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 

Looking for Wedding Service Providers

The Wedding Planner is always looking for new wedding specialist service providers to recommend to her wedding couples in Ireland and abroad.

If you are a wedding specialist who has not yet been discovered by The Wedding Planner and would like her to know about your services, please contact;

Please note: As this is a recommendation service, it cannot be guaranteed that The Wedding Planner will agree to represent your service to her wedding clients. Also The Wedding Planner is limiting the number of select services she features in the directory of the so please do not be offended if your service is declined.

Selecting Your Wedding Jewellery

rings-and-glassFor each particular style of wedding gown, you need to choose particular styles of jewellery. And since you can’t wear your gown into jewellery shops, you will want to wear a top  the same colour as your dress as well as the same neckline.

Starting with the earrings, you need to think about how you are going to wear your hair. If you have a shorter style or you’re looking to pull your hair up for the wedding day, you should pick longer earrings that extend towards your neck.

If you want something simpler, then diamond or rhinestone studs can be equally beautiful.

The neck is the focal point for most brides. If your dress has a lot of detail choose a necklace that’s simple rather than too fussy. Otherwise you will have multiple looks competing with one another and it can create a very confused and scattered look.

For a simple dress with a deep neckline, you should be looking at larger pendants or a more complicated style. Pearls always seem to work, but try on different lengths to make sure that they complement the entire look. And remember, buying pearls for yourself is bad luck so make sure someone else completes the purchase for you!!

Wedding RSVPs Tip

Sometimes in their haste to return their reply card for your wedding, a guest will forget to fill in their name. This leaves you stuck with the headache of trying to figure out which person that particular card belongs to.

sealTo remedy this, assign a number to each guest and then write that number on the lower corner of the back of the corresponding reply card before you mail out your invitations. Then, if you receive a card sans identifying information, you’ll be able to figure out which guest it belongs to quickly. I’ve always hated how tacky and conspicuous even the smallest numbers look when written in pencil or pen, so I recommend using an invisible ink or black light pen so as not to detract from the look of your invitations.

Fun Christmas Cards prep way for fun Wedding Stationery

wedding-cartoon-sixWe all want to send Christmas cards and wedding stationery with a difference but trying to find something different can be a difficult task. The Cartoon You could be the answer to your Christmas cards worries the season pre your wedding. The Cartoon You, set up by art graduate Paul Flanagan, designs personal cartoon cards for all occasions, including Christmas, wedding invitations and birthday cards.


A few Christmases ago, Paul decided to surprise his family designing a Christmas card featuring ‘cartoons’ of his family members. The card was a sensation so he decided to turn his ‘cartooning’ talent into a professional business. The Cartoon You was born.


For most of us, designing our personal Christmas cards and meet the Christmas post deadline is just not possible: either because of time constraints or because we just lack the skills. Sometimes, grabbing a stack of boring-looking cards in the supermarket seems like the easiest option. However, The Cartoon You allows you to give your Christmas cards that personal touch you were looking for, completely hassle-free.  


This is how it works:


Step 1:


Email Paul for a quote (, including a brief description of what you want for your cartoon: who will be in the picture, what the scenario will be and any special requests.


Step 2:


Email or post a few good photos of who you would like ‘cartooned’, making sure the people to be cartooned are visible in the photograph and that the picture is an accurate representation. Sending a couple of pictures, the artist can double check the likeness, making the final piece as accurate (and fun) as possible.


Step 3:


Paul gets to work on a black and white sketch of the proposed final piece.


Step 4:


Once you sign off the black and white sketch and you are happy with the likeness and cartoon, Paul gets to work on the final coloured image. Once the final coloured image is signed off, the image goes to print.


If you want to check out some of Paul’s work, you can visit For extra information, bookings or if you would like to receive some samples, you can contact Paul on or 0863099229.

Engagement Ring Buying Tips

marquisestone_1The Wedding Planner calls the time between Christmas Eve and Valentines Day, The Engagement Season. If you are thinking of popping the question in the coming months  there is a lot to know about rings and about your bride before you purchase the ring.

By the time you buy the engagement ring, you should know her ring size. An easy way to figure out her ring size is to secretly take one of her rings to a jeweller. They will be more than happy to help you out. You might also ask her sister or mother, or anyone close to her who would possibly know he ring size, but if you go this route be prepared for her to her of your intentions before you get to ask! You should also know what shapes of jewellery stones she likes. Does she like white or yellow gold, or platinum? White gold and platinum are the most popular at the moment. If she wears mostly silver jewelllery go with platinum.

Next, you must set your budget. Engagement ring prices can range from moderately expensive to very expensive. The price of the engagement ring is only limited by your budget. The diamond is what makes the engagement ring such an expensive gift. With such an expensive investment, you should make sure you understand some of the basics of buying diamonds.

Diamond professionals use four factors to purchase diamonds, and you should use the same standards to buy the diamond engagement ring.

1. Colour – The colour of the diamond has a significant impact on the overall price. Sometimes this is referred to as the colour value of the diamond. You might ask the jeweller to place the diamonds you are interested in order based on colour value. Since the colour differences are so light, it might be difficult to see the colour difference between diamonds. Keep in mind the less colour the more expensive.

2. Clarity – Clarity is no less important when it comes to selecting a diamond. An Fl (Flawless) graded diamond shows no inclusions (inclusions = flaws) under 10X magnification. Since flawless diamonds are extremely rare, be prepared to pay extra for perfection.

3. Cut – It is the first aspect of the diamond that is influenced by humans. Cut is also called ‘make’, the better the make the more gorgeous the diamond. Valuing the diamond based on cut can be very subjective.

4. Carat – Carat weight is the basic measuring unit of diamonds. It has to do with how much your diamond weighs.

There is a huge variety of diamonds to choose from. While they are all beautiful, they are very different in colour, clarity, cut, and carat weight. We hope you’ll find the above information helpful in selecting your engagement ring diamond. Keep in mind, you should only buy a diamond from a reputable jeweller.