Getting Married in France

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Wedding invitation received - help !

We have received an invitation to the wedding of the son of French friends. I am delighted but somewhat puzzled as we have only met the parents a few times and the son once and the invitation says ' Cocktail and Diner Placé ' . That sounds quite formal to me and the invitation looks very formal.. Please could someone clarify the situation for me and advise concerning 1. The level of gift expected and 2. The dress code . I presume the equivalent of morning dress would be specified on the invite so just lounge suits for men ? What about hats for ladies ? Any help gratefully received - thank you.
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Re: Wedding invitation received - help !



Its more usual to give them a cheque of even cash, there will normally be a cardboard box giftwrapped with a slot in the top for that purpose, the amount you pay is what you estimate what it has cost them to feed and entertain you.


2. I cant help other than to say never assume!


If I do buy a gift then is is seperate, I still write a cheque for the meal/ceremony/entertainments.

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Re: Wedding invitation received - help !

Yes, Manon, that sounds like you are invited to aperos and sit-down dinner. Lounge suit would be fine; in fact I have found that some French seem to be amazingly casual in their dress.
No hat required; a French friend of mine thought it hysterical that she would be expected to wear a hat to my nephew's wedding in England. In the event, she outshone everybody with an amazing French creation that she had borrowed for the occasion.
There are all sorts of grades to French wedding invitations, depending on how many bits of invitation card spill out of the envelope. At least that has been my experience in the rural Vendee.
The most basic is, I think, just telling you the couple are getting married - and you are not expected to actually turn up, or only to the church.
Then there is one to drinks after the church.
Another for the dance in the evening.
Another for a light evening meal and speeches, leading up to the dancing.
And only close family would be going to the lunchtime do.

But my experience is limited, and maybe things are done differently elsewhere,

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Re: Wedding invitation received - help !

And after all of the preceding there will be onion soup to see you on your way at 5 am and then another meal at the same venue at mid-day after grabbing a few hours sleep.


Many of my Saturday night guests are wedding invitees, they are great custom, they use all the beds (more money) but for so little time you dont even know that they have been, they pick up the key in the evening and depart immediately, then you might hear them return after 5am but they are usually very quiet, I let them lie in the next day and waive the normal check out time, the blinds are normally drawn till 15 minutes before they leave, the kitchens dont get used, the bathroom barely, they are great business yet something that initially I was very wary of.


Family fêtes as well usually pass in the same manner,  very good earners.

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