Congratulations! You've had a proposal of marriage and you've said Yes of course! Now your head is spinning, looking for ideas, inspiration, dreamy venues, even dreamier dresses, and all that goes with planning your wedding day. Welcome to the crazy, stressful, fun filled madness that is 'planning your wedding'.
With such easy accessibilty, France is a wonderful place to hold the wedding of your dreams. Just a short hop on the ferry across the Channel, 35 minutes in the car on Le Shuttle, or just over an hour's flight to Bordeaux and the beautiful Dordogne region, named by the French as 'The home of a million and one Chateaux'
Full of dreamy castles, medieval history, ancient woodlands and stunning food and wine, it's no wonder that this region is so popular with British couples looking for a fairytale wedding. What are the rules? Well here's the deal.... Where shall we hold our wedding ? What kind of ceremony? What kind of venue? A glorious Chateau? Elegant Manor House, Rustic French Country Barn? there are lots of possibilities in this beautiful and diverse country. Residency rules for marriage in France can limit the opportuntiy to have the legal marrriage here. A forty day residency is usually required by at least one partner in order to get the legal formalities done at the local Mairie's Office, but by having a simple legal Register Office marriage in the UK first, followed by a symbolic celebrant ceremony in France with all your family and friends you can have a truly bespoke, personal ceremony containing all the elements you want such as telling your love story, involving guests with readings, holding handfasting ceremonies, or cocktail ceremonies, unity candles, or sand ceremonies. Saying your own personal promises to each other, the options are endless and it is completely up to you. As your English speaking Celebrant in France my job is to make sure that your ceremony is as unique as you are.
It should reflect and combine your personalities to create something special and memorable, not just for you, but for your guests too. I will build the ceremony from the information you give me, and work with you, taking the parts you know you would definitely like to include. Then I will give structure and flow to the ceremony. I have many different options for readings, vows, promises, in fact the whole script. It is your ceremony - there are no rules. They are just ideas to inspire you, you can play around with them as much as you like. Once you have approved the draft, I will put all your ideas together in one bespoke script, along with a package that includes a commemorative certificate, souvenir copy of your ceremony, your vows and promises and a matching booklet of the ceremony that can be used on the day.
When thinking about the UK marriage, most couples cover the UK legalities with a simple ceremony at the local Register Office. This can cost as little as £50 and all you need are two witnesses. You don't have to exchange rings if you don't want to. You can save this part for your wonderful celebrant ceremony in France! Find out how and what you need to 'give notice of marriage', in the UK before your wedding in France. I can tell you all the legal documents you need so you are well prepared. It is the law that if you do not have the correct documents when you attend the register office to do the legal parts for your wedding, they cannot take your 'notice of marriage' causing delays and more time off work for you and your partner. I can help guide you through the system and explain about the appointments, documents required, options and costs. I have over 20 years experience as a former registrar in the UK so you know my advice will be accurate and useful.
Please take a look at Bride-Buddy. I am sure you will find it useful and of value to you and, of course, many congratulations on your proposal of marriage, and hop online to start researching your Chateau wedding in France!