Q. Are there any special legal requirements for getting married in France?
Kim - Yes, there are TONS of legal requirements for getting married in France : http://www.parisianevents.com/parisianparty/the-skinny-on-getting-married-in-paris/ If clients can't meet these requirements, then we offer symbolic vow-affirmation or vow exchange ceremony coordinations, and they have a Civil ceremony in their home country.
Q. Are there any traditional differences in how a wedding ceremony is done in France?
Kim - Before a couple can have a religious ceremony in France, they have to first have a Civil Ceremony. This is done in a city hall, and is VERY dry by US standards. The mayor or his assistant will read a list of statutes which the couple agree to, then the couple and their witnesses will sign the marriage certificate and registry, and thats it. I always find it funny because French people get all wild when its time to sign the registry- everyone strains and pushes to get the best photo, where I think, if this was in the States- I'm not sure it would be that big of a deal.
The religious ceremony is fairly standard. The majority that I've done have been Catholic. Often, the readings will be from the Bible, rather than other poems or prose. Also, they don't do the Unity Candle in France. I often have to explain this a lot to the French side of the family in the Franco-American weddings that I organize.
Q. Do the bride and groom select the location of the wedding and the person who officiates or do you have certain places to recommend? Do your services include honeymoon planning?
Kim - The majority of the time, I recommend the venue after I've spoken to them about their style, budget, etc. I also typically suggest the officiant as well, unless they have made other arrangements. "Weddingmoons" are very popular now- couples who get married and honeymoon in the same destination. We do help our clients plan some of the activities for their honeymoon. We're not a travel agency, so we don't really go further than make suggestions or giving advice, but that is usually really helpful as well.
Q. What makes your service special/different from other wedding planners in Paris?
Kim - I think the level of customization helps set us apart, as well as well as the fact that I'm American and "get" what the typical (or even not-so-typical) American bride is looking for. It's beyond just being able to speak English- we have a certain style, and a way of looking at things. Its being able to pick up on these nuances that I think sets me apart from some of the other wedding planners in Paris.
To plan your Paris wedding or other event, contact Kim @ Parisian Events and tell her I sent you!