French Wedding Traditions

Mon Dieu! Did You Know? Brides wearing white gowns at their weddings is one of the many French customs. The traditional bridal hope chest (also known as “trousseau” or “dresses”) also originated in France. These are two French wedding customs adopted by North American weddings. You might be interested in learning more about the romantic French wedding tradition with that je sais quoi factor if you love French. Here are some of the most famous French wedding traditions. Prepare to be inspired.

The bride isn’t the star

A French wedding is free of bridezillas. The big day is seen instead as a celebration of the union between the two families. The groom is also seen as playing an equal part in the festivities. When the bride receives a ring of engagement from her lover, she usually gives him a wristwatch. It is also customary for both the bride and groom to have equal numbers of witnesses. A French wedding represents the union of both bride and groom.

The wedding procession

Tradition dictates that the groom will pick up his bride the morning before their wedding. Musicians follow the bride and her father in the procession. Children stretch white ribbons across the road to block the procession’s path to the church. The bride must cut the ribbons to show that she is ready for the challenges of marriage.

La Mairie

There is no alternative way to marry in France legally. The mayor must perform the marriage ceremony at the town hall as a public affair with open doors. The doors are left open to anyone who wants to oppose the marriage. Couples who want to add a spiritual element will hold a religious ceremony after the wedding.

No best man or bridesmaids

In France, there is no typical wedding party like we are used to in North America. The bride and groom may have up to two witnesses for the ceremony. They do, however, have children in the procession, similar to a ring-bearer and flower girl.

The entrance

After the guests have been seated, the bridegroom will walk down with his mother. The flower girls will then scatter petals and, finally, the ring-bearer. The father of the bride escorts her. When exchanging vows, the bride and groom sit on red velvet chairs.

The cake

The French prefer a croquembouche to a traditional wedding dessert. It is made of pastry puffs filled with vanilla cream and arranged in a pyramid shape. They are then covered in glaze. This dessert is based on an old tradition, where guests used to bring small cakes and place them at the center of the table.

The event is a day-long affair

You’ll enjoy a French wedding if you like to party all day. It usually starts with a civil (La Mairie), followed by a religious ceremony. Then, there is a cocktail reception, also known as “vin dehonneur,” followed by a five-course or four-course meal and dancing.

Leave the Church

As they leave the church ceremony, the bride and groom will be showered in wheat or rice to symbolize fertility. The couple will also walk over laurel leaves, which have been scattered outside the church and represent “accomplishment.”

La Soupe a l’Oignon

This traditional French soup, served early in the morning after the wedding, is meant to cure hangovers and provide nourishment for guests who have had a night of drinking.

What could be better than these beautiful French wedding traditions? You can do many things to make your French wedding memorable, from an extended celebration to a unique wedding cake.

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