Top 5 Cultural differences in France

cultural differences in France - kisses in franceSource: The Piri Piri Lexicon


Whether you are eloping to Bordeaux or you’ve been planning your dream wedding in France for years, just how aware are you of the cultural differences in France?

Understanding the culture in your destination wedding country isn’t just for francophiles who dreaming of moving, but understanding to quirks and nuances can minimise any unexpected problems later on.

Wedding Planners in France Haute Weddings, have put together their list of Top 5 Cultural Differences in France for you to pass along to your wedding guests.


You’ve decided to go for a destination wedding in France. The wine, food, elegance, culture, history and that certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ that the country inspires has motivated your choice to marry here. Your guests are probably thrilled to pieces as well to make a holiday out of your wedding weekend!

This being said it may be worth to manage their expectations and ease certain ‘surprises’ that a few travelers may not be familiar with. It may be fun to have a page on your wedding website to give your guests insight into the quirks and charms of their French experience.

Here ‘s a few to start with:

  1. Shops are closed between 12-2pm in most towns and villages. The French priority on lifestyle and food is an institution not to be taken lightly! People in France do take the time to take a break during their day to eat and rest properly before plowing through their afternoon.In these mid-afternoon hours don’t get frustrated but take on the mentality ‘if you can’t beat them, then join them!’. Our tip: Grab a glass or rosé, enjoy a leisurely lunch and watch the world walk by from a sidewalk café….then once the shops open again…you’re re-fueled and ready!French shops close for lunch
  2. Hotel bathtubs: they don’t have shower curtains or glass!! For many American and British travelers this is a concept that completely throws them off. How can you effectively take a shower and not turn the entire bathroom into a soaking wet pool?….well from experience, it’s not easy. Our tip: The French solution…sit down.
  3. Kissing: the greeting amongst people in France is kisses on the cheeks. The problem is you never know which cheek to start with…left, right, right, left…so half the time you just end up meeting in the middle! And depending on the region it could be either 2, 3 or 4 kisses!If you have a big group and need to kiss each person 4 times, the hellos and good-bye’s could last quite a while. Our tip: go with the flow but do kiss because otherwise it could be perceived as impolite.
  4. Saucing: the French of course love their bread and their sauces and do not leave one last drop of their scrumptiousness left of the plate. It is not impolite to take the bread and literally soak up the creamy concoctions the chef has prepared.A French person’s plate may not even look used and may get placed back in the cupboard without a wash…just kidding, kind of….Our tip: Sauce away!!mopping sauce with bread
  5. Accessories: the French women are oh so chic! All the time. They will not even go down to the corner shop for a baguette without putting on their make-up and a nice coat. But their true elegance comes from accessorizing. They may wear the same outfit 3 times in one week but they change the accessories so it looks completely different every time!Scarves, earrings, necklaces…Our tip: pack light yet feel free to add things that don’t take up space in the suitcase but can totally change your look…(and don’t wear running shoes in big cities, it screams tourist from miles away).

What a great list!  How about a shower curtain as part of your guests welcome back or plan a guest activity between 12-2 for guests who are extending their wedding stay/

monique trulove --wedding blogger

Guest Blogger: Haute Weddings provide personally tailored wedding planning for couples looking for & loving all things French & Italian. Haute Weddings specialize in destination weddings reflecting your desire for travel, culture and beauty, ensuring your dreams are flawlessly brought to reality.