Thursday, July 10, 2008

wedding belles

We were at our friend Mimi's wedding last Saturday and boy was it a long day.

It began at 7 o'clock with BB dragging me out of bed to show me a stork fishing in the stream. As I stumbled downstairs half asleep with my hair all over the place, he looked at me critically and said: "Take the hair from behind your ears - you look like a biffer. Like one of those American things (sic) that have their children taken away." !

I had no idea what he was talking about and no inclination to ask at that time in the morning and promptly took myself back off to bed.

Half an hour later it was a neighbour's chainsaw that woke me up and after that it was impossible to get back to sleep.

The wedding celebrations began at 2 o'clock with a cérémonie civile in a mairie about 30 km away. We've been to one of these before and they last ten minutes max, which is about the limit of my attention span. This, however, was followed by a bénédiction nuptiale in the cathedral, which lasted a yawning one hour and 20 minutes - although it wasn't without its moments.

The priest had either been at the communion wine or it was his first wedding bénédiction because throughout the whole ceremony he spent agonising minutes flipping through his A4 binder searching for his next monologue (whilst forgetting to tell us to sit down) or coughing up phlegm. People were getting fidgety until we got to the exchange of rings part, which were presented to the couple (where they sat on red velvet chairs next to the alter table) by their 18-month old daughter. Next thing, the priest (still coughing up phlegm), the bride and groom were on all fours searching for the ring which the daughter had dropped. At least it gave the rest of us an excuse to sit down. I even saw a couple of guys taking out cigarettes and almost expected them to start smoking!

After the ceremony we were invited for a vin d'honneur at the salle des fêtes but then had a FOUR HOUR WAIT until the meal with no bar and no entertainment. At one point BB turned to me and said: "I need to go to the toilet but I think I'll hold off. Give me something to look forward to!" It was dire.

The meal, when it finally arrived, was excellent, if a bit unconventional. In between each of the six courses the lights were dimmed, the disco music came on and everyone got up and danced (including the groom's sister-in-law in a wheelchair!)

It was 3 o' clock in the morning when the bride and groom cut the croquembouche (the traditional French wedding cake, consisting of choux buns filled with crème patisserie, built into a pyramid and decorated with fine strands of caramel and served with champagne) after which our designated driver decided it was time to go. The other guests, however, carried on until 6 o'clock, when onion soup was served!

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