In France a civil ceremony is the only legally recognised marriage ceremony.
It is still possible to have a religious ceremony in France however this must take place after your civil ceremony. Your wedding ceremony will be conducted in French and your marriage licence and all paperwork will be issued in French.
In France a civil ceremony will take place at the Mairie (Town Hall) of the town in which you are staying and will be performed by the Mayor or his legally authorised replacement.
The ceremony will be conducted in French and you are not required to have a translator present. However if you do wish to have your ceremony translated into English I would advise speaking with the Mayor to make the necessary arrangements.
In France a religious wedding ceremony is not legally binding.If you would like to have a religious ceremony you must first have a civil ceremony.
The religious official performing your ceremony must be given your marriage certificate as proof that your civil ceremony has taken place before they can conduct your ceremony.
Many couples choose to have their civil ceremony the day before their religious ceremony or have their civil ceremony in their home country of residence prior to arriving in France.
Because of the France’s residency requirements many couples choose to get legally married in their home country and have a blessing in France.
A very popular type of blessing is a Humanist Wedding Ceremony. The advantage of this type of ceremony is that you can have it in any location of your choice, taking advantage of the many beautiful France wedding ceremony settings on offer.
Looking for a wedding celebrant who can perform a wedding blessing in France? Padre Peter is an independent celebrant who can help you write and conduct your wedding ceremony.
For information on the legal requirements for getting married in France click here.
If you are planning your own destination wedding in France but do not feel comfortable arranging the legalities then the perfect option may be a combination of organising it yourself and using a wedding planner.
Many wedding planners in France will happily sort out the paperwork to ensure your marriage is legal and charge you a one-off fee for doing this. You will not be under any obligation to use their services for organising any other part of your wedding.
You will then have the confidence that your marriage will be legal and you can organise the rest of your wedding however you desire.
Note: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the above information is current and accurate, please check with the local authorities to ensure that you have the most up-to-date information.