To be legally married in France requires, amongst other things, one of the couple to have been resident in the country for forty days prior to the event. This suits people who live in France but obviously if you are travelling to France to be married then it does not.
Although it is said that the 40 day residency requirement cannot be waived, if you or your family has property in France the residency requirement is not always strictly followed. However, it is very important to stress that this will be at the discretion of the Mayor at the Mairie (town hall).
The advice then to couples from abroad who are wishing to marry is for them to have the required legal marriage take place in their country of residence and to then have a blessing by a wedding celebrant on their special day in France. A blessing ceremony will remove all of the legal and complex documentation and requirements required by the French system. We can arrange a blessing service and provide you with a choice of celebrant as part of the wedding planning services. From our past experience, many of our couples that have a blessing ceremony at Le Petit Moulin feel that as long as their union is witnessed by people closest to them, that is all that matters.
Many English speaking celebrants (we can also organise a bilingual celebrant) will perform a symbolic ceremony (exchange of vows and rings) which is equally meaningful and beautiful. This is especially recommended if couples do not have any specific religious beliefs or affiliations and who would just like a memorable ceremony.