shopping cart
Your Shopping Cart: 0 item(s) TOT: $ 0.00

Our Blog

Getting married in Paris

10/10/2011

Getting married in Paris

Getting married in Paris

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?

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...

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.


Our Blogs

See the Paris Countryside in the Loire Valley

14 Apr 2014 by:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

A short history of the Eiffel Tower and how best to visit it - including Eiffel Tower tickets & summit access.


Paris Beach: A vacation from your vacation

1 Jul 2013 by:

Paris Beach runs on the banks of the Seine river during July and August every year, and is perfect for kids and grown ups.


A Guide to Paris Metro

15 Apr 2013 by:

A short guide to using Paris Metro - from cash-saving ticket types to the handiest stops and transfers - to help you get the most from public transport.


Top Museums in Paris

25 Mar 2013 by:

With so many museums and art collections vying for your attention, choosing just a few Museums in Paris to visit can be difficult. Here are our top 5.


Top 5 Paris Attractions

8 Mar 2013 by:

It would be impossible to see all that Paris has to offer in just one trip so we've rounded up the five Paris attractions everyone should visit.


Midnight in Paris locations

22 Aug 2012 by:

In Woody Allen's 'Midnight in Paris', the city itself is one of the most important characters.


Day Trips from Paris

23 Jul 2012 by:

From artistic retreats to forest treks or lunch in a castle - the hardest part of a day trip from Paris is choosing just one.


Top Paris Parks

14 Jun 2012 by:

When the sun shines in Paris there are few things more enjoyable than the city’s parks and gardens – see our round-up of the best.


A Valentine less obvious

8 Feb 2012 by:

Valentine's Day in Paris doesn't have to mean the usual clichés - check out our original Valentine's date suggestions.


Paris by arrondissement: 10th

16 Jan 2012 by:

The tenth arrondissement is a great second-trip spot with lively hangouts and memorable cafés, restaurants and bars.


Looking forward to 2012

5 Jan 2012 by:

It may not have won its Olympic bid but Paris looks set to shine in 2012 with some great exhibitions and a makeover.


New Year’s Eve in Paris

23 Dec 2011 by:

Pack your warmest coat, gloves and ear warmers – New Year’s Eve in Paris is an outdoor affair.


It’s beginning to look a lot like Hanukkah

20 Dec 2011 by:

This year Hanukkah falls from Dec 20 to 28 when the Marais will come alive with candle-light, dancing and spinning tops.


customer service