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French Weddings

Posted by antheakn-780955 - Created: 15 years ago
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5 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 5)

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Posted by Leo-784090 - 12 years ago

Did you enjoy the wedding


Leo ,
St Sever 14

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Posted by kismet-780927 - 15 years ago

oh, and don't worry... if they do hold the vin d'honneur and the meal in the same place, you won't be the only ones heading out or anything of that sort.  At our wedding, we are going to be around 60 or so people, so everyone is staying for both, but my fiancé's coworker is also getting married this summer... and he is having 500 for the vin d'honneur and 150 for the meal!  so you'll be in good company ;)


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Posted by kismet-780927 - 15 years ago

I'm american, but assuming the dress is the same UK/USA-wise, it's pretty much the same.  "Church clothes" or what not... I wouldn't suggest showing up in jeans or anything, but as long as you're presentable, you won't be turned away.

And yes, gifts are done here as well.  Most people either have a list (either at a store for typical household stuff or at a travel agent so you can pitch in a bit toward their honeymoon), or do an "urne" and people can put in an envelope with a bit of cash (either anonymously or signed, up to you), which often happens with couples that have been living together for awhile and don't really need the basic household gifts.

I wouldn't worry too much about how to get to the vin d'honneur.  Sometimes they are actually held in a room on the church premises, but if not, there will be a long line of honking visitors (and that broom car I talked about) heading from the church to the wine drinking festivities, so you should have no problems.


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Posted by antheakn-780955 - 15 years ago

The wedding is to be held in a church and the invitation says A l'issue de leur union, un Vin d'Honneur sera servi.  So I take it that we just stay for the wine.  Where is this normally held if they get married in the church.  If everything is in the same place does that mean we have to leave after the wine and the other guests remain.

Any idea on the present side of things, do we buy a presi like we would in England and do we dress as if we were going to a wedding in england

I feel really stupid asking these questions but if you don't know...

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Posted by kismet-780927 - 15 years ago

heya :)

I've never been to a french wedding either, but I've learned quite a bit about them in the last few months (we're planning ours... July 10th!), so I'll share what I know.

The hour of the wedding can be anywhere from morning hours until the afternoon, depending on if it is just a civil marriage, or a church ceremony.  If it is the latter, the part that takes place at the mairie will most likely only be attended by close family, and then they will head over to the church portion (where the rest of the guests will be waiting).  If it is simply a civil marriage, everyone will be invited at the mairie... you should be able to tell this from your invitation.

After this, may be photos (which sometimes all the guests follow the couple to, and hang around as the couple does them, other times not).  Then comes the "vin d'honneur," which is somewhat of a cocktail.  Usually white wine or champagne, perhaps with a punch of some sort  and juices for those who don't drink, everyone pretty much stands around and chats.  There's usually some things to munch on as well (although don't go hungry, as it isn't enough to fill your stomach).  Every wedding attendee is invited to the vin d'honneur.

After this, comes the meal.  However, in France, being invited to the wedding does not necessarily mean you will be invited to the dinner... you should be able to tell this from the invitation (if it tells you the information only for the vin d'honneur or also mentions the repas).  Usually, if there are guests who are invited for wine and not for the meal, this means the dinner is held in a different location.  So all the cars of the dinner invitees will head off in a big line to the meal, with all the crazy honking and such that is involved in these weddings.  There will also be a designated "balai" car, which will have brooms and stuff on it, that will be last in the queue, to make sure none of the invitees get lost.

The meal, from what I understand, will last a long time.  If the couple has opted for a buffet, it will probably be a bit quicker (I'm guessing 3 or 3 1/2 hours), however, a sit-down meal can go on quite a bit longer, especially since it's rather normal to have people give speeches, do little skits, etc. between courses. 

After that, comes the usual dancing, goofy wedding couple games, etc.  However, don't expect to get home early, as most receptions here carry on until sunrise the next day!  I imagine that after cake (or the pièce montée, bunches of little creme-filled pastries, often shaped like castles and such) it is appropriate to head out, especially if you have kids and stuff who are up long past their bedtime.

And right before the party ends the next morning, the guests who are left are all treated to a delicious breakfast... of onion soup!  (Don't even ask, I find the whole idea quite odd, and hell, I like onion soup, but at 6am?  I dunno...)

Dress is pretty much the same sort of formalities.  Sometimes the mothers of the wedding couple will wear these awfully gawdy hats, but that's about the only difference.

Well, I've certainly rambled enough.  Let me know if somehow I didn't cover something! heh