Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Un mariage en Provence.

Over the weekend, Darin and I attended a wedding for one of Darin's B-school friends. All I knew was that it was in Provence. I had no idea what I was in for. First of all, we stayed in a B&B smack dab in the middle of farmland and that was surrounded by poppy fields and lavender farms. Oh, and the view of the nuclear power plant was...breathtaking. So, the house was built around 1830 and on one of the outside walls there are marks in the wall indicating the height of the floods (from the Rhone) during specific years. The first mark was in 1850 or something like that. Post-Columbus US was only a toddler at that time.

The wedding ceremony was held in a medieval church in Grignan. We were running a little late to the ceremony and as our car turned a corner, all we could see in front of us was this gorgeous medieval town on a hill. "We're going there?!", I asked Darin. It was pretty darn cool. It was a Catholic wedding and Darin and I were surprised when they started to sing a song in Hebrew. A song we both knew by heart from the many years spent in synogogues. I was also interested to know why there were so many women donning hats. Hats I usually associated with Easter. Young women were also wearing hats that weren't really hats, but what looked like large bows wrapped around their heads, but made out of hat material. I later found out that wearing hats to French weddings (of a certain class) is pretty typical. This is a town that is visited by many tourists and the tourists (and their cameras) from that day had the pleasure of watching the wedding guests, wedding party, and bride and groom exit the church, get lavender thrown on them, all while the church bells were ringing. It was a gorgeous sight for us too.

The reception was held at a historical chateau located down the road from our B&B. Luckily, the enormous trees surrounding the chateau and the grounds, blocked out the view of the power plant. We gorged ourselves on appetizers like: tapenade, a scrambled egg-like appetizer with truffle sauce, escargot, shrimp and scallops made in front of everyone, lots of champagne, etc. Dinner was a few hours later. Delicious as well, but way too much food. This is only my second French wedding, but I do miss weddings with wedding cake. Dinner didn't end until around 1ish. I was too tired from all the food and wine and all the talking in French to really enjoy the dancing. We've noticed, from the 2 French weddings we've attended so far, that the friends of the bride and groom like to play games, show slideshows, or do other entertaining things during the wedding dinner. It's nice to see how loved the bride and groom are. But, it's interesting that it all occurs during the dinner and not at a wedding shower or stag party.


ColourMeCrazy said...

Grignan looks gorgeous! You know what, I've been to a couple of French weddings as well and yeah, no wedding cake! though after a few glasses of wine, I didn't really notice ;-)

The Late Bloomer said...

Oh, that wedding sounds so lovely, Emily! I haven't been to a wedding in ages, believe it or not. My boy's not that into them, to be honest... For some reason he's had some negative experiences with the weddings he's attended in the past, for example having the couple separate only months after the wedding, so he somehow associates this to the wedding itself! Silly boy.

We have been invited to a tiny ceremony in a little village in July, though, and I think the only reason we'll really be attending is because it's a good friend of his and he's asked him to be the témoin! So he kindof has no choice... But still, weddings make me sentimental, no matter what. I guess I'm old-fashioned that way! But a wedding in Provence -- the setting must have been so gorgeous; it sure sounds like it anyway.

Jennifer (the singing one) said...

Lucky you!! I've always wanted to attend a European wedding, but so far, the closest I've come is being one of those tourists you described. Despite the nuclear power plant, sounds like a lovely time.

ps. 24 days till our trip!

misschrisc said...

The shock of my life was to find out that most French weddings are tacky as all get out. Who would think ! I have always thought that was funny because I'd always imagined that they'd be really elegant and do things we'd only read about in books (not the canard dance). You're right that with all that singing and revelry it is sort of like a bachelor party with the family!

Wow a wedding in Provence though. That sounds wonderful. I bet it was beautiful.

TinkerBlue said...

Aren't weddings fun. It always amazes me how different they can be.

joy suzanne said...

Oh, I haven't been to a wedding in France yet, and I'd love to see one. Marriage is sort of out of fashion, it seems. I know some PACSed people but none of the couples I know seem interested in getting married. We know so many people with children who have been together a long time, but they hardly ever seem to get 'hitched'... anyone else notice this?