Trousseau: A French Origin Wedding Tradition

What is a trousseau? A Bridal Trousseau, that is, the possessions, such as clothing and linens, that a bride assembles for her marriage. Create your own bridal trousseau today!

Dictionary.com defines Trousseau as

The possessions, such as clothing and linens, that a bride assembles for her marriage.

trous┬Ěseau, n. [French, from Old French, diminutive of trousse, bundle. See truss.]

Also known as: Trousseau, modern trousseau, bridal trousseau, what is a trousseau, trousseau collection, contents of renaissance bridal trousseau,

Photobucket

Traditionally, a young woman and her mother would start gathering items to prepare for her future married life.

The collection would be stored in a beautiful trunk or luggage.

Back in those days, things cost a lot more than they do today in proportion of what people earned.

For example, a bedspread may only cost a mere $35 then but average income per month back then was about $150!

People got married much younger in those days as well, making it harder to start a home./p>

Mothers would thus prepare for an easier transition for their daughters by slowly putting away perhaps an extra bedsheets set, blankets and some china they received as gifts - mostly what they could spare.

They start collecting and preparing their daughters' trousseau early, way before they've even met boys!

Photobucket

These collections could contain bridal accessories, jewelry, fine linens, cushions, china, silverware, pillows or quilts, toiletries, bath towels in addition to clothing and lingerie . They go with her to her new home when she gets married.

In Victorian times, the bride-to-be will lovingly collect a few sets of new clothes to see herself through her wedding, honeymoon and newlywed days. If she was from a wealthy family, her garments would be sewn by a professional seamstress. Most of the time, her mother or herself sews them.

They add beautiful touches like monograming her new initials on her new items.

There is also a tradition for the wealthy sorts of that day to "show" their daughter's trousseau.

A wealthy bride's family would host a "Trousseau tea" where friends would be invited to view her collection. The luxury items it may contain sometimes is shown as a sign of wealth.

(Though I'll never imagine I could do that...showing my possessions to others!)

Interested in French Table Manners? Photobucket

Assembling Your Trousseau

I compiled a list of ideas sourced from a few old traditions and added a few ideas in too.

For most brides (depending on culture and family traditions) gifts for the home are given as wedding presents.

If you use a registry, it is like a modern day virtual trousseau.

You can have your own private trousseau to collect things that can't be bought but you want to take them with you to your new married life, such as family heirlooms, paintings etc.

Photobucket


Ideas for assembling your Trousseau

  • Fine table linens: Napkins, place mats, preferably monogrammed.
  • Fine China! Plates, bowls, cups, teapots.
  • Fine Stationary: (It should be kept in a box) Thank you cards, blank cards for writing birthdays etc, a monogrammed stamp.
  • Candles, drawer liners, decorative elements like soap dish sets etc that are currently too precious to use.
  • One classic beautiful bedspread or bedsheets set.
  • A self-assembled recipe book of family recipes!
  • A couple of childhood books, toys that meant a lot to you. You might want to save for your children, even if its just to simply share a piece of your childhood.
  • A very small box of childhood and family photos: A reminder of the family you grew up in.
  • Beautiful silk pajamas, lingerie.
  • A copy of A Well-Kept Home : Household Traditions and Simple Secrets from a French Grandmother


More Trousseaus...

How Royalty prepared for their Trousseau...

Additional ideas for assembling your Victorian Trousseau (For the Society Woman)

  1. One or two velvet dresses

  2. Lace, lots of lace for embellishing

  3. Day dresses & neligees

  4. Ball gowns imported from Paris

  5. Traveling dresses in black silk, in pongee, in pique,

  6. Evening robes in Swiss muslin,

  7. Robes in linen for the garden and croquet,

  8. Dresses for horse races and yacht races,

  9. Dresses for breakfast and for dinner,

  10. Dresses for receptions and parties

Adapted from "from "Lights and Shadows of New York" by James McCabe, 1872.
  • Interested in learning french? or in french table manners? or french wedding style

    References of "Trousseau" in Books

    From the book "Madame Bovary":

    "Mademoiselle Rouault was busy with her trousseau. Part of it was ordered from Rouen; her night-dresses and night-caps she made herself, from patterns lent her by friends."

    From the book "The Trousseau,"

    "We never put things out to be made. My husband's pay is not very ample, and we are not able to permit ourselves luxuries. So we have to make up everything ourselves." said the mother;

    "But who will ever wear such a number of things? There are only two of you?"

    "Oh... as though we were thinking of wearing them! They are not to be worn; they are for the trousseau!"

    "Ah, maman,what are you saying?" said the daughter, and she crimsoned again. "Our visitor might suppose it was true. I don't intend to be married. Never!"

    She said this, but at the very word "married" her eyes glowed.



    Shop for your Elegant Trousseau!

    You might be interested in:

  • How To Shop Well
    Thank you for reading 'Trousseau: A French Origin Wedding Tradition'!

    Go back to Elegant Weddings.

    Return from Trousseau: A French Origin Wedding Tradition to Elegant Woman Home


  • Facebook

    Don't Miss Important Updates
    Subscribe via email
    Subscribe to
    Elegant Letters

    Email

    Name

    Then

    I keep this private.

    Subscribe to my blog.
    Latest Entries
    Nov 08, 2016

    A Woman of Grace

    The mesage of grace: Be known as a woman of grace. Hold yourself to a standard of grace, not perfection and remember to extend that same measure of grace to others.

    Continue reading "A Woman of Grace"

    Jun 19, 2016

    Class Distinctions and Bridging the Gap - The Up Series Documentary. "Give me the child until he is seven, and I will show you the man."

    This is about Class Distinctions and Bridging the Gap as documented by The Up Series Documentary. In this documentary, the findings show how unfortunately equal opportunities do not exist for every person, however, it gives us more reason to realizeand believe that by making a focused and educated change, there can be greater social mobility and we can all overcome obstacles, defying limitations of financial background and upbringing.

    Continue reading "Class Distinctions and Bridging the Gap - The Up Series Documentary. "Give me the child until he is seven, and I will show you the man.""

    Mar 07, 2016

    An Accomplished Lady - As defined by Jane Austen

    Who is the accomplished lady? Jane Austen tells us who deserves the respect and praise of being educated, refined and accomplished.

    Continue reading "An Accomplished Lady - As defined by Jane Austen"

    Nov 23, 2015

    How To Be Gentle

    Lessons on how to be gentle derived from elegant women whose poise and grace inspire us.

    Continue reading "How To Be Gentle"

    Oct 05, 2015

    An Elegant Style - Designer or Non designer

    Recently, I've been inspired by the non-designer elegant woman. Somehow I choose now to reflect who I am and my current place in society more accurately with the things I put on my back. This is just how I define my own personal brand of elegance and elegant style. Read about the inspiration behind that.

    Continue reading "An Elegant Style - Designer or Non designer"

    Aug 18, 2015

    Lovely Quotes: How to be Lovely

    Lovely Quotes on how to be feminine, fair and lovely - Daily inspirations on how lovely it is to be a woman!

    Continue reading "Lovely Quotes: How to be Lovely"