Are you thinking about holding your destination wedding in France? You’ve made a wonderful choice. France is one of the most romantic, beautiful countries in the world to go to for a destination wedding. The capital of France, Paris, is literally called “the city of love”! But even that magical city with the Eiffel Tower is not the country’s only claim to a romantic atmosphere. The Loire Valley, Provence, the French Riviera, the French Alps… these locations are stunning in their beauty and rich in history. Each is an ideal source of inspiration for a wedding.
When you want a destination wedding in France, there is a lot to consider aside from location and vibes. You need to know practical information, like cost, weather, and the legal requirements for marriage. In our France Destination Wedding Guide, we provide those nitty gritty details, as well as offer our own suggestions for top notch wedding planners and some of the best venues to book for your wedding.
You can have the most romantic, magical destination wedding in France. Read our guide to find out how!
Table of contents
- Inspiration: Top 5 Best Areas To Inspire Your Destination Wedding In France
- Planning Your Destination Wedding To France
- Professional Planners
- Suggested Wedding Venues in France
- France Wedding Photography Packages
Inspiration: Top 5 Best Areas To Inspire Your Destination Wedding In France
First, you need to begin your wedding plans by deciding what kind of vibe you want your wedding to have. Do you want it to be elegant or rustic? Outdoors or indoors? You also need to decide what kind of landscape or climate you prefer to get married in. France has varying geography and temperatures, so there’s bound to be something here that strikes your fancy.
To help you get those creative juices flowing, we created a list of the top 5 best areas in France to inspire your wedding. So please enjoy our France destination wedding guide!
Ah, the city of love. Paris is a lovely city, full of life, culture, history, and modern sensibilities all bundled up together. Not only do you have endless options for venues and accommodations for your destination wedding, you also have the opportunity to hold your wedding near some of the most famous places in the world, like the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre. This is the perfect area for a cosmopolitan, contemporary couple to tie the knot.
The Loire Valley is a short distance from Paris, but it feels a world away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Also known as the Cradle of the French, the Loire Valley is filled to the brim with vineyards and sweet-smelling orchards. It’s an area with ancient human history dating back to the Middle Palaeolithic era, and the central part of it has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2000. There is a certain romance here, the romance of ages gone by and land that seems as old as love itself. With the Loire Valley’s lovely year-round weather and verdant countryside as the backdrop of your wedding, you’ll feel like you’re having a true French destination wedding.
Provence is a region originally founded by the Greeks in the south of France. Today, it exudes all the charm of the French countryside and the Mediterranean Sea. In Provence, you’ll find delightful villages along with cities filled with historical significance and culture. You’ll explore Roman ruins and enjoy a mild Mediterranean climate, expansive blue skies, vineyards, rolling hills, mountains, sandy beaches… Provence has it all.
The French Riviera is situated in the south of France along the Mediterranean coast. It is a popular vacation spot, and has been for centuries. For good reason, too! The French Riviera area features a mild climate and incomparable views of the sparkling Mediterranean sea. The Russian czars and British kings got it right: the French Riviera really is the ideal vacation spot, and it’s also ideal for a relaxed, outdoor destination wedding.
The French Alps are towering, imposing natural formations in France that are nevertheless some of the most stunning, awe-inspiring sights in the whole country. Nestled in and amongst these giants, you’ll find plenty of ski resorts and a few towns. One of these towns is Grenoble; the Winter Olympics were here in 1968.
Planning Your Destination Wedding To France
Now that we’ve got your head spinning with ideas for your destination wedding theme and location, it’s time to bring it back down a little closer to earth for some practical considerations.
You’ve probably already got quite a bit of money saved up for this venture already, knowing that it can’t be too cheap to hold a wedding in a foreign country. But the truth is, a destination wedding in France won’t set you back too much. According to Destination Wedding Directory, it will cost you between 8000-15,000 Euros. That translates to $9500-$18,000 in US dollars. This includes the wedding venue and any services you may want to employ (catering, photographers, flowers, decor, etc.).
The best time to hold a wedding in France is Spring or Autumn. During the months of these seasons, the weather in France is generally not too hot and not too cold. In the south of France, you’ll find mild weather almost year-round (we have a South of France Destination Wedding Guide you should check out if you’re interested in that area of the country specifically). Destination Wedding Directory does recommend that you skip a summer wedding, especially in August. In August, France celebrates a lot of holidays and you’ll find many businesses and services will be closed to you.
To get legally married in France, there is a major hurdle you’d have to cross that we want you to be aware of before you book your flight and pack your bags. Per the Destination Wedding Directory, the French government requires that you live in France for 40 days and then provide proof of address to your local mairie, or town hall. Obviously, this is not an ideal situation prospective newly weds from the United States. In fact, for most it’s downright impossible. That’s why it’s advisable for you to have a marriage ceremony at your local courthouse in the US first so that you’re legally married, and then go to France for the “real” wedding.
