Getting Married in France

chateau_miniGetting married in a chateaux in France sounds very romantic and is very romantic. However it does have its complications. There is a manditory 40 day residency requirement prior to the wedding so this often makes couples look to other countries for their dream wedding.  Only civil weddings are legally recognised in France, so religious ceremonies have no legal standing. If you want to marry in a French church then you will also have to go through a civil ceremony at another venue. A lot of couples consider having a civil marriage at home and then a religious wedding in France.

However if your heart is set on France as the country you want to start your married life in well this is what you need to know:

At least one of the partners to be married must reside in the place where the wedding will take place for at least 40 days immediately prior to the wedding. One or both of you must reside in the departement (district) or the arrondissement (if in Paris) for at least 30 days prior to the marriage. Following these 30 days, French law requires the publication of the marriage banns at the Mairie (Town Hall) for 10 days. Thus 40 days is the minimum period of residence before a civil ceremony can take place.

Non French nationals must provide the following before the banns can be published:

1. A pre-marital certificate, which is obtained at the Mairie (town hall) where the wedding will take place.
2. A certified birth certificate issued less than six months prior to the date of the marriage
3. A passport (carte de séjour)
4. A certificate of residence (provided by your embassy)
5. A prenuptial certificate of health (certificat d’examen médical prénuptial) issued less than two months prior to the date of the marriage by a medical doctor after: serological tests for syphilis, irregular anti-bodies, rubella and toxoplasma. It is possible to have these tests done in France.
6. If you have married previously, a certified copy of the death certificate of the deceased spouse or a certified copy of the final divorce decree
7. A notarised “Affidavit of Law” (Certificat de Coutume), drawn up by a solicitor in the state of residence of the parties, stating that: the person is free to marry, and the marriage performed in France will be recognized as valid in the home country.
8. A personal certificate of celibacy (provided by your embassy)
9. The documents must be translated into French. The translations and the original document must be verified by the French Consulate General (vérification de traduction).
10. Foreign documents must be legalized prior to being given to the French authorities. Obtaining an Apostille can legalize documents.
11. On arrival in France, you should contact the Mairie to see if any other documents are required.

A minimum of four weeks may be needed to complete the necessary documentation and to reserve the wedding date and location. The Wedding Planners Castle Guide 2009 features a number of chateaux’s available for weddings.

Re-Marrying in Ireland if you were Previously Married

The Wedding Planner in Ireland thinks the best way to give you this information is to give you the official line from the horses mouth! (ie. The Wedding Planner doesn’t have a horses mouth we’re talking about relevant Irish government department!).

coupleRe-marriage of persons who have been previously married:

If either party has been married previously, it is necessary for that party to produce either a Divorce Decree (Absolute) or a Death Certificate, as appropriate.

If either of the parties to a proposed marriage were previously married this fact should be brought to the attention of the Registrar of Marriages at the time that the written notification to marry is being given by the parties to the proposed marriage.

In the case of a divorce granted by a Court of another State the following procedure applies. If the Divorce Decree is in a foreign language, an English translation of the Divorce should be provided, duly certified by a relevant official body or recognised translation agency. In the case of a foreign divorce, consideration is given to the question of whether the divorce is recognisable under Irish law. In this regard certain information as to place of birth, countries of residence and other relevant facts must be supplied on a questionnaire provided by the Registrar. The information is then forwarded to the General Register Office, whose consent must be obtained before the ceremony can take place.

In the case of a divorce granted by the Irish Court the Court decree in relation to the divorce should be presented to the appropriate Registrar of marriages at the point in time when the written notification of intention to marry is being given by both parties.

It should be noted that a distinction exists between nullity, separation and divorce and the broad distinctions are outlined below:

  • if no valid marriage existed in the first instance a decree of nullity may be sought from the Irish Courts – a civil decree of nullity means that the first marriage had no legal effect and the parties concerned are free, in civil law, to marry.
  • If a valid marriage is in place and a couple separate (by judicial means or by agreement) re-marriage of the parties concerned is not permitted;
  • If the parties to a valid marriage subsequently divorce (and this divorce is recognised by this State) the parties concerned may re-marry in civil law.

The procedures involved in seeking decrees of nullity, separations or divorces are a matter for the appropriate Courts and Registrars of Marriage do not have any function in regard to those procedures. Contact should be made directly with the appropriate Courts Offices.

It should be noted that an annulment granted by the authorities of the Roman Catholic Church does not have any effect in civil law and persons who have obtained a church annulment only are not free to remarry in civil law.

For more information about Irish weddings or weddings Ireland see  www.theweddingplanner.ie 

Wedding Abroad – Certificate of Freedom?

The Wedding Planner in Ireland answers your questions:  I’m getting married abroad and I have been requested to get a Certificates of Nulla Osta – What is this and where do I get it in Ireland?

A Certificate of Freedom to marry (also known as ‘Civil Letters of Freedom’, “Certificates de Coutume” or “Certificates of Nulla Osta”) which states that a person is not married, may be needed for marriage in some foreign countries. Irish citizens living in Ireland wishing to obtain such a Certificate should apply to the Consular Section of the Department of Foreign Affairs, 72/76 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Tel.: (01) 4082568. Irish Citizens living abroad should contact their nearest Irish Embassy.  Apply for it as soon as you have your wedding date set and allow plenty of time for them to respond.

Wedding Vows

 The Wedding Planner Ireland advises: austria_kaprun_wedding_jamesmichelle_07.jpg A “wedding vow” is a set of promises you and your groom make to each other during the wedding ceremony. You may choose a traditional, a religious, a customized, an interfaith, a multilingual, the possibilities are endless.

