The French language is known for being the most romantic language in the world. With its melodic intonations and beautiful inflictions, there is no better language to propose in than in French. In this guide, we will help you learn the best phrases associated with French proposals, weddings, and love.
So you have met the love of your life and want to spend the rest of your life with them. (If you haven't, see our article on "how to flirt and be romantic in French" 😉 ) Whether your lover is French, or you find the French to be so beautiful that you want to propose in it, you may find yourself needing to know a few important phrases in French. Here are some important phrases to know in French whether you are proposing or just want to espouse your affection towards someone:
“Veux-tu m'épouser ?”
- “Do you want to marry me?” The classic, timeless phrase which melts the heart. Make sure to practice this one through several times before using it so the proposal is as smooth as possible.
“Voulez-vous m'épouser ?”
- “(Formal) Do you want to marry me?” As you have probably learned, in French there are two ways to address people, either with the ‘tu’ pronoun which is causal, or the ‘vous’ pronoun which is more formal. It is rare nowadays to use the “vous” pronoun when proposing to someone, but it may be used in more traditional households.
“J’ai hâte de passer le reste de ma vie avec toi.”
- “I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you.” Nothing is sweeter than telling someone that you are ready to share your life with them. This is a perfect phrase to use after accepting someone’s proposal to marry them.
“Je n’aurais jamais imaginé vivre quelque chose d’aussi beau avec quelqu’un de ma vie.”
- “I could have never imagined living something so beautiful in my life with someone.” This is best if you want to tell the person you love that what you have is beyond special and that it is timeless.
“Ce fut un coup de foudre quand nous nous sommes rencontrés."
- “It was love at first sight when we first met.” In French, the expression ‘coup de foudre’ literally translates to “thunderstrike,” but is commonly used to mean “love at first sight.” It is a beautiful way to communicate the instantaneity of two lovers’ falling in love.
“Mon fiancé est l’amour de ma vie.”
- “My fiance is the love of my life.” This is a beautiful way to communicate the love you have towards the person you are engaged with. You would use the phrase when, for example, describing your new fiance status to a friend.
- “I love you.” This is the most basic, yet most powerful phrase of the French language. Luckily for native English speakers, not only is this one of the most beautiful phrases in the world, it is also easy to pronounce!
There is nothing more romantic or beautiful than the thought of assisting a French wedding. Whether it be in the vineyards of Bourgogne, on the mediterranean coast of Nice, or the Atlantic coast of la Bretagne, the experience of a wedding in France is not one to miss. Here are some go-to phrases to know when attending a wedding in French.
“Tous mes vœux et félicitations pour votre mariage.”
- “All my best wishes and felicitations for your marriage.” This is a very eloquent and classic phrase to say to someone getting married. You would use this at the celebration itself. It is likely the most timeless phrase you can use for a compliment.
“Que le bonheur qui vous unit aujourd'hui dure toute la vie.”
- “May the happiness which unites you together today last an entire lifetime.” This one is relatively cheesy, and will be more commonly said in a religious context. You probably wouldn’t say this to friends who just announced to you they are fiancee.
“Tous mes vœux et félicitations pour votre mariage.”
- “All of my best wishes and felicitations for your wedding.” Another eloquent way to celebrate someone’s wedding and show your appreciation for them. This would likely be used with people you are less acquainted with than close friends.
“Votre mariage nous inspire et nous montre la voix de l'amour, bravo à vous deux !”
- “Your marriage inspires us and shows us the way of love. Congratulations to the both of you!” If you don’t want to use a mundane compliment when congratulating someone’s marriage, this is certainly a personal and unique one to use.
“Que tous les jours de votre vie soient remplis de complicité, de joie, de rires et de bonheur !”
- “May all your days be filled with unity, joy, laughter, and happiness!” Again, another cheesy phrase, but aren’t weddings the perfect excuse to use sweet phrases and compliments? There is no going overboard when it comes to compliments at weddings!
“Félicitations pour votre mariage !”
- “Congratulations on your wedding!” A classic phrase which is easy to remember. Although there may be more complex formulations, this one is sure to please and can be used for just about any wedding occasion.
“Félicitations. Puissiez-vous être aussi riche dans la vie que vous l'êtes en amour !”
- “Congratulations. May you be as rich in life as you are in love!” This one is very poetic and speaks to the couple’s love. It gives a personal edge to the compliment, and is perfect to commemorate the special occasion
“Vive les jeunes mariés !”
