Getting Married in France
Dreaming of a fairytale wedding with the Eiffel Tower as your backdrop or exchanging vows in a charming vineyard in the French countryside?
Getting married in France is a romantic notion that many UK couples entertain, and for good reason. France, with its picturesque landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and exquisite cuisine, provides an idyllic setting for a wedding celebration.
Where to get married in France?
So, first off, where is the best place in France to get married from the UK? Each region in France presents a unique tapestry of landscapes, cultures, and historical richness, providing couples with a plethora of choices for their dream wedding. Whether you’re drawn to the coastal charms of Brittany, the vineyard romance of Burgundy, or the urban elegance of Paris, France offers a perfect setting for every couple’s love story.
1. Brittany: Coastal Charms and Celtic Elegance
Why Brittany? Nestled in the northwest corner of France, Brittany is renowned for its rugged coastline, medieval towns, and Celtic influence. For couples seeking a wedding infused with maritime magic and historic allure, Brittany is a captivating choice.
Airports: Rennes–Saint-Jacques Airport (RNS) is the biggest and approximately 1.5 to 2 hours flight time from the UK.
Venue Options: Consider exchanging vows in a charming seaside chapel or hosting a reception in a rustic castle overlooking the Atlantic. Brittany’s unique blend of coastal beauty and Celtic traditions promises a wedding that is both enchanting and distinctive.
2. Burgundy: Vineyards, Romance, and Timeless Beauty
Why Burgundy? Burgundy, located in east-central France, is a region synonymous with rolling vineyards, historic castles, and gastronomic delights. For wine-loving couples with a penchant for romance, Burgundy provides an idyllic setting.
Airports: Dole-Jura Airport (DLE) or Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport (LYS) for larger connections and approximately 1.5 to 2 hours flight time from the UK.
Venue Options: Choose from centuries-old chateaux surrounded by vineyards or quaint villages with cobbled streets. The rich cultural heritage and exceptional wines make Burgundy a romantic haven for couples seeking a celebration steeped in history and elegance.
3. French Alps: Alpine Majesty and Mountain Romance
Why the French Alps? For couples seeking a wedding surrounded by snow-capped peaks, alpine lakes, and crisp mountain air, the French Alps are an ideal destination. This region offers a breathtaking backdrop for a celebration that combines natural beauty with adventure.
Airports: Geneva Airport (GVA) or Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport (LYS) for larger connections and approximately 1.5 to 2 hours flight time from the UK.
Venue Options: Consider a mountaintop ceremony with panoramic views or a cozy celebration in a chalet nestled in the heart of the Alps. Whether you’re envisioning a winter wonderland or a summer escape, the French Alps provide a stunning canvas for your wedding day.
4. Hauts-de-France: Charming Countryside and Historic Splendor
Why Hauts-de-France? Located in the northernmost part of France, Hauts-de-France combines charming countryside with historic landmarks. For couples seeking a wedding with a touch of old-world charm and scenic beauty, this region offers a delightful mix.
Airports: Lille Airport (LIL) with just a 1-1.5 hour flight time from the UK.
Venue Options: Explore historic castles, quaint farmhouses, or charming gardens for your wedding celebration. Hauts-de-France’s blend of picturesque landscapes and cultural richness creates an inviting atmosphere for a romantic and memorable wedding.
5. Île-de-France: Parisian Glamour and Urban Elegance
Why Île-de-France? Home to the dazzling city of Paris, Île-de-France is the epitome of urban sophistication and timeless elegance. For couples desiring a wedding in the heart of a cosmopolitan city with a touch of French flair, this region is unparalleled.
Airports: Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) or Paris Orly Airport (ORY) with just a 1-1.5 hour flight time from the UK.
Venue Options: Choose from iconic landmarks like the Louvre or opt for a more intimate celebration in a chic Parisian venue. Île-de-France allows you to blend the glamour of a city wedding with the romantic ambiance for which Paris is renowned.
6. Normandy: Coastal Charms and Historic Splendor
Why Normandy? Normandy, with its picturesque coastline, historic sites, and bucolic countryside, offers a blend of coastal charm and timeless beauty. This region is perfect for couples seeking a romantic and serene atmosphere.
Airports: Caen-Carpiquet Airport (CFR) or Rouen Airport (URO) with just a 1-1.5 hour flight time from the UK.
Venue Options: Choose from historic manors, charming farmhouses, or coastal venues with views of the English Channel. Normandy’s diverse landscapes provide a captivating backdrop for a wedding that combines history, nature, and romance.
7. Nouvelle-Aquitaine: Sun-Kissed Vineyards and Aquatic Allure
Why Nouvelle-Aquitaine? Stretching from the Atlantic coast to the Pyrenees, Nouvelle-Aquitaine is a region of diverse landscapes, including sun-kissed vineyards, historic cities, and picturesque beaches. For couples seeking variety and natural beauty, this region is a splendid choice.
