Do you have your heart set on a destination wedding in France? It takes time to achieve the perfect wedding because you need to decide legal and organizational details, as well as plan items like the wedding flowers, the cake, and your gown. I’ll help you narrow down the most important aspects and your planning schedule.
At Least 12 Months Out or ASAP
- Research the legalities. Unless you or your fiancé is a French resident or has family residing in France, it’s difficult to get legally married there. In order to be legally married in France, one of you must live in France for at least 40 days so if you’re doing a destination wedding, this idea won’t appeal to you. In this case, it’s best to have a civil or legal ceremony in your own country and present the marriage certificate to city hall nearest your preferred location in France. Then, you can plan a religious ceremony.
- Choose your location and venue. Consider having a Mont St. Michel wedding, located between Rennes and Saint-Malo. This resort offers a romantic atmosphere and convenience in one. It offers two different reception options, a sophisticated Manor House that overlooks a tree-lined park and accommodates up to 160 guests or a warm Grand Cellier room, which faces the pond area. In addition, the resort also hosts outdoor reception, and they offer all of their wedding couples a 15% discount on rooms for all of their guests.
- Send save the date cards to the most important family members and friends so that they can mark it on the calendar and save the money for the trip.
- Talk to your caterer about some of your desires. Keep some French traditions in mind, such as the French often don’t start serving dinner until around 8 p.m. Discuss if you want a cocktail reception beforehand and if you have any preferences for dinner. Since the French party hard, consider serving the famous French onion soup late at night or to recover.
- Consider doing something different with wine. Try some different French wines or contemplate doing a champagne tower at the reception. This stunning presentation begins when champagne is poured into the top flute, and then fills each one on the lower tiers.
- Book high-demand vendors like the photographer or the DJ.
6 Months Out
- Find an officiant to marry you for your religious ceremony. You may need to ask your questions via email or video chat.
- Find a florist and discuss your vision for the day, especially if your ceremony is outdoors. Remember, they need to know the size your bridal party, as well as reception ideas for an accurate quote.
- Ask your venue for recommendations for a hairstylist and make-up artist for the big day.
3 to 4 Months Out
- Arrange Transportation. Besides a traditional limo bus, the French often use a “broom car,” which is a specialized car, decorated in metal pans. Its main goal is to direct guests to the next leg of the party.
- Select your Cake. A traditional French wedding cake, the croquembouche features a pyramid of choux buns, which are filled with custard and held in place with sticky toffee.
- Send your invitations. Include all the important information again, in case they forgot it from the time they received the Save the Date card.
- Go for your dress fitting.
1 to 2 Weeks Before
- Check final details with all vendors.
- Arrive in France and spend some time exploring the local area.
- Arrange for your stylist to do a hair and make-up trial.
It’s Your Wedding Day-
Let everything happen, enjoy your day with all those who love you.
This is merely a guideline of ideas to make your French wedding planning easier, but it’s not an absolute. You can absolutely plan a wedding in less than a year, and without including every step.