All religious services held in France must be preceded by a legal/civil marriage ceremony. This can be held in the commune in which there is a family residence. To arrange a civil marriage in France, you will need to contact the local mairie. This is something we can do for you.Because all couples, including French Catholics, must be legally married before a church wedding takes place, the church wedding can be a full ceremony, almost identical to a church wedding in England.
Your religious service can be held by arrangement in most churches or chapels in the Aquitaine region. Most priests and pastors are happy to grant permission. In these cases, the couple are expected to make the arrangements with the local church – and sometimes also the mairie – and to inform the Chaplain of the name and address of the priest/pastor responsible.It is also possible to hold a wedding or wedding blessing in other venues (i.e. chateaux or garden), if the premises are suitable for conducting a religious service. If they are not and a religious ceremony is not important to you, we can arrange non-religious, humanist ceremonies with one of our fantastic celebrants.
The forms in use are the Marriage Service from Common Worship or the form of “Prayer and Dedication after a Civil Marriage”. Bilingual services can be arranged. In some cases, it is possible to hold joint Anglican and Catholic or Eglise Réformée services.It is usual to have two or three hymns, and it is desireable that at least one reading from the Bible is chosen. Other suitable readings and music can be included, but you are encouraged to discuss this at an early stage with the Chaplaincy.
Fees charged for an officiant are in line with those charged elsewhere in the Diocese of Europe and are regularly adjusted to take account of inflation. These go toward the cost of running the Chaplaincy. The current fee is 500€, plus travel expenses incurred.In addition, there is also usually a charge for the use of the church (60-100€), which goes to the local curé or maire.Finally, there may be an organist’s fee and expenses (and a fee for any choir). This is usually in the region of 750€.These and other charges should be agreed when initial enquiries are made. We can manage these on your behalf. Payments to the Chaplaincy must be made by two weeks before the wedding at the latest.
Normally, the service will be taken by one of the Chaplaincy’s Clergy, or a by Reader. To use another Anglican priest from outside the Chaplaincy, permission must be obtained first from the Chaplain.The Chaplain or Officiant will want to meet the couple as soon as convenient to discuss Christian Marriage and consider the form and content of the service.If the couple live outside of this chaplaincy, it is helpful for them to inform their local priest or minister of their desire to marry here and in some cases it will be appropriate for him/her to prepare the couple.