A wedding in France is a fairy-tale come true. After all, “France” and “romance” even sound alike. Really, a French wedding is every bit as good as it sounds, whether you’re a true born and bred French or a foreigner.
Let’s get the bureaucratic nuances out of our way before deep-diving into the real-life fantasy and where to find it.
Even if you’re a foreigner, there’s still a chance for you to get married in France and to have this marriage approved in your country. It takes quite a bit of paperwork though.
Here’s a list of documents you’ll surely need to apply for a permission to get married in France:
ID or passport
Several pieces of proof of residence (most agencies suggest handing in utility bills)
Birth certificate (issued no more than six months prior to applying for a wedding permit)
Customs certificate (it proves that family customs in your country are pretty similar to those in France; e.g. monogamy)
Certificate that states that you’re single. In case you’re divorced or widowed, corresponding documents are also required.
This is a bare minimum of documents a foreigner is supposed to provide to apply for a permission to get legally married in France. There’s more to it. For instance, at least one of the spouses should have lived in France for at least 30 days prior to filing a marriage application (otherwise, where would utility bills come from?).
More often than not, the best recommendation for the foreigners, who want to legally get married in France is – don’t. Getting legally married in your country, and then having a civil or religious ceremony in France spares you lots of time and stress and keeps the same degree of romance. Keep in mind that going vice versa – having a religious ceremony in France and then getting legally married back home – isn’t always an option. French legal authorities don’t recognize religious marriages (as opposed to the US and Great Britain); so they strongly insist on getting a legal marriage certificate (French or you are local), and then carrying out a religious ceremony. Luckily, this doesn’t apply to a civil wedding celebration.
Remember, every wedding is very unique, and whatever choice you make is going to be 100% right. Now let’s get to the best part.