Le Mariage Français

Yes, I know our french wedding was over year ago and that makes me the world’s biggest procrastinator. In my defense, I did not want to write about the wedding until I got pictures and I just got them. Okay, I got those a month ago. I’m a terrible liar. Here goes…

Basically, it was a blast and here are the highlights…

  • The ceremony in the church that holds decades of history almost didn’t happen. True story – the priest almost didn’t marry us. So, this wasn’t fun, but we can laugh about it now. Back in December 2011, when Fabien & I were both in France for Christmas, we went to see the Priest about our upcoming wedding. He knew that we would be apart for 6 months and explained that to be married in the catholic church, you typically need to undergo marriage counseling. We agreed and proceeded to ignore this requirement. Yes, we are horrible catholics. In my defense, these instructions were given before I spoke french. Plus, we were married already. So, a week before our wedding, we received an email from the Priest explaining that he was “furious” and “disappointed” that we were not taking our marriage and the catholic religion seriously and that he would like to see us the day before our wedding, when we arrive in France to discuss whether he will even preform our ceremony. And so, when we arrived in France, the day before our wedding, jet-lagged beyond belief, we put our tails between our legs and ran over to the church where he greeted us with a huge smile and explained how he was so excited for our wedding. Hmmm, okay.
  • “It’s like rain on your (2nd) wedding day…” The day of our first wedding was so beautiful that we couldn’t be greedy, but the weatherman was predicting a 90% chance of rain, thunderstorms and high winds at exactly the time of our ceremony. It was horrible, look at weather in the pics below:
As you can see, the weather was horrible.

As you can see, the weather was horrible.

And it only got worse throughout the day.

And it only got worse throughout the day.

Eventually, the rain, thunderstorm and high winds did come, but it was at 4am and, at that point, everyone (i.e., me) had too much champagne to care.

  • I was the Russian bride. Yes, my french has dramatically improved, but I’m still a little shakey. So, you can imagine my surprise when I was asked to preform my vows, in french. This after we already agreed with the Priest, that he would read the vows and I would simply give a solid, “oui”. And so I said “oui”, everyone laughed and Fabien handed me a sheet with the vows. I gave it the old college try and did fine, but it sure did give everyone a nice giggle. Also, my friend, Janet, who so graciously agreed to be my witness had no idea (nor did I) that she would have to come to the pew in the church to also give testimony that I agreed to the marriage. At the signing, she and I laughed how she’s not so sure signing a contract, in a language you don’t understand, is a very good practice. She’s a laywer and a good sport.
DSCF0900

Me: “I have no idea what’s going on.” Janet: “Don’t worry, this won’t hold up in court anyway.”

  • Dinner half time shows. This certainly was unexpected. Between courses, Fabien’s friends and family put together little skits and shows. They were really great. There was a song about us, a sumo dance to “Living in America” and a great video slideshow which included a very, shall I say, revealing photo of my husband while on spring break in Spain during college. As Janet said, “That would not have gotten the same reaction in the US.” I laughed and agreed.

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  • The all night and into the next day party. I came equipt with a couple 5 hour energy’s, but as it turns out, I didn’t need it. I just drank enough champagne for 5 hours, which gave me energy until about 4am. What I wasn’t equipt for was the all day festivities on Sunday where we ate and played games. I thought Sunday would allow for a proper hangover day where we would watch the french version of Real Housewives and eat fast food, but this is what a french hangover looks like:

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  • We literally blew in an out of town. We left on the 4th of July, arrived on the 5th, raced around town with last minute preparations, wedding on the 7th, on the 8th was the after wedding party (which was a total surprise to me) and then we left for Greece on the 9th. Yeah, by the time we got to Athens, we just needed to sleep for a day.

