Helen and Scott

 

The Greenblatts

 

François and Sally

 

Three of the beautiful bridesmaids

 

Bert from Hong Kong

 

Umashaan

 

The one and only Chuckleberry, also known as the ‘Silent Assassin’

 

Looking down on the marquee as the guests drift in to sit down and await the bridal couple

 

Emmanuelle Palmer a local Menerbian was our photographer – you have to hand it to her; some of her stuff is quite brilliant

 

Mark and Cath enjoy a pre-dinner apero

The procession is complete and the guest made their way up to the Bastide pool area where there was a fonteine de champagne. Although to-day it has more Martha Stewart connotations than traditional French, the fonteine de champagne is the way in which the bride and groom invite the guests to enjoy a first drink with them in celebration of the marriage. Flute glasses are not suitable for this – you have to go the so-called Marie Antoinette glasses. Legend has it that they are called this as a glass would have fitted perfectly in one of her sculpted breasts!

The Provençal processional band quickly swapped roles by becoming an apero-combo, still playing the historical atuff.

 

 

This is serious business

 

Bride and groom link hands for the first drink, then the champagne literally flows

 

Another kiss …

 

The guests enjoy the fountain while the sub-teens try out the water to ache those tired feet

 

Roger and Frederic

 

 

 

John from Joburg

The crowds make their way to the village centre. The chap making up the rear, studiously keeping his face from the camera is no other than Chris Savage of Sydney fame

 

A quick ‘formal’ retinue photo on the Place d’Horloge

 

Ant and Carly Fox

 

The bride and her bridesmaids pose outside the entrance to the Dora Maar garden

 

The ‘boys’ do likewise

 

Coming down the hill

 

In the moment, they say!

 

A happy bride and mother-in-law

 

One last view…

Simon aka Silverstreak of 2OV fame and new bride Lize – in the moment

 

Sally and Bertie Simpson – parents of friend Harry and an OD. Dave Duncan bringing up the rear (as SACS Old Boys tend to do)

 

Old school mates, Stu and Marcus enjoy the amble

 

Liz – all the way from Hopfgarten in Austria

 

That’s Katrina of Sydney,  Vicky from Roussillon/Switzerland and Casey from Menerbes

The minstrels and the procession winds behind..

 

We interrupt the marriage transmission with these words – Spring forward, Fall (ie Autumn) back.

European clocks go back at 02h00 Sunday 28th October – we’ll be one hour behind South Africa, folks!

Take a medieval village in France. Add in a 12th Century Church. Stir in a reception venue at the other end of  the village through a maze of cobbled streets and flavour with Provençal tradition and you have, the procession!

The bride and groom follow behind minstrels playing a variety of traditional instruments- the galoubet, tambourine, flute and drum. The wedding guests follow behind with much merriment, and, traditionally much throwing of rice and rose petals and blowing large bubbles. However, we avoided the messy rice and stuck with the bubbles and rose petals (much more eco-friendly!). The villagers all come out their houses, the pubs and restaurants to watch and cheer on the newly weds. Tourists snap away at lightning speed – this is the real Provence!

 

Leaving the Church

 

Pastis is served as the guests leave the Church – here the thirsty groom knocks one back.

 

A trio of bridesmaids blowing bubbles

 

Capetonian Charles congratulates the groom

 

Young Luke took up a leading role in the procession

 

Frederic Turpin and Roger Delor of the minstrels

 

The crowds leave the Church on the way to the reception

 

Helmut Thaler all the way from Hopfgarten in Austria with local vigneron François Faverot behind

 

“Here we are Ladies and Gentlemen”

Mother signing the register under strict guidance

 

Mother seeing her little boy wed (Granny on left, YT on right and Suzannah and Cath behind)

 

Flower girl Charlotte

 

The congregation

 

The happy couple listen to Father Davis’ eulogy

 

Mother and daughter – up close and personal.

 

Father Davis addresses the retinue

 

 

The congregation in the Eglise St Luc, Menerbes

 

Father Davis kept everyone smiling

 

Father Harvey Davis of Rustrel – a gem!

 

“With this ring I thee wed”

Civil formalities over, it’s time for the Church wedding.

The majority of Churches in France are Roman Catholic, but special permission can be obtained for a non-Catholic ceremony. What is important is that you have access to a Church – in our case, Menerbes residents are entitled to use the local Church and the lady who looks after the Church on behalf the Mairie and the Roman Catholic Diocese is able to help you obtain permission. In our case, we needed permission from the Curate in Avignon – a conservative fellow we were told, but some buttons were pushed behind the scenes and the necessary blessing was given.

Now to find a Priest. English-speaking Priests do not grow on trees in France. However, we were most fortunate to have become friendly with Reverend Harvey Davis and his wife Sally. Harvey is an American but lives much of the year in Rustrel. Harvey was very happy to do the honours and what a great choice he was! Sincere, emotive and he really connected with the congregation.

Fran and Duncan Goodwin, local Menerbians,  provided the music backing with Fran singing “Mon menage a moi”; “La Vie en Rose” and “My Baby “; Duncan provided the music for these and the hymn Jerusalem.

 

The 2CV arrives with the bride, her mother and the matron of honour

 

Groomsman Mark does not lose the opportunity to have a beauty pic with the bridesmaids

 

The musicians for the after-procession chill in the autumn sunshine

 

Much fussing over the veil

 

Nearly ready

 

The boys await – Will a bit tearful?

 

Can’t resist this one – Here comes the bride

 

Mother complimenting her new daughter-in-law

 

The bride and the two mothers

 

The Bride and her retinue

 

Mother-in-;aw and the 2CV driver

 

Off to the cars, we go!

 

The bride enters her vehicle

 

Get me to the Church on time!

 

The bridesmaids stride it out down the passage to the Church

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