YOUR LOVE STORY DESERVES TO BE CAPTURED
FRANCE WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER
Everything you need to know about your destination wedding in France.
Are you getting married in France and need a little help planning your wedding?
Getting married abroad brings some additional challenges but don’t panic, I’m here to help!
On this page you’ll find everything you need to know about weddings in France, from the legalities to my top tips for the best wedding photos by Manon Pauffin, France wedding photographer.
Hi, I’m Manon – France wedding photographer.
I create intimate wedding photographs filled with emotion for couples who follow their hearts and I’d love to share my knowledge with you so that you can plan the magical destination wedding you deserve.
Why have a destination wedding in France?
Reason number 1: the wine.
Reason number 2: the wine.
Reason number 3: the wine.
Ok, just kidding – a little bit. From a romantic, modern wedding in Paris to a sun-drenched relaxed wedding in Provence or an intimate vineyard wedding in Bordeaux or a fairytale chateaux wedding, France has so many stunning backdrops to offer! It all comes down to choosing what represents you best as a couple and what will bring you more joy on your wedding day.
France is famous for its good food and great wine so if your favourite thing to do on a date night is to go for a sumptuous dinner or go to a wine tasting evening, planning a wedding in France will most definitely make those dreams come true!
If you’re thinking of getting married abroad, chances are you’re looking to create an immersive wedding experience for you and your guests and perhaps make it a weekend event. Destination weddings have an extra special vibe because the minute your guests get off the plane they go into “holiday mode” and they all feel more relaxed. Having a weekend long wedding also means you’ll be able to spend more time with your loved ones and create magical memories to last a lifetime.
Quick pros of getting married abroad
- Possibility of an immersive wedding experience
- Less traditional, allowing you to do exactly what makes you happy
- Creating unique, unforgettable memories
- Better weather so fewer restrictions on your celebration
Quick pros of a destination wedding in France
- Huge diversity of outdoor locations
- Wide range of wedding venues from magical chateaux to luxury villas
- Great food and drink
- Great weather
THE LEGALITIES OF GETTING MARRIED IN FRANCE
The first thing you should know is that a legal wedding ceremony in France must always take place at the Town Hall – called mairie in French. As such, there is no such thing as a “sanctioned for civil ceremonies” wedding venue in France. Additionally, a religious ceremony is not recognised as a valid marriage, you first need to get legally married at the Town Hall.
Same-sex marriage is legally recognised in France, thankfully.
Now that we got that out of the way, let’s talk about your options. As a foreigner, you can choose to get legally married in France either on the day of your wedding or beforehand (we’ll talk about the legalities in a minute) or you could do the legal bit in your own country.
Foreigners wanting to get married in France will need to present proof of residence and have resided there for at least 30 days. You will also both need to show a valid birth certificate (no older than 3 months) translated, authenticated and bearing an Apostille Stamp – the Apostille (from The Hague Convention) is an official government-issued certificate added to documents so they will be recognised and have legal validity in another country.
You will also a Certificate of capacity to marry (or certificat de célibat) to prove that you can legally be married, a Certificate of Law for the marriage to be recognised in your home country.
This all sounds a little complicated but if you’re not a French citizen living in France you may very well need to go through those steps and you should be able to do that through your country’s Consulate.
Are you after a relaxed and creative wedding photographer who will capture who you are and the moments that matter most in a natural, effortless way?
THE BEST PLACES TO GET MARRIED IN FRANCE
Beautiful vineyard wedding in Bordeaux, France –
Picture yourself surrounded by loved ones during an alfresco dinner on a warm summer evening. The music, the wine, the laughter… everything is exactly as it should be and your heart is so full of joy it could burst.
Fancy a relaxed but luxe vibe for your wedding paired with some of the world’s best wine? How about some romantic sunset wedding photos in the vineyard?
Bordeaux is a romantic city in the South West of France famous for its wine and food. While the city itself has a rich architectural and cultural heritage, the surrounding land is home to some of the most prestigious wine in the world.
Pro tip – If you’re getting married in Bordeaux, it’s worth making time to do a pre-wedding shoot at the Dune du Pilat which is the tallest sand dune in Europe. Surrounded by forest and sea, you will get magical photos at golden hour.
How to get there
Bordeaux has an international airport so you can easily fly there and my advice would be to rent a car to explore the region and visit different wedding venues.
Relaxed beach wedding in Corsica, France –
Getting married with sand between your toes and with the sound of the waves as background noise is the dream, right? Imagine a super relaxed day while you feel the sea breeze on your face and laugh until your belly hurts.
