Kim, Kanye Plan Civil Ceremony in U.S. Before Wedding in France

By Gabriella Khorasanee, JD on April 30, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The upcoming royal wedding -- of pop culture royalty Kim Kardashian and Kanye West -- is set to take place in France, and you bet it will be très chic. But while Ukraine is getting invaded, and people across the globe live in poverty, Kimye are suffering a "crisis" of their own -- French law.

French law requires that one of the parties being married must reside "in the country for at least 40 days prior to the wedding," according to Radar Online. A source at the French Embassy explained, "These requirements cannot be waived," reports E! Online. And while France may be a nice place to get married, it's apparently not nice enough to live in for 40 days -- at least not for Kim and Kanye.

So, it looks like the most anticipated wedding of the year will be more of a big party than a wedding, technically speaking. Here's why:

Cutting the Red Tape

The United States recognizes marriages in France, but Kim and Kanye's attorney has advised them to tie the knot in the United States because "dealing with a foreign government and paperwork could be a nightmare." So to avoid the hassle, and "to make sure it's legal, Kim and Kanye will first be having a civil ceremony in Southern California," an insider told Radar Online.

What Is a Civil Ceremony?

A civil ceremony meets the legal requirements of conducting a marriage, and requires an officiant and a marriage license. Because members of the clergy "of any religious denomination" can officiate a marriage, often the civil and religious aspects of a marriage ceremony take place at the same time.

In certain instances -- for example, if a couple needs to get married quickly -- only a civil ceremony needs to be performed. Under California law, a county clerk is authorized to "perform civil marriage ceremonies in their offices." In Los Angeles County, where Kimye's civil ceremony will presumably take place, "[a]t least one witness must be present."

Confidential Civil Ceremonies

One option for couples having civil ceremonies is to have a confidential civil ceremony -- no doubt a part of the law was crafted to accommodate all of the celebrities concentrated in the state.

Confidential civil ceremonies differ in a few key ways from public civil ceremonies. For example:

  • A confidential marriage license is $5 less than a public license ($85 versus $90);
  • No witnesses are required; and
  • "The couple must be living together as spouses at the time they apply for the marriage license, and must sign an affidavit on the license attesting to that fact."

Kimye's Civil Ceremony

Kimye reportedly already have their marriage license -- and it's a confidential one, which means that Kim and Kanye "won't have to appear publicly at a courthouse to get married ... instead, an official from the court will actually go to them and perform the ceremony privately in their home," according to TMZ. Sources told TMZ that the private civil ceremony will take place this week.

As far as their fancy French party, "It will be over the top. Kim and Kanye want it to be the wedding of the century," a source told Radar Online. We wouldn't expect anything less.

Follow FindLaw for Consumers on Facebook and Twitter (@FindLawConsumer).

Related Resources:

Copied to clipboard