I don't live in France but would like to get married under the Eiffel tower. Is this possible? Can someone provide some information on the rules regarding same-sex marriage in France for foreigners?

  • 7
    Do you reside in France? Generally speaking, marriage in France requires a few formalities in advance (at the very least 11 days, if the municipality processes your paperwork immediately and has a spot free. Among other things, you have to provide a proof of address/residence and you are not supposed to marry in another town than your own (although there are ways around that). It's not absolutely impossible but as you can see, it's not really intended to be something you can do as a tourist. – Relaxed May 15 '15 at 14:45
  • 5
    Additionally, if one or both of the future spouses is not a French citizen, additional documents are required and same-sex marriage is impossible in France for citizens of Algeria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cambodia, Kosovo, Laos, Morocco, Montenegro, Poland, Serbia, Slovenia, and Tunisia. – Relaxed May 15 '15 at 14:47
  • 1
    Thank you for the information. I am not a resident of Paris so this will not be possible :( Wanted to get married under the Eiffel Tower. – Etna May 15 '15 at 14:51
  • 7
    @Etna By law, outside of a few exceptions (one of the spouses is dying or this kind of things…) the marriage has to take place at the town hall. It's also illegal for a priest or minister to celebrate a religious marriage without seeing proof of a civil marriage. It's all pretty tightly regulated, partly because the state had to pry this authority out of the hands of the church. – Relaxed May 15 '15 at 14:54
  • 1
    @JoErNanO Not really, the point is precisely marrying in France without being an expat. – Relaxed May 17 '15 at 17:41

There are several aspects of the rules around marriage in France that would make your plan difficult. As far as I know, it's not forbidden to marry as a non-resident but the law is clearly not intended to make it easy.

  • You need to complete some formalities beforehand (publication des bans). It should happen at least 10 days before the wedding but you also need to allow some time for the municipality to process the paperwork and find a slot for you, so realistically we are talking about weeks rather than days.
  • By law, the marriage should be celebrated at the town hall. There are a number of exceptions defined in the law (e.g. if one of the future spouses is dying or too sick to move) but the town is not allowed to let you marry anywhere else without a good reason (and even then they have to inform the procureur, who is a bit like a state's attorney/chief prosecutor).
  • You need to have a “link” with the municipality. Usually, this means the place of residence of one of the spouses but some family or property can also be deemed enough so with the right connections you might be able to go around this requirement (in practice it's up to the mayor). But you can't just pick a town and get married there.
  • Depending on their citizenship, there are additional requirements for foreigners, typically some document from your country of origin certifying that you are able to marry and a certificat de coutume (an affidavit of law explaining the rules pertaining to marriage in your country).

For same-sex marriage, there is an additional restriction based on international agreements. It's simply impossible for citizens of Algeria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cambodia, Kosovo, Laos, Morocco, Montenegro, Poland, Serbia, Slovenia, and Tunisia to enter a same-sex marriage in France.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.