditions into your wedding.

Dealing with language barriers


If you're a foreign couple planning a French wedding, you may encounter language barriers when working with vendors and venues. It's a good idea to have a translator or someone who speaks French and English to help facilitate communication. You can also consider hiring a wedding planner fluent in both languages to help you navigate the planning process.

Plan for the unexpected


Interested in having me as a photographer? feel free to reach out!

No matter how well you plan, there's always a chance that something unexpected could happen on your wedding day. It's a good idea to have a backup plan and stay flexible. For example, if you're planning an outdoor wedding, you may want a backup indoor location.

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Tips for a stress free ceremony in France!



Delegate tasks!

Planning a wedding can be overwhelming, especially if you try to do everything yourself. One of the best ways to reduce stress on your wedding day is to delegate tasks to friends and family members willing to help. This could include decorating, managing the guest list, and coordinating transportation. Delegating tasks will not only lighten your load. Still, it will ensure that everything gets done and your wedding day runs smoothly.

hire a wedding planner

If you're overwhelmed with the planning process, consider hiring a wedding planner. A wedding planner can take care of all the details and handle any issues that may arise on the wedding day. This will allow you to relax and enjoy your special day, knowing that everything is being taken care of by a professional.



make a timeline

A timeline will help ensure everything runs smoothly on the wedding day. Include everything from hair and makeup appointments to the ceremony's start time and reception. Be sure to leave plenty of time for travel and any unexpected delays. Having a timeline will help you stay organized and on track and help your vendors understand what is expected of them.

provide vendors with a timeline

Give them a copy of your timeline so they know what is expected of them and when. This will help them plan and prepare and ensure that everything runs smoothly on the day of the wedding. Discuss your vision: Make sure to clearly communicate your vision for your wedding day with your vendors. This includes your color scheme, style, and any specific requests you may have. Providing vendors with inspirational photos or a mood board can help convey your vision. Confirm details in writing: To avoid misunderstandings, it's a good idea to confirm details in writing. This could be in the form of a contract or email. This will provide a reference point and ensure everyone is on the same page. Stay in touch: Stay in touch with your vendors leading up to the wedding. This will allow you to address any issues or concerns that may come up and make any necessary adjustments.


Take Breaks

It's important to take breaks and spend time with your partner and loved ones on your wedding day. The wedding day can be hectic, and getting caught up in the details is easy. Make sure to take some time to relax and enjoy the moment. This could be as simple as taking a few minutes to sit down and have a quiet conversation with your partner or taking a walk together to take in the scenery.


have a contingency plan


No matter how well you plan, there's always a chance that something unexpected could happen on your wedding day. It's a good idea to have a contingency plan in place. For example, suppose you're planning an outdoor wedding. In that case, you should have a backup indoor location in case of inclement weather. Or, if you're planning a destination wedding, you should have a backup plan in case of travel delays or other unforeseen issues.

don't sweat the small stuff

It's important to remember that your wedding day is about celebrating your love with your partner and loved ones, not about perfection. Don't get too caught up in the details; try to enjoy the moment. Things may not go as planned, but as long as you're surrounded by the people you love, it will be a special day.

I really hope that this French guide helped you!

Feel free to reach out to me if you need a photographer or just browse my portfolio!

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