- “Long live the young married couple!” This is a rough translation because in French, “vive” or “vivement” which translate to “life” and “living” is used to celebrate not just long life, but life in general.
“Tu es magnifique dans ta robe de mariée !”
- “You look beautiful in your wedding dress!” Although wedding dresses in France are usually less expensive and extravagant than in America, it is still a sweet compliment to receive when it is someone’s special day. (see our article on how to compliment someone in French)
“Vous êtes très beau avec ce costume.”
- “You are very handsome in this suit.” In French, ‘costume’ refers both to costumes for plays or movies as well as suits. Grooms will often get tailored suits in local boutiques in order to look their sharpest on their special day.
“Je vous souhaite un beau mariage.”
- “I wish you a beautiful marriage.” Whether you use this in reference to the wedding celebration or the marriage itself is up to you: in any case, it is a nice compliment to receive, and shows that you care about the newly wed couple.
“Vous êtes magnifiques ensemble !”
- “You are magnificent together!” This is a very sweet compliment to give to a soon-to-be or newly wed couple. Complimenting each individually is nice, but what couple doesn’t want to be told they look beautiful together?
"J'espère avoir un mariage comme le votre dans ma vie.”
- “I hope to one day in my life have a marriage like yours.” This is also a very kind and personal compliment. It shows that what the couple has is special enough that you would want it for yourself.
“Quelle magnifique pièce montée !”
- “What a beautiful mounted piece!” In France, a traditional aspect to a marriage is having a ‘piece montee,’ which is a tall cake composed of smaller cakes or pastries. A classic ‘piece montee’ is made of ‘choux a la creme’ stuck together with caramel.
“Un bisous ! Un bisou !”
- “A kiss! A kiss!” It happens that the crowd will begin to cheer this phrase either at the end of the certification or during the main meal of the wedding celebration. If you hear people shouting this, join along!
Although the culture is less pronounced than in Northern America, the French still have certain traditions regularly followed at weddings. If you are looking to ask specific questions on the wedding and what customs the wedded couple are following, here are some good phrases to know.
“Quand êtes-vous allés à la mairie ?”
- “When did you both go to the city hall?” In France, the official wedding happens most often before the ceremony, sometimes months ahead of hand. The couple will first be officiated at the local city hall, and this will either feature a witness or wedding officiator.
“Vas-tu porter un voile de mariage avec ta robe ?”
- “Will you wear a wedding veil with your dress?” This is a more traditional aspect to weddings which is not as common as it was in the previous decades, but for religious weddings it is sometimes still used for the bride.
“Est-ce que votre enterrement de vie de garçon s’est bien passée ?”
- “Did your bachelor’s party go well?” In French, “enterrement de vie de garçon” literally translates to: “Funeral of the young boy’s life.” This is also the case for the bride’s bachelorette party.
“As-tu fait un enterrement de jeune fille ?”
- “Have you had a bachelorette’s party?” These will typically be less wild than those we see on American reality television, but often there will either be a dinner, daytime activity, or girls-only party organized in honor of the bride.
“Puis-je voir la liste des invités ?”
- “Could I see the invitation list?” Just say with all weddings across the world, there is almost always an invitation list. Maybe you want to see if your crush is attending, or to see if there is room to invite a plus one. That said, it is not recommended to ask this if you are not close with the wedding couple.
“Qui sera votre témoin de mariage ?”
- “Who will be your wedding witness?” The couple can choose one or two wedding witnesses each. These will often be close friends or relatives. Although the witnesses do sign papers for the wedding officiation, it is now more of a custom of support for the couple than anything else.
“Nous allons servir un repas à cinq plats pour notre mariage.”
- “We will be serving a five-course meal at our wedding.” Now this is most likely the most important part of any French wedding ceremony - the food served. As is well known around the world, the French are far from lacking in culinary expertise, and for any wedding to be memorable, the meal must be perfect.
“Avez-vous choisi où se fera le mariage ?”
- “Have you chosen where the wedding ceremony will be hosted?” French weddings are often beautiful if only for the vast possibilities of beautiful locations available throughout the country. Be it in a village castle, in vineyards in the Southern region, or at a 14th-century gothic Church, the choices are endless.
Whether you have been invited to a French wedding, are planning to propose in French or to a French person, or just want to know a bit more about French wedding culture, these phrases are a great introduction and practice for you. If you are an invitee, make sure to spend some time looking for a nice outfit, as the French have exquisite taste in wedding fashion.
PS: You can use our free web application to record your own French phrases.