Just when we thought life was beginning to settle down following the nearly disastrous golf incident ( re posts 2nd and 6th May) life took another turn ( more like a somersault) when our daughterMichaela and her boyfriend Darren announced they were going to be married!!!! and, bliss upon bliss, they wanted to get married in France-- and more than that, they wanted the celebrations to take place at our lovely Chateau la Roche Hue!
What a wonderful surprise it was , but we knew it would not be the easiest of occasions to organise for any of us! For a start, all the rest of our family and friends lived in England, and all of Darren's family live in England too! However, that did not dampen the joy of the occasion and we all set to work! Fortunately Michaela was absolutely fluent in French having worked in France for years before she joined the CruiseLines. Darren could not speak french at all , so Michaela did all the formal arranging with the local ' Mairie' ( Town Hall), and with the church. In France there are two wedding ceremonies , the first is the formal ' official' ceremony which takes place at the town hall presided over by the Mayor -- this takes place a few days before the church wedding and is less formal, similar to a register office ceremony in England .The second is the religious ceremony in the Church and is quite formal.
Invitations were sent out , and there were very few refusals ! Darrens' family decided to hire a large bus to transport everybody over in one go. Our family and friends were all going to arrive independantly in their cars. Everybody decided to make a short holiday out if it so it was a good job we had the accomodation for everybody, and what a blessing the apartments included kitchens, so everybody could self-cater during their stay ( phew)! It was early Spring-time so we had no bookings arranged, thank goodness! Outside caterers were arranged for the wedding day and Michaela and I made the fruit wedding cake tiers ourselves because in France they do not use fruit cake for weddings. I had them professionally decorated and mounted. So here are some pictures, they are all snap shot photos I'm afraid......
Michaela and Darren at the official ceremony at the Town hall, the Mayor is wearing the sash, Alex has the video camera.
The happy couple after the ceremony, they said aferwards that it felt strange and that they didn't feel married at that point , not until after the Church wedding.
The wedding day dawned and the caterers arrived early.......
The first thing to be set up was the wedding cake
I thought that they did a great job of decorating it - so pretty!
It was chaos in our bedroom, I was helping Michaela get dressed and she was not happy with her hair, we tried it every which way, then, suddenly she scruffed it all up on top of her head, held in place with a few grips, we put the veil in place, and she was beautiful, I am welling up writing this, but she was a vision. I am limited for photos on this post I am afraid, and I cannot find any taken at the church......
but here is a photo taken of the happy pair on their return from the church...
and the newspaper coverage showed ' their' knowledge of the English language :-)
Then several photocalls...
Four of my grandchildren, with Michaela and Darren
On the back steps of the Chateau, with just a few of our side of the family, another shot was taken with Darren's family and friends.
Then it was inside for ' le Vin d'Honneur ' and the champagne flowed! I smile now looking at my outfit! Talk about Joan Collins' shoulder pads-- however they were the rage at the time- but why did I choose black as the dominant colour????
Not only was the day itself a momentous occasion, it was 4/5 days of fun and partying, because most everybody arrived a day or two before the wedding and stayed a couple of days after, and we had the room for partying, and the pool and the horses, so everybody had such a good time.