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French Theme for Your Wedding? French Love Words and Idioms

Updated on September 29, 2014

French is a beautiful language, one in which I can read, write, and converse with confidence—though I'd love to regain the fluency I lost after being out of college for a couple years.

Most people who know me know that I'm obsessed with anything French or French-related: the language, the food, the fashion, the customs, the culture ... France itself! So I've always loved the idea of a French-theme wedding.

Not that I would want an over-the-top ceremony where images of the Tour Eiffel run rampant, but I would love to try to impart some of the beauty of Old World France and the French countryside into the décor and food (yes, I'm thinking crêpes!).

The Language of Love

It's pretty clichéd to say so, but French really is the language of love—which makes sense, since Paris is the world-renowned City of Love.

A honeymoon in Paris is ideal, but if you want to go, brush up on your French. Parisians appreciate visitors who can parlent un peu de francais!

It's always difficult to find an exact translation of some of our English idiomatic phrases into foreign languages. Nevertheless, if you're having a French-themed wedding (or you just love the French language) here are some phrases you'll want to know.

Les fiançailles is the engagement. The engagement period in France is basically the same as it is here in the U.S., a time during which you and your fiancé (or fiancée) plan your wedding and get to know each other a little better. Hopefully, guys, you've given your girlfriend une bague de fiançailles to symbolize your commitment to her ... hopefully, she's accepted the ring to show her commitment to you!

At le mariage (or les noces, if you prefer), you will tell say Je t'aime! and give each other une alliance—the wedding ring which, according to my mom, is supposedly part of a matching set.

After the ceremony, you and ton mari (or ta femme) will probably be surrounded by des fleurs (perhaps lavender, white roses, and baby's breath), des bonbons, la pièce montée (or croquembouche, which is the traditional French ceremonial sweet) with creepy fake wedding people on top ... and hopefully beaucoup d'argent! I'm sure you'll need it for votre voyage de noces.

Le mari will also remove la jarretière from his new wife's leg and toss it into the crowd dans la soirée de mariage, and she'll probably toss son bouquet as well.

If you're having a French-themed wedding, good luck! Hopefully nobody will play un charivari on you and ton amour!

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