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le temps de l'amour.

Did you know that the first French wedding I have ever attended was my own? Four years in Paris and I have never gone to nor have been invited to a wedding. I guess it's not that weird since I didn't come to Paris with a built-in group of friends, but interesting nonetheless. It took going to another one last night to realize just how non-traditionally French ours was. And so the story continues...

Getting off the train at Veneux-les-Sablons, I started to feel the emotion of the day that I was suppressing in order to keep my liquid eyeliner in tact, coming up again. Waiting for us at the station was relatives, friends, and in-laws of Aurélien's ready with their engines running to transport us rowdy pack to my father-in-law's house. It was something so simple but for some reason, really moved me. Seeing my mom get in the car with Aurélien's bother in-law Thomas, and my high school best friend loading her suitcase in the trunk of Aurélien's best friend's fiancée Julie, once again reminded me that it was another moment that I will most likely never see again. These group of people with very little in common had come together to speak broken Franglais for us. There was something very homemade about the way we planned the day's events, in our effort to get everyone together, to feel part of the family, and this life we have created over the past two years.

With the vin d'honneur and the reception being held in the garden of my new in-laws Gilles and Françoise where they have a guest house, we offered to host all of the American girls to sleep over since many of them shelled out for hotels in Paris. The Friday before the wedding was spent fluffing pillows with Aurélien's sister and my mom, and conducting a makeshift lottery by pulling names out of a hat to assign beds. As their fate would have it, some of the girl's were set up to sleep in the "costume room." More on that later...

Just as they were settled in and more veil fussing provided by Belle, my groom walked in. We tried to keep elements of our attire a secret from each other, but him living with a nosy yenta posed a problem as I wanted to know everything. While I had already seen his tux and helped pick out the bow-tie, a secret he did keep from me was wearing a sparkling new pair of white Repetto jazz shoes, the same that my father used to wear. Those emotions that I was trying to control started bubbling up again like a pot of water on the brink of boiling. Geez, why was everything provoking me to cry?

As a wedding surprise, Gilles rented us a vintage Rolls Royce to bring us down to town hall, with our guests trailing behind by foot. The driver greatly entertained himself by honking the hour in different musical arrangements the entire three-minute drive. Surely irritating all of our neighbors and terrifying our guests he was rolling past, he kept looking through the rear-view mirror at the guests cackling with an open mouth over their reactions.


So you know how I said that our wedding wasn't a typical French wedding, our ceremony was conducted by Gilles, complete with a 9 page speech that he had translated in English and read by Aurélien's sister. While waiting for the ceremony to begin, guests enjoyed extremely dramatic orchestral versions of "November Rain" and "Smells Like Teen Spirit."



Here are some of my favorite quotes from his heartwarming speech that made the wedding so uniquely us.

"I'd like to specify that a good part of this ceremony will get a translation in English...Having questioned some members of the crowd who are in their 80s, they confirmed that they are fit as fiddles and a good ear, so they don't need sign language support!"

"Dear Friends, let's take advantage of this moment, us French citizens, to pay tribute to the thousands of your grandparents who came across from the United States to free us from the nazis. Without them, our country's motto "liberté, egalité, fraternité" would no longer exist."

"On a beautiful summer Sunday, a young New York writer with italo-mexicano-irish origins, in love with Paris to the point she had chosen to live in the city met a young urban-planner, mad about Paris, street art and riding his bike."

"The word together suggests a real equality, which means being complementary and not being clones. Yes, I know there are scientists in the room. To maintain this equality, specialists advice to communicate time after time, and not only say "Babe, can you pass the salt?" Yes, I know communications specialists are also in this room."

"Finally and before the great solemn moment of your commitment, I wanted to quote the writer Jacques de Bourbon Busset, who said: "I have known the grace of living a great shared love."

Once all of the documents were signed, and I let out my shy "oui" (I even consider this public speaking in French), we were married!

But not so fast....

As our guests were waiting outside in the now pouring rain for us to come out as a newly married couple, the mayor of the town who was verifying all of the documents, found a problem*. Apparently, we had signed on the wrong side of one of the forms and conversations about the wedding not being officiated and annulled were being had. We had already heard the word nazi on our wedding day, but I had to draw the line at it being annulled. I quickly became an unhappy bride, mostly because I saw through the window all of our friends and family standing outside in the cold rain for us to come out. "Can't we just print out another one, sign it and get our guests out of the rain?", I offered. But we're in France...so no. 