 

In Western culture, the wedding vows customarily included the notions of unselfishness such as -love-, faithfulness -forsaking others-, unconditionality -in sickness and in health-, and permanence -until death do us part.  During your vows at the very least you must have an officiant and witnesses present. Traditionally, the groom pronounces his vows first, followed by the bride. The order can be changed; there is no law that sets the order in which the vows said. It is possible for the bride and groom to say the vows in unison to each other. Usually the couple will face each other and join hands for their vows. In some countries there are set things that have to be said to make the marriage legal. Some churches may frown on the idea of you writing your own vows so be sure to discuss it with the celebrant well in advance. If you are unsure about the wordage of your vows, ask your friends, family, and the officiant for some examples they’ve used in the past. Sample Vows: I, (your name), take you, (your name), to be my [opt: lawfully wedded] (husband/wife), my faithful friend, and partner and my love from this day forward. In the presence of God, our family and friends, I offer you my solemn vow to be your faithful partner in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, and in joy as well as in sorrow. I promise to love you unconditionally, to support you in your goals, to honour and respect you, to laugh with you and cry with you, and to cherish you for as long as we both shall live. I, (your name), take you, (your name), to be my friend, my lover, the (mother/father) of my children and my (husband/wife).I will be yours in times of plenty and in times of want, in times of sickness and in times of health, in times of joy and in times of sorrow, in times of failure and in times of triumph. I promise to cherish and respect you, to care and protect you, to comfort and encourage you, and stay with you, for all eternity. Remember that you and your groom can say different vows.

Mixed Faith Marriages

 

pink-turbans.jpgThe Wedding Planner Ireland advises: You’ll know long before you start the wedding plans if your faiths are different from one another so this shouldn’t be a shock. And you may have already begun how you want to deal with this. It doesn’t have to be a problem; rather, it can be a great way to create a new ceremony for the both of you. 

Deciding to convert 

Before deciding to convert to one religion or another, you want to take your time to discover why you’re doing it. Do you truly want to convert to another religion or do you just want to make your spouse and his or her family happy? This is a very honest discussion to have with your self and there aren’t any good answers, except for the ones that are true. 

If you feel that converting is a good decision for you, then by all means, go ahead and take the steps needed. Many times, you’ll have to take classes and speak with the religious head well in advance of any wedding plans.

The trick is not to feel pressured into converting. And with all of the emotions attached with a wedding, some families may have trouble accepting someone of a different faith. If you believe that you want to remain the faith that you are, you should do so. And if your spouse is trying to coax you into converting, you may want to hold off on the wedding as well. This is a very personal choice, and it needs to be made by the individual, not everyone else. 

A dual faith wedding It’s actually very easy to have a wedding that incorporates two different faiths. Sit down and see what each faith requires at the wedding and then talk about how you can compromise to make sure all is proper. You may want to have the wedding in a non-denominational setting so that you don’t have the ‘home court advantage’ for one faith or another. You may also decide to have two different ceremonies weaving in and out of one another, combing elements of both faiths. This really shows the commitment to each other and to the separate faiths. 

You may also want to have two different ministers or one denominational or have a civil ceremony that is legally binding without the emotion attached to either denomination.

Wedding Abroad – How do I register in Ireland?

For all those of you (Irish couples) a bit rattled at the idea of Eddie Murphy’s destination wedding not been legally recognised and are questioning your own, this should help: 

borabora_lemeridien_ariel_01.jpgIf I get married abroad will it be recognised by Irish Law and do I need to register my marriage in Ireland on my return?

Marriages which take place outside the State are normally registered in the country in which they occur and are NOT registered in Ireland by a Registrar or the General Register office. Persons marrying abroad should ensure that all the legal requirements of the country in question are met, and should enquire as to the procedure for obtaining a marriage certificate from that country – the relevant Embassy/or religious authorities may be able to advise.

If a marriage certificate is in a foreign language, it should normally be accepted for official purposes in this State if accompanied by an official translation, or a translation from a recognised translation agency. Both parties to a marriage contracted abroad must be over 18 for the marriage to be valid in Irish law.

The General Register Office has no function in advising on, or in the registration of, marriages which take place outside the State. There is no facility for registering such marriages in the State, and the civil marriage certificate would normally be accepted as the legal proof of the marriage. In cases where a serious doubt exists as to whether the marriage is recognised in Irish law, legal advice may be sought and an application made to the Circuit Family Court for a ruling under Section 29 of the Family Law Act, 1995 as to whether the marriage is recognisable under Irish law.

Avoid Wedding Rip-Offs

Book As Far In Advance As Possiblewed-budget-2.jpg

Most facilities, vendors, and planners can be booked more than a year in advance. If possible, take advantage of this window of opportunity. Should something go wrong, it will provide you with more time to make alternate arrangements. Also, be aware that some vendors will actually charge you more if you order or book things at the last minute. 

Shop Around and Deal With Trustworthy People

Before booking anything you should shop around and get an idea of current prices for each category of your wedding. Don’t just hire the first vendor you meet with. Ask around with family, friends, co-workers, etc. and get their recommendations about services they may have used.

Get Everything in Writing

It would seem obvious to do this, but a lot of couples tend to go on “faith” of what a vendor says, then are shocked with the vendor doesn’t follow through. Get everything, down to the smallest detail, in writing and be sure both you and the vendor agree on all points before signing any contract. Include exact descriptions, such as if you are ordering flowers: how may bouquets, the exact type and colour of the flowers, etc.

Regarding Photographers and DJ’s

 When booking these services with a company, often you may wish to have a particular photographer/videographer and DJ for your wedding because you have seen their work or heard their play style and really like it. Make sure this is detailed on the contract with the person’s name. Again, also include the clause that if that particular person is substituted, you will not pay for the service and will receive a refund on all deposits. Don’t pay the full fee for a last minute substitute (unless you were thoroughly happy with their service).