Romance

Weddings

Paris, Île-de-France FR
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    Weddings

    A honeymoon or a wedding ceremony in France is a dream that many couples have - holding either in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. If you are looking to hold a civil wedding in this country, you will need to ensure that you have the following:

    • Advance planning
    • Legal procedures
    • Staying a minimum of four weeks to complete all necessary documentation prior to the start of the ceremony

    You could also opt to have a legal wedding in your own country of residence before heading to France for either your honeymoon or a more religious type of ceremony. Regardless of what you choose, you will certainly be able to take advantage of a setting that is absolutely unlike anything you have ever experienced.

    France offers many different and memorable options that you can take advantage of for your special day, including the following:

    • Sailing on the Seine River
    • Holding your ceremony in a private Renaissance chateau
    • Getting married in a mansion located in the French Riviera

    All of your basic needs for the ceremony itself, ranging from the photographer to the bouquet to even American NTSC-format video recording, will be handled as well. All of these are offered in various packages, generally "standard" to "deluxe", that are available throughout many agencies in France.

    Formalities

    In France, it is mandatory to have a civil marriage ceremony. Religious ceremonies, on the other hand, are not legally binding in any way, shape, or form. Additionally, these particular kinds of ceremonies may only be performed after a civil marriage ceremony has been conducted. In order for any marriage in France to be considered legal, it must be performed by a member of the French civil authority, such as a mayor or any legally authorized replacement.

    In addition, there is also a residency requirement that at least one of the parties in the marriage must comply with. This requirement states that one of the parties in the marriage must reside in a French town for no less than 30 days before the marriage is scheduled to take place. Additionally, under French law, marriage announcements must be published at a city hall for an additional ten days. So in all, a total residency requirement of 40 days must be met by one of the parties before any marriage ceremony can be conducted at any French city hall.

    Required Documentation

    Both parties in the marriage will be required to present the following documentation:

    • Birth certificate, which must come from the Bureau of Vital Records instead of a hospital
    • An "Affidavit of Law" that has been notarized and drawn up by an attorney who is licensed in the city of residence of one of the parties of the marriage. This attorney must be able to certify that this individual is free to get married, that the marriage performed in France will be legally recognized in the United States, and that any marriage announcement publications are not required in the United States under their federal law.
    • A certified copy of either a divorce decree or death certificate if one of the parties have been previously married.
    • A prenuptial certificate of health that has been issued by a doctor no more than two months before the marriage is scheduled to take place. This certificate should be issued after the doctor conducts a serological test for syphilis, serological blood tests and further testing to determine the potential presence of antibodies, and serological blood tests in women for toxoplasma and rubella. It should be noted that these are tests that can be conducted at hospitals in France.
    • Any parties participating in a marriage at any French city hall should contact the establishment upon their arrival in the country. This is due to the fact that extra documentation may be required.

    Document Translation

    All of the aforementioned documentation should be translated into French in order for them to be presented to officials in the country. This is something that can be done at any translating agency in the United States or by any certified translator in France. If the translations are performed in the United States, both the original documents and the translated versions are to be presented to the French Consulate General, who will officially verify them.

    Legalization

    Any foreign documents must first be legalized before being presented to authorities in France. Legalizing American documents can be done by obtaining the apostille for the Hague Convention, originally signed on October 15, 1981 by the United States. This is something that can generally be obtained through the office of the Secretary of State of whichever state the document was issued from. Any documents issued in the District of Columbia can result in the apostille being obtained from the Notary Authentication Office in Washington, D.C.

    Prenuptial Agreement

    A party will be married under the agreement that whatever each person owns personally prior to the marriage, as well as whatever they may obtain through an inheritance, will be their sole property. This will be the case unless a prenuptial agreement is arranged beforehand and special measures are taken with an attorney in the United States and/or a French Notary. Legally, only property that is obtained during the marriage is owned equally between the two parties.

    Visa Requirements
    If an American citizen holds a traditional American passport, they are not legally required to obtain a visa to travel to France, provided they do not plan on staying longer than three months. However, this visa exemption does not apply to the following groups of people, regardless of how long their stay may be:

    • Journalists
    • Members of airline crews
    • Students

    If an American citizen holds either an official or diplomatic passport, they are required to obtain a visa regardless of how long their stay in the country may be. Residents of other foreign countries are required to consult with the Consulate General of France's visa section

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    2 Place de la Bourse, Paris, Île-de-France 75002, FR
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