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Getting Married in France - First Steps

As an experienced professional wedding celebrant in France, I hear from so many couples at many different stages of planning their wedding. Some get in touch when they haven’t even decided on a venue, some may not know the wedding date yet, and some couples contact me right at the last minute after everything else has been arranged and planned.

Please take a look at the guidance below while enjoying some pics of just a few of the venues I am looking forward to working at during the 2024 Wedding Season.


You are looking at the beautiful Chateau Valouze, Chateau Rigoulieres, Chateau Raysse, and Chateau Naudou


There is no right or wrong way, but it may help to split things up into logical sections. If you are looking for a destination wedding in France, one of the first things you need is a venue. Be that a very grand Chateau, a beautiful Manoir or a French country barn, you will find something to suit whatever you are looking for. Booking your venue is usually the best place to start. Then, you may decide that you need a wedding planner. It is possible to research and find your wedding planner in France first of course. Many of the wedding planners here will already have a list of venues that they regularly work with and can recommend. The same goes for your venue. They too probably know wedding planners that they would be happy to pass you on to.


Just under half of my couples are what I like to call ‘DIY Brides’ and opt for making most of the arrangements themselves, without a planner, and some choose to use the services of an OTD Coordinator. An ‘On The Day Coordinator’ can pull all your plans and arrangements together, making sure that everything runs smoothly on the day. This isn’t as scary as it all sounds with one supplier usually knowing other suppliers that you may need and so on… Vendors such as caterers, music and entertainment, makeup and hair, flowers, photographers etc. There are some good supplier websites for couples looking for a destination wedding in France. You will find everything you need from luxury Porta-loo’s to cakemakers, pet-sitters, venue décor and so much more as well as the more common vendors that you will need.


Here are the stunning Chateau Mareuil, Chateau Durantie, Manoir Beaulieu, and Chateau Gassies


In my opinion, once you have a Venue, you should also start looking for your wedding ceremony celebrant in France. Do you need an English-speaking celebrant or someone who is bi-lingual who can speak both English and French? Are you looking for a unique, personal, and bespoke ceremony that tells your love story along with personal vows and promises, or do you just want something pretty standard? Are you planning on having your legal marriage in France or the country you call home first – before coming to France for your wedding ceremony?


In my next blog I will talk about how to choose the Celebrant for your wedding ceremony in France and what options you have to make it something really special and unique.


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