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Planning a Luxury Wedding in France with French Traditions 

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When planning a wedding  , there are a few standout factors that couple should pay attention on: the location, the outfits and the wedding style as well as the season décor. However, talking about planning a wedding in France, in particular, it's not just the bride and groom - but their guests experience too!
We've compiled a list of everything you'll need to plan your own luxurious French wedding with French traditions so that you get started with all of this post's suggestions right away! Boasting some of the most luxurious venues around, France is perfect for the quintessential wedding. Follow this complete guide.

Why you should get married in France?
People from all across the world want to plan a luxury wedding which is also a memorable one. If you are someone who has dreamt about the same, you should plan your wedding in France. A luxury wedding in France is an unforgettable affair. The country offers some of the most chic and classy-beautiful venues that can accommodate up to 800 guests, exquisite cuisine, and diverse and unique wedding professionals to ensure a memorable experience for everyone.
Couples who want to get married abroad tend to do so for several reasons; it is less formal, it feels like a holiday, it has better weather than some places, especially during spring and you spend more time with loved ones in the summer. It can, however, be a bit daunting; the language barrier, restrictions set by venues and not knowing where to start with finding your suppliers. To feel confident, you need to be able to trust your luxury wedding planner and her team.

Where to get married in France?
France is the land of beauty for both locals and foreigners. The luxury wedding industry has experienced significant growth in the demand for luxury wedding planning services. There are hundreds of exclusive and top-notch beautiful places that can serve as a wedding venue.
There are so many unique wedding venues  in France waiting for the couple wanting to plan their big day. Find a setting that is a perfect reflection of your personality, but also is also convenient and stress-free.   
We alle Know that castles are extreme-popular wedding locations in France, but what if you are hoping to find more unusual wedding venues with a similar  boho or rustic feel ?   It is all about background and location in France! Many venues give you the best of both worlds, providing atmosphere of a castle setting and the ability for your wedding party to enjoy a laid-back and wonderful scenery. 

One of the most popular wedding locations is the beach or seafront destination wedding. Venues on the beaches or in front of the sea have long been a popular go to for brides wishing that sand and sun appeal.  Aѕ we saw the increase of flіghtѕ routes, thе idea of an exotic beach event is not so exotic anymore. Everything is more accessible.

If you are planning an outdoor celebration, tents should be at the top of your priority and your to do list. For starters, the one of the things you can not control about on your wedding day is the weather. There is no point your of spending your funds on a perfectly planned wedding only to have it ruined by summer rain showers or wind.   Also, a tent creates and set boundaries for the event, thus enclosing your guests in an intimate, party-ready space. 

Holding a wedding Paris means you can also choose the wedding venue as you like. This city is filled with many buildings that feature romantic architecture. The officiant can hold the wedding ceremony in a church or in more uncommon places such as on a top of the Eiffel Tower, in a flower garden, on a bateau-mouche, in a Parc...

If you imagine having your wedding at the rustic, countryside, overlooking mountains with perfect white clouds-type wedding, a vіneyard wеddіng is the right move for you. Yоu сould have your wedding outside on the lawns and head into the barrel room and courtyard for a large parties in South of France .

With awe-inspiring landscape of French Riviera, Lavender field offers stunning and unforgettable settings for your wedding ceremony backdrop and wedding reception.  Many couples have had phenomenal events here in French riviera.
Also, villa gardens are the perfect location to have your unique wedding event. Filled with beautiful  Oasis оf trees, flower borders, and  pastoral lawns,  it is  the perfect place for уоur wedding celebration. Whether уоu are interested in a gorgeous afternoon ceremony among the seasonal blossoms or a dance party beneath the stars, you will find the gardens an unforgettable setting for your once-in-a- lifetime event   

Everyone wants his or her day to be memorable. Choosing wedding venues should be about the memories and the convenience. You don't want to have to stress over the details on the day of your event. You can look around your community to see if there’s a venue that reflects the taste of you and your partner.
For your convenience, we have chosen the top 7 places to get married in France. It must be remembered that your personal choices matter the most when it comes to choosing the best place to get married in France.

