Wednesday, 25 July 2018


There are so many reasons to hold your wedding in France, a country synonymous with love and romance. 

Chateau d'Hallines
There are plenty of beautiful castles and chateaux that cater for weddings, some of them owned and run by Brits. The French are renowned for their food and wine. The weather is generally better than in the UK and you can start your honeymoon straight away without having to worry about getting to an airport. 

Sound tempting? Of course it does but adventurous UK couples who are considering tying the knot in France face complex legal requirements. However, there is a way around the difficulties of being a non resident.

How to get married in France without all the fuss and worry

Don't. Simply do the legal bit (marriage) at your local Registry Office in the UK first and then travel across the Channel for your big day (wedding ceremony). 

The legal bit
This removes all of the legal and administrative complications of the French system. 

You will be legally married on your wedding day but no-one needs to know. Most couples regard their marriage as valid and real once they've said their vows and exchanged rings in front of family and friends anyway. 

Where to find a Celebrant in France

Not a problem. Ask a UK Celebrant to travel to France to conduct your wedding but be prepared to pay travel and any accommodation expenses. These are cheaper when booked in advance. Alternatively, find a UK Celebrant who lives in France through the UK Society of Celebrants. 

I live near Dover where the ferries take just 90 minutes to reach Calais. Folkestone to Calais via the Channel Tunnel takes just 35 minutes. It's easy. 

Our perfect venue
A Celebrant led wedding is much more personal and relaxed. We can conduct ceremonies virtually anywhere and at any time because we're not limited to licensed venues only, during daytime hours. There is so much more choice too in relation to what elements you can include to make your ceremony truly bespoke. 

Once you've both said je fais and are ready to start your honeymoon touring around France, your wedding guests could enjoy a holiday or simply return home. If you live in the south of England, France is actually closer than much of the UK.

I live just over 20 miles from France but more than 80 from London. I can leave in the morning, conduct a ceremony and be back home all in the same day. Although I recommend an overnight stay in order to recce the venue and do a rehearsal. 

And Another Thing 

If you still need convincing about the idea of a wedding in France picture this. 

The croquembouche is a traditional French wedding confection where puffs of choux pastry are assembled in a cone shape and bound together with threads of caramelized sugar. 

Whatever you decide, bon voyage and bonne chance.

Monday, 22 January 2018


An increasing number of my brides and grooms are choosing to incorporate gift giving into their wedding or vow renewal ceremonies. But before you baulk at the thought of additional costs to what is already an expensive event, gifts don't have to "break the bank" and can add a really personal touch to your special day.

One creative bride surprised her groom with a handmade aloha garland of roses in deference to their mutual passion for Hawaii Five O. Neither he nor their guests knew anything about this special gesture that she "snuck" into their wedding ceremony. 

He loved it and the guests were thrilled. It was also a great precursor to their closing music when they walked back down their garden aisle as husband and wife to the Hawaii Five O TV series soundtrack.
Thank you mum

Mothers, grandmothers, sisters and aunts are sometimes given a single rose, often from the bride and groom's own garden, as a way of showing appreciation for their support. Roses are an iconic symbol of love so what better way to say thank you. This stunning flower can also be presented as the first gifts that the couple give to each other.

Matthew & Kerrie
Another couple wanted a longer than usual ceremony when they renewed their vows to one another. It went closer to an hour rather than the standard half an hour. One of the keys to a successful ceremony is to have lots of different elements to add interest and pace. So this bride and groom incorporated a gift giving section to acknowledge the role that their family and friends played in their lives and to thank those who provided the cake, music and photography.

These gifts might normally have been presented during the reception but by adding them to the couple's vow renewal ceremony, it added a lovely element of surprise and helped guests to feel like they were participating in the event rather than merely observing.
Colourful thanks

The bride made many of the gifts herself so the gesture was very personal and ideal for the budget conscious which, let's face it, most of us are.

For a couple with a connection to the sea, something as simple as collecting shells or pebbles from a beach, and painting them for your guests as a memento of your special day, can be effective.

So if you're looking for wedding trends for 2018 that add a personal touch, involve your guests and don't need to cost much if anything, you can't do better than incorporating gift giving into your wedding ceremony.