Planning a Wedding in France – Legal Requirements

Planning a Wedding in France – Legal Requirements

Many couples dream of having their wedding in France; it is the perfect choice for a destination wedding. The country is romantic and boasts stunning scenery, an amazing cuisine and a wide variety of venue options.

When it comes to planning a French wedding though, you must consider the legalities; it is more complicated for couples who don't have any ties to the country. But don't worry! Armed with the facts, there are some ways to overcome or workaround the hurdles. Read on to find out about the legal requirements and how you can make your dream wedding in France a reality.


The first requirement of a French marriage is that at least one of the parties to be married must have resided in France for at least 40 consecutive days immediately before the marriage. This must also be in the location that the marriage will take place in. If you and your partner are both non-residents and do not have a parent living in the country, you will require a special dispensation, but this can be hard to get.

If however, you or a member of your family own a property in France, the residency rule may be less strict depending on location. The matter must be discussed with the local Mayor as it is ultimately up to them.
planning a wedding in france - bride and groom holding hands


There are a few documents that you should be prepared to provide if you are getting legally married in France, including:

  • Proof of identity
  • Proof of address
  • Proof of nationality
  • Full birth certificate (This may need to be 'legalised' e.g. by affixing an Apostille stamp)
  • The witnesses' personal and professional details
  • Pre-nuptual agreement (if you have one) with a notary's signature. A certificate for the notary may also be required
You may also need a Certificat de Coutume from your embassy. This is a document that ensures that your marriage in France will also be valid in your home country.
legal requirements for french wedding - town hall

The Local Town Hall

For a French marriage to be legally binding, it must be performed through a civil ceremony at the local town hall (known as the Mairie in French). You should note that this civil ceremony will be in French. It is therefore a good idea to have a translator present. This can then be followed by a symbolic religious or secular ceremony at whichever location the couple chooses.

A marriage application (also known as the marriage banns) should be made to the local Mairie at least 10 days prior to the wedding. It is then up to the local civil registry officer to confirm that the couple meet all of the necessary requirements of French law. A compulsory interview is also required prior to the marriage, with an interpreter present.

Same-sex marriage was legalised in France on May 18th 2013. The requirements and ceromonies for same-sex couples are almost identical to those for heterosexual couples.

Marriage Certificate

After your wedding ceremony, you will receive a "Livret de Famille". This is an official document that records any ongoing events relating to the marriage such as births, adoptions, deaths etc. This is not a marriage certificate though; these are not issued automatically in France. To obtain an official marriage certificate you must apply to the Marie in writing.

You Can Still Have Your Dream Wedding in France

If you are worried that you do not meet the requirements for a French wedding, or the process sounds too complicated for you to handle, don't fret; there is another option available.

A lot of couples work around the residency issue by getting legally married at home first with a civil ceremony. The wedding in France can then follow, without any of the legal requirements. This means that your French wedding can be more of a personalised celebration, but your guests need not know that you are officially already married. It will therefore still feel like your proper wedding day!

Plan your French Wedding with The Impeccable Pear

Of course, planning your wedding in France will be much easier with the help of a professional wedding planner.

The Impeccable Pear have a huge amount of experience in making couples' French wedding dreams come true. They know all of the challenges and pitfalls French weddings can present, but will handle everything for you confidently and seamlessly. All you will need to do is relax and enjoy this amazing time!

Get in touch with us today to discuss your wedding ideas and dreams.
The Impeccable Pear - French wedding planners

Wedding Venues in France – 7 Reasons Why Chateaux are a Great Choice

It can be tough for couples to choose between the many wedding venues in France. We explain why we think why the best venues are the stunning chateaux.

Wedding Venues in France – 7 Reasons Why Chateaux are a Great Choice

These days, more and more couples are choosing to make their wedding even more magical by getting married in France. However, when it comes to wedding venues in France, it can be tough choosing one, as there are so many different options available.

