To get married in France, wedding bans have to be published for at least 10 days. They’re hung up at the town hall in the town where you will be married and the town where you live.
In France, you can only get married in the town where you have lived for at least a month or the town where yours or your fiancé’s parents live. For us, this meant we could get married in Lille or in Bourguignon. We chose Bourguignon as most of J’s family lives around there, so it was simpler logistics wise.
Why the bans?
Bans (or banns) of marriage are published so that someone can raise any canonical or civil legal impediment to the marriage such as one of us already being married or if someone realizes they’re related to both of us, etc. As only civil ceremonies are valid by law in France, publishing the bans is still a required step for every marriage. Even if we had decided to be married in the US, to be recognized in France, the bans would have still had to have been published!
Our bans were published May 13, so as of Friday May 23, we could officially get married! However, we will be waiting a bit more. The date is set for July 19. Can’t wait!