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Mairie accidentally marries French woman to fiancé’s twin brother

‘Now it's about to be settled, we’re just having a laugh about it,” said (real) husband

A couple exchanging rings at a wedding

The couple had their wedding last year but the Mairie’s error was only noticed much later Pic: Bjorn Beheydt / Shutterstock

A woman in France has accidentally married her fiancé’s twin brother after the couple’s local mairie mixed up the twins.

The mistake was uncovered when Thomas, the woman’s fiancé, tried to draw up a will at his local notaire’s office. To put together the file, both the woman, named Stéphanie, and her should-be husband, Thomas, were required to submit their respective birth certificates.

However, while Stéphanie’s was as expected, Thomas’ certificate did not mention that he was married, despite the wedding having taken place legally on October 2, 2021, in Bordeaux.

Knowing that the brothers had experienced similar issues before, Stéphanie encouraged Thomas to seek more information from the mairie and check his brother’s certificate. 

And indeed, on April 21, the Avranches (Manche) mairie confirmed that it had mixed them up. Thomas’ brother – who has the same surname and same birth date – was listed as married to Stéphanie instead. 

In a tweet, Stéphanie appeared half-amused, half-annoyed by the unusual situation. For his part, Thomas told BFMTV: “I immediately burst out laughing.”

Despite the situation being slightly complicated due to some family tension, he added that the mistake was “a simple human error that was quickly corrected, so there's no harm done”.

He said: “Fortunately, at the mairie, they were very responsive. The amended birth certificates were posted on Thursday during the day and we received them [the day after].”

The 30-year-old explained that “when filling in the marriage certificate, the mairie typed in my surname into the drop-down menu, and they came across two people with the same surname, born on the same day. 

“So they chose the first name that came up, which was my brother's because his first name starts with an A.”

Despite the extra admin, Thomas said he feels the situation could have been much worse. 

He said: "It slowed down our administrative procedures because we couldn't make the will we wanted.  And it’s a good thing my wife or I didn't die in the meantime because that could have been much more problematic.

“And then we were afraid that it would cancel my twin brother's civil union with his (real) wife in the eyes of the law. But well, that doesn't seem to be the case.

"Now that it's about to be settled, Stéphanie and I are just having a laugh about it.”

Related articles

How to get a Pacs in France and what differences to marriage

Wills, assets: UK couples and France's three main marriage regimes 

A brief guide to how marriage and 'Pacs' affects finances in France 

Your UK marriage or partnership in France

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