Wedding ceremonies in France

We are delighted when couples ask for their wedding to be blessed by the church.

The first step in booking a wedding is to fill in a Marriage Application Form (see below).

Dates should be booked as far in advance as possible.

1 - Legal Status

A religious service held in France must be preceded by a legal/civil marriage ceremony.

The legal ceremony can be held in the couple’s country of residence, or in certain situations, in a French commune in which there is a family residence. To arrange a civil marriage in France, contact the local mairie. If there are problems about residence, the legal ceremony can be performed in the UK, or other country of residence. Before conducting a wedding service, we will need to see the marriage certificate.

Because all couples, including French Catholics, will 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.

2 - Location

The service of marriage can be held at one of our church centres, or by arrangement in another church or chapel (though in the Dordogne, we are expected to use the churches where we regularly hold services). Most priests and pastors are happy to grant permission. In those 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. châteaux or garden), if the premises are suitable for conducting a religious service.

3 - Forms of service

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, upon request. 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 please discuss this at an early stage.

In some cases, it may possible to hold joint Anglican and Catholic or Eglise Réformée services.

4 - Organist and Choir

When a wedding or wedding blessing takes place in one of the churches we use regularly, we can usually arrange for an organist and possibly a choir, for an additional fee.

In other churches, depending on the location, this may be more difficult. The parish should be consulted about the choice of music. Not all French churches have organs and those that do vary in quality. Thus the choice of music will be influenced by the quality of the instrument and by the availability of appropriate settings.

5 - Wedding Fees

Fees charged are in line with those charged elsewhere in the Diocese of Europe and are regularly adjusted to take account of inflation. These go towards the cost of running the Chaplaincy. The current fee is 550 €, plus travel expenses incurred.

In addition, if a church venue is used, we suggest making a donation as a gesture of thanks for permission to use the church (generally 150 – 250 €), made to the local parish.

In addition, there may be an organist’s fee and expenses (and a fee for any choir). These and other charges should be agreed when initial enquiries are made. No deposit is required, and payment should be made at least two weeks before the wedding.

5 - Officiant

Normally, the service will be officiated by one of the priests in our Clergy Team, or by a Licensed Lay Minister. To use another Anglican priest from outside the Chaplaincy, permission must be obtained first from the Chaplain. The Officiating Priest 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.

For more information

For more information, please contact the Chaplaincy Administrator :, +33 (0) 6 07 04 07 77