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A French wedding

Created by Jane in Jane Lawson's Blog



The roses were certainly blooming in Picardie for the wedding of my niece, Carine to Loïc last weekend. They were married at Le Collégial de Longpré les Corps Saintes, a little village on the banks of the Somme. And what a wonderful wedding it was.

 

There is always a civil ceremony which precedes the Nuptial Mass and when the couple arrived at the church it was lovely to see Loïc enter the church on the arm of his mother and then Carine on the arm of Francis, her papa. A Nuptial Mass is the same the world over but in France all the witnesses circle the altar as the couple make their vows, the church register is signed on the altar afterwards and the clapping was every bit as enthusiastic as in England. M. Le Curé was very inclusive and had some fun breaking into an English translation of parts of the service for the benefit of Les Anglais.

 

Loïc is the head of sports science at the Lycée and his colleagues made an arch by holding footballs up high as they exited the church while the rest of us showered them with rose petals and bubbles blown from little wedding phials.

 

After the photographs, taken in between rain showers every bit as fierce as those in England, we made our way to La Ferme Blanche for Le vin de marriage. Everyone gathers for champagne and dozens and dozens of exquisite canapés, savoury and then sweet.  The band was loud, and, inexplicably to us, every song was sung in English. I asked Catherine, my cousin, why this was, and she said that this was always the case. Every group was fronted by a singer who sang exclusively in English. It is seen as aspirational and très cool!

 

This was followed by dinner served in the great barn. Catherine and Carine had chosen a theme of silver, pale grey and white and the tables were magnificent, each one decorated in the centre with white painted twigs on which were clipped the menu of the six courses. Yes six! Each with its own wine. To start there came trio of fish hors d’oeuvres, then a sorbet, then an entree of guinea hen farci with accompanying vegetables, then cheese, then the most amazing display for Le desert – nine different tarts, fruit, macarons and gateaux. Champagne came with this! And then the wedding cake accompanied by eau de vie de marc.

 

There was dancing of course and the bride was beautiful and the groom handsome. The guests were chic (for the most part) and everyone was happy.

 

For me, as well as  celebrating the wedding, it was such a wonderful chance to catch up with my lovely French family whom I do not see nearly often enough. Jeannine, another cousin had so many memories of my Maman and Grandmère it brought a few tears to my eyes.

 

And then, after reaching our bed at 2.00 am, it was time for the long journey back to London. We shall be visiting again next Spring, somehow I think it will just as happy a time, but with rather less to eat and drink!

 

Jane

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