connect!

certainly no cakewalk.

Illustration via etsy

Saturday morning commenced the first day of our wedding adventures, as our two families join together to get the ball rolling on our fast-approaching big day! 

We picked up my mother and her boyfriend The Pilot up at their hotel in Paris at 9:00 am sharp. With a quick stop at Bastille for to-go Starbucks (because a road trip out to the country isn't complete without to-go lattes and muffins), away we went on autoroute A6 heading out to Fontainebleau.

First on the agenda was to visit the lights, decoration and dish rental vendor. We're going simple without much fuss with the decor, so we figured this would be the easy part, plus I'm doing a lot of it myself. Picking up Gilles at his home, he climbed in the back seat with The Pilot and me while Aurel drove us to the first installment of organizing the reception. Although we were all stuffed in the car like piggies, the excitement from all of the passengers aboard was undeniable.

Pulling up the gravel stone driveway of our first vendor, we were not expecting to see planters, a television, and chunks of pulled up patio scattered out on the front lawn, but whatever...details, right? That. Was nothing in compare to our next surprise. Gilles pulled out his phone to call the woman he had been in communication with for the past week to let her know that we were outside. "On est là, Madame," he said into his lime green fur-covered iPhone. A moment or two passed before we heard, "That doesn't look like a Madame!" from my mother who was peering out of the passenger's side window. The five of us looked out to our right to discover a middle-aged man with Sun-In blondish, yellow hair (think Jeremy Jordan 90210 soundtrack circa '93) approaching the car. "Well that's probably the husband," I reasoned, naturally assuming that Gilles had been talking to his wife who manages the appointments. That theory had been killed during introductions when "Jeremy" told Gilles that it was nice to finally meet him after their many phone calls, not at all addressing the fact that Gilles had been calling him Madame for the past week.

Only Gilles, I tell you.

Walking into the wood-paneled home, we passed through a long corridor that had wall stains and mold from leaks, and that were poorly concealed with tacked on posters of flowers and scenes of the New York City skyline. At the end of the hall, we were presented with the "showroom". The showroom had more strange posters, doodles on the wall of peace signs and arrows, neon light palm trees, champagne bowls that chimed "La vie en rose", and a table setting that fashioned every color...except for white. This detail never came up in their phone calls because Gilles rightfully assumed they would have white dishes.

"David Tutera of My Fair Wedding would not approve." my mother said under her breath, looking at a creepy bride and groom cake topper with their faces chipped off.

While I can certainly see past presentation, the shambles of the showroom didn't bother me as much as the fact that they didn't have white dishes. If were looking to do a tropical themed wedding in colors of golf course green and peacock blue, this would be the place to go, but since it's not, we needed to tell "Jeremy" that we were going to keep looking. I'm starting to notice that going simple is in fact not at all going to be simple.

Next on the agenda was meeting with the tent people. Since we are doing a backyard wedding, we have to be prepared in the event that France's beloved rain will pay us a visit. Driving even deeper into the country, we arrived at our second appointment with the expectation that it would go much better than the first. It just had to.

Before opening the car door, a large and extremely fierce Doberman (at least I think that's what its breed was) slammed its paws onto the window and began barking at me, steaming up glass with his breath. The five of us sat in the car waiting for the dog to either lose interest in us or for the tent owner to greet us. Neither of the two had happened.

"Gilles," my mom screeched, turning around in the front seat to face him, "Call them, but this time don't say Madame!"

The owner came out and led us into his garage to talk business, with the feisty dog hot on our trail. Once "inside", standing amidst stereo equipment and lawn mowers turned on their backs, the owner told us what he had in stock in terms of tents, their different sizes and heating options. 

"Can we see one?" Aurel asked, wanting to walk inside one, see if they smelled strange and were in good condition. A fair request, if you ask me. Apparently not to the owner and his wife who then came charging out of a side door with a lit cigarette that she sucked through the large gap of her missing front tooth. She seemed down right pissed with our request to see the product that we would be renting from them. "See one? We don't have one already constructed!" she barked at us before complaining about us and our demands to her husband. 

"Here I'll show you," she said while reaching into the back pocket of her jeggings, pulling out a cracked and crusty first generation iPhone to show us photos. We all politely hovered around her iPhone, looking at the photos we had already seen online last week. Leave it to my mother to announce what we were all thinking: "We could have stayed home and done that, and not freeze our asses off in a hut!" Unimpressed by the fact that we were standing in a cinderblock garage with the snow wafting through the open door directly onto Gilles, The Pilot and my mother, she added, this time louder, "David would not approve!"

Again with the David Tutera.


Like the earlier appointment, we left without reserving their services with the understanding that the hunt will continue. In the car on the way to a much-needed lunch (read: wine!), I was concerned that Gilles and Aurel didn't find any faults in these bizarre appointments, and that the rest of the planning would continue in back wood homes and being yelled at by toothless beasts. Fortunately ,I was wrong. Phew.


"That was pure shit!" Gilles declared in the car with a raised fist in the air, "We can do better than that." We most certainly can. I was just pleased that he said it, and I wasn't a closet Bridezilla who demands champagne on a cremant budget. 