• Chateau De Villette
• Chateau D’Estoublon
• Bastide De Gordes
• Chateau De Varennes
• Chateau De Tourreau
• Chateau De Chantilly
Chateau Bouffemont
• Villa Ephrussi De Rothschild
• Cap Eden Roc

Hiring A Luxury Wedding Planner
In recent years, the French way of life has fascinated many foreigners. The French are known for their refined sensibility, their culture, and great food. No matter what your budget, hiring a luxury wedding planner can take the stress out of planning and help you enjoy all the details that make your day special.

Apart from all other technical aspects of hiring a luxury wedding planner, the chosen professional should be fluent in French, English, or any other language as per the audience. There is going to be diversity of the guests so the planner needs to communicate properly with the right knowledge of local culture and meaning of the luxury wedding.

Although French wedding planners are known for their unique style the idea of hiring a luxury wedding planner makes things a little bit more interesting. French Etiquette for weddings requires exclusive arrangement and planning so make sure that you chose the right professional for the right job.

How much does a wedding cost in France ?
Let’s talk about numbers. In recent years, more and more weddings became more sophisticated. As the results, the overall cost of a wedding in France just jumped drastically. Considering a wedding with 100 guests, you can expect to spend a minimum of $70 000 for a luxury wedding. This does not include your outfit, travel and accommodation, rings, as well as your luxury wedding planner agency fee.

  • The cost of a wedding planner in France
Depending on the location, the cost of a wedding planner varies. Our vendor management and coordination for a destination luxury wedding in France are calculated on a percentage of the total vendors and venue and based on the number of guests. We typically charge 15 percent on average for a full planning wedding service ( not included the design fee). This is a standard practice as we select the top notch vendors and venues in France. For more information about wedding cost in castle, you can read this article written by Wedding Sparrow Magazine.

French Wedding Arrangements for Guests
If the foreigners are invited to the local wedding, they don’t need any special requirements for participation in the ceremony. Simple visa arrangements will get them through immigration and after the clearance; they can simply enjoy the luxury wedding ceremony and many other amazing locations and venues in France. Covid 19 changed a little bit the process though. So make sure you follow all the requirements for custom borders clearance.

Luxury weddings take a lot of planning so foreign and local guests should be on the same page from the very beginning. In some cases, wedding planners suggest informing your guests about the destination wedding in France 8-12 months before the wedding. Foreigner guests need to manage their local affairs ( hotel, transport…) accordingly. Once they have been informed about the event, you can send the official invites 3-4 months before the ceremony after sending the Save The Dates.

  • Making Travel Arrangements for the Guests
Guests are usually expected to bear their own expenses and the same goes for the accommodation. Still, if you can arrange the trip for them, it would be better. You should at least try to offer accommodation at your expense or guide them notifying the guests about what to expect from you during the wedding trip to France.

  •  Help guests book travel
You are not bound to pay for the travel expense or for booking the tickets for them but helping them is a nice gesture. With your Wedding Planner that will be in contact with a travel agent, you can help them to get the best deals for accommodation and travel. You also can make a WhatsApp group help the guests with the travel and trip arrangements.

  • Arrange translators for them
If you are expecting many guests from different countries, they may find it hard to communicate with other guests or even with the local professionals. The idea of hiring a translator can make things easier for all. When it comes to luxury weddings, you need to consider everything that can improve the experience of the guests. No detail is too small. Your luxury wedding planner can help you with these little arrangements.

How is a luxury wedding different in France?

Unlike in other parts of the world, you can easily get a dream wedding in France by getting married at a castle for example. There are many such magical venues available for couples to choose from. The best part is that you would not even need to make any changes for your wedding reception after your symbolic ceremony to the venue because most of the places already have a dreamy backdrop.

