The French get a lot of things right: braids, manicures, fries, toast, and kissing, to name a few. Apart from knowing how to look good, eat good, and love good, they’re also known for their “cool-girl” aesthetic that’s every bit chic, effortless, and stylish. So it’s easy to see why one may want to steal a few ideas from the country that’s so well acquainted with style and love for their wedding day inspiration.
And we’re right there with you. You’re not the only one dreaming of château receptions, manicured garden ceremonies, and the lavender fields of Provence for your big day. There’s just something about France’s natural beauty and European history that makes for a magical wedding day concoction.
Infuse its opulent, royal roots with throne-like sweetheart chairs, blue and white stripes, or gilded candelabras and flatware, or take a more bucolic approach by incorporating sprigs of lavender into bouquets, centerpieces, and even cocktails. A watercolor palette to evoke the Impressionist era is another pretty choice, and don’t forget to use the French language where you can, like RSVP cards or table numbers. And of course, a setting with rolling lawns, château-like stonework, or wrought-iron pergolas doesn’t hurt either.
But what’s a wedding without food and drink? The French do both much better than many—incorporate a cheese station into cocktail hour, let a macaron tower steal the spotlight at the dessert bar, position baguettes on top of each place setting, or replace your wedding cake with a crepe masterpiece. And don’t forget to let the wine flow and champagne pop.
If those aren’t enough ideas for your trés chic wedding, we’ve got a few more for you below. Because who doesn’t dream of getting married in the city of love? Even if you can’t make it to France for your wedding, you can always make it come to you.
Use a Cheese Board
If there’s one food the French know well, it’s cheese. Serve a scrumptious spread for the first course come reception time.
Consider a Lavender Toss
Skip the confetti or rose petal toss—a lavender toss is just what a French wedding ordered.
Use Wine Labels as Invitations
Now here’s an original idea—turn wine labels into invitations so you can gift guests with a bottle of wine. Vintage stamps, a wax seal, and tulle give the package a French feel.
Upgrade a Classic Baguette to a Place Card
Nothing beats the scent of a French patisserie. Bring it to the reception by using baguettes as name card holders.
Macarons Make for the Perfect French Dessert
What’s a French-inspired wedding without France’s most well-known sweet? Make your macarons loud and proud with a flashy hot pink tower.
Take Inspiration From the Impressionists
A lush centerpiece of pastel blooms mimics the watercolor whimsy of Impressionist paintings—think Monet’s The Water Lily Pond.
Tapered Candles Add a Touch of Romance
Nothing says French romance like gilded candleholders. Pair them with pale blue tapered candles to complete the look.
Speak the Language
Set the tone for your French-inspired nuptials by incorporating the language into your RSVP cards.
Add Charm With Florals and Greenery
Package favors with wildflowers, greens, twine, and a gilded wax seal for some French springtime charm.
Look for a French Garden Setting at Home
No, this gorgeous setting isn’t in France—can you believe it’s in Austin, Texas? The bride and groom embodied the French garden setting of Le San Michele with an altarpiece of flowering branches, charming foliage, and whimsical blue chairs, all set to the backdrop of a fountain and expansive green.
Burgundy Hues Evoke a Moveable Feast
This lavish tablescape is fit for a queen and king. Regal chairs, tapered candles, cut glassware, and moody burgundy hues combine textures for a magical feast.
Mirror the French Countryside's Natural Colors
Use shades of lavender and French blue accented with white and eucalyptus green to create a beautiful bouquet that mirrors France’s natural colors.
Think French for Table Names and Numbers
Displaying table names or numbers in French will really transport guests to the country. This couple let their outdoor château setting inspire their table names, labeling each one after a different tree.
When in Doubt, Head to a Château
While a château isn’t always easy to come by for a wedding venue, there really is no better setting to epitomize French magic. This château terrace is accented with eucalyptus and olive branches native to the South of France to complete its rustic feel.
Wildflowers Feel Straight Out of France
Rustic wildflower centerpieces in mismatched bottles and jars look like they were plucked straight from the hills of Provence.
Nothing Is Quite as French as Crepes
A crepe-style cake brings French fare to the table, while accents of lavender give a nod to the Provençal.
Think French Garden
Turn your ceremony space into a French garden with antique urns and a romantic archway of greenery and red blooms.
Take Inspiration From the Love Lock Bridge
Take some inspiration from the Ponte des Arts, aka the love lock bridge, for your escort card display by hanging keys from a wrought-iron gate.
Blue Lace Evokes French Opulence
Vintage china, gold-plated silverware, and blue lace combine for a place setting rich in French opulence.
Channel Marie Antoinette
Blue and white striped chairs have a Marie Antoinette vibe. This couple arranged these regal chairs in the first two rows for reservation seating, followed by farm chairs in the back.
Lavender Details Bring Provence Home
Place sprigs of lavender in cocktails for a dash of Provence magic.
Add Old World Romance
Channel some French old world romance with a guest book station that consists of postcards, a quill pen, and ink. You can even find retro postcards from various regions in France to keep with the theme.
Trés Chic Floating Paper Parasols
Floating paper parasols above an al fresco reception is trés chic, especially when set against a villa backdrop of stone walls and blue shutters.
A Gazebo Adds French Flair
A pergola or gazebo made of wrought iron and marble pillars is a safe bet for some French feels. Accent it with foraged wildflowers and winding vines to bring it to life.
Greenery and Baby's Breath Bring French Charm
Farm chairs adorned with a luscious swag of greenery and baby’s breath evoke the bucolic charms of France’s countryside.