If you are thinking about getting married in Paris probably the most sound advice we can give you is this – don’t. Being legally wed in Paris isn’t the bed of roses you are expecting it to be. Think less of a romantic ceremony held in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower and more of wanting to throw yourself from the top of said tower. Not to be dramatic or anything but don’t do it!
The main hurdle for any foreign couple wanting a destination wedding in Paris is the paperwork hurricane, mainly the proof of residence. In order to be married in Paris you must prove that you have lived in the arrondissement where you are to be wed for 40 days before the ceremony. This can include the 10 days during which the banns are posted in the City Hall and the 10 days that it takes for the city council to process your documentation so in theory, you may only have to live in Paris for 20 days before you set the ball rolling on your application process. The problem is that proof or residence must come in the form of two documents – a gas, electricity or phone bill, a rent receipt and/or a receipt for residential insurance. And most of these documents will take a good bit longer than 20 days to receive.
The easier option is to have someone sign a form saying that you have been living with them for this period and taking responsibility for the fact. For would-be-weds with family or friends in Paris this is often an easy out, but without ties in the city it’s pretty tricky. If you’re caught out on a lie in this area there are some pretty hefty penalties written into the small print.
Wish you were here? Really?
Of course the formalities don’t end with proof of residence. You will also need a French social security card, passports and birth certificate for both parties, a certificate of celibacy for both parties stating that you are single (those that are divorced or widowed require final divorce papers or death certificates), a certificate de coutume filled out by the authorities in your home country that says you are legally permitted to wed there and photocopies of the passports of at least two witnesses who will attend your wedding. Your witnesses must be able to speak enough French that they will understand proceedings without a translator. All of your documents must be translated by an official, sworn French translator.
Then there is the very modern issue of a pre-nuptial agreement. If you want a pre-nup in France you have to get a certificate du notaire from a lawyer. Otherwise the rule is this: under French law all of the possessions and income you have acquired before your wedding remain yours and anything accrued after the event is considered shared.
Only once you have handed in the above mountain of paperwork to officials in your arrondissement’s mairie and only once it has all been rubber stamped will you get a date for your wedding. You can request a date and time beforehand but nothing will be confirmed until you have been approved. Every Parisian wedding must begin with a civil ceremony in the town hall. Symbolic and religious weddings are not recognised by the state so you must be wed in a rather un-romantic hall before you can walk down the aisle of that lovely old church, mosque or synagogue, although both ceremonies do not need to be held on the same day.
Sure they look happy now...
If you love the idea of having a religious or symbolic ceremony in Paris but the thought of the above makes your blood run cold, why not consider having a civil ceremony at home before heading to Paris for the ceremonial part of the process. This way you may be able to be married in the shadow of the Eiffel without wanting it to fall over and impale you. If you do it the other way around it is important to remember this – no matter what the priest, deacon or Elvis says you are not legally married until you head to a town hall somewhere and sign the forms. And they say romance is dead.
If you decide to get married in Paris one way or another once your papers are in order the city is your oyster! Exchange vows on a boat sailing down the Seine, in the corridors of a splendid palace, in a tiny church hidden among a maze of cobbled streets or anywhere else that tickles your fancy. Wedding planning is a new enough concept in Paris but one that has exploded in recent years. One planner that has received a lot of great press and who will have an insight into what you are going through (being that she is an American who married in France) is Kim Petyt.
For more information on getting married in France via French embassy pages click for UK citizens, US citizens, Canadian citizens, Irish citizens and Australian citizens.
How to Avoid Paris Travel Mistakes
15 Jul 2014 by: Mark H.
It is one thing to dream about going to Paris and quite another to make preparations for doing so! When you make your bookings for a dream destination, it is not enough to only buy tickets or check hotel accommodation. A holiday trip is all about enjoying the new place, cherishing memories of a new experience and of course, turning your dream into a reality.
Eating in Paris: A Dining Guide
8 Jul 2014 by: Mark H.
Paris is a gourmet’s delight and French cuisine is at its authentic best in this City of Lights. Parisian cafes and local eateries make you more than comfortable with their spread of food choices and wines. Step into any local eatery and you will enter a world of relaxed banter, course after course of awesome French cuisine and of course, French wines that could make you feel top of the world!
5 Things to Do in Paris on Your Vacation
25 Jun 2014 by: Mark H.
France and more particularly Paris, has always been celebrated by locals, tourists and historians. Most people regard Paris as one of the most influential, grand and famous cities of the world. Indeed, it is difficult to fathom how much of Paris and its grandeur you can cover in a span of few days. Here are 5 things you must do in Paris before you leave.
Pre-Travel Check (Getting Ready) for Paris
18 Jun 2014 by: Mark H.
Are you all excited about traveling to the lovely city of Paris? Paris is indeed a beautiful place with enough interesting things to keep you engaged all through your stay there. Here’s a checklist of important things to do before you leave.
D-Day 70th Anniversary
12 Jun 2014 by: Mark H.
Are you visiting France anytime from June to August? You are surely going to be dazzled by the 70th Anniversary celebrations of D-Day. The landing of the Allied Forces on 6th June 1944 was one big step in winning the war. A number of small and big events mark this day every year and the 70th Anniversary in June 2014 promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Best Bars to Watch World Cup in Paris
10 Jun 2014 by: Brad G.
Will you be in Paris during the World Cup? Many of the locals are passionate about football, so the bars will actively plan to provide great World Cup viewing experiences. The four bars listed below will offer great spots to watch the big event.
