Day four in France = the Frenchy wedding party day! Of course Claire and Nick were officially Mr & Mrs already as declared (in French) at the civil ceremony documented here but there was a change of frock and some personal vows and promises to be shared (in English) and we had more people who'd flown in to do wedding French style.
It was splendid and charming in every way, of course. The weather played nice despite some concerns in the morning that the outdoor wedding was going to get a little washed out but what's a wedding without a few weather fears?
The bride was 360% lovely. She got ready in our farmhouse and I just sat and watched her, stalker style, for the entire duration of her make up and hair session.
During which I absolutely did eat at least two thirds of this cheese platter which was intended for the entire gaggle of woman surrounding the bride.
That's definitely all part of having me as a friend - in France. The fromage greed is real. But seriously, how good is that cheese platter? Kudos to the sister in law for her genius creation.
I also confess I was the (only) one who burst into tears when the bride stepped into her dress and turned around fully Vogue style and dazzled us with her elegance and stunning-ness. It was just one of those moments where I got to see a girl turn into a woman in front of my very eyes, ya know?
I did my best Vogue guest posing but really, mutton dressed up as lamb.
Suitably Frenchy don't you think? And any wedding that has an allocated gin table for the guests arrival I am a-o-k with!
We swished our gin around and admired each others new outfits awaiting the bride and when she arrived, wow.
When a bride smiles like that, no one can stop smiling like that. Such perfection!
The ceremony was lead by the brides brother who was extremely charming and the vows, oh my, I write that almost as I clutch my heart. Never have I heard more eloquent, poetic and romantic words shared! The groom likened his love for the bride by referencing various songs that he loves!!! Tears were shed (and don't we love a teary groom???) I mean, if the wind blew just a little I would have fallen over onto my face from being so moved.
Isn't she a vision? The bodice, the lace, the soft hair, her ivory skin, those golden locks, EVERYTHING! I kept staring at her, stalker style, all day long.
There was only twenty five guests but they were an eclectic array of people from all over the world. It was a fascinating mix and I loved mingling with them all learning their stories and their link to the couple. See, I could do that kid free! Amazing benefits!
Christian was perhaps one of the most compelling characters. He has just the right amount of spirituality, earthiness and flamboyance that makes him incredibly loveable. He is a French-Canadian Native American from Wendake and he led a traditional blessing for the bride and groom.
It was quite spellbinding to watch and Christian even had all the guests walking around the couple, chanting!! If you didn't realise this wasn't an everyday wedding already...
Really, I know I've already mentioned the Vogue thing but this was sensationally Frenchy and elegant to a tee. I mean, see this picture for example:
and such a photo could only be topped by this:
Bad pictures of this couple just don't exist! Actually bad pictures in France just don't exist!
Just to fill the time, fresh French oysters to graze on:
Then it was time to get really serious about eating. A celebrated Frenchy chef took up kitchen in the barn and prepared seven courses of French delicacies! Talk about music to my ears! I was lapping it all up.
Allow me to translate the menu for you: Fois Gras which I have named Sex on Toast because really, it's as good as (also known as goose pate). Escargot (tasty snails), fillet mignon de pork (pork - did you get that one?), pine melon sorbet for a palate cleanse (basically a bottle of local wine over sorbet - IT WAS THE BEST - it sure cleansed my spirit), fromage et salade (A salad of cheese! We must adopt this) and lastly croquembouche - on fire! Is there any better way to say celebrate than with sweets on fire!?!?
Needless to say, I was full after course three.
The rest of the evening was filled with laughs with new friends, stories and chinks from wine glasses and maybe Christian somehow convinced me to do a Celine Dion duet with him *cringe*.
I can't remember another wedding where I smiled my head off so much. I mean, I've got permeant wrinkles from this day. It was just perfection and I noted how free I was to enjoy it. No tiny baby to feed, no Vicklets to yell at for slamming the antique finery, no husband to tell me to stop flirting with the French chef, ha ha kidding (kinda), just real conversations and champagne and beauty everywhere.
It was one of those moments that will stay apart of me forever. Never forgotten and always remembered as truly one of the most beautiful, indulgent and joyful times.