I mentioned not too long ago that French weddings are fantastic! This weekend we had the pleasure of being invited to a beautiful wedding in Annecy, which is about an hour away from us. One of the most striking differences between French and American weddings is that over here, not everyone who is invited to the ceremony is also invited to the dinner. In the States when you receive a wedding invitation, it is expected that you are invited for the entire event. In France when you receive a wedding invitation, it means you are invited to the ceremony, and you are only invited to the sit-down dinner if you receive an invitation for that as well.
For this wedding we attended, we were only invited for the two ceremonies. Yes, two. In France it is required that you have a civil ceremony at the Mairie, or Town Hall. Then you can also have a religious ceremony or any other type of ceremony you would like, but the ceremony where the marriage certificate is signed is at the Mairie.
After the civil ceremony, we all gathered around to take pictures and give our quick congratulations before getting into our cars and heading to the church ceremony, which was very sweet and moving. The bride and groom each read aloud their short, yet emotionally touching vows, and tears were had on both sides :) After the ceremony, we all gathered outside to throw tissue paper heart confetti on the happy couple.
Side note: her wedding dress was gorgeous! I’ve realized that I’m not a huge fan of French wedding dresses, but her’s was probably the most beautiful one I’ve seen yet!
Finally, we all made our way to the Cocktail Hour, or the “vin de honneur,” en français. One of my favorite parts about French weddings is when all of the wedding guests follow the bride and groom to the reception area, while honking their horns, and everyone has these small tulle bows (typically in the wedding colors) tied to their cars. Some people will even leave them on for weeks afterwards, so if you happen to visit France and see these pieces of tulle tied onto some car’s back window wipers, you’ll know what they’re for!
Even though we didn’t attend the reception itself, we still had a wonderful day! It was a beautiful day for a beautiful wedding, and hopefully I’ll be able to attend a full wedding another time so I can share with you about the never-ending French receptions (just kidding! They end sometime before dawn)!