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Joyeuses PACS!

 
To PACS or not to PACS? That is a question that I am sure has come up at one point or another in every Franco-American relationship. Why not just get married? This is what Aurel and I have been asked ever since we announced this, well to be clear, ever since we announced it in America. It wasn't until a little get-together that we were invited to this weekend where almost every couple mirrored us (American gal, European man), we felt right at home as our decision to PACS wasn't once questioned, and in fact was encouraged.

Last week, on the radio show when I slipped and shared our plans to do this French version of a civil union, it came as a bit of a surprise to some of you, but in actuality this is something that has actually been in the works for months. I suppose it's now time to go global (“Global”. I know, how dramatic.) with it, as well as explain our reason for keeping it fairly quiet these past few months.

Aurel PACSposed to me when we were at Cafe Gitane during Easter, but because we were in New York during an unexpected family tragedy, it would be in poor taste to announce our good news. I was also getting a little frustrated with explaining why we have to stay simple at the moment. I understand that a wedding can also be simple, but let's be honest, they never are and I know that there are some details that I want that would perhaps be overlooked due to our current time and financial constraints. Maybe I'll want to descend from the ceiling to "Always" by Atlantic Starr wearing a white powder-puff dress in a catering hall. We can't do that at the moment. And finally, my blogaversary came up and I didn't want to give the impression that my life is better based on the fact that I found a man, as the point was to keep the focus on my personal growth.

During this life make-over, Aurel was nothing but patient. He allowed me time to myself, he never forced the meaning of the relationship in the beginning, never pressured me to be more present as I was sorting through a haunting past, and on top of being a boyfriend, was a true friend to me. As much as I wanted to stay single this year, how could I have refused a gem like this? As the old cliche goes, the best things always happen when you least expect it.

So the question that my family will be asking. Why aren't we just getting married? It's simple. We don't want to. PACS fits our lifestyle at the moment. It documents us living together under French law, keeps me in the country and will eventually get me out of student visa hell! As for the future? Who knows. One day at a time...

Now that most of the big questions have been answered, and it's officially out in the open, we are able to enjoy our decision. We are both really excited about it! We are shooting for an October date with a simple dinner to follow. Nothing crazy. Now for the big question....what to wear!

Have any of you had a civil union or have PACsed? Please share with me your experience!

What was happening a year ago today? This!

34 comments:

  1. AnonymousJune 20, 2012

    What are the differences, though? (Genuine question.) Is it just in the fuss/poswder-puff dress v simple ceremony? If so, a wedding could be as small as you choose to make it, so it must be something different...

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    1. PACS is like a wedding "light". Diet wedding! We won't have all of the perks of being married, but that's okay.

      To us, it's just the first step in starting our life together because we do want to get married some day, this buys us a little time to save money and prepare a proper wedding while keeping me in the country.

      It's just paper work with a dinner after.


      Thank you for your well wishes!!!

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  2. AnonymousJune 20, 2012

    p.s. Sorry, I forgot to say congratulations and I'm very glad you are happy!

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  3. I will now refer to you as Mrs. Pacman.
    I think PACS are great because you can do the whole thing twice.... have a nice, intimate celebration after the PAC and then the big wedding blowout if you decide to get married. It's a win win because you get to have your cake and eat it too :)

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    1. Yeah! It is a win-win! Planning this dinner is already fun. We don't need to worry about flowers, a poofy dress and a dj. Just food and booze...the best part anyway!

      Did you and The Husband PACS?

      Thanks Sara!!!!

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  4. Congratulations again, Ella!! I'm really happy for the both of you!!

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    1. Thank you Shannon! Congrats to you too with your signing of the lease with the Brazilian. Exciting this are happening for us both! : )

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  5. Congratulations, Ella and Seb! I don't have any input about being PACsed but I do have a question about the photo. Is that your new apartment? I'm amazed that a place with paint scraped off the walls can look so romantic with the addition of some colorful ballons, a wine bottle and a vase of flowers on a ladder. If that's what being PACsed is all about, you made the right decision!

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    1. Thanks MK!!!! No, I wish that was our new flat. We're still looking! Whoever said house hunting in Paris was fun was lying. Wait NO ONE ever said that. I wonder why....

      We're so excited about the PACS!!! Eeeeek!

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  6. "Maybe I'll want to descend from the ceiling to "Always" by Atlantic Starr" - only a Brooklyn girl would get this!!!!!!!!! LMAO!!! God I love you. Congrats on the PACs!! Screw what everyone has to say. If you married him right now, they'd talk too. Do what's right for you and enjoy every moment! XOXOXO

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    1. I KNEW you were going to catch that! Hahahaha!! I may even want to come out of the wall at Russo's. Who knows!? The possibilities are endless!!! lol!!

      Thanks Cara!!!!! xo!

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  7. Congrats! and bonne chance!

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  8. I'm loving these vintage back posts! The one for today is great! You at that dance school in the Marais! I can just see you trying to fit in with the crew! You're too funny, Mlle!

    Congrats on the Pacs!!!

