Years ago I was attending a wedding ceremony at the town hall of our little village. English friends, who lived nearby, were getting married. Most town halls in the French countryside do not have a nice room specifically for this festive occasion, so you literally sit at the desk of the mayor. In our village this means you’ll sit in the office, decorated in the 60’s with wall paper that is nearly trendy again. The mayor’s computer was covered with the French flag, the piles of files were put in the corner and from everywhere in the town hall they collected chairs for the guests attending the ceremony. Not enough chairs, so most of the guests were standing in the hall way or outside, peeking through the window. Mr mayor wore his best suit, decorated with a sash.
In French the mayor read the standard marriage certificate, a document with lots of rights and obligations. One of those obligations was about how future spouses should start a family together, and how to raise their children together. It was difficult not to laugh for those guests who understood French. The bride and groom standing in front of the desk were both nearly 65, and gathered around by their children and grand children. The text was so misplaced in this situation.
Couples sometimes ask if they can get married officially in France, because it seems so romantic. Apart from the fact that you need a French passport or a French address, you should really consider if you want a ceremony as described above…
If you choose to organise a beautiful wedding in France, at a romantic venue together with all your loved ones, you also truly want a wonderful ceremony, right!? A ceremony in a beautiful spot, in your own language, so you and all your guests can fully understand what is said! To really get that personal ceremony for the most important moment in your life!
A cérémonie laïque
So therefor choose a “cérémonie laïque”. This is a personal, un-official ceremony. You can choose to bring a wedding celebrant from your country or ask an independent celebrant that works in France (nearly all languages can be organised). Or ask one of your guests to lead the ceremony. And you organise your official marriage in your own country.
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