French Weddings - FAQs

Where can we get married?

As your ceremony in France is a blessing and not legally binding, you do not need to worry about wedding licenses etc.  You just need to ensure you have legally married elsewhere BEFORE the ceremony in France (where you live is the simplest option).  This could be 8 hours before, 1 week before or 1 year before, it really doesn’t matter, so long as it is before!


We strongly recommend, if you’re booking your venue yourself, that you state clearly that you intend to hold a wedding celebration there during your stay, as there are many chateaux and manoirs whose owners prohibit wedding celebrations taking place.  It’s better to be disappointed at the outset than to book and find out later on when you will likely lose your deposit payment.

Can we get legally married in France?

Not unless you have a family member living in the commune where you wish to get married…


France has a 40 day residency requirement, making it difficult for non-French residents to marry here.


However, if you are able to marry here due to family connections, be aware that the process is long and  bureaucratic!  It is also a little pricey, as you will need to have personal documents officially translated to French.   You should start the process no later than 6 months in advance of the wedding date, but preferably before.


The end result is no more romantic than a registry office wedding in your home country, and signing the papers at home will save you a lot of hassle.  Hence we usually recommend opting for legally marrying in advance of your wedding celebration in France.

How far in advance do we need to book our venue?

To ensure you’re able to book the venue of your dreams on your chosen date, we recommend booking your venue as soon as possible.  The ATWGM wedding planners will make this a priority when you book with us.


Ideally, your venue should be booked 9-12 months in advance of your wedding to ensure no compromises or disappointment.  This isn’t to say that venues aren’t available later on; it may just be that you have to compromise on dates.


Very few venues reduce their prices the nearer we get to the date in question so you have nothing to gain except unnecessary stress by holding off on booking.  It will also hold up the process of booking your suppliers, which could result in further compromises down the line.

How many people can a French wedding venue accommodate?

Chateaux and Manoirs can accommodate anywhere from 10 to 50 guests, but the average is 18-28.  Any more than this and the quality of the venue usually decreases substantially.  Larger chateaux sometimes have an additional building within the grounds (often called a pigeonnier, cottage or gite) where more guests can sleep.  Be aware that these additional beds are usually at a supplementary price.

How much does it cost to get married in France?

It is possible to hold a wedding celebration in South West France from as little as 15,000€.  This budget will mean lots of compromising, however, and will unlikely be enough to cover a wedding planner.


There are rustic venues in South West France available from just 3,000€, although the more beautiful and well-maintained chateaux have a much higher price tag, starting around 8,000€ for a couple of nights.


We recommend allowing for 25,000€ as a minimum budget, with 35,000€ + being a more ideal starting point.

When you talk about our budget, what does this include?

The venue, all suppliers (photographer, musicians, celebrant, flowers, DJ etc.), the wedding planner & stylist on the wedding day, tables, chairs & tableware, your wedding dinner including canapés, a wedding cake – traditional French pièce montée, stacked cheese tower or British style wedding cake, beverages throughout the wedding day, including still & sparkling wine, beer machine and evening spirit bar, additional staffing for your wedding day (waiting staff, bar staff etc.), favours

…and what doesn’t this budget include?

Attire – wedding dress, suits, shoes etc., rings, the honeymoon, flights to France, accommodation for guests not staying at the venue.


If you’re not sure, it’s best to check with us at the booking stage, so as to avoid any stress later on.

Do you arrange the celebrant/priest, venue, catering, photographer and evening arrangements?

This will depend upon the details of your booking, agreed at the start of your time with us.


If you take us on within a full planning capacity then we will assist you in selecting these suppliers, either from our extensive roster or externally.


It is also possible to book an ATWGM wedding planner to assist with part of the planning, for those couples who have already booked some or all of their wedding suppliers and simply need help in the lead up to the wedding.


We have no set ‘packages’ so your booking will be based around your requirements, not ours!