How to organize your destination wedding in France

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There is something quite special about organizing your wedding in France.

It’s difficult to decide whether it’s the fantastic weather, the picturesque villages of Provence and the Loire Valley, or just the fact that a destination wedding in France can be more affordable than you may think at first.

Planning your destination wedding in France sounds like a challenging task, but it doesn’t have to be.

Here is our must-read guide to planning the perfect destination wedding in France.

Wedding reception room of Château de Bois Rigaud in the south of France
Château de Bois Rigaud provides a perfect setting for small and intimate weddings of 20, through to larger gatherings of 120.

Why should you choose France for your destination wedding?

For the nice weather and climate

“There are so many reasons why you should consider planning your wedding in France,” says Dominique Montel, the owner of Château de Bois Rigaud, a beautiful wedding venue in the French countryside.

“France has become a popular choice for destination weddings and we have noticed an increase in the number of enquiries we receive from international couples”.

Summer weddings in France are a guarantee for good weather, especially in the most popular regions such as the French Riviera, Provence and the South West.

“Our weddings chateau in the south of France operates from April to October every year. Brides and grooms who get married between June and September can be sure they will enjoy a sunny and warm climate for their big day with us".

Outdoor marquee at Château de Bois Rigaud, a small and beautiful wedding venue in the French countryside
During the peak season at Château de Bois Rigaud, couples can organize their wedding dinner outside, under a beautiful marquee.

During the peak season (July and August), most couples we welcome organize their evening diner alfresco, under our beautiful marquee".

For the affordable prices: the real cost of a wedding in France

Whether you are running on a budget or whether you don’t know much about the French wedding scene, you are probably wondering how much wedding venues and packages are in France?

On average, international couples can expect to pay 25, 000€ for an all inclusive wedding package in France. This includes catering, lodging for the couple and some of their guests for the weekend, floral decoration and a DJ.

Overall, France offers fairly competitive prices for wedding packages, which makes it an attractive place compared to Italy, Switzerland or Canada.

Picture of a budget preparation sheet for a wedding
On average, couples can expect to pay a minimum of 25,000€ for their wedding in France.

“At Château de Bois Rigaud, we welcome brides and grooms for a minimum weekend stay of 3 nights”.

“Couples can pick between a dry-hire venue only option or a full inclusive wedding package. All essentials are included with the dry-hire venue option, such as lodging for 40 guests, access to 2 decorated ballrooms and a marquee, and most of the furniture required for the event. For a 3 nights stay, prices start at 10, 000€ during the low season. Once a reservation is confirmed, couples are free to pick a specific caterer, floral designer and musicians or DJ on their own, but we are always there to give them recommendations and tips on that side”.

Panoramic view of a stunning wedding chateau in the South of France, château de Bois Rigaud
Château de Bois Rigaud is a small wedding château in the south of France that offers bespoke wedding packages along with a dry-hire venue only option. Picture Amandine Leroy

If you are organizing your wedding in France on a budget, booking a dry hire venue for your big day is probably the best way to go. It offers a great opportunity for couples who want to have control and flexibility over their wedding celebration.

You will be able to prepare a bespoke wedding package that suits your budget and decide on the individual providers you want to use.

Top places to get married in France

Whether you’re dreaming of a romantic wedding at Shangri-La hotel in Paris or of an intimate ceremony in the French countryside, you’ll be spoilt for choice.

A couple getting married in France

An exquisite destination wedding in Paris

With 100 luxury rooms and suits, three Michelin starred restaurants, The Shangri-La hotel in Paris is an estate you can call home.

It’s a rich history that Shangri-La carries with it, with the estate once belonging to the nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte. The Shangri-La offers several packages for destination weddings in Paris, including the hire of the reception hall and diner for up to 500 guests.

A bride climbing stairs at Hotel Shangri-La on her wedding day
Shangri-La hotel in Paris is a breathtaking wedding venue that offers luxury amenities for prospective brides and grooms.

A chic and luxury wedding in the South of France

The French Riviera and the Provence area have some of the finest wedding venues in the world.

Le Grand Hôtel du Cap Ferrat in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat near Nice gives you the very best of the French Riviera and it’s perfect for laid back summer celebrations with a breathtaking sea view.

Panoramic view of the Four Season Hotel in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat in the South of France
Grand Hôtel du Cap Ferrat is a romantic venue where to a hold a unique wedding reception in the South of France.

Not too far from there, Château Saint-Georges near Grasse is surrounded by the most beautiful Provence countryside villages. Chateau Saint-Georges has three hectares of beautiful gardens, luxury accommodation and even a private space for a symbolic ceremony.

You can find more of our favorite hotels and chateaux for luxury celebrations in the South of France in a different blog post.

An intimate and rustic wedding in the French countryside

Château de Bois Rigaud (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes)

Château de Bois Rigaud in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region is a truly unique setting for your big day.

Panoramic view of château de Bois Rigaud, a beautiful wedding venue in France
Château de Bois Rigaud has been lovingly restored and is now one of the top wedding venues where to celebrate an intimate wedding in France. Picture Amandine Leroy

Magical views, beautiful landscaped grounds and a charming stable barn give you the chance to enjoy the French countryside setting.

Think of organizing a symbolic ceremony in our secluded gardens or relaxing in the wellness and spa area with your guests after your wedding day. Château de Bois Rigaud gives you clever details and romance aplenty and it’s the perfect place for a big party or for an intimate elopement.

Château de Cas (South West)

If you are dreaming of the South West for your wedding in France, why not considering Château de Cas near Toulouse. Château de Cas is romantic and absolutely perfect for warm and welcoming weddings in the South West.

Château de Cas in the South West of France
Château de Cas near Toulouse is a beautiful wedding venue in the south west.

A magnificent wedding in the Loire Valley

Château des Contes gives you the very best of the Loire Valley experience and it’s perfect for cozy summer wedding celebrations.

Luxurious and elegant, Château des Contes can offer you everything – a wedding barn, a medieval hall, private gardens and comfortable bedrooms, all combine to create a château that you might never want to leave.

You don’t need to live in France to organize a fabulous destination wedding here.

A civil ceremony taking place in a French town hall on a wedding day
A civil ceremony taking place in a French town hall. Picture Fabien Courmont

You can decide to plan a wedding party without a civil ceremony, which means that you will not be legally married in France.

Most couples that take this decision would have already been legally married in their home country. This is the easiest way to celebrate your big day in France.

However, if you want to be legally married in France, you will need to apply to a local city hall (“mairie”) to organize a civil ceremony.

Town halls only accept applications for civil ceremonies from local residents. You or one of your parents would need to have lived in the local area for at least 40 days before the day of the wedding.