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Our son has just announced that he would like to get married here in France but they live in UK. He has asked me to find out what they need to do to make this possibe. I have checked the previous threads here but I am getting very confused and what I need is an idiots guide from start to finish. I do not think it will be possible as he seems to think I can sort it out here and then they just come over and get married. He was also talking of a wedding around our lake in the open air as obviosly in UK people can marry where they want now but I have never heard of this here. I would be most appreciative if anyone can give me a step by step guide to any of this and what both me and our son would have to do and what documentation they would need. I have almost a year to sort this out but have not a clue where to start. I will look forward to hearing from anyone who has had some experience in doing this.
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Val ..........

As doubtless JK has told you, your son will almost certainly need to get married at the Mairie first - I doubt that they'd (Maire + Secretaire) come to your premises, but they might.  You'd have to ask them.

Below is a list of the documentation requirements replicated from a recent thread, although apparently the Certificat Medical is no longer required.  It's not particularly hard: it just requires a bit of persistence and adherence to the list.

What you need from the Mairie is a 'drop-dead' date for when they require your dossier in order to post the banns. If they say "one month", then at least you know where you are and you can start to seriously plan.

At the risk of boring everybody else here to tears, you'll need:

  • Birth Certificates: which in your case needs to be translated and sworn by a traducteur assermente.  The British Embassy will require sight of your original (+copy) in order to provide you with the CdeC (see below)

  • Attestation sur l'Honneur: it just says that you're not marrying a close relation, etc.

  • Certificat Medical: done by your local GP, no more than 2 mths prior to your wedding. He / she will prescribe a blood test for both of you, in order that you are aware of any incompatibilities (!!) By the way, if one of you is terminally ill, it's not required for that party.

  • Liste des Temoins: min 1, max 2 for each of you.  Full personal details, incl dob, occupation & copy of passport (though not all that may needed if they're French nationals)

  • Pieces d'Identite: carte d'identite, & (in your case) copy of passport.  Yours has to be authorised by "une autorite publique".  Find a pal who is a UK solicitor and get him / her to stamp a copy of your picture page and sign it.  Failing that, drop in to your local Notaire.

  • Certificat de Coutume: see the website as previously advised, but it boils down to the completed form, original birth cert + a certified copy, copy of your passport, & the fee (€84 by cheque mandat)

  • Certificat de Celibat: you can get a copy off the Br Emb website and it's irrelevent: nobody's interested.

  • Utility Bills: just to prove that you live where you live

Should either of your circumstances be more complicated by previous marriages, then you'll require the obvious (i.e. decree absolutes, death certs) for both the Embassy and the Mairie.

My suggestion would be that you produce a list as above and present it to the Secretary at the Mairie. Ask her to confirm within the next couple of days that there's nothing else that she requires in order for your marriage to take place.  Even better, get her to put a date required against the docs (it'll be the same for all of them).

Re the Guide, it's probably not departmental, just whether they're 'on the case'.  As said, you can get it off the web, but if you're struggling, pm me your address and I'll drop by our Mairie & see if they've got a spare.

PM me if you'd like any further help.

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Many thank Guardian, Gosh it does sound very complicated and when you refer to "you " do you mean me or my son. I get the immpression I have to do all this and it probaby would be better for them to marry in UK and then just come here for the knees up. I will talk to them and see what they think but once again thank you for going to all this trouble.
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I'm in the process of sorting out the paperwork for getting married in France (thanks, Gardian!).

If it were not for the logistics of re-establishing residence in the UK we would have taken that route. We also considered Jersey, which is easy & quick but the travel and hotel costs mounted up.

I think you're right about them marrying in the UK then coming over for the 'do'. Even if you have a church wedding in France you must have the civil service at the Mairie first. I'm pretty sure that there is no equivalent of having a registrar come to your church or marriage venue. Having a UK civil ceremony followed by whatever religious, humanist or just plain bacchanalian event in France makes a lot of sense.

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We got married in France last year and it was all a bit complicated with all the paperwork. However, worth it in the end.  Our Mayor was prepared to marry us anywhere within the commune. We elected to have the service at the Mairie as it was a bit more formal and it was on a Sunday too!!!

One small point, to get married in France do you not have to be resident for a certain amount of time to qualify?

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40 days....*sigh*

But you can elect to have a quiet civil signing in your home country and a humanist celebrant for your france ceremony as we are doing on the 23rd of this month in Carcassonne. We both live in Canada currently, but H2B is from the UK and that is what we had to do.

Which is quite fine, as we would have opted for a Humanist ceremony here in Canada as well. We wanted a religious free wedding that we could plan (we wrote our ceremony) and was strictly about celebrating our union and all things wonderful:)

The officiant we have hired is from Ireland and we are flying her over to Carcassonne where she will stay with friends. She is a lovely woman and very easy to work with. We found her on the British Humanist Association website, but I would be quite happy to provide an email address for her if you are interested in taking this route. Just send me a private message and it will prompt my email account to look at these messages, otherwise I may forget (we are leaving to Brighton tomorrow)...




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[quote user="Claire"]

One small point, to get married in France do you not have to be resident for a certain amount of time to qualify?


Sorry for the delay in responding - internet access has been 'Up the Swanee'.

Yes, in theory.  some docs say 30, some 40 days.  However ........ the Maire has discretion in these matters if he / she chooses to exercise it (it's written down, so I'm not making it up).  So in practice, if parents of son / daughter live in the Commune, then most (but no guarantee) will be happy to exercise that discretion and marry the couple. Similarly I guess, a couple who are known to the Commune, perhaps by having a residence secondaire.

The strict letter of the Law is there to prevent just anybody turning up from anywhere and asking to be married next weekend.

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[quote user="valB"]Gosh it does sound very complicated and when you refer to "you " do you mean me or my son. I get the immpression I have to do all this and it probaby would be better for them to marry in UK and then just come here for the knees up.[/quote]

The "you" could be either of you, but probably you in practice.

Don't give up though - it's perfectly do-able and not that complicated.  If they marry in the UK, then the celebration over here simply won't happen.  It'll be cheaper and better over here. Just a bit of leg-work.

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