Planning a wedding ceremony in France:
can non French residents get married in France?
If you’re planning your wedding in France, one of the first questions will be about your wedding ceremony. Can non French resident get married in France? The quick answer is “yes” but there’s a “but” to consider.
Foreigners wishing to marry in France have three options available
1. Civil Ceremony in France
The French legal system firmly separates church and state. It means that all marriages must be performed by a French civil authority before any religious ceremony takes place. That civil marriage takes place in a French “mairie” (the City Hall) in the town in which one of the parties to be married has resided for at least 40 days immediately preceding the marriage. These requirements cannot be waived.
Therefore, marriages cannot be performed within an Embassy or within a Consulate in France.
As a solution, most couples will usually have a short civil wedding in their own country of origin or residence to meet local legal requirements.
For more information on marriage in France and the legal requirements :
The legal implications of getting married in France
2. Religious Ceremony
Religious ceremonies are not legally recognized in France. A religious ceremony can only be performed after a couple has been legally married through a Civil Ceremony. If you opt for a religious ceremony, don’t forget to bring with you your Certificate of Civil Marriage to prove you’ve had a civil ceremony.
3. Symbolic secular ceremony
Symbolic secular wedding ceremonies are the most popular choice for destination weddings in France.
If you do not wish, or are unable to have a religious ceremony (unbeliever, divorced, a couple where both have different religions, remarriage, gay or lesbian union, LGBT…), a secular ceremony is a great alternative to celebrate your love and commitment.
This is a symbolic ceremony in which a couple will exchange their vows, consent and rings.
I will accompany you in the creation of your meaningful bespoke French secular ceremony with a scenario, rituals, readings, a musical program sung live by myself, a staged event created in accordance with your values, beliefs and sensitivities.