How to get married in England & Wales

If you want to get married in England & Wales and you and/or your future spouse are French you must have the banns published in the Consulate General of France in London at least five weeks before your wedding day. You will also need to have your British marriage certificate registered by the Consulate General of France in London, which consists of transferring to the French consular registers all the information given on a legal document issued by a foreign authority abroad.

Same-sex marriage mariage pour tous has been legal in France since 18th May 2013. In the UK, a law was passed on 16th July 2013 by MPs allowing same-sex marriages to take place with effect from 29th March 2014 in England & Wales. This legislation concerns only England & Wales, as the other UK countries (Scotland and Northern Ireland) retain their own legislation on the matter.

To find out more about the procedures to follow, visit the French Consulate in London’s website:

There are several options to choose from with regard to the law applicable to your matrimonial property regime régime matrimonial. In the absence of a choice, the regime of statutory community is applicable. If you have an ante-nuptial agreement or marriage contract contrat de mariage you will need, when registering your marriage certificate at the French Consulate in London, to state the date on which it was made together with the details of the notary or solicitor who drew it up.

In England & Wales marriage contracts called pre or post-nuptial agreements are used to organise the management of assets during the course of marriage and upon its dissolution. It may also allow for financial compensation to be paid to a spouse should the marriage end in a divorce.

In the event of a divorce, courts may not systematically recognise the matrimonial property regime chosen by the spouses or the validity of a marriage contract drawn up in accordance with a foreign law. Therefore, if you want your French contrat de mariage drawn up by a French notary notaire to be recognised in England & Wales, or your pre or post-nuptial agreement to be recognised in France, you must designate the law applicable to your matrimonial property regime in order for your marriage contract to be upheld by the competent court that will rule on your divorce.

Indeed, for marriages celebrated after 1st September 1992, and in accordance with article 3 of The Hague Convention of 14 March 1978 on the law applicable to matrimonial property regimes, the matrimonial property regime is governed by the internal law designated by the spouses before marriage.

The spouses may designate only one of the following laws:

“(1) the law of any State of which either spouse is a national at the time of designation;
(2) the law of the State in which either spouse has his habitual residence at the time of designation;
(3) the law of the first State where one of the spouses establishes a new habitual residence after marriage.”

english version