Getting Married In France
France is the country of romance par excellence. A Spanish friend of mine took his girlfriend for a weekend in Paris just to propose to her in front of the illuminated EiffelTower with a bottle of champagne while sailing in a boat on the Seine. How romantic I thought…The only thing that would match that gesture of romanticism would be a wedding at a FrenchCastle.
Thankfully medieval castles are available for weddings in almost every country of Europe. And in France you do not need to be a Princess or even a millionaire to have a princess style wedding,.there are castles for all budgets and lately it is becoming more and more fashionable for ordinary people to have a Castle wedding in France.
Civil Wedding In France
Just choose your castle according to your needs and budget and you can even spend the whole honeymoon there! How is this possible? Well, fortunately there is no shortage of castles in France. You might even say that every little town has its own castle! Some castles even offer wedding packages where a wedding planner arranges not only for the settings but also for costumes, period music, meals and everything else needed to make your special day perfect.
- The beauty, history, and culture of the country will contribute to beautiful, lasting memories. The beautiful and diverse scenery of France will add to the romantic atmosphere of your wedding. There are many mediaeval towns in France to choose from for your special day. Just imagine getting married next to a lavender field with the sight of poppy and sunflower fields in the horizon!
- France is particularly renowned for its food. Some of the most delicious meals, breads and cakes I have tasted were in France. So you can make sure that your guests will have the best menu and a wedding cake to remember in years to come.
- The wine: France still leads much of the world in wine production; the wines from Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhone and Champagne are famous around the world. You can offer your guests the best wines at a very affordable price.
- Travel to France is easy with many airlines offering direct flights to several French cities and towns at very affordable prices. Also, travelling in France is easy and enjoyable by both railway and motorway.
- Foreigners can marry in France, either with a French spouse or with another foreigner. You do not need to be a French national or marry a French national to make your wedding legally valid in your country of origin.
- The legal age to wed without parents' consent is 18 for men and 15 for women.
Drawback of a period Wedding:
Period and symbolic weddings are very romantic and fun for everybody, but they are not legally binding. You will need an extra civil wedding to make your wedding valid legally.
Renaissance satin and lace Wedding dress
The Wedding Dress:
The Wedding Dress
If you are getting married in a castle, your wedding dress needs to be as royal as the setting. So why not invest in a Renaissance or mediaeval wedding attire. Not only they are original, but they are absolutely beautiful and they suit all shapes.
If you are looking for extravagant gowns of some of the top designers while staying within your big day budget I recommend you visit Best Bridal Prices, they have an amazing collection of Wedding Dresses
Vintage Wedding dresses for a romantic French wedding
- 50s style wedding dresses
The Fifties have some of the most romantic wedding dresses in fashion history. Whether they feature full skirts, wide collars or strapless cuts, 50s style dresses are very delicate, demure and elegant.
French wedding chateau venue: A fairytale french wedding reception is amazingly affordable.
Get married in a Castle:
- Chateau de la Caillotiere - Anjou
French castle for rent in Anjou France. If you want to be a princess bride we can make your dream come true. You can rent our luxury chateau exclusively for the day and use our private chapel and complimentary horse and carriage. We have a new cred
Chateau de la Caillotiere
The Formalities In France
It is a legal requirement to marry at the local town hall, or 'mairie'.
A marriage in France is recognised as valid in most other countries.All marriages in France must first be performed by a French civil authority before any religious ceremony can take place. Civil ceremonies are held at the town hall in front of the mayor and they are very short, usually only taking between 15 to 20 minutes. It is the completion of the civil ceremony that establishes the couple as husband and wife before the law.
The required paperwork must be filed with the town hall at least 20 days before the proposed date of the wedding. Sometimes, the mayor may request proof that the participants are not already married.
For a religious wedding it is necessary to have a certificate of civil marriage.
What will you need to marry in France?
- A valid passport.
- Declaration of a French home address in the commune where you are getting married (this can be a phone or utility bill).
