What could be more romantic than getting married in France? After all, love and passion are woven into the very heart of the culture. With stunning landscapes, a beautiful climate, delicious cuisine and some of the finest wines in the world, a French wedding is an ideal choice for lovers.
Our destination wedding guide is designed to take the stress out of your preparations and make wedding planning France celebrations facile comme tout!
Paris may be the city of love, but when it comes to wedding venues the ethereal chateaux of the Loire Valley or the breathtaking hilltop villages of Provence are the hotspots to head for.
Bordeaux in the South West is another region that delivers a stunning range of venues from vintage vineyards to rustic barns. For an Insta-worthy wedding, you’re really spoilt for choice in France.
France is easily accessible from the UK by car, plane and train making it a brilliant choice for your destination wedding. Choose a venue that gives you the flexibility to celebrate over a week or weekend, with accommodation for your guests.
You’ll find even the most glamorous venues are surprisingly affordable allowing you to really make the most of your budget. If your friends are happy to contribute to the costs of their accommodation then you can afford a very special venue indeed.
If only a fairytale chateau on the Loire will do, then look no further than the Chateau des Joyaux. Known as the Petit Chambord, this real life Cinderella castle is a truly luxurious venue for your special day.
If an intimate wedding among the vines is more your style then the Chateau Carignan is a working vineyard just outside Bordeaux and easily accessible from the airport. With a laid back charm and wedding wines to die for this is a great place to hold a weekend destination wedding.
However, if you crave the luminous golden light of Provence for those all important photos then you’ll love the contemporary and casual vibe of the Domaine de la Rose. This gorgeous country mansion near Orgon is the perfect place to hold a relaxed wedding at the poolside beach.
Love and romance are embedded in French culture. It’s customary to greet friends and lovers with a kiss, or even three, and the exceptional scenery, culinary excellence and gorgeous weather combine to make France an ideal destination for your perfect wedding.
Both the Loire and Bordeaux are great wine growing regions, while Provencal rose is the perfect tipple for a summer wedding. All are regions known for their gastronomic excellence from freshwater fish in a beurre blanc sauce, to the rich duck and foie gras based cuisine of the South-West to the fresh and punchy flavours of the South.
The French say the weather changes once you’re south of the Loire. That’s why destinations like the Loire Valley, Bordeaux and Provence are all smart choices when it comes to enjoying a favourable climate for your big day.
Provence has negligible rainfall throughout the summer and blue skies to die for. However, you’ll want to avoid the fierce Mistral winds that blow in the winter months.
Of course, the climate in Bordeaux is essential to its world class quality wines, with warm summers and mild winters making it a go to destination at any time of year. The Loire Valley has a beautifully temperate climate from May to September, but crisp sunny days throughout the autumn and into winter make this a good choice for an out of season wedding.
Wherever you choose to get married in France, the legal requirements are the same. Many couples find it easier to have a registry or church wedding in the UK and then a symbolic celebration in France with close friends and family.
However, if you want to marry legally in France then you must undergo a civil ceremony at the local Mairie or town hall, which can then be followed by a church blessing if you wish. Gay marriage has been legal in France since 2013.
If you want to pursue the idea of a legal marriage in France then you’ll need to contact the British Consulate and be aware that residency requirements may apply. Gov.UK has further useful information for couples getting married in France.
With excellent road and rail links available, France offers so many memorable honeymoon destination in its 96 departments. Paris, the City of Lights, is eternally popular for newlyweds and with good reason.
But have you considered taking a balloon ride over the chateaux of the Loire, enjoying a trip to the Riviera in a 2CV or a tasting holiday in some of the world’s greatest vineyards? There are so many ways to relax and enjoy all the beauty of this richly diverse country.
If you prefer to keep it local and you’re marrying in Provence then a honeymoon in Corsica would be unmissable. The chic resort of Arcachon or ‘Paris by the sea’ makes the ideal place to unwind just south of Bordeaux.
As for the Loire, why not extend your chateau stay and start married life like kings and queens? A honeymoon in France will reveal so many places to love – and to fall in love all over again.