| Tuesday, February 16th, 2016

How to plan a destination wedding in France


You may have always dreamt of tying the knot looking out over the vineyards of Bordeaux, in one of Paris’ majestic ancient churches or by the beach in the South of France, in which case our tips on how to plan a destination wedding will come in handy.

Read on to find out everything you need to know to arrange the wedding of your dreams in France.

Choose a location carefully

Unless you already have a very clear idea of where you are getting married abroad, it is important to give plenty of consideration to location. There is an abundance of beautiful places in France to choose from, depending on what type of wedding you want – beach, mountain, or city, for instance – so it may be worth visiting a few to help you decide.

Think about what setting you want, the activities you would like to do during your honeymoon, the food and drink at your reception and the general ambience – all of this may help narrow down your options when it comes to destination weddings.

It is also worth taking a look at the legal requirements for each country, as some have a much longer list than others.

Familiarise yourself with the marriage requirements

One of the first things you should do is get to grips with the legalities of tying the knot in France if you are getting married abroad.

France has a different set of requirements, but generally speaking, you need to give three months’ notice of your intent to marry and provide birth certificates, passports and, if applicable, divorce papers, death certificates of former spouses and deed certificates if you have changed your name.

It can be a complicated and sometimes frustrating procedure to arrange a legal wedding abroad, as language barriers and unfamiliar red tape can get in the way. That is why it might be a good alternative to have your legal ceremony in the UK first, before celebrating with a wedding party in France.

Not only does this spare you from dealing with the complex requirements of destination weddings, it means you do not have to translate foreign marriage documents into English in the future and there is no risk of thinking you are legally married, only to find out at an inconvenient time in the future that, actually, you are not.

Consider the climate carefully

The climate in Europe varies considerably depending on where you plan to tie the knot and the time of the year. You might fancy a snowy winter wedding in a chalet on the Alps, in which case you will have to get married between January and March.

Alternatively, you may have dreamt about a beach wedding overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, so you would need to marry between May and September. Whatever you want from your big day, check the weather patterns for that area at different times of the year, so you get the climate you have been hoping for.

Incorporate France’s vibrant culture

The great thing about getting married in France is the continent is exploding with different cultures, histories and delicious cuisines. So it would be a shame not to incorporate this local touch into your special day.

To really give your wedding a cultural lift, serve regional foods and drinks at your reception.

You can also add special touches with the entertainment, flowers and transport. For instance, you could do your first dance to Brahms if you are getting married to someone from Germany, hire a flamenco dancer for Spain, an opera singer for Austrian family, or use a bunch of tulips as your bouquet if you have chosen to marry someone dutch for your big day.

Your guests are bound to want to get the know the area as well, so it is a good idea to provide them with a small travel guide of the region, or schedule a couple of trips for them before the wedding, which will also enable them to spend some time with you both.

Hire a wedding co-ordinator

One of the smartest moves you can make is hire a wedding co-ordinator. Unlike getting hitched on a tropical island where you will normally find plenty of wedding packages abroad, tying the knot in Europe often means organising all the separate components yourself.

However, by hiring a wedding planner who has a huge list of trustworthy and affordable contacts already, you can save yourself a lot of time and energy. They can do all the research for you, locating your suppliers, tours and transportation. Make sure you speak to them regularly, so you are in constant communication and completely aware of any developments taking place.

There are a lot of things to consider when planning a wedding abroad, but to have your special day in an idyllic location surrounded by your closest family and friends, it will all be worth it in the end.

Consider carefully how you will pay for your wedding abroad

One benefit to getting married overseas is that you may be able to benefit from the strength of the pound, which can reduce costs considerably. For example, at the time of writing the euro was at €1.31 to the pound, so a €10,000 bill would actually cost £7,634.

But you also need to take into account the costs associated with sending money abroad, and using a broker rather than going through your bank could save you as much as 4% on a transaction thanks to better exchange rates alone.

Find the best price for your international money transfer with our International Money Transfer comparison service.

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