When it comes to organizing a Catholic church wedding in France, you might have lots of great options to get married. The country is full of gorgeous constructions and rich architecture. In this article, I’ll explain all the steps needed to have a religious ceremony in France.
Most common questions about Catholic Church weddings in France
Can a foreigner get married in France?
Yes, foreigners can get married in France. However, French law requires that at least one in the couple has “a long-lasting bond” with the local area where the civil ceremony will be held. This means that at least one of the parties should have been resident in France for a minimum of 40 days continuously, immediately preceding the marriage. In case you want a Catholic wedding, it might be a little difficult to find churches willing to accept non-residents.
What is the difference between a church wedding and a civil wedding?
First, a church wedding is a religious ceremony, usually celebrated by a priest (if it is a Catholic Church wedding). It has no legal value and it is the best option for couples who follow this religion or were raised in a Catholic family. On the other hand, a civil wedding can be officiated either by a legal or civil representative. It is usually celebrated in a registry office or town hall. But it can also take place in a venue chosen by the couple.
Can anyone officiate a wedding in France?
If it is a religious ceremony, it should be celebrated by a religious leader, like a priest, a rabbi, a monk, etc. In case you are having a civil wedding, the mayor can authorize the deputy mayor or a city councilor to perform the ceremony in the town. However, for symbolic ceremonies, you can choose anyone you want – a professional officiant, a friend, or someone from your family.
What are the requirements for a church wedding?
To have a Catholic wedding, you must follow some requirements:
– The couple must be of the Catholic faith and baptized;
– Fill in the application form;
– Birth certificates valid 3 months before the wedding date;
– Proof of baptism;
– Legal marriage certificate;
– Some churches might require an interview;
– Wedding preparation classes with your priest.
How do you get married in a church in France?
If you hire a wedding planner like Cassia Thomas, you’ll get the step-by-step to choose the best church in France for your ceremony and to hire this place.
What happens at a church wedding?
In a traditional Catholic wedding, you might see the following structure:
1. The processional: the entrance of bridesmaids, groomsmen, family, and the couple.
2. Welcome and introduction: the priest welcomes all the guests and gives some thoughts about marriage or the couple’s story;
3. Readings: you can invite some family members or friends to share a few words.
4. Priest’s words: it is time to talk about marriage and all of its responsibilities.
5. Vows’ exchange: the couple recites their vows.
6. Rings’ exchange: you place the rings on each other’s fingers.
7. You may kiss the bride: to seal the marriage, the couple kisses.
8. Closing remarks: the priest might give some final blessings and invite guests to applaud and celebrate the newlyweds.
Do you pay for a church wedding?
Yes, you do. Each church has its own fares, so it’s important to check with the ones you liked the most.
How much does a French wedding cost?
Above all, this is a million-dollar question. It really depends on the number of guests, the venue you chose to get married and the type of experience you want to provide. Download our brochure and check our packages and fares.
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Why should you make a Catholic Church wedding in France?
If you and your family are Catholics, then getting married in a French church is just perfect. From opulent cathedrals to countryside charming chapels, we have options for all tastes and types of weddings. Our churches have an absolutely gorgeous architecture that will make your guests feel astonished.
Gorgeous churches to get married in France
Here are some of my favorite churches for a French wedding:
Located in the 1st arrondissement (district) of Paris, this church was built between 1532 and 1632. Its structure was created in Flamboyant Gothic style, while its interior decor mixes Renaissance and classical details. Throughout its history, some famous people have been baptized there, like Cardinal Richelieu, Moliere, or Madame de Pompadour. Louis XIV did his first communion there. Due to its opulence, it is the perfect place to celebrate a big wedding.
Église de la Madeleine
If you watched “The Da Vinci Code”, you probably remember Madeleine Church or just La Madeleine. Situated between Place de la Concorde, Place Vendôme, and Saint-Augustin church, it was designed in its present form as a temple to the glory of Napoleon’s army. La Madeleine was built in the Neo-Classical style, inspired by a Roman temple. On its exterior, you’ll find fifty-two Corinthian columns.
Église Saint Augustin
Near boulevard Malesherbes, in the 8th arrondissement of Paris, Saint-Augustin church was built between 1860 and 1868 in an eclectic style combining Tuscan Gothic and Romanesque elements. It was created as a counterpoint to the famous columns of La Madeleine at the other end of the boulevard. Saint-Augustin church was projected to be visible from the Arc de Triomphe – that’s why it has a dome of 61 meters (200 feet).
Documents need for a catholic church wedding in France
See everything you need to get married in the French Catholic church:
- Copy of your legal marriage certificate;
- Baptism and Confirmation certificates;
- Pre-Nuptial Inquiry form;
- If you partner is not Catholic then you need to complete a Permission for a Mixed Religion form;
- A letter from your parish priest saying that he knows of no reason why you shouldn’t be married in France.
How far in advance to organize a catholic wedding in France?
If you are planning a destination wedding in France, my advice for you is to plan it at least one year in advance. This way, we can hire the best wedding vendors and choose the best churches for your Catholic wedding in France. Also, we can plan a technical visit for you to have a glance at your ceremony spot.
Church wedding: marriage in France for foreigners
Can foreigners get married in a French church? The answer is: yes, they can! As long as they are legally married in their home country, they can have a Catholic ceremony in France.