Once everyone stopped saying the word annulled and surrendered the idea that the American witnesses were going to fly back to France a week later to re-sign the documents, it was announced that we were married...again. I don't know exactly how it was resolved because we all know how particular this country is with paperwork, and am a bit skeptical in the belief that all it took was me and my mother's New York comments to officiate the wedding. Wanting to get the show on the road, I stopped questioning and figured I'd find out when I apply for my new visa. That should be fun.  

Sending Kitty out with a boombox to hit play for our "exit music" (so homemade!) Le Temps de l'Amour by Françoise Hardy, we were greeted by bubbles and heart tissue confetti that was immediately melted by the rain and headed towards our cackling Rolls Royce driver back to Gilles' house to begin the celebration....

"C'est le temps de l'amour, le temps de copains, le temps d'aventure..."


*Update: The problem with the paper work was that we had signed on the wrong side, the side of the wedding following ours.
I can now see why there was some concern. Woops!

35 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh, I completely teared up reading the quotes from your ceremony. This is not the first time I'm saying this, and I don't mean to gush, but... congratulations, again. I couldn't be happier to know how much love your special day was filled with. In addition to the funny tidbits, of course :)

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    1. Wasn't this an awesome speech? I teared up a few times myself and had makeup all over my face! Thank you again Danielle! I promise these wedding posts will be over soon. : )

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  2. Oh I love a wedding, and I love the uniqueness of yours. ...and Gilles comments, well , just had me laughing at the "pass the salt babe" comment and in tears.at the quote form Jacques de Bourbon Busset, : "I have known the grace of living a great shared love."

    Love the music, love your dress and Aureliens shoes.


    Congratulations and a long and happy life together.

    Love Denise!

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    1. Thank you so much Denise! My FIL spent a lot of time on the speech. It was so sweet of him to bother with the translations! At first I told him not to because I didn't want him to burden himself but in the end I'm glad he did. Everyone really enjoyed his words. : )

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  3. A unique wedding for a unique girl...what else?

    What great quotes! You've married into a wonderful and loving family and I congratulate you again.

    I love the b/w photos, especially the last one of you two coming out as husband and wife (?) LOL I hope you ARE married....these French!LOL

    And as the song says, I wish you lots of times of love, companionship and adventure!

    And as we say in Spanish "Novia mojada, novia afortunada" (Wet bride, lucky bride)

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    1. Thank you so much Sylvia! I know these wedding posts are getting repetitive. I promise they'll be over soon.

      That's so funny that French and Spanish share the same expression, they say: "un mariage pluvieux un mariage heureux". Must be a romance language thing! : )

      And we are married! The "glitch" of us signing the wrong side of the paper was fixed. Phew!

      Thank you again for your kind comments!

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  4. Congratulations so happy for you :)

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    1. Thank you!!! By the way, do you have a blog? I clicked on your name but because I don't have Google+, I don't get any of your information. If you and want to share, please do! I'd love to read your story! : )

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    2. I don't have a blog, planning to start one soon. You have inspired me :) I'll drop you a link when i begin :)

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  5. I'm so glad you got a seat for the 9 page speech :oD Loving your chauffeur too, and I wonder if your mother slipped the official something ;o)

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    1. Hahahaha yes, I was lucky to snag front row seats! The chaffeur was a riot. I hugged him before he left. : )

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  6. Many congratulations to you both. You look gorgeous (the pair of you)! Trust there to be a bureaucratic snag, but glad you handled it well and didn't let it spoil the day. Love that pic of you coming out of the building - you both look so happy! x

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    1. Thank you so much, Gwan's mom! I know I keep saying it but I really was so glad Gwan was a part of it. She's a keeper that one! ; )

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  7. Oh, for crying out loud! What is it with the French and the friggin' paperwork?!!!!

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    1. Ok, so I got the full story...we signed the side of the wedding that was taking place after ours! So I can see why there was concern. Woops!! They managed to fix it which was so nice of them to find a solution because they could've told us no. So, phew!

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    2. Ahhhh I see. Oops!

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  8. Oh I wish I could have been there! If not to see you and Aurelian in a state of loved up bliss, then to here the orchestral version of 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'. It all sounds so perfectly you. It truly does. BISOUS xx

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    1. I wished you were there too! You were there in spirit. : )

      Hahaha I didn't get to enjoy the reactions to the orchestral "Smell Like Teen Spirit", because it's all about the reactions.