There are many beautiful manor houses, rustic farmhouses, and coastal properties available. You can even choose to get married on the beach or on a yacht! There is something particularly romantic though, about tying the knot in a fairytale French chateau. Read on to find out why we think the best wedding venues in France are the stunning chateaux.

1. Everything is taken care of in one place

When you choose to get married in a French chateau, you can relax safe in the knowledge that everything will be taken care of in one place; from the wedding ceremony in the chapel or garden, to the wedding breakfast and reception in one of the grand halls. There will even be beautiful accommodation for some, if not all, of your guests.

Chateaux also tend to have other amenities such as tennis courts, swimming pools and games room. Your guests are therefore unlikely to be short of entertainment.
bride and groom in french chapel
In addition to this, most chateaux have a full wedding planner service already available. This means that you can take advantage of having experienced professionals take care of every aspect of your wedding. From the ceremony itself, to the smaller details such as decorations, catering, photography and cake, you won't have to worry about a thing.
bride on a swing outside chateau plombis

2. Romantic, fairytale setting.

There's nothing more luxurious than getting married in a chateau; they naturally ooze elegance and style. You can say your wedding vows in a historic chapel, sip champagne on an elegant balcony, pose for a group photograph with majestic turrets as your backdrop, and spend your wedding night in a beautiful oak panelled room.

When you tie the knot in a French chateau, you are surrounded by history and grandeur. Everywhere you look there are features such as ornate fireplaces, exposed stonework and vaulted ceilings.

How much more magical can a wedding get?

3. Breathtaking scenery.

Chateaux are surrounded by stunning scenery in the form of vineyards, woodlands, orchards and lakes.

Chateau de Lisse in Gascony for example, boasts 550 hectares of beautifully maintained grounds. You and your guests can spend time enjoying the deer park and awe-inspiring lake and streams. In the summer, you can even take full advantage of the weather and get married in the garden, with the striking chateau as your backdrop.

With such beautiful grounds, you and your guests can completely relax before, during and after your wedding day. The surrounding grounds of a French chateau are also the perfect place for you and your significant other to spend quality time together.

The only difficult part will be leaving!

wedding venues in france - chateau de lisse
bride and groom embracing in secluded location

4. Secluded location

One large benefit of getting married in a French chateau is the fact that they are secluded. Unlike with some other wedding venues in France, you won't have to worry about your wedding being disrupted by other hotel guests, or be concerned that the noise from your evening reception will disturb anyone.

Away from everyone else, you can just relax and focus on your special day!

5. Exclusivity

Leading on from our last point, when you get married in a french chateau, you hire out the entire venue. This means that you can make the most of the facilities as and when you please, without being restricted by other guests.

If the bride and her bridesmaids fancy a swim to relax on the night before the wedding, or the groom and his best man want to take it easy in the games room, that can all easily be arranged!

6. Suitable for guests with children

Quite a few of your guests are likely to have children and getting married in a chateau can make life much easier for them. They won't have to worry about where the kids are as everything is in one place.

In addition to that, the wide of range of amenities makes it easier for games and activities to be arranged to keep them entertained for hours. For example, they can play ping pong or badminton or go swimming. In the summer, lawn games such as giant Jenga and Croquet can be organised to make the wedding reception even more fun; and the adults can join in too!

Those with kids will definitely be grateful for this added bonus.
young bridesmaid's feet and shoes
wedding venues in france - a bride on the balcony of chateau plombis

7. Stunning photography

Of all the wedding venues in France, chateaux give the most magnificent opportunities for photography. There is just something very magical about posing for your wedding photos in front of an impressive French chateau.

There is no shortage of incredible locations for your photographer to choose from. They can capture gorgeous photos of the bride-to-be with her bridesmaids getting ready in beautiful oak panelled rooms, and the happy couple posing together on the grand steps outside the chateau. Or perhaps the groom-to be walking through the elegant corridors of the chateau interior, or posing next to a suit of armour!

