Where to elope in France - a comprehensive list of the most beautiful places
Landscape France is amazingly diverse, and can really surprise you when it comes to landscapes. Sometimes, you can truly feel like you're in another country entirely! The biggest particularity about ...
Congratulations on your engagement
And welcome to the beautiful and dreamy world of elopements
Deciding to elope might not have been an easy decision, so congratulations for being an awesome human being who knows what she wants!
Maybe you have been drawn to France as your destination because of Paris, the city of romanticism. Of maybe it is because of the delicious food, or the wines. Either way, you’ll be in for a treat. France has A LOT of beautiful and amazing places to choose from for your elopement, and has way more to offer than the beautiful city of Paris.
What’s the best thing about France? It’s a country whose landscape changes every 10 kilometers. You can plan a road-trip in France and be amazed by how much difference you will find in just an hour of driving on small roads. It has everything you can dream of for your elopement: quaint villages, old stone chateaux, beautiful coasts, amazing mountains, deep countrysides, and cities boasting with life and ancient architecture.
So whatever your style is, I created this little list to help you see further from Paris, and take an open decision regarding the place you would like to elope to.
France at a glance
Weather and Landscapes
France is amazingly diverse, and can really surprise you when it comes to landscapes. Sometimes, you can truly feel like you’re in another country entirely! The biggest particularity about France is that it has a very long coast. The Mediterranean sea, the Altlantic Ocean and the English Channel all surround the country, offering amazing opportunities for a coastal wedding.
But France also has deep, high and amazing mountains. After all, the Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in Europe, is right in the Alps, at the border of France and Italy. It can be seen from very far away and has become an iconic landmark.
As you can see, France has some beautiful mountains all over its country, and is surrounded by waterlands. In the middle, you will find some little plains, the bigger one being the Plaine de Beauce (south of Paris), and some varied rural landscapes. This is important to know as some places to elope in France can seem secret as they are beautiful but not very well known. After all, it’s easier to spend a week visiting the boasting city of Paris, than renting a car and adventure in the country if you don’t know where the most beautiful parts are!
From hot, dry weather to snowy peaks
It’s pretty hard to talk about seasons in the whole France, as the landscape is so varied, it’s very different from one coast to another. But here are some informations gathered with the eloping couple in mind.
In general, winter is a cold season all over France. Snow is not present everywhere, but if you’re looking for a snowy winter elopement, then it will be the best season to venture into the mountains and exchange your vows. Be careful because in some places, avalanches are pretty common, so don’t forget to ask for advices from mountain guides in order to walk in appropriate places. The Alps and Pyrénnées are the coldest mountain ranges, and they can gather as high as 2 meters of snow. The Alps are also known for their cosy chalets, that will add a beautiful finishing touch to your elopement.
If snow is not what you’re looking for, winter might not be the best moment to elope as it will be cold and dull, the trees shaving during this season.
Spring is great from mid-April to the middle of June. Before that, the trees still don’t have any leaves and the landscapes are a little sad, with brown colors all over. Once the trees start budding, the whole country transforms into a greenery paradise. The nicest regions to elope to during this season are the Loire Valley and the whole South-West France region, as they have tons of quaint villages and a beautiful countryside.
In France, summers are hot. But the hottest parts of France (and dryest) are the south-east and the west. Provence, the French Riviera and the Landes are very hot and sunny during this season, and might be too hot for your guests (and yourself). If you’re planning an elopement in summer, you might want to pick a fresher hour for your ceremony, and plan your day accordingly.
Beautiful, wild and colorful, fall is my favorite season. The trees are amazingly beautiful and you will be in for an eye treat for sure. The temperatures can be colder but it’s very common to have hot fall days, totally perfect for a nice elopement outside with a view. During this season, you might prefer going to Auvergne or the Alps and Pyrénnées as they will show you the best color shows in France.
The best places to elope in France
Wild, epic and beautiful
These destinations are general and are intended to help you see the tip of the iceberg when it comes to eloping in France. There are thousands of destinations, secluded hotels, hikes and such to do in all those places…and it is my job to share them with you when you book me to be your elopement photographer and guide!
Marriage laws and legalities
How to make your elopement a legal wedding
Let’s cut to the chase very quick: there is no legal way to make your elopement a legal marriage in France if you’re not a resident in France. The best option if you want to elope in France and still have it legal, is to get legally married in your country of origin and have a more emotional, beautiful ceremony in France afterwards.
However, if one of you (or both of you) already live in France, or if one of your parents has a home in a French town, you then can legally get married at the council office (mairie). In France, you can’t get legally married outside of the council office. The mayor or one of its representants has to be present to make the wedding legal.
But you know that a lot of couples getting married in France (even French themselves) generally have a legal ceremony beforehands, and consider their secular, awesome ceremony to be their wedding day anyhow. So don’t let the legalities complicate your day and simply get married a day, a week or a month before you elope!