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    1. Ha! Thanks Rachel! That was a fun day at the dance school. I didn't make too much of an ass out of myself. Dancing and laughing was the best medicine for a broken heart! : )

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  9. While I've already congratulated you many times on this - what's one more! Congrats!! I cant wait to see pics and hear about the event in the fall!!!

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    1. Thanks Kristen!!!! Ummm, you and P will be at the event so you won't need to see photos! ; )

      Seb is bromancing over your husband. Really...

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  10. My French husband and I got a PACS before getting married. In Jan 2007 we filed for one because it was free and it didn't seem like it would be a bad thing. We had plans to get married when I would then be moving here that August of the same year. It's because of that PACS they let me stay in France even after we were married. Even though that paper gave no rights to stay in the country legally once my 3 month visitor visa was up that January it was the proof to show we were serious. They were just gonna turn me away saying I had to go back to the US until we pulled out that little paper.
    I'm not sure that would work for anyone else but somehow it did for us back in 07 at the Bobigny Prefecture and now I have my resident card for 10 years!

    I think it's great to get a PACS and good luck with it all!

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    1. Thanks Christina!

      Seb says the same thing, he wants to PACS to show were serious, also to document us living together.

      Thank you for sharing your experience with me. One thing that confuses me is why you couldn't stay in the country even after you were married?

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  11. I love that you referenced "Always". "Let's go make a family..."

    Congrats, my dear Ella. So very happy for you. You prove that with time and patience, anything (even a broken heart) is fixable. The very best wishes for you both.

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    1. "The love like yours is grand, it must have been sent from up above" !!! The lyrics in that song are PRICELESS!!!! The family lyric is the best though...

      I'm listening to it now. he he he. This song will never get old.

      Thanks so much for your comment! Anything is fixable, you're absolutely right! Sometimes it takes longer than we would like, but heart break is permanent. Thank God.

      Thanks again, BEP! xo.

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  12. Congrats Ella! I'm with Sara Louise and see it as a win-win all around. Who wouldn't be excited for a loved one to wear a pretty dress, eat some cake, and declare their love for another person no matter what the ceremony is called ?! And if they get to do it twice, lucky them!

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    1. Thanks Chicky! We're super excited! If you would have told me that this was the direction my life would go in a year ago today, I would have told you that you were crazy!

      It's just funny how life works....

      I'm still scratching my head when I look back.

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  13. Call me old-fashioned, but "what's wrong with living in sin?";)) I did for a number of years with my husband and we only got married before heading to The Hague two years ago because it was simpler that way, otherwise we would have remained "shacked up" for the rest of our lives!:) (I hate weddings anyway:) So it was a hilarious civil ceremony in the waiting room of a notary's office with imaginary wedding bands because they were still at the jeweller's!;) Then we had brunch with my folks and part of my in-laws (my father-in-law didn't come because it was Good Friday and he had to go to church in his town - I'm not making this up!) in a French bistro here in Ottawa and it was lovely:)

    I thought the PACS was just a signing of papers, not even a civil ceremony?

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    1. Hahahaha! Living in sin! So dramatic, Duchess!!! I love it.
      Your ceremony/brunch sounds absolutely PERFECT. Who needs all the brouhaha? As I learned in my many years in Al-Anon: K.I.S.S - Keep it simple sweetie! I try to apply that as much as possible in my life.

      Yeah PACS is just singing papers at court. I was trying to find a comparison in English, the best I could come up with was a civil union/ceremony. I'm new to all this so I don't know. I'm kind of learning as I go. : )

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  14. AnonymousJune 20, 2012

    I vaguely remember saying this about twenty times at the party, but (one more time, with sobriety) congratulations again! I love that after everything you've went through in Paris you've got your "happy ending" -- can't wait to hear all about it in the fall!

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    1. Thank you Edna! Happy ending indeed!

      Seb and I both absolutely adore you! Who could not? And congrats to you too!!! We must do a double date when your man is back in town! xo.

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  15. Congratulations Ella :) It's so wonderful that you've found someone who is both amazing to you but who also lets you be your amazing self.

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    1. Thank you Jenna! He's pretty awesome. I finally met someone who actually joins me in nerding out, which happens more often than not. I had no idea that this was what I was looking for my whole life! Who would've thought?

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  16. Congratulations to you both!...whatever works I say.

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  17. Congrats. I've been married, I've been PACSed. Here are my 2 centimes. The wedding was a big party, where we did everything exactly like they do in the movies and you just say I do and you don't really think about it.
    The PACS was a rather serious meeting in a notary's office. We read through a very official contract, agreeing to each clause. Sentence by sentence. Then we signed and I was his PACSette! Went to a romantic dinner just the two of us (in case this sounds sad, with 5 kids and lots of sibs, a quiet dinner for two is heaven to us).
    Personally I found the PACS much more meaningful and appropriate for the commitment we were making. That said, I still want that wedding some day, which is why he only got to give me an engagement ring, and not a wedding ring. TMI?

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    1. TMI? Never! This blog IS TMI!

      PACSette! I just love that! How witty! Congrats to you too. : )

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