A civil ceremony is a nonreligious, legal marriage ceremony presided over by a government official. A civil marriage ceremony can be conducted by a registrar or deputy registrar for the district in which it is to take place.
Getting legally married in France is only possible through a civil ceremony which takes place at the council offices (mairie). The couple can then follow this with a religious ceremony, a secular service, or whatever celebration they choose of their choice.
Below are all the information you need to plan a registry office wedding in France.
Wedding ceremonies in France: The ceremony must take place at the mairie, in a room open to the public, no less than 10 days, and no more than one year after authorisation. If you wait more than three months, you need to supply new copies of your birth certificates.
The ceremony will be in French. If either of you and your partner do not fluent in French, you need to have a translator present. They do not usually need to be a professional or certified translator.
If you want to getting married in France , you’ll need to prepare in advance and have the right paperwork of a French wedding.
Wedding Rules: Weddings must take place between two consenting people who are at least 18 years old. If you’re coming to France to have a religious or secular ceremony, you must already be legally married in your home country.
Documentation for getting married in France:
- ID (eg. passport);
- proof of nationality;
- birth certificate – this must be less than three months old if issued in France, less than six months old if issued elsewhere, and if from abroad, it may need to be ‘legalised’ so it’s recognised in France, for example, the affixation of an Apostille stamp;
- proof of address (eg. rental agreement, recent bills);
- proof of civil status – typically, you will request a Certificat de Capacité Matrimoniale from your embassy, but expect to provide a divorce or death certificate too, if you have been married previously;
- notary’s certificate (only required with a prenuptual agreement);
- family record book (livret de famille) (typically only if you already have a child born in France);
- information about your two to four witnesses.
A translation is typically necessary for any documents not in French. Foreign documents may have to be authorized with an Apostille stamp
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Fees: To apply for a marriage application for your civil service in France, you should expect to pay around €95.The civil ceremony including notary fees costs you350-400 euros on average in France.
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