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Weddings in France


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There are a great number of couples now choosing to have their wedding in France - British, Irish, Americans to name a few - but in order to not have to get involved in the paperwork here they are tending to have a civil ceremony in their own country (quietly) and then come here to celebrate their wedding with family and friends.

There are plenty of Chateaux catering for this and several wedding planners who will organise everything, not to mention celebrants who will carry out the blessing.

It's a fantastic way to have a fairytale wedding without getting bogged down in the formalities.[:D]


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The reason for the civil ceremony is probably because of the residence requirements - one of the parties to the marraige must have been resident in France for at least 40 days prior to the wedding (30 days prior to the bans being read and then a further 10 days for the bans) - and you have to provide evidence of this - rent book, utility bills etc etc.

Most people can't take 40 days out pre the wedding to meet this requirement - hence the civil ceremony in their own country and blessing in France.

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If you are happy just to have the wedding celebrations in France then there is no doubt it is simpler to do the actual  marriage bit in the UK (or the USA, or wherever).  However, if you want to, it is often possible to do the whole thing in France.  Like many other things here, it all depends on where you live and on how your maire interprets the regulations.  Ours, when asked, confirmed that as we are full-time residents of several years standing she had no hesitation in marrying our daughter; we know of other communes where this attitude prevails. The same thing often happens, we were told, when French families want a local wedding for a child who has been living or working away from home for some time, but we know of at least one other maire who has stood by the letter of the law. So if you have a child who wants to be married in France rather than just have the celebrations here then it's at least worth asking.  Our Mairie is adjacent to the Salle de Fetes so after the ceremony, which we all felt very much a part of, everyone moved just a few yards away for the vin d'honneur outside and then on into the Salle for the wedding dinner - a memorable day!

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