Destination Weddings in France
Get married in the romantic country of France! With both its warm countryside beauty and cosmopolitan urban appeal, France will provide you with countless options for your wedding, whether you envision a chic, contemporary ceremony in Paris, or a more traditional celebration in the Rhone Valley.
The country of France is officially comprised of 22 regions, but can be described more simply as being made up of the following: several mountainous and hilly regions, including the Alps, Pyrenees, and Vosges mountain ranges, along with the Rhone Valley; the Mediterranean coast, which boasts the popular French Riviera; the Northern regions, which include the capital city of Paris; the Southern regions, which include the area of Provence (with the cities of Marseille and Avignon), the city of Cannes, and the beautiful island chain of Côte d'Azur; the central area that boasts the regions of Burgundy, Champagne, and the Loire Valley, all renowned for their wine production, among other things; and of course the historically-known Northern areas of Normandy and Brittany. As France’s regions are many, and full of fascinating cities, towns, and lovely scenery, this list provides only a general idea of the many areas in which you can choose to have your wedding in France.
Travel in France is easy and enjoyable by both railway and highway. It is possible to take the Eurostar if traveling from Britain, and there are both TGV (Trains à Grande Vitesse, or high speed trains) and non-TGV trains to choose from, once you are in France. The highways are also efficient, but often require toll payments. There are also bypasses that make cross-country traveling easier, as you can go around the cities, and there are particularly pleasant smaller country roads to be found.
Although the climate and weather of France varies across its different regions and landscapes, it is possible to find areas of the country year-round that will host your marriage in France beautifully and comfortably. For instance, the Northern regions of France are temperate year-round, while the summers of the Northeast are warm. While the more mountainous areas are, of course, characterized by an alpine climate, with cooler summers, the Atlantic coast is temperate throughout the year, and the south boasts a lovely Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers and mild winters.
The history of France, the third-largest nation in Europe, like that of every other country, is one of conquering and being conquered, resulting in periods of stability interspersed with times of great change. Whether it be the Germanic Franks overtaking the country from Rome (who earlier conquered the Celtic Gauls), or the initial slaughter and eventual protection of the Protestant Huguenots during the Sixteenth Century Wars of Religion, France’s history is characterized by conflict on many levels: cultural, racial, religious, political, and social. This conflict, however, has left France with both a fascinating and well-known past (with leaders like Napoleon Bonaparte and Madame la Guillotine, rebels-become-legend like Jeanne d’Arc, and uprisings like the July 14, 1789 storming of the Bastille prison), and a present culture rich in heritage and strength (A member of the European Union, with the euro in place as officially currency since the beginning of the Twenty-First Century, France now falls among the most important of the current world powers.)
This rich and varied heritage has been expressed throughout the ages in many ways. The French people take their culture very seriously, and the evidence of this passion for their country and heritage is expressed through many art centers devoted to the fashion industry, a number of renowned art museums in the cities, and cinematic festivals held at different times throughout the year. France’s heritage in the arts is particularly rich, as the country is able to boast names such as Henri Matisse, Vincent Van Gogh, Albert Camus, and Victor Hugo, among a host of others. The French hold fêtes (celebrations, or festivals) at various different parts of the year, which add to the cultural experience of any visitor to this country, and will enliven the atmosphere of your own celebration of marriage in France.
The country of France is particularly renowned for its food and drink. Once a less industrial, more agricultural country, France still leads much of the world in wine production; the wines of the Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhone, and Champagne regions are celebrated around the world, and the cheeses which have made France famous can be found in abundance in every village and city. Also known for its delicious breads, France boasts bakeries and markets that abound and can provide you with every type of pastry, as well as simpler breads, from croissants to baguettes to brioches. In the typical French restaurant, you will be served the traditional three-course meal, complete with various hors d’oeuvre, substantial main courses (usually fish or some type of meat), and mouth-watering desserts, including variations on the pastries, pies, and chocolates for which France is known. The excitement of France’s bustling street markets will not only provide you with the freshest assortment of food, but will also contribute to the authenticity and ambiance of your wedding reception in France. The hypermarkets, on the other hand, with their enormous selections of cheese, fruit, and vegetables, will enable you to find the food you need quickly and easily, so you can move on to the more important parts of your celebration.
The lovely and diverse scenery of France will add to the romantic atmosphere of your wedding or honeymoon, as the modern architecture of the cities intersects more humble and earthy architecture of the rural towns and villages. The country also provides a stunning backdrop for your special occasion in the well-preserved medieval structures boasted by both the cities and the countryside villages. French architecture throughout the more recent centuries, though unique and different in each individual structure, is characterized by both beauty and grandeur, as evidenced in such structures as Paris’s Notre Dame, Arc de Triomphe, and Eiffel Tower. The Louvre museum’s newer pyramid structure is an example of the forward-moving direction of France’s architecture and design. Road construction under Napolean’s reign ensured that the major thoroughfares, at least in the cities, were grand and straight; the intersection of these roads at significant monuments, like the Arc de Triomphe, contributes to the overall feeling of majesty and grandeur in France, as well as to ease in sightseeing.
As you celebrate your wedding in France, the beauty, history, and culture of this country, both past and present, ancient and modern, will contribute to beautiful, lasting memories. The most important event of your life should be well-celebrated, and the fusion of style and tradition in France will make that possible.