Wedding Traditions Of A French Wedding (PART ONE)

NicoleMaui Photography

Wedding Traditions Of A French Wedding

The wedding traditions in the country of France can be traced back to many years ago, and although some wedding traditions have been introduced in modern times, France’s steep history still shines through today, after all, it is known for love.

Wedding Dress

The French women throughout the renaissance and medieval periods wore decorated versions of their own dresses for their wedding. Their best dress was then decorated with various pieces of lace, embroidery and jewelry. Their dress also did not require it to be white or any other color. Wearing of a white dress in France debuted in 1499 when Ann of Brittany wore white for her third marriage, but did not take hold until the 19th century. From that point major social weddings always included the white wedding dress.

Armoire and Trousseau

The armoire in France is similar to that of a hope chest that would hold the bride’s trousseau. The armoire is usually given to the future bride by her father when she was just a young girl. It is decorated with hand carvings of symbols that represented prosperity and wealth. As the years went on, the young girl would fill her armoire with clothing that she will later take with her after she is married. The trousseau is basically a bundle of clothing and linens and is kept in her trousseau. Some items you might find would include lingerie, dresses, linens and her Sunday wear.

Wedding Procession

The French procession tradition called for the groom to receive his bride-to-be on their wedding morning and from there he would escort her to the church, along family, guests and musicians. Although not practiced today in most of France, some small villages still carry on this timeless tradition. In addition, kids from the village usually will block the pathway to the chapel with white ribbons in order for the bride to cut down.

Wedding Ceremony

At the church, the couple will stand underneath a canopy made of silk, while the carre, which is a silk fabric in the shape of a square, is held above the couple’s head. The carre is over their heads until after the final blessing from the priest. The carre would then be saved and reused during the baptism of their children that they bear. After the ceremony, wheat or rice are tossed onto the new couple as a symbol of fertility and prosperity. In addition, the use of fragrant flowers is used to scare off evil spirits.


 Look for part two in tomorrow’s blog.


Maui Wedding Photographer- Nicole Sanchez