Since moving to Daglan, we have attended (unfortunately) many funerals in France, but only one wedding, in 2013. While we were pleased and honoured to have been invited back then, it was not what I would call a “gala” affair, as it was held in a village office, with the then-Mayor presiding.
So we were especially delighted to have been invited to the marriage of the granddaughter of a former (beloved) neighbour, which took place in fine fashion this past Saturday in Bergerac — a drive of not quite an hour and a half from our village.
This was a full-blown, traditional wedding, with a prayer-filled and hymn-filled service that lasted nearly an hour and a half; a delightful and sophisticated Champagne cocktail party that evening at the Domaine de la Fourtonie, secluded in a forest north of Bergerac; and an informal brunch on Sunday, at the same domaine.
For reasons of privacy, I won’t be posting the names of the couple or their guests, and I won’t include close-up photos of people’s faces. But here is a photo that gives you a sense of the occasion, in the beautiful église Saint-Jacques de Bergerac:
A great help to us was the nicely printed program, including the order of service, and the words of all the prayers and hymns that the guests were to say, or sing.
Once the wedding service had concluded, and the witnesses had signed the necessary documents, all the guests were asked to file out of the church and wait outside, to greet the newlyweds. And here’s the view out the door, with the couple being cheered:
Not that I’m expert, but it seemed to me that this traditional French wedding followed very similar practices as formal weddings in North America — like the wedding of my wife Jan and me, more than 31 years ago, at a beautiful resort on an island off Florida’s west coast. That was pretty gala too!