What does a typically French wedding look like? Here’s an example of what I see often here in the countryside:
- Nearly always on a Saturday.
- Lots of guests, 150-300: (far) family, friends, people from the village, friends from the parents, colleagues, sports friends, etc etc etc. Most of them are present from the church ceremony until the dancing late at night.
- Civil marriage at the town hall.
- A (catholic) ceremony in church Saturday around 16.00h.
- After the ceremony a cocktail until 20.30h.
- Then an extensive dinner until midnight
- And party until sunrise
- Sunday morning brunch with the close family and friends.
Of course not all French couples have a wedding like this, it a very standard example. Luckily I also see young couples choose more personal, intimate weddings. The kind of weddings I prefer. The kind of wedding that many couples from abroad prefer.
And to organise these personal weddings, I love to work with local vendors. It is great to see how we complement each other and can learn from each other. It can be challenging because of the different approaches and expectations between couples from abroad and French vendors. But knowing both backgrounds, I can be the intermediary to make it all work perfectly.
A typical French tradition is to cut the wedding cake at midnight. But in other countries it can be the tradition to cut the cake directly after the ceremony in the afternoon. The local patissier often raises the eyebrows when he finds out we need the wedding cake early in the afternoon. So always double check the time of delivery if you want the cake in the afternoon! And there is this thing with the local DJ’s. In France there is a law telling that radio stations need to play a minimum of 40% French songs. Because of this, international singers also record their new English song in French, to make sure that it is on the radio in France more often too. So it happens that while you are driving in your car during your holiday in France, you hear Katy Perry singing in French…. The same song, but completely different…. Because of this situation, French DJ’s often have all these songs in French on their playlists. And of course it can be fun to hear a typical French chanson during your cocktail, but if you really want to party and sing along with the music, you’ll probably prefer the original English songs. So tell the DJ it is an international wedding and that you want the English versions!
You want to get married in France, but you want to avoid any misunderstandings, let me assist!