What music is played at French weddings?
Music has the magical ability to transport us, evoke emotions, and to stitch moments into the fabric of our memories. When it comes to your wedding, the melodies become even more poignant, especially if you’re immersing yourself in the romance of a French-themed celebration. Whether you’re walking down an aisle in Provence or simply wish to infuse your ceremony with a Parisian whisper, selecting the perfect French love songs for a wedding is an art in itself. Journey with us as we waltz through the timeless classics, the sultry ballads, and the modern love anthems that will add that ‘je ne sais quoi’ to your unforgettable day.
Which French Love Songs Are Perfect for Your Wedding?
Édith Piaf – “La Vie en Rose”
There’s nothing more à la Française than ‘La Vie en Rose’ by Edith Piaf and it’s just perfect for such a romantic occasion. Expect an impromptu sing-a-long wherever you are.
Charles Aznavour – “Je t’aime”
A gentle and heartfelt confession of love, this song’s touching lyrics and soothing tune make it an eternal favorite for romantic moments.
Gilbert Bécaud – “Nathalie”
This classic song tells the tale of a romance in the heart of Moscow. Its compelling rhythm and beautiful storytelling are why it remains a favorite for many.
Francis Cabrel – “Je l’aime à mourir”
A typical French love songs for a wedding and a testament to deep and unwavering love, this song by Cabrel beautifully captures the essence of passion and devotion.
Joe Dassin – “Et si tu n’existais pas”
A melodic reflection on life without the one you love, this song evokes feelings of gratitude for love and companionship.
What Are the Best French Father-Daughter Wedding Songs?
“Ma Fille” by Serge Reggiani
This song captures the heartfelt emotions of a father towards his daughter as she grows up, making it a touching choice.
“Pour Ma Fille” by Charles Aznavour
Aznavour’s tender lyrics and evocative voice make this song a heartfelt dedication from a father to a daughter.
“C’est toi mon p’tit loup” by Pierre Perret
While not exclusively about the father-daughter bond, its affectionate lyrics could evoke the right emotions for such a dance.
“Comme toi” by Jean-Jacques Goldman
This song touches on memory, love, and the passage of time, which can evoke nostalgia on such an occasion.
Whether you’re getting married in France or just want to add some French Wedding Style to your Big Day, here are some ways to incorporate some musical ‘je ne sais quoi’ into your nuptials:
Some other French Wedding Song Suggestions
‘La Mer’ by Charles Tremet’s
With his inimitable warbling, nonchalant style, Charles Tremet’s ‘La Mer’ epitomizes the French chanson. Sinatra, Bobby Darin, Robbie Williams and the surprisingly good Kevin Spacey have all had a go at the English version ‘Beyond the Sea’, but the Version Originale surpasses all pretenders. For me you just can’t substitute the imagery of ‘moutons blancs’, but maybe I’m an incurable romantic…
Autumn Leaves’/’Les Feuilles Mortes’ by Jacques Prevert/Joseph Kosma
A beloved jazz standard and rather French in origin, ‘Autumn Leaves’/’Les Feuilles Mortes’ by Jacques Prevert/Joseph Kosma may be a little melancholic – more about lost than new love – but is another number guaranteeing audience participation, especially towards the end of your cocktail hour…
‘Ne me quittes pas’ by Jacques Brel
Whatever you do, don’t overlook ‘Ne me quittes pas’ by Jacques Brel. His yearning, almost desperate delivery cannot be surpassed – ‘Don’t leave me,’ he implores. With a voice like that? Jamais Jacques, jamais…
‘Sympathique’ by Pink Martini
My absolute favourite, although actually by American band Pink Martini, ‘Sympathique’ may not have a traditional wedding song sentiment (I just want to forget him, and then smoke…), but it’s undeniably French in feel – so much so that French workers have adopted it as a strike anthem. (Je ne veux pas travailler = I don’t want to work…!)
‘Parlez-moi d’Amour’ by Lucienne Boyer
A true early 20th Century classic, the simple and charming ‘Parlez-moi d’Amour’ has been seductively covered by Piaf, Dalida and Juliette Greco. For a contemporary sound which remains true to the Lucienne Boyer original version, try the Linda Ronstadt/Ann Savoy duet.
‘Pour que tu m’aimes encore’ by Jean-Jacques Goldman ft. Celine Dion
With real French credentials, ‘Pour que tu m’aimes encore’ was penned by Jean-Jacques Goldman, and sold more than 4 million copies worldwide, making it one of Canadian songbird Celine Dion’s most successful French language songs. Their duet has a certain frisson too…
‘Michelle’ by The Beatles
I could be pushing it here, but ‘Michelle’ by The Beatles falls into the category of ‘songs incorporating random French lyrics’ and if all else fails, it’s a nod in the right direction…
‘Le Cygne’ (The Swan) by Saint-Saëns
De rigeur for your ceremony ‘cellist, ‘Le Cygne’ (The Swan) by Saint-Saëns is one of the most famous classical romantic pieces, and at only 3 minutes is perfect for a processional.
‘Clair de Lune’ by Claude Debussy
Arguably Debussy’s most famous piano piece, ‘Clair de Lune’ has been arranged for practically every combination of instruments imaginable, rendering it perfect for a live performance. With its gently drifting sostenuto melody, who could fail to be transported to the scene of a romantic moonlit assignation?
‘Come What May.’ by Il Divo
For the perfect crossover, try ‘Come What May.’ Originally intended for the soundtrack of Baz Luhrmann’s ‘Romeo & Juliet,’ it eventually found fame in his cinematic classic ‘Moulin Rouge’ and has been covered by crossover greats like Il Divo, Lesley Garrett/Michael Ball and Kathryn Jenkins/Placido Domingo to name-drop but a few. What could be finer?