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Traditional French Weddings and Dresses

Updated on July 6, 2017
April in Paris
April in Paris | Source

France in July

France in the summer months of June, July and August are often the host to amazing weather, sightseers, but also cycle enthusiasts. To the average person summer time in France is exclusively reserved for Atlantic-hopping, cycle enthusiasts. Who, like so many American tourists, come to France to soak-up Parisian sunshine along the Tour de France race.

Competition can be pretty fierce on any given summer's day, for making room reservations in any major French city, during the height of the Tour de France. Therefore, if you are planning on hosting a traditional French wedding in Marseilles or Paris, be sure to avoid the additional cycling crowds of July. July in France is simply put Tour de France time.

No need to let your hopes be dash by some cycling geeks, if you are deadset on hosting a French July event. Each year the Tour de France's website has listed on their front landing page, the actual stage city for each stop that year's race. Also posted is the next year's race itinary.

French Designed Wedding Looks

Style # ELISHA
Style # ELISHA | Source
Fantastic collections can be found at their website,
Fantastic collections can be found at their website, | Source

Cybeline Paris Bridal Fashions

A beautiful aspect about France, as your fairytale, dream, destination wedding place, is the beauty of its many wonderful, ancient, villages. There are almost too many ideal locations to choose from. Whether the choice to host the wedding is made in a Mediterranean village, on a scenic mountain overlook, or at a chateau surrounded by lush shrubs somewhere in the countryside of Burgundy, France; anywhere there would make your wedding a truly romantic affair indeed.

  • Speaking of weddings..., did you know that there is one stop you won't want to miss, when looking to purchase a beautiful, unique, French, wedding dress?

Whether you are living in Paris or visiting from aboard, by far the best place to buy a wedding dress in France, is found in the commune of Nemours. Just a mere 60 km outside Paris, resides one of the most sought after designer (bridal) fashion houses, Cybeline Paris. Cybeline Paris was the inspiration of three sisters, Evelvne, Chantal, and Monique Joubert more than thirty years ago. If you do not find what you are looking for there at Cybeline's, you might want to try shopping at French bridal couturier, Max Chaoul house of fashion. He is the winner of the best "European Wedding Dress Creator" award, which is hosted in Venice, Italy.

Designer Lisa Gowing

Bodice made up of French Guipure Lace by Lisa Gowing Couture Bridal
Bodice made up of French Guipure Lace by Lisa Gowing Couture Bridal | Source

Traditional French Wedding Lace

For all you French enthusiasts out there, did you know that France is also known for it's amazing traditional bridal laces? French Chantilly, French Guipure, and French Alencon Lace, are apically named in honor of the city in France, in which they were first created several hundred of years ago, back in the 15th and 16th centuries. What most people fail to realize, whether here in America or somewhere overseas, is that these traditional wedding laces often help set the formality tone of a wedding. French Chantilly laces usually adorn the lesser of all, formal-style, wedding dresses; like a dress worn by a bride who is getting married outdoors in a remote, countryside, wedding ceremony. While the beautiful needle-point French Alencon Lace, with it's borders lined heavily in silk threading, adorn the most elaborate wedding gowns. As in the type of Bridal gowns that might be selected for the most formal, black tie, wedding ceremonies.

Excerpt from Zalin's blog the Pythia Press

"The wedding vows have been set by the government since Napoleonic times. You get hitched at town hall, in the mayor's office, by the mayor himself or his deputy--or you don't get hitched at all. That's the law. Afterward, you can have a church wedding if you wish, and the state doesn't care, but you aren't married unless you do the mayor first."


French Wedding Vows & Bridal Gown Traditions

French wedding vows, have been in government control since the reign of Emperor Napoleon, somewhere between 1799–1815 AD. Ironically, the traditional French wedding vow laws are not the only French wedding tradition set by a Napoleon Emperor. When Eugénie de Montijo of Spain married Napoleon's grand nephew, Napoleon III in1853; she wore a bellowing gown of all white. It was this dress worn by Empress Eugenie, which rekindles a15th century medieval tradition of brides wearing white wedding dresses, on their big day. Up until that time, French maidens just wore their Sunday best dress to the Mayor's office, where they were to be wed.

It is also written that Empress Eugenie's dress, was so admired by all that in fact the loom industry, saw a large boost in production and sales. Demanding French brides wanted to wear the seven-boned, hoop-slip under their dress as she had. It can be said that Empress Eugenie's dress revolutionized the wedding dress industry. Some have even gone so far as to speculate that Empress Eugenie's gown, was the sole inspiration of savoy business tactics on the behalf of her groom. Now whether or not, Empress Eugenie's wedding dress was indeed, a secret business strategy of Napoleon III's, no one knows for certain. However, it was under this time frame that the French textile industry invented the Jacquard loom. The first ever mass-produced, hoop-slip. Up until that time looms were made to order, and handmade by talented seamstresses. Again, whether only speculation or not, there is a wide belief (to be fact) that Napoleon III did indeed ordered- Empress Eugenie to wear the all white bridal gown, which was designed by prominent Parisian designer Charles Frederick Worth . The sole inspiration and creator of House of Worth dressmakers circa 1858-1956.