      I feel like I'm probably going to miss you in Paris, it sounds like you have your plans set for your quick trip. We need to get you back so we can do a blogger's lunch!

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  9. AnonymousMay 27, 2013

    I loved Gilles speech! We were stuck outside halfway most of the time (with our heads peaking in) but I got in at the end.. I reread the speech in the car. :) What an awesome father-in-law.

    It was raining but I wouldn't say pouring, and the temperature was perfect all day- not too hot nor too cold. I don't think anyone was uncomfortable. ;)

    I loved the boombox touch and the song- such a beautiful, perfect moment and the 1st time I fully saw you! What a beautiful photo to capture it!!

    A unique wedding for a unique woman indeed. I've gone to quite a few weddings before but never anything so special, sweet and fun! (and the delicious food!)

    Gilles' and Françoise's garden is so lovely! And what a convenient walk from the Mairie.

    Congratulations once again! Looking forward to more photos. ~

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    1. It was SO lovely to meet you!!!! Thank you so much for coming! It was nice to finally meet your beau, he was so sweet. : )

      I'm glad no one was uncomfortable in the rain. That makes me feel better!

      I had so much fun with you! Thank you again. : )

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    2. AnonymousMay 28, 2013

      It was lovely meeting you too! I wish I lived closer to Paris so we could hang out again soon!!

      F appreciates the compliment. We really liked your beau as well!

      I had a blast with you & your friends. Thanks again for inviting us. :)

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  10. Love it! Minus the paperwork hiccough of course... but the rest sounds lovely. Congratulations!!

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  11. love the black and white....and as a long time reader of this here blog can I just say that you have certainly come a long way in a relatively short time...so happy for you both!!

    you should go skip down the streets of the Marais...

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    1. Thank you Deb! It feels like a lifetime ago that I started this blog but really it was only two years. I keep forgetting that it hasn't been that long. Thanks for being a longtime reader and commenter. : )

      Great idea! I should skip down the streets of the Marais!

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  12. I teared up a bit at the speech too - between laughing of course! Bummed I missed the orchestral Smells Like Teen Spirit though. I think I got a defective bubble blower (this is my excuse for why I couldn't manage to produce any bubbles).

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    1. I think they were all a little defective, it only worked every few blows, that's why we had the confetti option which also didn't really work because of the rain! I know you were producing bubbles in spirit. : ) Thanks for the extra batch of photos!

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  13. When I found your blog I went through and read all of your old posts. Especially loved the posts about the totally weird renter/stalker/clothes stealer. I told my husband the running eoisode when we were grocery shopping the other day. Isn't it something that you think your heart is going to break right out of your chest a few years ago and now you are the happiest you have ever been? My husband and I have been married 14 years (2nd marriages for both and we each brought kids into it) and they are the happiest years of my life. He is the greatest gift I have ever received. I wish you that kind of happiness.

    On another note,ever since I realized that I saw you House Hunters International I have been trying to find the episode. My husband also gives me the gift of going to Paris every year and we are going in February and are going to rent an apartment from Adrian Leeds. We want to ask her about buying property in France. We probably can't afford it but we will see. If not, it will be a great memory!!

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    1. Hi Lisa!

      Thank you so much for your comment and for taking the time to read through all of the posts! The sublet situation was insane and super frustrating! I'm glad it ended up working out. I was pretty lucky.

      I can't believe it was only two years ago when I thought I'd never find love again and that I was doomed to live alone back at my mom's house. I truly didn't believe anything would work out...but when there's a will there's a way. : ) Thank you for wishing me happiness. I hope to have your happiness after 14 years. Congratulations!

      The HHI episode aired a few more times but like you, I can't find it either. We still haven't received our home copy (grrr). Good luck with YOUR apartment hunt! Hopefully you can purchase something. How fancy to have a pied-a-terre à Paris!

      Thank you again for your comment!

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  14. Aww! It sounds like such a great sweet ceremony. And how 'French' for there to have been a problem. I would have had a complete breakdown straight away. I'm glad it was straightened out! I can't wait to read about the reception!

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    1. Of course there was an admin glitch...of course! It wouldn't be French now would it? : )

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  15. Love your wedding story! Congratulations! So happy for you :) May need to interview you for my next book which includes a wedding in Paris!

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    1. You got it! Let me know! Thank you so much for your kind comment. : ) Can't wait to see you in September!

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  16. You look so pretty! I'm so happy for you. Congratulations to you both.

    xx

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    1. Thank you so much!! It was a day to remember; perfectly chaotic!

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