Having your wedding in France is bound to add an extra touch of romance to your day.
If anyone asked us for our number one choice for a wedding destination abroad, the honours would have to go to France. Okay, there may be a slight bias here as it was the setting for Natalie’s (founder of this website) destination wedding.
However that aside, we are certain if you have your wedding in France you will be guaranteed stunning scenery, fine wine and food, impeccable service, style, sophistication and an extra sprinkling of romance!
Why a Wedding in France
France offers beautiful venues, fantastic food and wine, great value for money, romantic settings and easy access; whether you’re looking for a classical, funky or grand and historic wedding day, it truly is a wonderful destination for a wedding abroad.
You and your guests will be captivated by its charms. In fact, if you choose to have your wedding in France one of the most challenging aspects is deciding which of the many beautiful locations and venues will set the scene for your big day.
Cost of a Wedding in France
Obviously, prices vary from location to location, what time of year you decide to get married and your personal preferences, however the feedback we receive is that it’s possible to get value for money in France.
That being said, do not expect to have a full wedding for pennies! But, what comes as standard are breathtaking venues, delicious cuisine, amazing wine and fabulous service!
In the initial planning phase, we suggest obtaining between 3 and 5 quotes from the key suppliers. This will provide you with a realistic idea of the options available in your chosen location/locations and will also be a key factor in determining guest numbers.
Good to Know
- Unfortunately, France has some of the most stringent residency requirements of all the European countries, as a solution, most couples will usually have a symbolic ceremony in France.
- A civil ceremony is the only legally binding type of ceremony possible in France.
- Civil ceremonies can only take place in the Mairie (Town Hall).
- You may only have a religious ceremony after a civil ceremony has taken place, either in France or in your own country.
- Don’t expect things to work the same way as they do in your home country. Ask as many questions as many times as you need to in order to make sure you get the answers you need.
Tips from French Wedding Experts
If you’re having your ceremony outdoors in the height of summer, please make sure you and your guests have some shade. July/August temperatures can be 35°C + in France and ceremonies usually last about 30-40 minutes. It doesn’t have to be a canopy; a large tree or some fans are just as good.
Choosing your wedding celebrant is a very personal matter so trust your instinct! Before going ahead, make sure you meet your potential celebrant, in person or online. In order to prepare your wedding ceremony, a good celebrant will ask you personal information therefore you have to feel comfortable sharing such information with them.
A French Wedding can be affordable for all. Never hesitate to chat to a planner that lives in the area you want to celebrate your wedding, they will have a wealth of knowledge of local places that could be your dream destination, and they may often be better value than something you have sourced yourself on-line – or even something you never thought of (fancy a party on a steam train, or a boat on the river Lot?)!
Our Hot Tips for Getting Married in France
- Don’t have to let the residency requirements stand in the way of having your dream wedding in France. Many couples opt to do the legal bit in their home country and then have a symbolic ceremony or religious ceremony in France.
- Plan ahead, some of the more popular wedding venues can be booked up 12 to 18 months in advance.
- As soon as you know your wedding date, book your photographer and videographer.
- Have a welcome dinner or cocktails in a local restaurant or bar.
- Organise a post wedding day bbq or activity.
- For those planning a DIY wedding, use our Wedding Abroad Planning Tool Kit to help you stay on track or book a 90 Minute Personalised Planning Consultation.
- Provide guests with as much information as possible. Read our Guest Information Guide, and download our Guest Information Checklist which covers everything from guests expenses, to creating a personal wedding website.
- If you would like your budget to stretch that bit further then look just outside of the popular “hotspots” or consider having your wedding midweek.
Tips from Couples who were Married in France
Learn to prioritise and compromise. The last few months are intense, remember to have times that aren’t wedding related. Try and enjoy the process, it’s over before you know it!
Send out a list of potential accommodation to guests as soon as possible (go and view them if possible first) and get flight details from all your home airports. Make an effort to learn the language – it is very flattering to the people you will get involved with and it helps a lot. In France a wedding is a community project and it was really important for us to involve as many local people as possible.
Don’t let the residency requirements discourage you from having your wedding in France. Consider alternative options such as a blessing or a humanist wedding ceremony before settling on a different location.
Natalie & Simon, United Kingdom
Real Experiences – Why did you Choose France?
We wanted our wedding to be different from a traditional UK wedding and we certainly succeeded in our aim. There were so many special little things that happened that made our day unique. Things we felt made our wedding better; weather, cost, venue, civil ceremony and being able to buy our own local wine!
Sentimental reasons. We have a family home there and really wanted to hold a blessing there. I think it may have been easier to organise our wedding in the UK but I would have not have been as inspired to make it as brilliant.
I used to live in France and my parents still do. The financial aspect (getting more for your money and of a better quality) also played a role, as did the location and flexibility of service.
Lydia & David, United Kingdom
We love the French countryside, wine, food and culture and wanted our wedding to be truly unique. Our wedding ceremony was conducted in the roof space of a 13th century Chateau, we would have never been able to do that at home! It also gave us the opportunity to spend more time with our guests and extend our celebrations over three days.
Natalie & Simon, United Kingdom