France is not an easy to marry in legally if you aren't resident, but many non-resident couples choose to have the legal ceremony at home and have a blessing in France. After all, that's what they do in France - have a civil ceremony and then a blessing in a church or other venue.
Below are the legalities for marrying in France, to help you plan your ideal wedding abroad.
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France Marriage Law Requirements
What are the legal requirements to get married in France?
Legal age for marriage is 18 years for both men and women.
Bride and Groom may not be related.
Two witnesses are required.
How long do I have to be resident in France before I can get married?
You must be resident for forty days before the wedding to legally marry, however it is possible to complete the legal side in your country of residence and then have a non legally binding ceremony in France.
Getting a marriage licence
At least one of the couple must have lived in the town where you wish to marry for at least thirty days.
You must bring the papers mentioned below to the Town Hall (Marie) where the marriage will take place not more than three months before the marriage date.
A notice of your intent to marry (banns) must be posted at the Town Hall for ten days before you can marry.
What legal papers do I need to take with me?
Birth certificates issued less than three months ago, and valid passports certified and translated by an approved translator and notarised with an apostille stamp.
Two proofs of domicile if you live in France e.g. utility bills.
Certificates to prove that you are single (obtained from your Embassy in France).
A declaration that you are free to marry must be sworn in front of an attorney licensed to practice both in France and in your country of residence. (Affidavit of Law).
If you have been divorced then the final divorce papers must be shown.
If you are widowed then the death certificate of your previous spouse must be shown and your former wedding certificate.
If you are adopted then your adoption certificate must be shown.
If your name has been changed by deed poll then legal proof must be shown, stamped and dated by a solicitor (including if you are divorced and have reverted to your maiden name).
Please note: this information is for guidance purposes only and liable to change without notice. Please check with your wedding planner in resort or the relevant embassy of the country in which you intend to marry for up to date details before you marry.
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France Marriage Registrar's Office
Hotel de Ville Paris
Place de l'Hotel de Ville
Tel: +33 (0)1 42 76 40 40
Open: 10:00am – 10:00pm