Airports: Bordeaux-Mérignac Airport (BOD) with a 1.5 to 2 hours flight time from the UK.
Venue Options: Consider a vineyard celebration in Bordeaux, a riverside ceremony in La Rochelle, or a beachside affair in Biarritz. Nouvelle-Aquitaine’s versatility provides endless options for couples looking to create a wedding that reflects their unique style.
8. Occitanie: Languedoc Vineyards and Mediterranean Romance
Why Occitanie? Occitanie, located in the south of France, offers a heady mix of Languedoc vineyards, Mediterranean beaches, and historic towns. For couples dreaming of a wedding surrounded by the warmth of the sun and the rich flavors of southern France, Occitanie is an excellent choice.
Airports: Toulouse-Blagnac Airport (TLS) with a 1.5 to 2 hours flight time from the UK.
Venue Options: Explore vineyard estates in Carcassonne, historic venues in Toulouse, or beachfront resorts in Montpellier. Occitanie’s diverse landscapes and cultural richness create a vibrant atmosphere for a celebration that captures the essence of southern French romance.
9. Pays de la Loire: Riverside Elegance and Fairytale Charm
Why Pays de la Loire? Situated along the Loire River, this region is known for its majestic castles, charming villages, and picturesque countryside. For couples seeking a wedding with a fairytale ambiance and riverside elegance, Pays de la Loire is a storybook destination.
Airports: Nantes Atlantique Airport (NTE) with a 1.5 to 2 hours flight time from the UK.
Venue Options: Choose from enchanting castles along the Loire River, historic abbeys, or charming riverside gardens. Pays de la Loire’s romantic charm and architectural splendor provide a regal setting for a wedding that feels straight out of a fairy tale.
10. Provence: A Tapestry of Lavender and Romance
Why Provence? Provence, located in the southeastern part of France, is synonymous with romance and natural beauty. Imagine saying your vows amidst blooming lavender fields, surrounded by olive groves and vineyards. The warm Mediterranean climate makes it an ideal destination for outdoor celebrations.
Airports: Marseille Provence Airport (MRS) with a 2 to 2.5 hours flight time from the UK.
Venue Options: Charming farmhouses, rustic vineyards, and historic chateaux dot the landscape of Provence. Whether you’re drawn to the historic allure of Avignon or the artistic vibe of Aix-en-Provence, this region offers a picturesque backdrop for a dreamy wedding.
Getting married in France: A complete guide
Before diving into the dreamy details of your French wedding, it’s crucial to understand the legal requirements for UK citizens tying the knot in France. The process involves submitting specific documents, including a Certificate of No Impediment (CNI) and proof of residency, to the local French authorities. Couples should start this paperwork well in advance, ensuring a smooth and stress-free experience.
Choosing the Perfect Venue
France offers a myriad of enchanting venues, each with its unique charm. From opulent chateaux in the Loire Valley to rustic vineyards in Provence, the options are as diverse as the country itself. Consider your budget, the number of guests, and your preferred setting when selecting the perfect venue. Whether you opt for a grand celebration or an intimate affair, France has the ideal backdrop for your love story.
France experiences distinct seasons, each with its own allure. Spring brings blooming flowers and mild temperatures, ideal for an outdoor celebration. Summer offers long days and warm nights, perfect for a sunset ceremony. Autumn brings a rustic charm with vineyards transforming into hues of gold and red. Winter, though less common, can provide a magical backdrop with the possibility of a dusting of snow. Consider the atmosphere you desire when selecting your wedding date.
French Cuisine and Wine
One of the highlights of a French wedding is undoubtedly the culinary experience. French cuisine is celebrated worldwide for its sophistication and flavors. Work closely with your chosen caterer to create a menu that reflects your tastes and preferences. And let’s not forget the wine – whether you’re saying “I do” in Bordeaux, Burgundy, or Champagne, take advantage of the local wines to add a touch of French flair to your celebration.
Legalising Your Marriage in the UK
After the celebration in France, don’t forget the final step – legalizing your marriage in the UK. Ensure that your French marriage certificate is recognized in the UK by following the necessary steps with the General Register Office. This includes obtaining an official translation of your marriage certificate if it’s in French, and submitting the required paperwork to ensure your union is legally recognized in the United Kingdom.
Getting married in France is a romantic adventure that promises a wedding experience like no other. From the captivating landscapes to the exquisite cuisine and rich cultural traditions, France provides a dreamy backdrop for a celebration of love.
So, whether you’re envisioning a lavish affair in a historic chateau or an intimate ceremony in a sun-kissed vineyard, let France be the canvas for the masterpiece that is your wedding day. Say “I do” with elegance, surrounded by the beauty and romance of the French countryside.