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All You Need To Know About Civil Wedding Ceremony In France

Updated: Mar 12


When it comes to weddings, many couples look forward to a magical and romantic experience. But if you’re looking for something different and unique, then why not consider having a civil wedding ceremony in France? With its gorgeous landscapes and beautiful cities, France is the perfect place to begin your married life together. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what it takes to have a civil wedding ceremony in France.

From the paperwork needed to organize the guests, there are a few things that need to be taken into consideration before planning your special day. We’ll also discuss some of the most popular locations for civil weddings in France as well as how you can make sure your special day is unforgettable.

Whether you decide to have an intimate gathering or an extravagant celebration, with its stunning backdrops and romantic atmosphere, France is the ideal location for tying the knot. So if you’ve always dreamed of having an unforgettable destination wedding, then read on to discover all you need to know about civil wedding ceremonies in France!

Who Can Have A Civil Wedding Ceremony In France



Are you considering tying the knot in France? You're not alone. Many couples choose to have a civil wedding ceremony in France, and it's easy to see why – it's a country of romance and beauty that's perfect for a special day. But who can actually get married in France?

Well, any couple that meets the requirements of French law can marry in France, no matter where they come from. Both partners must be at least 18 years old, and neither partner may already be legally married. In addition, both partners must be able to understand the French language well enough to give their consent during the ceremony. If either of these criteria is not met, then a translator must be present.

Two people from foreign countries can marry in France, just like two French citizens can. There are a few extra administrative requirements to consider before the wedding, such as proof of residency and translated documents if not in French. The couple must have lived in France for 30 days to have a legally binding civil ceremony.

So if you meet all the requirements of French law and want to make it official with your loved one in one of the most romantic countries in the world, then let's move on to where you could have your civil wedding ceremony in France!

Where To Have A Civil Wedding Ceremony In France


So, you’ve made the decision to have a civil wedding ceremony in France. Now, the next step is to decide where to have it! It can be quite overwhelming trying to choose the perfect location for your special day.

The legal wedding ceremony is always held at the local town hall ("mairie"). In France, it is not possible for legal representatives to conduct the ceremony at wedding venues or hotels. The couple and their guests must go to the Mairie for the ceremony, which is conducted by the local mayor or a delegate.

How Long Is A Civil Wedding Ceremony In France

So, how long is a civil wedding ceremony in France? Well, the entire process of getting married in France typically takes about a half hour. During that time, you can expect to go through four distinct steps. First, you will sign a declaration of marriage in front of two witnesses and the mayor. Then, the mayor reads out a statement confirming your marriage. After that, you will sign the official marriage certificate before finally exchanging rings and signing the final document.

It’s important to note that while some parts of this process might be sped up or skipped over due to personal preferences, most couples take their time during this special occasion and use it as an opportunity to reflect on their commitment to each other. With all that being said, if you follow along with everything as expected, you should be able to complete your civil wedding ceremony within two hours.

Who Can Perform A Civil Wedding Ceremony In France


If you're planning a wedding in France, you may be wondering who can perform your civil ceremony. Well, the answer is that a French civil ceremony must be officiated by a mayor or sub-delegate of the mayor. This person is responsible for legally confirming the marriage, and they will also handle any paperwork associated with the event.

The Mayor or their delegate is not only responsible for making sure that the ceremony complies with French law, but they also have certain responsibilities to ensure that it is conducted properly. They must make sure that both parties understand what is being said and agree to it before signing any documents. They also help make sure that all witnesses are present and sign off on the agreement as well.

Having an experienced professional in charge of your wedding ceremony ensures that everything goes smoothly and without complications. It's important to remember, however, that there may be additional fees associated with having a mayor or sub-delegate officiate your civil ceremony in France. So if you're curious about how much it will cost to get married this way, read on for more information!

How Much Does A Wedding Civil Ceremony Cost In France

Planning a wedding is an exciting time, but it can also be expensive. One of the most important questions soon-to-be-wed couples may have is how much a civil ceremony in France costs. It's important to note that the answer isn't necessarily straightforward and will depend on the region and type of ceremony you choose.

In general, a civil wedding ceremony in France costs between €100 - €700. This range covers both the legal paperwork required to get married and any additional services such as a celebrant and wedding photographer. The cost of your marriage certificate may also need to be factored in as well as any decorations you'd like for your special day.

Although it can seem overwhelming trying to calculate all these expenses, it's worth noting that there are plenty of ways to save money during the planning process. By doing research about local vendors, shopping around for the best deals, or even hosting your event at home rather than a venue, you could save yourself some cash while still having an amazing wedding day!

Key Moments That Typically Happen During A Civil Wedding Ceremony

When it comes to taking a step towards marriage, French civil weddings are beautiful and memorable. They are made up of key moments that typically occur during the ceremony. Let's take a closer look at each one.

1. Arrival Of The Couple And Guests



The arrival of the couple and their guests marks the start of a civil wedding ceremony in France. It's an exciting moment when all eyes are fixed on the bride and groom as they make their entrance. During this time, the mayor or civil officer will usually welcome everyone to the ceremony. Smiles, laughter, chatter, and hugs fill the air as loved ones greet one another and take their seats.

