A French Country Wedding
Amidst Historic Hamlets of The Quercy
The wedding would be a civic ceremony, in the late afternoon, at the local Town Hall or "La Mairie". We planned accordingly but left the hotel a tad late hampered by a miscalculation of time required to prepare. Alright, I confess. It was me, my fault, mea culpa so to speak. I had not anticipated the weather and my jet lagged brain fog slowed my decisions, leaving us ten minutes behind schedule. Then our rental car's GPS decided to mimic my foggy mind-set and led us astray, losing additional time for the drive to the village of Sauliac-sur-Célé. In France, outside of cities, there are endless roundabouts strategically placed to slow traffic on small country roads, especially these roads: (see photo below). Signage clog every exit, making matters worse if you aren't familiar with the area. "Take the second exit" - quipped the A.I. GPS voice. There we were, driving around the roundabout with cars close behind us, "ARGHHH", all those damn signs! Very confusing and no time to read them! Just the drive proved challenging. The tiny,narrow roads edged the rock formations which dangled right over us. Imagine one big landslide and "aurevoir" us! Good thing it wasn't raining.
I even saw buildings carved right into the rock, how amazing is that? We drove along, admiring the scenery and following the lazy Lot river on the opposite side of the rock (-y-horror-picture-show). Twists and turns, curves and bends and up we went towards the village of Sauliac. Stress set in, we were really cutting it close. Please! Don't make us late!!!
At last we arrived. Judging by the cars parked on the side of the road of what looked more like a school than a town hall, we gathered this must be the place. We parked easily and found our way in. Oh God, everyone was there, seated.... hope they were not waiting for us? Lovely ladies dressed all in white (???) served as ushers. Soon after I understood why. As the Adjunct Mayor and her assistant made their entrance before the Bride and Groom, the " ladies in white and one gentleman" began to sing... Yes, sing - which is highly unusual for the normally somber civic ceremony - it surprised us even more that they allowed this and the charming gazebo the couple erected at the entrance.
When everyone was seated the singers gave a very polished acapela rendition of "Bridge over troubled waters", then some very moving songs, sending shivers through the room, and finally switched to upbeat songs which had us clapping along. The bride's three sisters made short speeches before the brief exchange of wedding vows, after which the acapela group had us all on our feet before leaving.
The couple opted for simplicity and warmth, in a traditional "enhanced" setting. As for gifts, forget the days of 3 toaster ovens and 5 coffee brewers! No more wedding lists! Millenials want to have their honeymoon financed. They choose destinations to far-flung places with no expenses spared! Most couples already share a home as was the case with this couple, so there really is no need for "things". They opt for an experience they will remember forever rather than more clutter in their homes.
Love and commitment were the two players on stage that afternoon, and with the exchange of wedding vows enhanced by music, it was sincerely moving. Whether it be in a church, a chapel or just a simple civic ceremony, weddings have a way of reminding us of the emotional attachment that brings two people together and who couldn't feel moved by such joy?
Share your wedding comments with me below and wish the happy couple a life of happiness! Vive les Mariés!