Friday, August 12, 2011

Vive Les Maries

I hesitate to go into too much detail on the wedding, because in many ways it was your typical wedding.  However it was also unlike anything we had experienced, so I will attempt to describe the event.

So, the first question, is why are we going to a wedding in France?  The bride was one of my BFFs many years ago when we lived in Kansas.  She met the groom at a French conversational group over coffee.  While the groom has grown up in America, his family is from France, and they planned the wedding in the town where his parents still keep a home (they too live in the U.S.).

As you can imagine, it's difficult to plan and coordinate a wedding in another country.  So, that explains why we were picking flowers last minute from the wildflowers around our gite for the flowergirls to carry.

Did I mention that Julie asked if my girls would like to be flowergirls?  These two said yes!

The wedding was in a beautiful old church in a neighboring town.

Julie's mom walked her down the aisle (her dad had to cancel his trip last minute after breaking his hip--bummer!),

and her sister, Heidi, was her bridesmaid.

It was a typical Catholic mass (in French--no idea what they said),

but I must say the crowd was not what I expected--I don't have any good pictures, but I was surprised how casual some people were dressed, and I mean not business casual mind you...guess I needn't have worried that Ted didn't bring a suit or sport jacket.

After the ceremony, the bride and groom greeted guests outside the church under a white umbrella that translates "Long Live the Married" (see title).  They then boarded this horse drawn carriage that would take them to the reception.  The horse drawn carriage was a surprise for Julie--one that she was thrilled about!

After the wedding we headed to the parents' garden for a cocktail reception.  Champagne, fancy hors d'ouvre, mingling...

Then we went to say hi to the horse.

Julie, who is a huge animal lover, stole some time away from small talk (in French) to find something to feed the horse.

We (the wedding party, our family and another family) went to the chapel where the groom's parents had wed (see previous post) and took some beautiful shots in the late afternoon setting sun.  It was lovely.

Then we arrived at the dinner reception.  This little shindig started at about 8ish.  At each table was a bottle of wine bought the year Jean-Marc was born and saved for his wedding day.  Now how cool is that?  Courses were slow and in between each there was some sort of game or entertainment--not professional entertainment.  One of the kids later described one part as, "remember that guy who sang real badly?"  But it was all fun and entertaining.

First course--appetizer:  some sort of dill mayonnaise dollop, basic greens, shrimp with caviar, salmon, and young pigeon.  The kids were stoked (not really).  Some sort of sparkling wine (if I remember correctly).  The children were served coca-cola and a local carbonated lemonade (that helped a little).

Second course--fish:  salmon, scallop and sole in a rich creamy sauce.  White wine.  Still, kids are loving it--at least the rice krispie treats we brought in for emergency rations.

Third course--meat:  filet mignon with a creamy mushroom gravy, bacon-wrapped green beans, potatoes, roasted tomato.  Red wine.  The kids would have eaten the beans, but by this time (and by time I mean probably 10 o'clock or so) they've escaped with the four other kids to play UNO.

Fourth course--cheese:  this was a buffet set up with several local cheeses.  Comte cheese, blue cheese, cheese with a line of ash in the middle, yogurt like cheeses.  Champagne.

Fifth course--dessert:  again, this was a buffet set up.  Served at about 12:30 with an after dinner liqueur.  The bride and groom stood near the table while some sparklers shot out--ooh, ahh!

The kids had waited expectantly for this course, but by this time none of them were too interested in eating.  Lucy had long before fallen asleep in my lap!

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