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Wedding Traditions

French customs

In smaller French towns the ceremony is being held at the chapel. As the couple proceeds to the chapel, children will stretch long white ribbons across the road which the bride will cut as she passes.
At the chapel, the bride and groom are seated on two red velvet chairs underneath a silk canopy they called a carre. Laurel leaves May be scattered across their paths when they exit the chapel. Sometimes small coins are also tossed for the children to gather.
At traditional French wedding celebration the couple customarily uses a toasting cup, called a coupe de Marriage. The origin of giving toast began in france, when they literally dropped a small piece of toast into the couple's wine (to ensure a healthy life). They lifted their glass to "a toast", as is common in western culture today.
Some couples choose to serve a croquembouche instead of a wedding cake. The dessert is a pyramid of pastry puffs, drizzled with a caramel glaze.
At a more boisterous wedding, tradition involves continuing the celebration until very late at night. After the reception, those invited to the wedding will gather outside the newlyweds ' window and bang pots and pans. They are then invited into the house for some more drinks in the couple's honor, after which the couple is finally allowed to be alone for their first night together as husband and wife.
Another practice that is becoming more common at wedding celebrations is "beheading" a bottle of champagne with a sabre made for the occasion. It was started as a way for the Hussars (under Napoleon' s command) to celebrate victories and exhibit their horseback skills: they would "behead" the top off a bottle of champagne while on horseback. Legend has it that the skilled horsemen would ride at a full gallop while brave women held up bottles of champagne. The sabre must strike the neck of the bottle at exactly the right angle (champagne bottles have over 100 pounds of pressure per square inch).
This practice spread throughout France as a way to celebrate special occasions. Decorative replicas of these special sabres can be purchased from artisans in lyon, France (the French capital of cutlery).

 




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