Living La Vie En Rose: French Wedding Traditions. (Retail, Romantic and Rousing)!

Oh the French. We all know about the wine, the cheese, and the persistently seductive skunks (who doesn’t love Pepe Le Pew?) But wedding traditions abound! And I’ll highlight three: One Retail, One Romantic, and one Rousing. Let’s dive in.

Retail: The concept of the “bridal trousseau,” the collection of clothes and a bride assembled, was originally a French one, coming from the word “trousse” meaning “bundle.” In Victorian times it became a status symbol to have an elaborate wardrobe prepared for the wedding celebrations, and the honeymoon. Women and society have changed, but outfit-shopping for the honeymoon is a fun way to relieve planning stress. Take your guy with you – you can “bundle” up together.

Romantic: We love this one – guess why? French wedding bouquets are usually quite fragrant (if you have allergies, skip this part) and include flowers that hold special meaning for the bride and groom. Did he pick daisies outside your house before your first date? Sneak one in there. No flower in mind? Use the language of flowers, and whisper it in his ear.

Rousing: This one’s kind of nutty, and more likely to appeal to bridesmaids reading than brides, but I couldn’t resist. Apparently friends turn up outside the happy couple’s room in the night banging pots and pans, singing, and otherwise behaving badly, loudly. And, the groom is, by tradition, supposed to invite everyone in for a nosh.

So there you have it, three ways to make your (or your friend’s/sister’s/daughter’s) wedding more French. One last note: my guess is that in any culture, a rag-tag bunch of guests at the honeymoon suite door would be about as welcome as a relative of Pepe Le Pew.

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