DP and I are Australian and live in Melbourne. We've been offered a wonderful opportunity to live in France for a year, taking over the running of a friend's rural B&B. We won't make much money out of it, but would have lots of opportunities to travel around Europe during the off-season, and we have enough savings/leave accrued to be financially very comfortable for the year. Australia and France have a reciprocal working holiday visa arrangement, and we can both get a year off from our jobs without issues. We have no DC yet but are planning for them, and would like to have this kind of adventure first!
So that's all fine but the thing is, we'd like to get married while we're living in France. We are a lesbian couple and Australia STILL hasn't managed to legalise same sex marriage
Getting married in France would also allow us to celebrate with just immediate family and a few close friends, rather than having a huge expensive wedding, which would be very much expected by my large extended family if we were to get married in Australia.
My question is, does anyone here have experience of getting married in France? Initial research suggests that we'd need to get married in the town where we're legally resident, which is fine, but I hear that the paperwork involved can be hugely challenging.
Any words of wisdom from someone who has done it? Are we mad to try and get married in France?
As long as you are going to be (officially/legally) resident in France for the requisite amount of time for the formalities, it's straightforward. By that of course I mean straightforward in French bureaucratic terms, but as long as you have all the right documents it'll all work (just possibly probably more slowly than you could ever have imagined).
I got married in France a couple of years ago. As AuntieStella says, it's a fair amount of paperwork but perfectly doable. I mean it's a pain in the arse making sure your sworn translations aren't out of date and stuff like that but other than that it's pretty straightforward. Having said that I don't know anything about residency requirements if you're not EU citizens, that would be something to check first.
Sounds like a great idea. Got married in Paris 14 years ago and as pp have said, it's bureaucratic but not too difficult if you are organized. I seem to remember needing proof of residence (utility bills) in both of our names so you might want to consider this is you are staying at someone else's b&b. I also needed proof of an hiv test (and dh didn't, it was females only ) but I assume this has changed since then.....
The only proof of domicile that's acceptable to French officialdom is the EDF bill. We've just applied for permanent leave to remain. We had a certificate de domicile stamped and signed by our Maire. No dice. We had a justificatif de domicile from the EDF site. No dice.
What they were happy with? Each annual electricity bill from 2007 onwards. Weird!