Something tells me that we are going to be laughing about this day for years to come. Whoever said planning a wedding was easy? Oh wait, no one did...

Side note: Lunch was at a darling town called Moret-sur-Loing where Aurel grew up. Seeing his village, and hearing stories about each little rue and small business in town made me love him just a little more. To see the photos that we took of this postcard of a village, click here!

22 comments:

  1. Moret-sur-Loing is such a cute town! Hope the wedding fairies are saving the best for last for you two :)

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    1. Thanks Danielle! Some things have since worked out and I think we're back on track, but yeah, this threw us all for a loop! We thought simple would be easy!

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  2. "Being yelled at by toothless beasts" - I love it;) Ah France, the epitome of refinement:)

    Seb's hometown is very picturesque. Your special day will be lovely:)

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    1. Duchesse, she seriously was barking at us. She was so mad that we wanted to see it first and the crusty iphone, that just did it for all of us! I'm so happy to have this wacky memory. Everyone's reaction really was sketch-comedy worthy.

      How sweet is this little town? It was one of the best tours I've had in France.

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  3. Oh dear, I laughed so much I nearly cried (I think I might even have scared the guy downstairs with the first bark of laughter) Oh well, onwards and upwards as they say...

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    1. Hahahaha I'm so glad Katy!!! Thank you! We're still laughing about it too. These people were nuts!! LOL! We've already found new vendors and we're back on track. I think these appointments happened on purpose because my mom was there. The universe loves shocking her. It was like a Seinfeld episode. Seriously.

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  4. I had to google David Tutera... wow. T hats a high benchmark to aspire to!

    I always think the planning is just as much fun as the wedding it'self. Enjoy!

    Love denise

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    1. Omg, my mom and the David Tutera comments. She actually wanted me to write to him so he could help but I told her, we've done one reality show, we're good for now! Plus our story isn't interesting enough for 'My Fair Wedding'.

      We really are having fun with the planning. This day was pretty funny. I'm so lucky that our families get along so well!

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  5. Oh my.. You made me laugh so much! Thats prob why I think I ll never get married in my own country ;)
    It will all work out for you guys, for sure! Xx

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    1. Thanks Emma! I'm sure it will! I'm so happy that my mom was there to witness this. She always misses out on the good stories, so it was amazing that she was there to add her two cents!

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  6. BTW... is there some cultural rule about only having white tableware at a wedding?

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    1. No not at all, I just thought white would be the most simple, and easiest to find. We've since found white dishes and now we can have fun with the decor and use some color!

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  7. How about an Atlantic City themed wedding with golf course green/peacock blue dishes and those neon palm trees on the walls? Or in the middle of the tables... Centerpieces and lighting scheme in one! :)

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    1. Hahaha yeah, why not? At this point, we're up for anything!! "There are some tiki torches in the garage" (I couldn't resist the American Beauty reference), we could do a tacky luau! Thanks for the laugh, Heather!

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  8. Plan B: Buy your tableware at Ikea, then return it all after the wedding! That's what two of my French gf's did for their weddings. :) I thought it was brilliant idea; something I'd do.

    Those two apts were bizarre indeed (love your mom, and Gilles!), sorry to hear that they didn't work out, but they sure do make good writing material (at least it was good for something)! Do you know anyone who's gotten married in the Paris-area? Best bet is to go by personal recommendations.

    Moret-sur-Loing looks adorable! I have such a weak spot for little French towns! I've asked Flo to drive me to so many of them throughout the Rhone-Alpes and Provence. Extra points if they have castles, ponds and little bridges. :-)

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    1. Oh I couldn't do that! I'd feel too bad returning dirty dishes! Ikea has been to good to me this past decade from 20s into my 30s. : ) One question though: your friends really washed their guests dirty dishes? The symbolism in that alone would deter me from doing it! Thanks for the funny suggestion though!

      We've actually found someone who is renting us dishes at a great price, Gilles made a few phone calls later that day and sorted it all out. So we're good there1 Phew!

      Oh Moret delivers the castles, bridges and little stone tunnels that welcome you to the village! It's like a movie set, as my mom calls it!

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  9. Haha! Only in France! It must have been difficult not actually losing it in front of these people! In the States, they'd be bending over backwards to get you to be their client. It seems like these two want you to jump through hoops to be their client.

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    1. I'm not going to lie Shannon, I had bitch face on. I was annoyed and FREEZING. They probably thought I was some spoiled American, I'm sure of it. But hey, there's nothing wrong with wanting to see the product before essentially purchasing it! I'm learning that organizing a wedding is completely different here than it is in the States! It's okay, now I'm just prepared for everything!

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  10. Gilles and his neon green fur iPhone cover and pure shit fist throwing are hilarious - as are you with your 90210 references!
    Am going to see Seb's village now!

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    1. Hahaha thanks Daisy!!! I listen to the 90210 soundtrack when I go running! I love it! And Gilles is awesome, he's like my mom, calls it like he sees it! C'est parfait!

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  11. Oh, I love Moret-sur-Loing! I've spent a couple of happy long weekends there a few autumns back. Beautiful!

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  12. Thanks for mentioning this town. I'm always looking for quiet adorable little villages to visit!

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