I’m often asked
“Why do so many people come to France to “Get Married ?”
I guess it’s a strange phenomena because most of the guests have to travel. It is a little risky with language obstacles and the French are not well know for being “easy going.”
The french are, however, very favourable to weddings!
They’ll stop in their tracks to clap and cheer and hoot at a wedding procession. After their civil ceremony they all pile into cars and go around the village, town, city hooting in unison making a tremendous holler. This is absolutely encouraged even if the hooting is done by onlookers who aren’t invited to the wedding.
Weddings seem to be relatively cheap to put together here in France. Whether one opts for a garden in someone’s home in the Gers , a Chateau wedding near Bordeaux , an outdoor ceremony on the banks of the Seine in Paris, a hot, summer ceremony in Provence or the Cote d’Azur or a winter wedding in the Alps they all are very good value.
These weddings in France can also provide very memorable experiences not only for the couple themselves but also for their guests, the suppliers and “the French themselves”!!
The Internet , together with Secular , Inter-faith Values and Social Media Sites have turned the wedding trade into a wonderfully creative industry.
Everyone has access to each other’s ideas and the possibilities are endless.
The formula is usually the same but the details vary enormously and it’s a really exciting, creative, fun industry for all involved.
I list about 50 examples a year and try to share as much as possible on FaceBook https://www.facebook.com/CelebrantSandie/?ref=hl
And here I’ll tell you about my first wedding this year.
Maria and Mark from Newcastle did the legal paperwork in the UK and flew out to Geneva the next day. Their guests also flew from Blighty to Geneva. Most of them had never been to this part of the world before and many of them admitted to me that they had had misgivings at first.
There are dozens of affordable bus services from Geneva to Chamonix and the roads are always good no matter what the weather conditions.
So we all made our way to Chamonix on the Friday evening and checked into our respective lodgings. Hotels are reasonable and , of course, there’s always Air BnB which I opted for and was delighted with Cathy’s room in her cosy, immaculate flat, 5 min walk from the bus stop. https://www.airbnb.fr/rooms/2247542
At 12 pm I headed for the restaurant http://www.caphorn-chamonix.com/index.php/fr/ where I found preparations underway, all being co- ordinated by bi-lingual Flore from www.montblancweddings.com and the guests began to arrive.
The ceremony was lovely, friendly, moving and light (even though I say it myself!) and after a brief glass of champagne we all (65 of us) walked across town to the little Montenvers train station. The whistles of skiiers and climbers taking a well earned beer on the terraces of the numerous cafés and restarants was heart warming. Check out this video which clearly shows the experience https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKjHwuObuZU
Maria and Mark had reserved a full carriage for us all and all the pretty bridesmaids and guests went up the mountain to 2000 meters in thin dresses and high heels!
We had a little warm up with some champagne in the carriage accompanied by the usual french accordeonist and we spent a good hour at the top marvelling at the view and posing for photos.
The french tourists were clad in Skiing gear and looked on in complete disbelief and admiration!
“How do the English do it?” I heard
“J’aimerai bien connaitre leur secret”
For a moment I did feel proud to be one of them.
Needless to say we all piled back into the carriage and made our way down the mountain where I left the group to continue their evening of delicious food and dancing back at the Cap Horn.
It really was a wonderfully joyful experience. An indelible memory for everyone including ME 🙂