Following this, comes the introduction of the mayor or civil officer who will be officiating at the wedding. This is where their official role begins - it's a special moment for them to declare why everyone has gathered together for this special occasion. A feeling of joy and anticipation fills the room as they begin to speak.

2. Introduction Of The Mayor


Once the couple and their guests have arrived, it's time for the mayor to make an introduction. The mayor is a key figure in this civil wedding ceremony in France – they will be presiding over the proceedings and will provide important guidance throughout.

The mayor is responsible for setting the tone for the proceedings, by delivering opening remarks and offering an explanation of what is about to take place. They will also explain how all those present are expected to behave during the ceremony. It's an exciting moment that marks a big step forward in life for this couple – one that will be remembered fondly as they embark upon their new journey together.

With this introduction, we move closer to the start of this special occasion where two people commit themselves to each other before friends, family, and their community.

3. Opening Remarks And Explanation Of The Ceremony

Once the mayor has opened the ceremony, they will typically offer some remarks and give an explanation of what is about to happen. This is an important moment in the wedding ceremony, as it marks the beginning of a lifelong commitment between two people.

The mayor will explain that both parties are entering into a legally binding union, and will ask if each party is in agreement with this. They may also take this opportunity to offer their congratulations and well wishes for the couple’s future together. With these words, a sense of joy and anticipation can be felt throughout the room as the couple prepares to make their declaration of intent.

4. Declaration Of Intent

The fourth step of the civil wedding ceremony in France is the declaration of intent. This is when the couple must declare their commitment to one another and their intention to marry. As they make this declaration, they will be asked questions by the mayor which they have to answer to affirm their consent. It's a very special moment, one that marks the commitment of each party to uphold their roles in marriage.

This declaration of intent is an important part of the ceremony as it serves as evidence that both parties agree and accept the marriage contract. It's a time for couples to express their love for each other and promise everlasting loyalty. It's also a reminder of why they are taking this step - to commit to being together forever. After making this solemn vow, couples can move on to declaring themselves married!

5. Declaration Of The Couple As Married

Finally, the wedding ceremony is complete with the declaration of the couple as married. This step is often accompanied by cheers and applause from family members and friends. It's a joyous moment for all involved, as the couple finally affirms that they are ready to embark on this new journey together.

As the couple shares their first kiss as husband and wife, there is an undeniable sense of love and closeness that radiates from them. Everyone present can feel it - both physically and emotionally - as the two create a powerful bond that will last for eternity. With this final step in place, the marriage certificate can now be signed, symbolizing the couple's commitment to each other as they start their lives together.

6. Signing Of The Marriage Certificate





Once the couple has declared themselves married, it's time to make it official! The next step in a civil wedding ceremony in France is signing the marriage certificate. This document is an essential part of the process and legally binds the couple together. It's also a momentous occasion, as this is when all of your hard work will be sealed with a signature. In France, the bride and groom will typically each sign two copies of the marriage certificate, ensuring that their union is documented for posterity.

7. Exchange Of Rings & The First Kiss




Ah, the exchange of rings and the first kiss. These are two of the most romantic and intimate moments of a civil wedding ceremony in France. The bride and groom, with their arms intertwined, will take turns exchanging their rings and place them upon each other's fingers with much love and devotion.

The moment when the couple seals their union with a kiss is one that is truly special. It is a moment that will be remembered for years to come as it marks the start of a new life together as husband and wife. As they embrace, all their family and friends look on in happiness and admiration, wishing them all the best in this new journey they have embarked on together.

This magical moment marks the end of one part of the ceremony, but there's still more to come! Next up: receiving the family book, closing remarks from the mayor, and heartfelt congratulations from everyone present.

8. Receive Family Book, Closing Remarks, And Congratulations From The Mayor

After the official declaration of marriage, you'll receive your family book which is considered a sort of marriage certificate. The mayor will then make closing remarks and offer congratulations to the newlyweds. This marks the end of the civil ceremony and serves as an important milestone for all involved.

This is followed by what's known as the wedding recessional, where the couple walks out together while friends and family members offer their congratulations and well wishes. It's a moment full of joy and celebration that marks the beginning of a new journey for two people in love.

9. Wedding Recessional

It's time to wrap up the ceremony! After all the important documents have been exchanged, it's time for the wedding recessional. This is when newlyweds and their guests make their way out of the building, and officially begin married life.

The recessional is an important moment in any civil wedding ceremony in France. It marks a special milestone for couples, as they embark on a journey together as husband and wife. It also gives friends and family a chance to shower them with good wishes, applause, and petals. As everyone leaves the venue, there will be joyous smiles all around, making this occasion even more memorable.

This is sure to be a moment that couples will cherish forever – the start of something beautiful!


We've covered a lot of information about civil wedding ceremonies in France. It's important to know who can have a civil wedding ceremony, where to have it, how long it takes, who can perform the ceremony, and how much it costs.

Now that you're familiar with all the details of a civil wedding ceremony in France, you can start planning your own special day! Choosing the right location is essential, as is finding an official who can legally marry you. Don't forget to bring your family book and exchange rings when the time comes.

Overall, having a civil wedding ceremony in France is an amazing experience that you won't soon forget. With the right preparations and knowledge of what's expected from you and your partner, you'll be able to create beautiful memories that will last a lifetime. Congratulations on taking this step toward marriage and best of luck!


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