Here is a list of reasons why a luxury wedding is different in France:

1. The style
2. The fine art photography
3. The décor
4. The colors
5. The backdrop

How it starts? the Fair parts (invitations)

Once the couple is engaged, the first thing they will do is setting a date for their wedding. Unlike the Americans, there is no Save the Date. You just call your family and friends or call them to let them know you will get married the next year.3 to 4 months before the big day, guests will receive what we call in France, a faire part. This is the official invitation to the celebration that is formal and printed on paper.
On this faire part, you either will be invited for the full day, included the wedding reception or only for the cocktail hour, which lasts hours. It will depend on how close the couple is with the guests. Nowadays, your answered ( RSVP) is mandatory as the families and the bride and groom need to get the accurate total count for the catering and décor.

  • A family affair
French weddings are not about the bride but the bride and groom’s families. The bride appears not to be the center of attention as opposed to in The United States. The phenomenon of Bridezilla, a bride in constant demand, simply does not exist. There is no engagement party in front of family and friend either. It is more a private matter where the future groom asks for the hand of the future bride. Generally, the future fiancé will also request the permission from the father of the bride to marry her. French people love to dance and the wedding reception can go till 5 am.

French Wedding Traditions
In a French wedding, there are many aspects that have to be followed to make the day go smoothly. One of the most important elements of a French wedding is the order and sequence of events. If you're a newly engaged or married couple, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed by the number of traditions you need to learn. Luckily, many of these have been passed down through the generations.
If someone in your family has already been married in France, who better to show you what to expect than someone who has experienced it firsthand?

Here are the main French wedding traditions:

  • Wedding Ceremonies
A traditional French wedding is divided into two ceremonies. The civil ceremony takes place at the Mairie or a town hall. It takes place in the morning. The civil ceremony usually followed by cocktails after which the bride and groom rest for a while. The guests, on the other hand, change their clothes for the next ceremony. The religious ceremony takes place in the afternoon which is again followed by a cocktail party, a dinner, vows and dancing till your feet hurt. The entire event goes up to 6 am, the next day. French people never get married at the sunset. The day already gets hectic for the bride. She does not change her dress during the reception except if she belongs to a certain community like the Jews, Arabs, etc.

  • City hall first
Getting married in France means getting married legally in front of the mayor at the city hall of where the fiancés settled down. The city hall ceremony will be the only one that makes the marriage official in France.
However, the bride and the groom need to follow certain administrative rules in order to tie the knot in France. The wedding is a public affair as the doors of the building remain open and anyone can object to the marriage anytime during the civil ceremony. Traditionally, bridesmaids and groomsmen are replaced by another type of people, but not less important. At the city hall, the bride and the groom will be able to get a maximum of 4 witnesses, les témoins that will sign the marriage registry. They have to be more than 18 years old and can be any gender.

  • Religious Ceremony
Usually held the same day and few hours after a cocktail hour- Le Vin d’Honneur, the religious Ceremony is the next step for the couple to get married in front of God. As France is catholic land, many couples will seek one of the France churches’ blessings.

  • Symbolic wedding ceremony
For those who does not believe in God, there is an alternative. The Cérémonie Laïque, which is a pure invention from French people. It consists in having the family and friends gathered anywhere the couples desire to tie the knot. This symbolic wedding ceremony cannot be held in a church but whether outside the religious sphere. The bride and the groom will find a location that inspire them. It could be in a castle, a hotel venue, a botanical garden or on the tip of a mountain and why not a luxury yacht.

As the ceremony showcase your love and celebrate you, as a couple, it should represent the personality of the fiancés.
This can be done selecting the music the couple like, reading poems or text, having an orchestra or hiring a lyric singer. In other word, the symbolic wedding ceremony should be unique as the bride and groom are. The sky is just the limit.