Summer in Paris
5 Jun 2014 by: Mark H.
Summer is one of the best times to visit Paris for several reasons. For one, summer is the time for festivals and open air events in the city. So, if you like visiting festivals in foreign lands to soak in the local culture, summer is the time for you to visit Paris.
Tips for Travel to Paris
21 May 2014 by: Mark H.
Paris and its beautiful countryside receive around 44 million people every year including more than 20 million international travelers. The city offers numerous destinations that you can explore. Make your trip memorable by planning the tour meticulously and being prepared for the experiences that you are likely to have in Paris.
A Guide to Paris Hotels
16 May 2014 by: Mark H.
When you look for hotels in Paris, you need to keep two things to keep in mind – location and cost. The location will ultimately control the cost.
Hotels in the central part of the city are expensive, but very convenient if your destinations are within the city. If you want to stay close to tourist attractions like Grand Palais, Louvre and Champs-Élysées, accommodation in the 1st, 2nd and 8th districts (known as arrondissements in Paris) are convenient. Hotels located in the 7th arrondissements are close to the Eifel Tower. If you want to stay close to the Latin Quarter or the old city, the 4th, 5th and 6th arrondissements are ideal.
Picasso Museum to Reopen in Paris
12 May 2014 by: Mark H.
The Picasso Museum is one of the most special attractions in Paris. If you love the work of Pablo Picasso, you would definitely not want to miss out on this attraction in the city of love. The museum, which was shut down for renovation five years ago, is going to be reopened in September. The Cultural Ministry made the announcement on Sunday, much to the delight of art lovers in Paris and around the world.
5 Steps to a Perfect European Vacation
5 May 2014 by: Mark H.
Europe, with its natural beauty, rich culture and stunning artistic marvels created by some of the most gifted artists of all times, is an excellent place for a holiday. However, planning for the trip can be quite a big deal because for one, it is a foreign country for you. Secondly, it is an expensive journey and you’ll want to make it as affordable as possible. Thirdly, you will want the tour to be perfect because you only want good memories from the trip. So, the bottom line is that the planning has to be meticulous.
What You'll See at Musee d'Orsay
23 Apr 2014 by: Mark H.
If you have a soft spot for art in general and impressionist art in particular, you are going to love the Musee d’Orsay. A railway station turned museum, the Musee d’Orsay houses thousands of the most famous impressionist and post-impressionist works done between 1848 and 1915. Before being transferred to the Musee d’Orsay, most of these stunning paintings were housed in the Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume.
See the Paris Countryside in the Loire Valley
14 Apr 2014 by: Mark H.
Located in the central expanse of the Loire River is the stunningly scenic Loire Valley. Beautiful enough to make you gasp with amazement, this stretch of around 800 square kilometers is called the Garden of France because of the acres of vineyards that characterize the place. The lush green fertile valley has fields of asparagus, artichokes, cherries and numerous other fruit orchards along the river.
Ghosts and Legends Tour - Dark Heart of Paris
9 Apr 2014 by: Mark H.
If you believe in the existence of supernatural powers, you will enjoy the ghosts and legends tour in Paris. If you don’t believe in them, you can just as well take the tour, if only to experience a different aspect of the city and feel the thrill run down your spine as you walk through dark alleys and shrouded lanes. We organize special ghost and legend tours that expose you to the dark side of the City of Love.
What to Expect: Notre Dame Cathedral Tour
31 Mar 2014 by: Brad G.
Notre Dame is one of Paris's oldest structures. Built over the course of two centuries in the Middle Ages, the building is regarded as France's finest example of Gothic architecture and bears the imprint of hundreds of architects. Its distinctive flying buttresses inspired a bevy of "imitator" cathedrals around Western Europe, and its public spaces are designed to evoke awe and wonder. Notre Dame Cathedral also houses some of Christianity's most prized relics, including one of the "Holy Nails" used in Christ's crucifixion and a piece of the "True Cross."
Best Time of Year to See Paris
17 Mar 2014 by: Brad G.
With so many incredible sites and centuries of rich history, it's no wonder that Paris attracts more tourists than just about any other city in the world. The City of Lights might be big enough to absorb this constant influx, but its visitors can do themselves a big favor by planning trips that coincide with favorable weather patterns and reduced crowd volumes. Let's uncover the best time of year to see Paris.
VIP Tour of the Secret Apartments of Versailles
12 Mar 2014 by: Brad G.
Paris harbors a seemingly unlimited collection of landmarks from the medieval era through modern times. While it's possible to spend weeks in the city and still miss some of its most famous sites, it's also worth venturing beyond its borders to discover a true gem in the nearby countryside: the legendary Palace of Versailles. With My Parisian Tour's VIP Tour of the Secret Apartments of Versailles, you'll see this repository of culture like few others before you.
Tips for Taking an Eiffel Tower Tour
20 Feb 2014 by: Brad G.
No matter how long you spend in Paris, it's hard to run out of things to do here. Whether you're visiting for a leisurely fortnight or an in-and-out weekend, though, there's one sight you can't miss: the Eiffel Tower. We've put together a list of our favorite Eiffel Tower tours as well as some crucial tips that will make your trip safer and more enjoyable.
Direct Flights from Major US Cities to Paris
14 Feb 2014 by: Brad G.
As one of continental Europe's most popular sightseeing destinations, Paris attracts untold millions of tourists per year. Since it's also one of the continent's premier business centers and logistics hub, its airports handle plenty of work-minded fliers as well.
Paris Eiffel Tower: An introduction.
18 Jul 2013 by: Roisin O'Sullivan
A short history of the Eiffel Tower and how best to visit it - including Eiffel Tower tickets &