Frequently Asked Questions

What makes Haute Wedding different to other planners?

At Haute Wedding, we pride ourselves on the relationship we create with our couples. The planning journey is one of trust and communication, just like a marriage! It is important that beyond being professional, we take it a step further and you can really count on us to be there for you 100% of the time. We are good at what we do and our passion and energy radiate in the connection we create with our couples and the final outcome on your wedding day is proof of this!

Our goal is that your wedding is an experience of a lifetime for you and your guests. Blending travel, emotion, exquisite detail, quality and lots and lots of fun, are key elements we find are essential in a destination wedding.

We also believe that because we are of American and multi-cultural backgrounds living permanently in France, this is an advantage and reassurance to our couples. We understand Anglo-Saxon expectations, cultural backgrounds and ways of doing business that may sometimes be a challenge when navigating in a foreign language and country for our couples. We liaise with a clear understanding of our clients’ expectations to produce seamless results thanks to our fluency in French,  local expertise, and cultural awareness.

What are the legalities in France?

Getting married in France is usually a two-stage process. If you are French, you have to get married at the local mairie (town hall). This is the legally binding part of your wedding and many French couples then follow this with a blessing – either in a church or at a special location of their choice. This may or may not be religious.

The ‘mairie’ wedding is a very dry affair – it’s a legally binding agreement, with not much reference to love or romance. You can invite guests, but the ceremony will normally only be conducted in French and most mairies are very strict on numbers (and confetti). In reality, for most couples, the ‘real’ wedding takes place afterward. 

For non-French residents, getting agreement to get married at the mairie may be complicated. There are usually 40-day residency requirements to comply with, to marry legally in the municipality where you’d like to have your wedding. We’re not trying to put you off – we’re here to help – but it’s good to be prepared… issues may include getting documents translated, medical certificates and blood tests, as well as having an ‘official address’ in France. Plus you may need to be flexible on dates – the mairie won’t usually confirm the date until 3 months before – making planning ahead harder. 

In our experience, most couples choose to by-pass the French paperwork by getting married in a registry office in their home country first. They have a ‘low-key’ civil ceremony at home and then the important ceremony which they choose to celebrate with the exchange of rings, vows and music in the presence of family and friends here in France. And the guests have no idea it is not legal… and don’t care! 

What kind of ceremony can I have for my destination wedding?

Religious Ceremonies

For our couples choosing to marry religiously, we help choose the church depending on the faith and proximity to the reception location. We organize Catholic, Protestant, Christian, Jewish and even Sikh ceremonies! Marrying religiously in France does require showing proof of the legal marriage. We can help advise you on the legal paperwork that needs to be submitted to the religious affiliation of your choice. Many of our couples choose to have a bilingual ceremony in both French and English.

Symbolic Ceremonies

A large majority of our couples choose to marry symbolically. This means they design their ceremony 100% to reflect their personalities and outlook on marriage and life. With the guidance of a celebrant, our couples incorporate readings that are true to their beliefs, music that is unique and meaningful to them, as well as other personalized touches, such as candle lightings, one-word wishes, blessing their rings by each individual of the congregation, writing their own wedding contract and having everyone sign as a witness during the cocktail hour, having their dog as the ring bearer – and many, many more ideas that have importance to them as a couple.

Outdoor Ceremonies
Many of our couples opt for an outdoor ceremony in a stunning setting. Whether it be on a mountaintop in the Alps, on the beach overlooking the Mediterranean, in a chateau garden, or getting dropped off by a helicopter onto a glacier, the possibilities for outdoor ceremonies are endless… Let us help you create a ceremony that will stay in your hearts for eternity!

Imagine being pronounced as man and wife and then paragliding in your wedding attire off the mountain to meet your guests at the reception location down in the valley…

Or saying “I do” on a yacht, followed by champagne cocktails as the sun sets and the stars appear glittering like diamonds over the sea.

Being whisked away in a hot-air balloon for a short flight as a newlywed couple, while your guests linger in the beautiful gardens of a chateau for drinks and canapés…

We absolutely love advising couples on how to design a truly incredible ceremony!! 

Do you work exclusively with a set of suppliers, or is there freedom to choose?

We are not limited to an exclusive list of suppliers. We do the legwork by selecting an assortment of hand-picked vendors based on your budget, style, and personal needs. We have screened them prior to presenting them to you as a relevant potential choice. It is ultimately up to you to choose the vendor you’d like to work your wedding, we do not impose anyone upon you. You are 100% in control to decide upon each and every supplier involved in your wedding. We give you our personal insight and expertise so that you may choose the one that is a perfect fit for you.

We are always writing blogs with tips on how to navigate your way through the destination wedding planning process in France. Take a look a some of our blogs below for more information on dream wedding locations, planning practicalities, travel tips, timelines & more. 

Still have questions? Contact us! We would love to send you more information & inspiration. 


Sustainable Wedding Flowers

How can you make sure that your wedding flowers are sustainable? We all love weddings. And if you’re a bride-to-be looking to make your big day as special as possible, you’ll want to make sure your bouquet and flower designs perfectly match the rest of your decor....

How to Feel your Best on your Wedding Day

We have thought of everything to help you feel your best on your wedding day. If you are planning a month in advance or just a few days here are the tips on how to prepare for the best day ever! A MONTH BEFORE YOUR WEDDING • We think keeping a routine is an important...

The Future of Destination Weddings is Elopements!

We are living in uncertain times since COVID came into the world, and are very empathetic to the fact that so many brides and grooms are questioning how to proceed with their wedding dreams. Should they travel abroad? Is it safe? Is it wise? Maybe it's a lot to ask...

Wedding Insurance in France

UPDATE: Sorry we do not have any recommendations for wedding insurance for 2022. We always suggest getting a planner who can help you navigate or stating a clear cancelation process in your contract. Wedding insurance is one of those purchases that many couples don't...

Eco-friendly Destination Wedding

Eco-Friendly Wedding Tips: Simple tips to save your budget & the planet. Aisle Toss Alternative: Why use unbiodegradable confetti when the world gives us so many natural things to celebrate with! Instead use petals, lavender, seeds, ribbon wands or...

Nice Cote d’Azur Airport Tips

The Nice Cote d’Azur International Airport (NCE) is located in the heart of the Riviera. It is about 30 minutes away from Saint Jean Cap Ferrat & 1.5 hours from Saint Tropez. This airport is actually the 3rd busiest in France, but it is rather small and easy to...

Provence Wedding Practicalities

Oh la la, Provence (smile and sigh), the French countryside cannot get any more romantic or beautiful. The velvet-covered hillsides of lavender, olive groves, yellow sunflowers as far as the eye can see, hilltop villages perched above vineyards, cobblestone lanes,...

Alps Altitude Elopements

Elopements are an absolutely incredible way to focus on what is truly important you in your marriage: the two of you!! An elopement in the Alps is very  powerful and meaningful in part due to the intensity of the surroundings, and of course the other part being...

French Riviera Wedding Practicalities

Azure blue waters sparkling like diamonds in the sunshine, colorful waterfront architecture, stunning markets, world-renowned cuisine, and incredible climate are a few reasons why the French Riviera is a popular choice for couples considering a destination wedding in...

Outdoor Weddings & The Importance of a Plan B

Like this amazing bride whose story we will be sharing, you've been probably planning and dreaming about your wedding for months and months now... your gorgeous dress, the beautiful venue, food, music, and flowers. For those of you having an outdoor wedding the...