Planning a wedding in France: the paperwork

Planning a wedding in France: the paperwork

Don’t let fears of the bureaucracy put you off holding your dream wedding in France. Here is a simple guide to all of the paperwork you need to produce in order to get married in France

If one thing is guaranteed to suck the romance out of anything, it’s paperwork, and France doesn’t have the best bureaucratic reputation. However, there’s no reason why marrying in France should be a headache if you do what is asked of you in good time.

• After you have set your date and chosen a location, contact the mairie (town hall) where you plan to wed.

• The following documents are required from both parties if you want to get married in France:

• Passport

• Full birth certificate (including parents’ details). This will normally need to be issued in the six months prior to your wedding. If you are asked for a recent copy, contact the General registry office

• Proof of residence (i.e. a utility bill, a payslip, etc).

• If you are divorced, your decree absolute (or the equivalent, in the event that you did not get divorced in the UK)

• If you are widowed, your previous spouse’s death certificate

• A certificate of custom. This can be provided by the British Consulate

• A certificate of celibacy which confirms that you are not currently married. You can download the British Consulate’s official note from the site that explains this further and take it to the town hall

Be aware that you or your partner (and in some cases your parents) must have been resident in the town where you plan to marry for at least 40 days prior to the ceremony, and English documents may need to be translated into French by a registered translator. The mairie can help you find a local approved translator, and is also the place to go to apply for copies of your marriage certificate. more information read our guide to getting married in France

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