Wednesday, March 27, 2019

French Floral Etiquette for Fiancés

In France, the lover as a rule endeavors to send his fiancée each day a basket or bouquet of white flowers– In the mid-1800’s, Americans adopted the French terms for those engaged to be married; A fiancé is a man engaged to be married and a fiancée is a woman engaged to be married. These two terms soon became part of American culture. 

Flowers From a Fiancé

Here is a custom of France which it would be well for our American young girls to reflect upon— and to encourage. It is to receive presents of flowers only, even from a fiancé. If the engagement should be broken — as engagements sometimes are, you know there can be no horrible entanglement about the return of gifts. Flowers are perishable. They die with the day, but while they last they are capable of affording exquisite pleasure and gratification. 

In France, the lover as a rule endeavors to send to his fiancée each day a basket or bouquet of white flowers. And as the supply is bound to meet the demand, there are florists who make a business of engagement flowers. There one discovers, a special etiquette about the way in which, the white satin ribbon is tied on to them— a true lover’s knot, of course — and we learn that the present prevailing mode is a basket of white flowers tied with white ribbon and veiled in white tulle. Very sweet and pretty and dainty, no doubt, but to us Americans rather suggestive of a baby’s funeral. We will take our flowers colored, if you please— and never mind the ribbons or the tulle. – San Francisco Call, 1894

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia 

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