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French Wedding Ceremonies

If you want to include your French heritage in your wedding day, adding a bit of your culture can be a great way to personalize your day and pay tribute to your roots. Whether you choose to go all out with a French music theme or simply add small touches, France has many traditions to choose from to complete your special day. The bridal hope chest originated in France, coming from the word ‘trousseau” or bundle. The bundle refers to the small bundle of clothes that the bride would take with her to her new home with the groom. Now, the hope chest is used to collect things in it throughout the bride’s life to take with her to her new home, including special clothes, undergarments, and everyday clothes. In many French towns, the groom will meet the bride at her home on the day of the wedding and walk with her to the ceremony. Children will run along with them, throwing white ribbons that the bride cuts as she walks along.

Wearing orange blossoms is a symbol of virginity in France. A French  ambassador who wanted a clipping from an orange tree in Spain began the tradition. He sent a gardene’s daughter to get it, with a promise that she would get a large dowry in return, so that she would be able to marry. She got the clipping and wore orange blossoms in her hair on her wedding day to honor the orange tree that helped her marry. Very fragrant flowers are used for the bouquets and decorations, following the belief that the smell will ward off evil spirits. Babylon can help provide a florist for your specific traditional French wedding needs. During the ceremony, the couple stands beneath a ‘carrel’, which is a silk canopy. It is supposed to protect the couple from bad luck. The same carrel is used for the baptism of their children. Laurel leaves are scattered outside of the exit of the church, as the couple exits.

In Southern France, the guests and children will throw coins at the couple as they exit the church.  At the reception, the couple uses a toasting cup, called the Coupe De Marriage. It is a two handed cup that is passed down through each generation. The wedding cake is known as a ‘croquembouche’, which is made of small cream filled pastry puffs in the shape of a pyramid and covered in glaze. As a very old tradition, guests used to bring small cakes to the reception and pile them in the middle of a table, one on top of the other. The bride and groom would have to kiss over the top of them, to symbolize a long life together. On the couples wedding night, friends gather outside of their window and bang pots and pans. The friends are usually invited inside to enjoy some more drinks.

Why not hire the best on your wedding day? With over 25 years of experience in handling traditional French wedding needs, we are the best resource and the best service-providers for your traditional French wedding. We can even include traditional French music, or you favourite love ballads on your wedding DVD production, we can even hire a French DJ for your wedding needs. Trust the best in the wedding and wedding photography business. Trust Babylon.