Ultimately, it was, again, the happiest day of my life. It was so great to have all of these friends and family travel from all over the world, who we’ve met on various adventures. To have them all in one spot will probably never happen again and I am forever grateful to them for traveling and continuing to make our story so fun. 2nd, my in-laws were so amazing to put the whole show together. I really did very little. But more than the beautiful wedding they to put together, I thank them most for bringing their amazing son into the world.

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I Do…Again

When we recently moved, I found a couple funny things in a box of school assignments my mom had saved. One from 6th grade was a book of predictions of where me and my classmates would be in 10 & 15 years (22/27ish).  (Yes, I know, I know – I’m not 22/27, but I’m not too much older.) While most other students said they wanted to be doctors, professional athletes, parents, rich, married, etc., I had big plans for myself.

Age 22 forecast

Age 27 forecast

Talking about setting an intention.  I guess that even as a child, I was a big dreamer.  But, relatively speaking, I don’t think I did too bad with my 12-year-old vision board. Sure, I take photo’s, so that would make me a “photographer”. I didn’t technically live in Paris, but I was about an hour away. Traveling to all the amazing places in Europe? I’ve only just scratched the surface, but I’m well on my way. And not only do I have an adopted daughter, but also an adopted son. Aren’t they adorable?

My daughter, Cally

My son, Bear

Then I found another book, where I designed the cover. Again, my psychic abilities weren’t too bad.

Sure, I changed directions a bit in Middle School and decided I’d like to have a baby, work in an office, drive a Mercedes and live the single life in Tennessee.

Yes, I’m well aware that I don’t have a Mercedes and that I don’t work in a big office building, but I’m okay with that. However, what stuck out most was the, “Marriage – not for me”.  Maybe this was a result of my parents recent divorce, but I also found myself in my single 20’s, feeling relatively the same. I was making good money, had a decent job, a house, a dog, cat and awesome friends. Why would I want to get married and mess that all up?

Well, within a short time of meeting Fabien, to quote my friend, Adam, “I chucked it all and followed my heart”. I quit my job and left my house and animals in the care of my friends and family to move to the other side of the world with some french guy I had only known for 6 months. Talk about risk. Fortunately, it all worked out, but , it could have been an epic disaster.

So, here I am. 3 years later and married. Our wedding last year was a perfect day and truly the happiest of our lives. BUT, the perfect day has some competition because this Wednesday, Fabien and I leave for France to get married again. Yes, the girl who didn’t even want to get married and didn’t dream of her wedding is having two weddings. Oh, the irony of it all.

So, here’s what life looks like for the next few weeks:

The Church of St. Cyr en Val

July 4th: Happy Birthday, America. We’re flying from Nashville to Detroit to Paris with wedding supplies in tow.

July 5th: Arrive in Paris and run around like a crazy woman doing last-minute preparations.

July 7th: Get married….again. Did I mention the whole ceremony is in french? And that it’s tradition that the reception lasts until the wee hours in the morning followed by lunch the next day? Next blog. It’s simply too complicated to describe here.

July 9th: Honeymoon (finally). We’re off to Athens, Greece where we’ll spend 3 days sightseeing and dodging protestors, which isn’t new to us. Remember our trip to Bangkok?

In Crete we’ll hike the Samaria Gorge in the White Mountains.

July 12th: Flying from Athens to Chania, Crete. We’ll spend 4 days driving around the island beach hopping and hiking the Samaria Gorge.

July 16th: Jumping on a boat to Santorini for 5 days. Honestly, while most little girls were busy dreaming of their wedding day, I was busy dreaming of Santorini, Greece. Check out the view from our hotel room. I could possibly die right there because my life will be complete when I spend 5 days with Fabien in this paradise.

!!! Our hotel and view !!!

July 21st: Fly back to Athens and soak up one more night in Greece.

July 22nd: Begin the long journey home. Athens > New York > Atlanta > Nashville – Hello, frequent flier miles!

So, here’s to being a photographer, living in France and Tennessee, having adopted animal babies and traveling to all the amazing places in Europe with the worlds most amazing husband.

Happy Independence Day, Everyone!