• Brides in France
  • Brides in France
  • Brides in France
  • Brides in France
  • Brides in France
  • Brides in France

The Legalities of Getting Married in France

User Rating: 3 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

All marriages must be performed by a French civil authority before any religious ceremony takes place. Traditionally the mayor can authorise a city councillor to perform the ceremony in the French town in which one of the parties to be married has been residing for 40 days minimum prior to the marriage. These requirements cannot be waived.

Beautiful Bridesmaids
Getting Married in France

The civil ceremony must be performed before the religious ceremony. The minister, priest or rabbi will require a certificate of civil marriage before any religious ceremony takes place.

”Make sure you are fully informed about the legal side of getting married in France“ says Brides of France Founder/Director Emma Willett;

Alternatively, most couples hold the civil service in their country of residence prior to arriving at their chosen Venue in France. They can then hold a blessing ceremony in the grounds of the Venue itself or a church nearby.

The British Embassy Consular Section cannot give authoritative advice on the formalities that a British person must complete in order to marry under French law. Such advice must be obtained from the local mairie (town hall) where the marriage is to take place. The following points are intended as a supplement to information received from the mairie.

Three important points:

  • A religious ceremony cannot be performed until AFTER the civil marriage.
  • A French civil authority (mairie, adjoint, or conseiller municipal) performs the civil ceremony in the town in which one of the parties to be married has resided for at least (40) days immediately preceding the marriage.
  • Publication of the banns in the town hall (mairie) where marriage will take place is compulsory in France. Most mairies take approximately 4–6 weeks to process an application. Requirements will vary for each mairie, therefore, it is essential that you first meet with them in order to determine their exact documentary requirements and terms of validity (documents may need to be issued less than 3 months prior to date of marriage or publication of banns). Please note that some Mairies may require you to have these certificates translated into French by a sworn in translator so allow more time for this if required.
A marriage performed in France under French law is recognised in the UK.

We recommend Celebrants in France who may be able to offer you some more information and below we have an link to the French Association for Mairies Across France.


Our PREMIUM Partners

Our High End Premium Partners are personally selected by Brides of France as the very best in the French Wedding Industry


Become a Partner


Send an Email

If you have any questions about getting married in France please send us an email and one of our team will contact you within 24 hours.

Follow us