If you’re dreaming of a coastal wedding but would like somewhere a little less obvious than the usual beach wedding destinations on the French Riviera, you’re going to love this destination.
Corsica is a mountainous island in the Mediterranean which boasts a mixture of woodland, charming coastal towns, steep mountain peaks and a choice of both sandy or rocky beaches depending on your preference.
How to get there
You can easily fly in to Bastia or Ajaccio which both have international airports and there’s a total of 4 airports on the island: Bastia Poretta (BIA), Calvi Sainte Catherine (CLY), Ajaccio Campo de’ll Oro (AJA) and Figari (FSC). You can also get a ferry from Marseille, Nice and Toulon in France or from Livorno in Italy.
Magical French chateau wedding –
A French chateau is the perfect backdrop for those of you dreaming of a stylish, elegant wedding with a fairytale vibe.
When it comes to getting married in a French chateau, you can take your pick no matter which region of France you’ve chosen for your destination wedding. From rustic charm to luxurious opulence, with the countryside of Provence as a backdrop or in a sweet little village you’ll find that prices also vary greatly and you just need to find the one that suits your budget.
A chateau is also the perfect choice for a weekend-long wedding as it will allow you and all your guests to stay in the same place. Imagine getting together for an aperitif the night before the wedding to greet all your guests and a delicious breakfast the morning after to reminisce about your unforgettable wedding.
Romantic Paris wedding or elopement –
What could be more romantic than getting married in Paris, the city of love? Paris is renowned for its gastronomy, fashion, culture and architecture so whether your wedding style is timeless splendour or modern luxury, you’re bound to find a venue that’s right for you.
On the other hand, if you’ve chosen to elope, how about a weekend for two in the most romantic city? Sneaking away to Paris to get married in an intimate ceremony and take a stroll in the streets of Montmartre followed by dinner in a cute local restaurant. All the elements of a laid back, romantic city elopement, just don’t forget to book a wedding photographer to capture all those precious moments.
how to get
BEST WEDDING PHOTOS IN FRANCE
BY MANON PAUFFIN, FRANCE WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER
Time passes faster than you think and your wedding day goes by in a blur. I believe that you deserve photos that capture who you are, the emotions and your love story in a truthful, effortless way so that you never forget your wedding or the way you felt.
Weddings are a collection of moments that represent your life together and all the days that have led you here. They’re a celebration of love, friendship and all the values that are important to you. Your love is unique and I believe that you deserve meaningful wedding photos that honour your story and capture who you are.
The Answer Is Simple: to get beautiful, natural wedding photos you need a photographer who cares and who will take the time to get to know you BEFORE your wedding. It’s my job to create a space where you feel comfortable and you can be yourselves, unapologetically. This is why I exclusively photograph 20 weddings per year.
Although these aren’t necessarily specific to France, this is the best advice I can give you as a destination wedding photographer:
Choose a photographer you trust and whose work you love –
As a wedding photographer, I truly believe everyone can look great in photos as long as they’re comfortable and having a good time. Your wedding photographer will be with you all day and your wedding photos will forever be attached to the way you felt so it’s important you choose someone whose personality you like. Have a chat with your photographer before booking, whether it’s in person or via video call. This will give you a good idea of whether you’re a good fit or not.
Consider the light –
The light sets the mood. If you’ve booked a great wedding photographer, I’m sure they will have already thought of this and perhaps even mentioned it to you. When planning your wedding timeline take into account the sunrise and sunset time as well as when the sun will be at its highest as this will vary depending on the location and time of year. If you’re having an outdoor ceremony, consider having it a little later in the day, this will make for softer light on the photos which is always more flattering but it will also prevent your guests from getting heatstroke while they wait for the ceremony to start.
Golden hour –
I always ask my couples to set aside ten to fifteen minutes for couple portraits around one hour before sunset on their wedding day. I do this not only because this is the best light for photos but also because usually by this point you’ll be more relaxed. It’s also a great time to sneak away from everyone and spend some time together to reconnect. Trust me, you won’t regret it.
Explore the surrounding area –
It can be really nice on your wedding day to escape for a little while to spend some time just the two of you, this is also a great time for your photographer to tag along and do couple portraits. If there’s any unusual landmark or stunning view near the venue, it might be worth heading over there for the couple portraits as it will allow your photographer to capture beautiful wedding photos, unique to you.
TIPS FOR A RELAXED WEDDING
10 tips from a professional wedding photographer + 2 timeline templates
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Hi, I'm Manon - documentary wedding photographer capturing love stories in Brighton, London and destination weddings worldwide.
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