A wedding planner is essential for any wedding, but even more so for a destination wedding in a foreign country such as France. A wedding planner, such as the ones we’ve listed below, is familiar with the country and can employ local services to ensure your big day goes off without a hitch.
Haute Weddings is one of Vogue’s Top 5 International Wedding Planners. Featuring planners and stylists from the US as well as Europe, this fantastic team will make sure your wedding in France is as perfect as it can be. The two main locations they service are the French Alps and the South of France, specifically the French Riviera and Provence. When you use Haute Weddings for your destination wedding, you won’t have to worry about a thing. They’ll work with you to handle the planning, the event coordination on the big day, and the design of the overall wedding.
Castle Key holds the key (pun absolutely intended) to a fabulous wedding in the lush Loire Valley region in France. Earlier in the guide, we conveyed the wonders of the Loire Valley and how romantic and beautiful your wedding would be there. The planners at Castle Key are residents of the area, so they know it and are more in love with it than we are. They will plan and execute your wedding to your taste in a gorgeous venue. Some of the venues they offer include a castle, castle grounds, a village, and a vineyard. A real fairytale wedding like no other is possible when you hire Castle Key as your planner.
Suggested Wedding Venues in France
One of the most popular types of venues anywhere in Europe is the private French chateau for wedding hire. We’ve made a list of our favorites for you to peruse. We hope you find one that speaks to you or at least fills you with inspiration for what you may want in your own unique wedding.
Chateau de Maulmont is a prime example of how lovely and accommodating French chateaus are as wedding venues. This elegant house is located near Vichy, which is in central France, and is situated on a large, well-kept park. You can hold your wedding ceremony on the grounds in the pergola, and then retreat back to the halls of the chateau for a reception and entertainment. The rooms are elegant and furnished with period furniture and decor. There are plenty of guest beds – 64 in total – meaning you can rent out the whole place for your wedding party plus all your friends and family. Altogether, Chateau de Maulmont is a fine, romantic setting for your destination wedding in France.
The family-run Chateau Lagorce is truly a dream wedding venue. Outdoors, it has everything you could want from a chateau in the southwestern French countryside: three terraces facing the south with gorgeous views of the property, lovely green lawns where you can hold your wedding ceremony, a lake to take photos by, and even a swimming pool in case you and your guests decide to engage in some water recreation at any point during your stay. If outdoor weddings are not your speed, then you can hold the ceremony in the chateau’s private chapel or the local Catholic Church.
The chateau itself contains 21 en suite bedrooms for you and your guests, and a sumptuous dining room with fine cutlery and glassware where you can hold a rehearsal dinner.
If all of this sounds amazing but also like a lot to handle and plan, not to worry: Chateau Lagorce comes with its own team of wedding planners that, if you choose to hire them, will arrange everything for you and make sure your wedding day runs as smooth as the lake’s tranquil surface.
With its high class services delivered in a homespun atmosphere, the Chateau Lagorce is an incomparable choice of venue for your destination wedding.
Chateau La Durantie was built by the Duke of Isly in southwestern France in 1840. This wedding venue built out of warm yellow bricks still retains its period charm with elegant, carved wood furniture and bright, paneled rooms. The grounds are green and well kept, a beautiful backdrop for an outdoor wedding ceremony. 43 guests can stay in the chateau itself if you choose to rent it out for accommodations as well as your wedding day.
Speaking of the wedding day, the proprietor of the venue also offers planning services with connections to local suppliers to ensure the event goes off without a hitch. Your destination wedding will be as perfect as can be when you hold it at Chateau La Durantie.
Chateau de La Napoule is a medieval fortress located on the banks of the sparkling French Riviera. It was restored to its former glory by the married couple Henry and Marie Clews. Chateau de La Napoule is not just a wedding venue, it’s also a museum that houses the Clews’ original art and preserves the couple’s impact on cultural history. Wedding couples who love history and medieval decor will adore this venue. According to their website, the chateau also offers a wide array of options with regard to “layout, lighting, decor, and sound” so you can tailor your wedding and reception to be as unique as you are.
France Wedding Photography Packages
A destination wedding in France is something you’ll want to remember forever. The best way to capture those memories is with a good photographer. We didn’t just write this France destination wedding guide for the fun of it – we truly love to shoot weddings in France and we speak french too!
What’s included in each package:
8hr & Full-day photography packages
2 Photographers (Manuela & Martin)
Assistance with planning and finding vendors that will fit your style.
Retouched pictures with maximum resolution you can download and print.
All travel fees included!
Let’s get in touch and we will send you all the information you need:
Armed with this guide, you are now several steps ahead in planning your dream destination wedding in France. We hope to hear from you soon in regard to photographing the big day. We really hope you enjpoyed our France destination wedding guide.