19 French Wedding Songs [Updated 2023]

sylvain bouzat What music is played at French weddings?

Photo credit: Sylvain Bouzat

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?

First Dance - french love songs for wedding

“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

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‘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?

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  • As a French wedding photographer, but also a traveler, I’d add a few more to your list from what I’ve heard at weddings, and seems to match with a wedding ambiance.

    Because really, French is not only about Jacques Brel (he’s from Belgium by the way), or Edith Piaf or Charles Trenet…. Although these are classicals, indeed, honestly I’ve never heard them at weddings (except if you want to please grandma)

    So here some of the fav French songs I’ve heard at weddings where I took photos these past 3 years :

    “J’envoie valser” – ZAZIE

    “Je fais de toi mon essentiel” Emmanuel MOIRE
    (may sound a bit cheesy, but lyrics are perfect)

    You can also definitely check songs from Florent Pagny (savoir aimer / et un jour une femme….)

    If you want a French flavor from the oldies, Patrick Bruel did a lovely album “Entre Deux” with covers from old French songs from the 50’s (my favorite : “mon amant de St Jean”

    You mentionned Pink Martini (I love them !)…. check PARIS COMBO, a French band that is about the same style.
    And talking about love, you’ll find “si mon amour”, one of their songs

    About Musical theater : “tant qu’on rêve encore”, from LE ROI SOLEIL

    And if you want some music soundtrack, maybe Amelie would work ?

    and if I take your theme upside down, I’d finish this with : a French cover from an american song :
    “you’re the one that I want”, from Pauline Croze… get ready for slow dance ! 😉

  • Last year i had the chance to photograph the wedding of 2 wonderful people coming from Los Angeles to get married in Paris. It was small wedding, no DJ. They’d prepared a backtrack on spotify . Very Jazzy. Some of them were french songs from Piaf, but interpreted by Madeleine Peyroux. (la vie en rose) . nice version

    Very “Parisian” mood guaranteed.