Legal Requirements for Getting Married in France
Allow at least 40 days from arrival in France to wedding date (40 day stay and within this stay, a 10 day posting of wedding banns). We recommend giving yourself more time due to preparation, weekends, holidays or unexpected delays.
Necessary legal documents:
Please note that all documents must be submitted in French. Contact the Embassy in your home country or your Embassy in France for an authorized translator. All translated documents must be certified with an Apostille. If your documents are translated, be prepared to submit the original copies in your native language for verification as well as the translated version.
- Certified copy of birth certificates, issued within the past 3 months
- Valid Passports
- Proof of domicile (i.e. utility bill)
- Verification of single status (can be obtained from your embassy in France, issued within the past 3 months)
- Affidavit declaring that each party is free to marry (sworn in your resident country and in France or by an attorney licensed to practice in both France and your resident country)
- Medical Certificates (obtained in France, issued within the past 3 months)
- Deed Poll (Any change of name requires stamped and dated legal proof by a solicitor), if applicable.
- Divorce decree or death certificates, if applicable
- Adoption certificate, if either party was adopted.
- Some places of worship may require additional documentation. It is recommended to contact the officiant prior to leaving on your trip, if applicable
Legal requirements to get married:
- Ceremony (Civil/Religious)
All legally recognized weddings preformed in France are civil. The ceremony is preformed in French. If either party does not speak French, an interpreter should be hired. Traditional, religious, non-denominational or secular ceremonies are not legally recognized, but can proceed a civil ceremony to fulfill the desires of the bride and groom-to-be.
- Age and Relation
The bride must be at least 15 years of age and groom must be at least 18 years of age. Parental consent is necessary if either party is underage. Note that the legal age in your home country must be met to be recognized. The bride and groom cannot be related by blood, marriage or adoption.
Two witnesses over 18 years of age must be present for the ceremony and provide their passports.
Please note that either party, the bride-to-be or groom-to-be, must plan to stay in the city or town where you plan to marry for 40 days prior to your planned wedding date. You must register 20 days prior to your wedding date. Or you must stay 30 prior to registering for marriage. It takes the Town Hall 4-6 weeks to process the application.
Bring all documents and paperwork to the local Town Hall (Mairie). Be prepared to schedule the wedding date, within 10 days to 3 months from your registry.
Wedding banns will be posted at the Town Hall for 10 days prior to the wedding ceremony, while the couple stays in the area. Thus, fulfilling the mandatory 40 day residency requirement.
- The couple will need to write the applicable Town Hall, where their marriage took place, to obtain a Marriage Certificate. They will receive a booklet that contains the official marriage and provides space for significant future events, such as names changes, births, deaths and divorces for a family.
*A Certificate of No Impediment, is also known as a Single Status Affidavit, Single Status Statutory Declaration, Certificate of No Record, a Certificate of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage, Certificate of Nulla Osta or a Certificate de coutume (plus an MP2A form).
Note: This information can change at any given moment. For up-to-date information, contact your embassy in the country in which you plan to marry.
We invite you to contact us with any new information. Be sure to note, “Update Marriage Requirements in France” in the subject line.