How to throw a French Themed Bridal Shower
Expert Article By: Callia Cox
Although the French themselves do not have the tradition of holding bridal showers, there is no reason why you can?t give your own bridal shower a French theme and include some French wedding traditions. A French themed bridal shower is especially appropriate if either the bride or groom is French or have French family connections, if the honeymoon is to be taken in France, if the bride loves all things French (a ?Francophile?) or even if you are just looking for a chic and classy theme for your bridal shower!
France is a land of romance, culture, history and great food. Of course, the easiest way to throw a French bridal shower would be to hold it at a local French restaurant or patisserie, or for the more extravagant, to fly off to Paris for the weekend, but why not look through the following ideas for holding a French bridal shower at home.
I hope that you find these suggestions helpful!
For a Couples Shower
The ?beheading? of a champagne bottle was a traditional event at French wedding banquets. Male guests on horseback would charge at a champagne bottle (often held aloft by a very brave or very stupid female guest!) and aim to chop the top off the bottle with a sabre. The sabre would need to hit the bottle at a particular point to crack the glass and release the pressure. A similar event could be recreated for your wedding shower, especially if there are male guests, although perhaps without the horses! Place a bottle of champagne on a table (set well away, as it could get messy) and then invite the guests to try to behead the bottle with a large knife (or a sabre, if you happen to have one!). Make sure that the guests are VERY careful, you don?t want to have make a visit to the hospital as part of your celebrations. Most of the time, the bottle will end up being hit over and perhaps smashing on the ground so a cheaper alternative, and no less fun, would be to use beer bottles.
White Wedding Quilt
During the Eighteenth Century, it was traditional for brides in Provence to be given an all white wedding quilt, embroidered with symbols of love, fertility, fidelity and happiness, to spread on her wedding bed. Why not continue this tradition and give the bride-to-be a white quilt as a joint present from all her bridal shower guests?
Coupe de Mariage
It is traditional at French wedding banquets for the bride and groom to drink out of a specially engraved, double handed goblet, known as a coupe de mariage. Why not ask all the guests to contribute towards the cost of having a coupe de mariage made and then present the bride with this unusual and special gift at the bridal shower?
Setting the Scene
Unless you are holding your bridal shower either in France itself or in a local French restaurant, bistro or caf? then you will probably want to ?set the scene? with some well placed decorations and props to give the place a ?French feel?.
The most obvious decorations are balloons and streamers in the traditional French colours of red, white and blue. You may also like to hang pictures or posters either by famous French artists or of French landmarks around the room. If you are serving food in a buffet style, you might like to arrange some bottles of French wine and mineral water on the tables, or place baskets full of French baguette loaves around the room (they smell wonderful too!)
Flowers always make a room look beautiful so make sure that you have lots of vases full of blooms decorating the bridal shower room. Flowers were traditionally used in French weddings to ward off evil spirits as well as to make everything smell nicer in the days before deodorants! The tradition continues to this day with orange blossom in particular being used as a symbol of fertility and prosperity. It is also traditional for laurel leaves to be used to decorate the church, so why not incorporate some laurel leaves into your decorations to give an authentic French wedding feel!
At weddings in France, it is traditional for the bride?s path to the church to be blocked by white ribbons which she must cut, symbolising obstacles which she must overcome to achieve a happy marriage. To continue this tradition, you might like to tie a white ribbon across the door to the room in which the bridal shower is being held and invite the bride-to-be to cut the ribbon for good luck.
Another way of inducing a French feeling amongst the guests is to ask them to dress for the theme. At any rate, it is often a good idea to let your guests know if there is a particular dress code or not. Depending upon your guest list, you may also like to ask your guests to come in French themed fancy dress (Marie Antoinette? Brigitte Bardot? A French mime artist? Audrey Hepburn ? not French, but the epitome of French Givenchy chic?), to wear the colours of the French flag (red, white and blue) or to wear something ?French?, like a scarf or a jumper from a French fashion label.
French Wedding Cake
The traditional French wedding cake is in fact a pyramid of profiteroles (small choux pastry balls, filled with cream) laced with strings of caramel. Known as a croque-en-bouche (literally a crisp in the mouth), the bride and groom traditionally hit the crisp caramel coating with a special, small hammer for good luck. Why not arrange for your local bakery to create a croque-en-bouche for your French themed bridal shower and serve it as the dessert course after a luncheon or along with other sweet cakes for a mid-afternoon bridal shower. If you are a very good cook then you could make your own, but be warned, making a croque-en-bouche requires skill, experience and patience ? definitely not one for beginners in the kitchen!
Gifts for your Guests
During the reign of Louis XVI, brides gave old fans to their bridesmaids as favours, so why not continue the tradition and give fans to all your guests? Alternatively, why not give your guests a small box of French drag?es. These are almonds covered in chocolate, sugar or nougat which are given as gifts in Southern France as a symbol of happiness and festivity.
For more ideas on how to throw a French themed Bridal Shower visit http://www.bridalthemes.com
About The Author Callia Cox is a writer for Bridal Shower Themes. Visit http://www.bridalthemes.com for more ideas on bridal showers to suit every taste and budget!