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French Wedding Tradition

Most of us know the traditions that surround weddings in the United States but have little knowledge about other customs. Take the French for example. Today you will see quite a few American weddings that have incorporated the French traditions. If you want to bring romance and culture into your wedding with French influence, we have provided the information needed to accomplish this.

Interestingly, the wedding cakes that we see in weddings across the country are actually adaptations of French pastry. Originally, yu would find very large but thin biscuits, which were broken over the brides head, representing a life of richness. Over time, the biscuits evolved into tiny cakes. Then, the French began to decorate them with icing, which is what we now see today.

Another tradition involved the villagers that would throw buns into a pile, all in preparation of the wedding feast. One day, a local baker got the idea of creating pastries that resembled buns but filled with rich and delicious cream. These buns were then set up in a pyramid and coated with caramel. This creation is called croquet-en-bouche, which translates to crisp in the mouth. Depending on the wedding, some of these cone formations had caged doves inside that were released to represent the couple leaving their respective families.

Yet another tradition involves the bride and groom drinking from a glass of brandy. This brandy is then poured over white bread, which was the first type of toasting. The bride and groom would take the last sip out of the glass and then eat the bread, which was believed to bring them good luck. Today, we see this tradition as the clicking and toasting of the champagne glasses. Other French traditions include the following:
  • Armoire Used for the brides trousseau, this is a longstanding tradition symbolizing prosperity and wealth

  • Ritual Bath Seen primarily in France, this bath symbolizes the purification of the bride, ridding her of all evil as well as memories of any previous boyfriends

  • White A traditional French wedding would be decorated in only white to include the dress, decorations, flowers, cake, and so on

  • White Ribbons On the day of the wedding, the groom greets his bride at her home. From there, he will lead her to the church along with guests. At this point, children block the entrance into the church, holding white ribbons. The bride then cuts the ribbon and she with her groom and guests enter the church.

  • Silk Canopy Inside the church, there would be flowers and incense. Then, the bride and groom stand underneath a silk canopy

  • Carre This is a type of veil that is held over the bride and grooms head while receiving a blessing from the priest, symbolizing protection from evil

  • Bridal Path Laurel Leaves are placed down this path outside the church

  • Showering the Couple As the bride and groom leave the church, they are showered with wheat or help seed and the bride offered three loaves of bread

  • Reception It is common for the guest tables to be flooded with flowers, given by the guests

  • Wreaths The bride commonly wears a wreath of flowers

  • Toasting The couple would toast one another with a two-handled cup. This particular cup was then passed down from one generation to another. Known as coup de mariage, this tradition is still very popular.

  • Pranks On the wedding night, chiverie was when people would show up wherever the bride and groom were, banging on pots to disrupt them


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