Hello all and welcome to Friday! I told you that I had a bumper week for you and I am rounding up the working with with our next stop, catching up with real bride Mademoiselle Slimalicious who has been choosing their témoins!
Don’t forget if you have missed any of Cyndie’s wedding planning journey so far, you can catch up on her wedding planning adventure here.
Cyndie: “Last month I told you about my recent trip to France, in August, a very exciting time as we visited and booked our wedding venue in Carcassonne. Our time in France was also the opportunity for me to ask Charlene, my childhood friend to be one of our two wedding witnesses.
Unlike in Anglo-Saxon countries, in France there is no bridal party – this means no maid of honour, bridesmaids or groom men. The French tradition is for flower girls, usually aged 3 to 8, to walk before the bride and her father. The bride and the groom each have what we call in France ‘témoins’, which means witnesses. The witnesses, between 2 and 4 persons, can be of any nationality but must be over 18. Their role is to legally witness the marriage: to stand near the bride and groom on the day as they exchange vows and to sign the marriage register at Town Hall and/or at church.
I hesitated a long time before deciding who will be my wedding witness. I started thinking about it immediately after we got engaged and a year later I was still indecisive. My first choice was to pick a family member. I am not close to my sister, and she is a very busy person, so naturally I came to the conclusion that after my mum the second closest woman to me was one of my aunties in France.
She has always been great support to me and I love her unconditionally. I asked her shortly after we got engaged if she would accept to be our wedding witness. Sadly she has some serious health issues and eventually declined my request simply for practical reasons: she is in a wheelchair and was very concerned about slowing us down on the day and being a burden to all.
It made me very sad and at first I reassured her that it didn’t matter to us. She was very stressed about it, and explained to me that in our hearts she will be my witness but on the day she couldn’t be.
So a few months ago, I was back asking myself the question of who could fill the role of wedding witness for me. Living overseas for over seven years has impacted my friendships as you can imagine. Although I keep regular contact with friends, it is not the same.
Naturally, I decided that the best person to fill the important and symbolic role of wedding witness was Charlene. Charlene and I met when we were 6 years old, at school. We grew up in the same small village of Malves en Minervois. She is my oldest friend and while we lead very different lives (she lives in Carcassonne, works in the hospitality industry and has an 11 year old son), she has always been a very important person for me. I went through childhood and adolescence with her, and we share many happy memories of our years from the benches of primary school to high school.
When we were kids, Charlene and I never really discussed the possibility of getting married one day. I guess for neither of us it was a ‘dream’ nor an obligation. Like many other French people, she happily lives with her partner without being married.
Nonetheless, I was looking for an original way to ask her to be my wedding ‘temoin’. I knew she would be honoured and touched by my request so I looked at a way to make it extra special.
While browsing the internet in search of inspiration, I found this delightful “kit du parfait temoin” made by Christelle the creator of Crème de Papier, a French custom wedding stationery online shop. The kit is a fantastic way to explain simply and with humour what is expected of wedding witnesses on the special day as well as in the months leading up to it. Charlene doesn’t speak English so it was important for me to find something in French. She loved it!
Chris will choose our second witness. He hasn’t yet decided who he will ask. He is considering his younger brother or one of his two best friends but at this stage we are still unsure of who will come to France for our wedding. I am glad people from any nationality can witness French wedding.
Time flies, we are 10 months away from the big day. I have ordered the save the date cards, and will send them off this week! I will tell you more about it in my next post, stay tuned!”
Be sure to check back in again next month for more Marriage Musings with Mademoiselle Slimalicious and also thinking of fellow Belle Bride Hollie, who got married this week in Paris! Congratulations to Hollie and Bronson, can’t wait to see the pictures!