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Getting Married

Posted by Linda Caird-193057 - Created: 14 years ago
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We would like to get married here in France but think maybe it would be a lot easier to do this on one of our trips back to UK after looking at the legal requirements.Does anyone know what they mean by a birth certificate less than 3 months old! Unfortunately we have had ours since birth. Does this mean we have to obtain a new one from England. Also it seems we have to have a medical and blood tests, this is a bit crazy as I guess as we have been living together for some time now what ever bugs we have we have by now shared. Is it as complicated as it sounds. It also does not mention costs anywhere, has anyone any experience in this field.I think most people will say stay single !! 

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5 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 5)

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Posted by Gris Ventre-195147 - 14 years ago

Following on from Neil's reply, we went to a "celebration of marriage ceremony" of some friends of ours, but who did it the other way round to his suggestion: they had the legal ceremony first in the UK at a registry office, and then had the religious one at their local church, and refreshments thereafter at the Salle des Fetes.  This would seem to me to be a better way round to do things, as the celebrations were very much in the way of French weddings - ie. went on for several days!!

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Posted by Linda Caird-193057 - 14 years ago

Thanks to everyone for advice, all very helpful. we are now going to look into it all.

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Posted by Dylan_zzz - 14 years ago


If you're planning to continue living in France for some time then I'd highly recommend getting married here. If this is just a temporary assignment until you return back to the UK (ie if you still consider the UK as "home") then do it there.

We got married here last year. Yes the paperwork etc seemed a little daunting at first, but looking back the whole process of perparing things with the help of the staff at the marie, plus of course the wedding itself and events since, have made me feel like I've finally "arrived" here despite having lived in France for about 8 years.

My French is not that strong but our marie went out of their way to be helpful once they realised we were doing our best to understand their process. The British Embassy in Paris fixed all the UK related paperwork very quickly and were generally helpful when we had some questions on the legal stuff.

The unexpected bonus for me was that now the marie staff know us, we've found subsequent dealings with them have been very easy indeed. For example when I had my wallet stolen (not in France) and was having problems at the Grasse Prefecture getting a new driving licence quickly, the marie offered to provide a photocopy of some of my papers (ones we'd given before getting married) and even wrote the prefercture an attestation vouching for me. All the barriers in Grasse just disolved! 

We live in a smallish village so probably the staff are a little more accessible than in a large town, but hopefully the same would be the case anywhere so long as you go in with view that their way of doing things here is just fine, albeit not the same as you're used to in the UK.

Whatever you do -- good luck and have alot fun!

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Posted by zhangqi - 14 years ago

Hello Linda,

I was married in Nice last year and found the whole process very simple.  The Marie gives you a simple list of requirements; indeed you will need a certified translator to translate your birth certificate (it is only the translation that need be recent)  at a cost of around 50 Euros, and a medical certificate signed by a GP, whose purpose is mainly to test blood compatibility with respect to having children.

One point to bear in mind is that the civil ceremony and religious ceremony in France are separate (i.e civil or both), whereas in the UK you do only one or the other - meaning that you cannot perform the civil ceremony at the Marie in France and then perform a religious ceremony in the UK. Unless you change the wording and perform a "Celebration of Marriage"...

Hope this helps.

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Posted by szozu - 14 years ago

French birth certificates are updated at each "life event" such as marriage, divorce, children, etc., that is why they want one that is recently dated--never mind that most other countries do not do this, confining birth certificates to the simple act of one's own birth. Just get another copy with a recent date, however, it's much easier simply to get married elsewhere, as you will also need to get your birth certificate translated. I was lucky; in Germany they supply international birth certificates that come in nine major languages, so I never had to fork out for a translation.