July 05, 2006

A French Wedding

The churchOn the day of my cousin's wedding, the weather was exceptionally warm. That makes me glad that I was wearing a nice light linen outfit bought for the occassion. This is actually my cousin's second wedding to the same woman. About a year and a half ago, they were married in a civil ceremony. The wedding I attended was the religious ceremony.

 The ceremony beginsThey were married in a beautiful old church (and yes I'm still Jewish) in the small village of Puligny (sp?) It's in the edges of the Alsace-Lorraine region, going into Burgundy but it's kind of in the middle of nowhere. Now I think, because of the white stone in the interior, that the church is probably as old as 14th century but I haven't been able to find too much information about it. (It's not the same Puligny as Puligny-Montrachet.)

The soccer teamThe ceremony was moving, of course. Afterwards, my cousin's soccer team dressed up in their uniforms to form an arch for the couple to walk through when leaving the church. The wedding carIf you look really closely at the photo, you can see little grains of rice thrown by the guests - me included. Usually, afterwards everybody would march together in a procession to the celebration hall but the hall they chose was too far away so we drove together in a procession to the celebration hall in the nearby town of Frolois. The bride and groom were taken there in style. My cousin hired an antique Deux-Cheveaux. Jon and I however walked back down the hill to where my parents were waiting in the air conditioned car. We drove to Frolois and we found the hall surrounded on three sides by fields of wheat.

This little boy playing in the wheat was a guest of the party.Wheat

Here, my Uncle Pierre is explaining to Jon a trick he learned from Remy, my youngest cousin. Apparently when wheat is ripe for picking, you can crack the grain in your teeth.

Here I am in a tearful reunion with my goddaughter/cousin Elise. I hadn't seen her or my other cousins in over 8 years. She's really cute. She works with a group that brings circuses to poor countries that have never seen one before. I'm very proud of her. She's very Bohemian. Those are happy tears, by the way.
My god daughter

And here is a series of portraits with various members of my family. Cousins mostly except for the one you already saw of my grandmother and me.
Valerie and Jean FrancoisValerie and Celine
Valerie and DavidValerie and Grandma

The party went on until the wee hours of the morning. . Here are some shots of people having a good time.
My parentsParents of the bride
My cousin with his wifeA very nice woman having some fun.
The groom dances with his auntMy uncle with his life partner Annie

My aunt came home around six. We weren't as hearty and left the party around 2 a.m.

But it didn't end there.

The next morning, we went back to the celebration for a small brunch and after celebration clean up. Everybody pitches in and I had great time drying dishes in the kitchen with the different women in my family. It was a nice bonding experience. We could work together toward one goal without verbal communication. It's times like those I really like.

Anyway, to add to the charm of the affair, the bride's uncle was playing an accordion. Here's a shot of my cousin's aunt and uncle dancing in the hall the morning after.
Serge and Jeanette

Everyone was happy to see us and the wedding was a good opportunity for Jon to meet everyone because of course they were all there.

We had a memorable time.

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