(EN) 10 BEST WEDDING VENUES IN FRANCE
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.
10 BEST WEDDING VENUES IN FRANCE
The most intimate venue on the list. Its main facility has only five rooms protected by fortified walls built back in 17 th century, and eight hectares of Dordogne valley. Chateau Soulac stands on the top of a hill, which means that it’s secluded and seen from anywhere in the valley at the same time. The trademark of this chateau is its dining hall designed as a fusion of ancient Roman and early medieval French styles, where wedding dinner is served.
Chateau de Brametourte is perfect for those, who’d like to keep it intimate, but stay close to their best friends and family. It has eight suits you can book for your dearest ones, its Renaissance Room can seat up to 20 people, and the outdoor facilities accommodate up to 150 guests. Also, it’s the place to die for if you’ve always loved the tales of the Middle Ages: the Chateau was built in the 12th century. The experience of a medieval celebration will be priceless, and the budget won’t be an issue.
If you ask a Frenchwoman about a wedding venue to die for, Chateau Challain has great chances to be on top of the list. The place is the best match for a Princess wedding. It’s a luxurious Neo-Gothic castle located in the heart of the Loire Valley constructed in the early 19th century by Louis Visconti (he also worked on Louvre extension) with a huge park and a river. For those, who prefer to keep it casual, Chateau offers Bed and Breakfast. So it’s the best fit for the weddings of all scales of grandeur.
Destination weddings are a trademark of this place. You might have heard of Coco Rocha’s recent wedding. A Canadian top-model traveled to France to get married, and the ceremony took place at Chateau Challain. If this seems too hip and modern for you, Chateau can offer you a period-styled wedding: last year they hosted a Great Gatsby theme wedding. Chateau Challain also made it to the top of the best wedding spots list according to The Luxury Wedding Guide website. Although the castle can provide anything for a grand and stylish wedding, it also has a lot to offer to those, who are on a strict budget. The castle owner and wedding planner Cynthia is renowned for her flexibility, approachability, and attention to detail. Luxury comes by default at Chateau Challain, and the rest is easy to arrange, regardless of budget and circumstances.
Have you fancied becoming a Sleeping Beauty as a child? Now you have a chance to make this come true keeping the good part of the story and forgetting about the bad one. Chateau de la Cote is a well-preserved medieval castle that hosts fantastic weddings. The trademark of its restaurant is gourmet meals with a touch of old French cuisine. Another thing Chateau de la Cote can treat its guests to is a local Dordogne champagne, one of a kind. This venue is very family-oriented, so it would be a great place for celebrating your anniversaries.
Moving on to the grand-scale weddings. Have you been planning to host a royal kind of wedding, big and posh? Then Chateau Robert is the best place to make your dreams come true. A 18th-century mansion features a hotel, restaurant and SPA, has a tennis court and hosts wine tasting parties. For those, who prefer a more traditional pastime, there’s an option of cooking classes. To remind you of the lives of 18-19th-century socialites, Chateau features a formal drawing room, grand salons, lounges and a dining hall.
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to assume that quite a few medieval princesses have actually got married in Chateau de Bagnols and took it as a great honour. This year the Chateau celebrates its 800th birthday. Comfort and class remain its first priorities, and the place is designed to accommodate any kind of needs: from bride’s beauty whims to businessman’s last minute negotiation arrangements. Chateau de Bagnols has a SPA, several conference halls and anything a couple or a family could wish for. Saved best for last: Chateau de Bagnols is famous for its winemaking.
Chateau de la Cazine has been created as an elite 18th-century mansion. It has one crucial advantage for those, who travel to France for the wedding: it takes less than an hour to get there from the nearest airport. Morning champagne, exclusive cuisine, a park and a lake, beauty therapies, sports and fitness — you name it, and it’s there for you Two hundred years ago Chateau de la Cazine has been created to cater to the needs of the most delicate people on Earth — and it openly pronounces its intention to give the greatest treat to each and every visitor.
Fancy a traditional French wedding in the historical heart of France, Brittany? Would you like to wake up the next day to the salty sea wind? Chateau de Kerouartz puts an emphasis on style and atmosphere: the owner of the hotel, Frederika Gohier de Kero?artz, takes the greatest care to maintain authenticity, which is Chateau’s trademark. Most of the premises feature antique furniture for you and your guests. On-site boarding allows for up to 18 people, but you can easily arrange nearby accommodations for as many guests as you’d wish to have.
Chevre d’Or is the right place for those, who value modernity and glamour. It’s the ultimate destination for a luxurious French Riviera wedding. After all, some believe that Walt Disney himself has once set his eye on Chevre d’Or and made sure that the current owner bought the place. The venue was turned into a restaurant; but that wasn’t enough. Disney shared his idea of how a whole village could become one hotel, and so it happened. One by one, the local village houses gave room to modern comfortable suites. Chevre d’Or now has 40 rooms and suites, which means that guest accommodation won’t be an issue. Walt Disney himself has put his imagination to use for this venue’s design. All this said, would you fancy becoming a Disney princess for your wedding?
Last, but far from the least. Chateau de Mazan embodies all the symbolic essence of France: the scent coming from Provence lavender fields nearby, a close access to French Riviera and a quiet atmosphere in a non-tourist invaded zone. Interestingly, this 18th-century chateau has once been owned by the famous de Sade family. It has 30 guest rooms, a dining hall, and an authentic 1920’s bar. Chateau de Mazan is a truly French pearl, hardly ever revealed to the foreigners and much appreciated by the Frenchmen and Frenchwomen, which makes it a very unique and exclusive venue for a wedding.