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Hi there, hoping to get some advice on weddings.

I'm Australian and my fiance is French. We are both living in Singapore and plan to stay here around 5 years, after which we'll probably move back to France.

The thing is, I feel strongly about being officially married in Australia. My fiance still wants to have a ceremony at the Mairie in France, possibly followed by a church blessing.

I'm fine with this but I don't think doing both is legal. In his typical French manner he dismissed this with a pfffft ;) but I am wondering whether we could do a "for show" ceremony and signing without it being official. Somehow I'm not sure how on board the French authorities would be with that, though...

Any advice?
 

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Hello

Check with your Mairie, but I think not. The Maire will not marry you because you would be already married! It might also cause problems in the future if the DATE of your marriage (which?) becomes important. Why not a church "wedding" in France? They are not weddings at all because the only place you can marry in France is in the Mairie. But the church ceremony can be as you want it - I've been to a few (but not my own in France, it was Mairie only!). You could chose Roman Catholic, Protestant etc.

DejW
 

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You'll find that French citizens have little or no notion of their own laws concerning immigration. No, you cannot have two official weddings. If you get married in Australia, you will have to apply in Australia to have your marriage "transcribed" to the French civil records (namely, to your husband's birth records) and to receive a livret de famille. If you get married in France, the livret de famille is delivered by the mairie after the ceremony. You WILL need the livret de famille for lots of things once you get to France.

If you get officially married in Australia, you can always have a church wedding (or simply a big party/reception) in France. But if you are both resident in Singapore, chances are that you can't be officially married in France (at the mairie, anyhow) at all. One of the two spouses-to-be has to be resident in the town where the marriage is to take place. (For at least 40 days if your fiancé wants to blow back into his home town for the ceremony - and it will take you most of that 40 days to collect all the paperwork you'll need to get married in France as a foreigner, mostly from the Australian consulate in France.)

One small caveat, too - if you get married in Australia, you should check with the French consulate there well before the wedding. They seem to be getting stricter about the requirement to "post the banns" BEFORE the wedding takes place if you expect to get a livret de famille afterwards. The process of getting the livret de famille can take six months or more, too.

What you might want to consider is having a civil marriage ceremony where you are currently living (and dealing with the French consulate there for the banns and livret de famille) and then planning a church ceremony and/or party to celebrate for the family and friends in both Oz and France after the fact.
Cheers,
Bev
 
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