French Traditions and Traditions Before the Marriage Ceremony
The traditional bridal trousseau, or hope chest, originated in France and came from the French word trousse, meaning bundle.
The popularity of a bride wearing a white wedding gown on her day of matrimony, began in France several hundred years ago. The custom of having fragrant flowers as decorations and bridal bouquets has also been popular for centuries. Each flower represents a special and unique meaning to the bride and groom, and especially fragrant flowers helped freshen things up a bit, before deodorant and perfumes were invented. Wedding bells in France were usually heard in spring and summer when it was warm enough for everyone to bathe!
Still practiced in small villages today, is a traditional French custom, for the groom to call on his future bride at her home on the morning of their wedding day. As he escorts her to the wedding chappel, the town's children stretch white ribbons across the road, which the bride cuts. The groom usually walks his mother down the aisle just prior to the main wedding procession.
As the newlywed couple departs from the wedding site, laurel leaves are scattered in their path for them to walk over.
French Wedding Reception
A wedding toast is made to the newlyweds sometime during the traditional French wedding reception. Following this toast, they drink, as husband and wife, from a specially engraved, double handled goblet, usually a precious family heirloom passed down from generation to generation.
After the wedding reception, and even later into the couple's wedding night, friends of the newlyweds might show up outside their window banging pots and pans, singing boisterous tunes. The groom is expected to invite them in for drinks and snacks.