Las Vegas is not the only wedding tourism destination! Since 2009, foreign tourists can get legally married in New Caledonia.
Get married in New Caledonia !Voir plus
Wedding in paradise
For young Japanese author Katsura Morimura, New Caledonia was the perfect place for romance. Entranced by the idyllic setting and the warm welcome she received when staying in New Caledonia, she gave her bestselling novel, published in 1966, the title The Island Closest to Paradise. Set in Ouvéa, her book tells the story of a romantic love affair between a young Japanese woman and an older man from Japan settled on the island. Athough Morimura is now dead, her romantic legacy lives on. Ouvéa has a special place in the hearts of many young Japanese men and women who have read her novel or seen the eponymous film, and many couples come to the island to hold a “symbolic” wedding service or, most often, for a honeymoon in paradise.
From dream 'photo opportunity' weddings...
The Isle of Pines, the other “island closest to paradise” is also a favourite destination for Japanese couples intent on holding a tropical “wedding” amidst stunning scenery to fill their photo albums with lavish photos capturing their special day forever. Picture-perfect Ilot Maître, floating on the lagoon just off Noumea, also boasts a chapel providing visitors with an idyllic setting for exotic wedding photo opportunities.
… to 'legal' tropical weddings!
But New Caledonia is not just a destination for “tourist” wedding ceremonies; visitors from abroad can also get married perfectly legally there. Since 2009, a law implemented as part of the French Overseas Territories development policy (LODEOM) means that foreign couples can apply to the Noumea City Authorities to hold a civil wedding ceremony while on a visit to New Caledonia. The future bride and groom simply need to provide documentary proof of civil status and a certificate of residence, after having addressed an email application to get married to the Townhall Records Department. An officially approved translator (French-English) will be present so that the young couple can follow the wedding ceremony in their native language. Once married, the newlyweds simply need to go to the Consulate of their own country for a certified transcription of their marriage certificate.
This special legislative provision does not apply to French tourists. They must be in a position to prove one month’s residence in New Caledonia in order to get legally married.
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