The possibilities are endless, and your wedding photos are guaranteed to be fabulous.

Get Married in a French Chateau

wedding venues in france - wedding party outside chateau de lisse

If you're considering one of the beautiful wedding venues in France for your big day, why not consider using a professional French wedding planner to take care of everything for you?

The Impeccable Pear create dream French weddings for couples that exceed all expectations. They work at venues such as Chateau de Lisse and Chateau Plombis, planning every minute detail in order to make every couple's special day magical. Why not get in touch with us to find out more?

3 Tips For Having a Folk-Style French Wedding

Planning a french wedding?Why not blend folk style with Parisian chic for a whimsical, woodland wedding.Our tips will ensure there’s plenty of l’amour!

3 Tips For Having a Folk-Style French Wedding

folk style wedding - lace

Many brides-to-be dream of throwing elaborate weddings. After all, a wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to celebrate love lavishly. The overall theme of such an event will largely depend on the couple's personality as some prefer to go big, bold, and beautiful. Others prefer a minimalist's dream that exudes understated elegance.

In this article, we're focusing on mixing the best of both worlds as folk-inspired style meets Parisian chic for the whimsical, woodland wedding of your dreams. Take it up a notch by tying the knot in the South of France, where you can find the world's most romantic setting.

If you're already on your way to making your fantasy French wedding a reality, the following tips will help make suffuse your big day with plenty of l'amour.

Folk Meets Parisian - What Does it Look Like?

Parisian wedding style strikes a balance between simple elegance and the rustic charm of ornate accents. You can enhance the beauty of traditional florals like roses by having them drip from urns or burst from birdcages.

Meanwhile, add a free-spirited edge with wooden structures, vinyl decals, and adorning antlers as your tabletop centerpiece. These items will incorporate elements of nature with a Parisian's romanticism and finesse. A luxury French wedding planner can help bring everything together beautifully and make for an event that will blow you and your guests away.

Here are a few tips to remember when working with a luxury planner to put together a folk-style wedding:

Tip #1: Match the Theme or Atmosphere with the Venue

The tone, theme, or personality of your decorations should complement the atmosphere of the venue as a whole. Think of it as a stylized part of the venue, and don't be afraid to kick things up a notch by having fun with the design.

On that note, play it up by adding ornaments on the walls. You may also want to dress up the table using a crisp tablecloth that matches the vibe of the restaurant to make it visually appealing to your guests.

Tip #2: Never Underestimate Flower Power

Embellishing the venue with flower arrangements is the secret to a luxurious French wedding. Low centerpieces, on the other hand, create an intimate and romantic vibe that adds understated elegance to your theme. When choosing blooms, many brides favor Lilies of the Valley and Lady Slipper Orchids.

Another trick to filling the event with flowers is by placing flower heads as centerpieces rather than using tall vases to hold the stems. Big flowers like Hydrangeas are visually appealing and budget-friendly too as you can work with fewer blooms.

wedding table decorations
wedding outdoor lighting and sparklers

Tip #3: Play Around with Dazzling Lighting

Lighting plays a crucial role in your wedding. Not only does it illuminate the venue, but the choice of lighting can enhance the luxurious feel of your wedding either through dancing fairy lights hanging from the walls or ceilings, adding a pattern monogram projection on the dance floor, or hanging chandeliers with crystal prisms and contemporary design.

Extravagant French weddings often involve investments in professional lighting as this adds a wow factor to your big day and is crucial for setting the mood for the party. Adding candles to every table is also a great way to add a lavish touch as it creates a romantic and dramatic ambiance.

Nothing Beats a Folk-Inspired, French Wedding

Brides and grooms in search of a luxury wedding planner to help bring their dream event together can find what they need at The Impeccable Pear. We excel at bringing some French elegance and indulgence into whatever you desire. All you have to do is sit back, relax, and look forward to your special day. Why not get in touch with us to discuss your dream wedding?

folk style french wedding - trailor bar