- The bride or the groom need to have been a resident in France for a minimum of 40 consecutive days prior to the civil marriage.
- Birth certificates, the full version translated.
- One or two witnesses, per spouse; if you don't have a witness, a representative of the town hall can stand as your witness.
Most national Embassies of foreigners marrying in France can assist with the preparation of certain documents for a fee.
The croquemboucheClick thumbnail to view full-size
French Wedding Curiosities
The White wedding dress: Now a symbol of purity was introduced by Ann of Brittany who wore a white wedding gown for her third marriage to Louis XII of France in 1527.
The Wedding procession still practiced in small villages today, is a traditional French custom where the groom calls on his future bride’s home on the morning of their wedding. The groom escorts her to the wedding chapel in a procession, headed by musicians, followed behind by the bride with her father, guests and the groom with his mother at the end of the line.
In Southern parts of France, wedding guests toss dragées (a French delicacy of almonds covered with chocolate) and coins at children waiting on the doorsteps of the church. The dragées are a symbol of happiness and festivity.
In small villages, rice and wheat are showered over the bride and groom when they come out of the church. The rice is a symbol of abundance and prosperity while the wheat is a symbol of fertility for the new couple.
The old custom of using fragrant flowers to decorate the church goes back to the times when flowers were believed to guard the couple from evil spirits. Flowers also served to refresh and perfume the air.
At a traditional French wedding reception, the newly formed couple toast each other from an engraved, two-handled cup which is known as the coupe de mariage, usually a precious family heirloom passed down from generation to generation.
The wedding cake is not always a cake in France. There are some couples who keep up tradition and choose to have a croquembouche instead of a wedding cake. This tasty desert is a pyramid of crème-filled pastry puffs that are drizzled with a caramel glaze. The croquembouche originated as a tradition during the middle ages when wedding guests would bring small cakes and stack them in a pile in the centre of a table. The pile had to be as high as possible and the bride and groom had to kiss over the cake without knocking them over. The actual croquembouche was invented during the 17th century by piling small puff pastries one on top of the other and ‘gluing” them with caramel to form a piece montée.
The Wedding Night Prank On French Couples
Traditionally in small villages the guests carry out a “wedding night prank” to interrupt the newly married couple. This is called Le Charivari, and it is usually carried out on widows or widowers who are getting remarried or when the groom comes from a different village. Once interrupted, by a crowd clanging pots and pans, the bride and groom are expected to come out and offer treats and refreshments to the crowd.
A classic French wedding schedule goes more or less like this:
- 4:00 pm - Civil ceremony at the city or town hall (Only for family and close friends)
- 5:00 pm - Religious ceremony (Open to extended family and friends)
- 6:30 pm - Reception (Open to extended family and friends)
- 8:30 pm - Dinner celebration (Only for family and close friends). Expect the dinner to last for several hours. It is not rare to start dining at 9pm and finishing with the desserts and wedding cake after 2 in the morning!
Sabering Champagne is another French tradition which began in the times of Napoleon to celebrate victory and has now spread over the country as a ceremony for special occasions like weddings and graduations. The tradition originated when Napoleon’s best horsemen would show off their horse riding skills by beheading a bottle of champagne held by brave ladies while they passed by, riding their horses at full gallop. Nowadays, Sabering a bottle of champagne means opening the bottle with a sabre or sometimes with a big kitchen knife.
Château des Condé in Vallery one hour from Paris - Exclusive room hire for 2-3 days. Church, accommodation wedding rental , hire suit wedding , sound system an
Other French castles:
- Castles in Central France
The Indre area : The department of Indre in Central France corresponds to the old province of Bas Berry. In this area the majority of castles were built during the XV century, although there are a few...
- French Castles: Chabenet
A restored mediaeval castle in the heart of France, the chateau de Chabenet is the most beautiful castle I have seen in the area. As soon as you cross the entry gates you feel transported to a fairy tale...