  • The rice throwing
At the end of the ceremony, on the esplanade of the city hall, the church or at the end of the wedding aisle, family and friends will throw rice as symbol of wealth, happiness and luck. Even it remains traditional, couple are more and more creative and do not hesitate to replace the rice with petals, bubbles, confetti or even sand!

  • Bridal bouquet throwing
This tradition became a common aspect of the wedding process. All around the world, brides throw their wedding bouquet. But the tradition is French.

  • Le Vin d’Honneur
After the civil ceremony, a cocktail hour takes place. The perfect occasion for the newlyweds to receive best wishes and congratulations respectively by their family and friends that witnessed their marriage. In fact, le vin d’honneur is expected just before noon, and the wedding lunch if there is any or just before the wedding dinner reception in the afternoon.

  • French service Table
Setting a table, the French way, is just about knowing about savoir faire. French people take some pride to use their finest silverware, crystal glasses and porcelains plates. They have a strong sense of art de la table and French wedding does not derogate from the rule: the table needs to be set properly.
Here what you will need to set your French table up:

- Napkin
- Bread plate
- Place card
- Water glass
- Wine glass for red wine
- Wine glasses for white wine
- Cup and saucer
- Salad fork
- Dinner fork
- Dessert spoon
- Cake fork
- Dinner knife
- Teaspoon soup spoon
- Soup spoon
- Salad plate
- Entrée plate
- Dinner plate

  • Gastronomy
What would be a wedding in France without amazing local food and drinks? France is the land of gastronomy. Just Imagine a beautiful buffet with delicate gourmet dishes. Tarts, cheeses, poultry, fish and petits fours or hors d’oeuvres served by waiters and waitresses. The quintessence of a luxury style.

 French People love food and their gastronomy. And France is known worldwide for her exquisite cuisine Even the smaller wedding will cater amazing and delicious dishes. It is a part a savoir faire and vivre from the French culture.
As couple, it is mandatory to properly feed your guests. Usually, the wedding meal consist in three courses: starter, main course with fish/beef and a dessert. Later, during the wedding reception, a pièce montée (cake) will be served to the guests.

In your plate it would be about quality and diversity, as well as well-presented dishes. The caterer will find local producers to create your customized meals. Depending on the region you will celebrate your wedding in, the dishes will be different from a region to another. French people are so proud of their gastronomy that French tv M6 created a show on culinary achievements Le combat des Regions. For wedding menu inspiration, please read our next article.

  •  French Pastry
 French weddings ends with traditional French wedding cake: The croquembouche. More and more couple opt for a wedding cake, but there is no such thing in the French tradition. Le Croquembouche has a pyramid shape and consist in filled puff pastries with crème inside, covered by caramel and nuts.

  • Dragées
A very traditional French gift for the guests. They are some kinds of candies, sugar coated with almonds or chocolate inside. Some guests just keep them as souvenir.

  • Champagne tower
One of the most famous French traditions is the champagne tower where the glasses are placed in shape of a pyramid tower. Adopted by many, around the word, it is un fun entertainment to see the bride and the groom pouring the flutes or coupes glasses with champagne.

  • Wedding décor :
When it comes to wedding design in the US, it is all about details: wedding centerpiece, menus, glasses, silverware, place cards …While American loved lavish and heavy style, French people tend to appreciate simple wedding décor. The color palette inspiration will set the tone for your wedding and will be determined by the location, venue and your own personality and desires. In terms of colors, weddings in France are more into monochrome colors than bold colors. Wedding themes are more common in America than in France. This difference come from the fact that wedding designers in the United States have more experience in decoration as they have to design any venue from scratch. In France, there are so many venues with beautiful backdrop already set up that designers do not need to put an extra work to make a wedding a luxurious affair.

There are many fancy traditions that form a complete luxury wedding. If you want an exceptional experience for a luxury wedding in France, make sure to have a detailed discussion with a wedding planner who can make it all happen.
If you still have questions about weddings and you wish to get married in France, do not hesitate to contact us.

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