Traditional French Food and Decadence

Whether a French wedding takes place in the countryside of Nice, or in the formality of a Catholic Mass black tie affair, be prepared to come to the wedding reception for a feast...

Traditional French weddings are known for their food and decadence. The Vin d'honneur reception, is considered an open invitation, pubic, reception for all to attend. Couples usually choose to serve finger food is the food at this time. Later, during the sit down dinner for invited guests only, traditional French couples shower their guests in romance, in the form of a six course meal. Naturally aided by the national spirits of France, wine and champagne. The more lavish the French wedding, the more food courses served. If a bride and groom plan on dancing into the wee morning hours, married couples will even serve late-night appetizers too. Food is a very intricate part of a traditional French wedding reception. Another French wedding tradition that demands itself to be tastefully carried out- is the one that suggests that the newlyweds attend an informal, Sunday-bunch with their intimate guests, bridal party and family members, before heading off on their honeymoon. It just doesn't get better than that. It is so uniquely French!

Viva la France...


Origin of the Traditional French Wedding Cake

"The origin of French wedding cake dates back to the medieval tables of the French royalty and nobility. In the Middle ages, wedding cakes were like some sweet buns which were stacked upon each other in order to form a huge pile. The bride and the groom had to kiss successfully over the huge pile. It was believed the kissing would bring them children in their future. Probably, the French wedding cakes have roots in this tradition." —French Wedding Cakes

The funny thing about the French Croquembouche wedding cake, is that it's origins are not entirely from France. The traditional story on the origins of the cake; tell a tale of how one French pastry chef, first forged this unique cake style after attending a countryside, English wedding. The pastry chef was humored by the English tradition of stacking up sweet buns, between the bride and groom, when they were caught trying to fetch a kiss.

Traditional French Letterpress and Invitation Resources

Amy Graham Stigler‘s Mimosa invitation design. For more info contact them by email at
Amy Graham Stigler‘s Mimosa invitation design. For more info contact them by email at | Source
Vintage French Wedding Invitations by San Francisco native Anne Clark.
Vintage French Wedding Invitations by San Francisco native Anne Clark. | Source


Submit a Comment
  • Little Nell profile image

    Little Nell 

    7 years ago from Somerset, UK

    Amazing hub!! I particularly like the idea of a pubic reception!!!

  • no body profile image

    Robert E Smith 

    7 years ago from Rochester, New York

    When I married Julie-Ann in '77, she wore a fancy homemade dress that her grandmother made. I was so scared I actually forgot to look at the dress. I was trying to stand straight, not fumble my line, not trip or any of the myriad of things that I was apt to do. After the ceremony, I looked at the dress and appreciated how intricate it was. I wished we had had a video of it so I could ignore myself this time and my young foolish self and just look at her and at that moment. She was not radiating happiness for reasons I would not know for years so she just got through it and so did I. In my wedding to Christina (my current one) in '98, I again was scared but not as young and not as foolish so as to be thinking mostly of myself. It was in a house at a birthday party of a young lady we knew in church. She did not mind sharing her day. Chrissy didn't have a dress, but a smart business suit and she was uncomfortable "as all get out." We have no pictures of that day because something happened to the film in the little disposable camera that was only supposed to capture a picture of the birthday cake. So, all that being said, my opinion is that if you take a lot of the ruffles off the very traditional old picture in the article and stick a lot more beaded work on it, it would look a little like the dress I did not look at when I got married the first time. It was pretty but what made it pretty was the lady who made it. What a sweet woman that loved the Lord her God with her whole heart. As usual Julie I proclaim our fast friendship and how you are always in my heart, my friend. Love ya lady. Bob.

  • The Frog Prince profile image

    The Frog Prince 

    7 years ago from Arlington, TX

    IE - The French know how to put it on I see. Maybe when I elope I'll sky over there for a marvelous time.

    Great work Lady. How you doing these days anyway?

    The Frog

  • IntimatEvolution profile imageAUTHOR

    Julie Grimes 

    7 years ago from Columbia, MO USA

    I am so glad. Looks like I picked a winner. Thanks for commenting.

  • GDRshop profile image


    7 years ago

    I love Elisha!

  • IntimatEvolution profile imageAUTHOR

    Julie Grimes 

    7 years ago from Columbia, MO USA

    Thanks! So glad you enjoyed it. Yeah that dress is gorgeous. It is from their spring collection.

  • alexandra-t profile image


    7 years ago

    loved your hub! am especially taken by the picture of the gorgeous wedding dress labelled style # ELISHA!


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