Wedding in France for foreign citizens
If you have decided to get married in Paris, there must be hundreds of questions you are asking yourself.
- Can foreign citizens get married in Paris?
- What documents do you need to get legally married in France?
- How much does a wedding in Paris cost?
On this page, you will find answers to ALL these questions!
Can foreign citizens get married in Paris?
Foreign citizens can only get legally married in France if they are country residents, or if one of their parents are. So, if you are an American permanently living in Paris, you can, of course, get married here legally. But if your permanent residence is located in the other country, you can’t get legally married in France, unless one of your or your fiancé(e)s parents permanently lives here.
In that case, you are likely to be able to get legally married in France, in the city where your parents reside. To do so, you will need to contact the local “mairie”, city council, to make a request.
If neither you, nor your parents live in France permanently, you can have a religious or symbolic ceremony in France.
Before you get disappointed, I need to tell you that legal wedding ceremonies in France are BORING! They only last 15 minutes, and consist of the Maire or his assistant declaring French laws that you are supposed to respect, and specifying if there is a marriage contract signed. Nothing romantic, nothing personal, nothing exciting, apart from often beautiful building that city councils occupy.
Getting married in a French church
As long as you are legally married in your home country, you can have a religious wedding ceremony in France. Having a marriage certificate from your home country is essential though, as the civil law is considered above any religious law in France.
There are several churches in Paris where you can celebrate your wedding ceremony in English and these are American Church and American Cathedral. American cathedral welcomes benedictions of same-sex weddings, mixed couples’ weddings, and even non-catholic couples willing to have a ceremony in the church.
Very few people know, but you can also have a ceremony in English in a Madeleine Church in Paris, which, in my opinion, is one of the most beautiful churches in the city.
For obvious reasons, it is impossible to celebrate a wedding in Notre Dame de Paris until the end of reconstruction works.
Symbolic wedding ceremonies in France
Vows exchange ceremonies replace religious celebrations, as more and more couples prefer more personalised ceremonies. You can ask a friend who is great at public speaking to celebrate your wedding, or you can hire a professional celebrant. In case if you want to include a prayer or some religious elements to your vows exchange celebration, you can hire a celebrant that has a religious background.
How much does a wedding in Paris cost?
Wedding venue rental fees, catering, photography and video, furniture and décor – I wrote a rather detailed article about costs of a wedding in France recently. Feel free to consult it here :
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