The wedding in Strasbourg at the beginning of July is best told in photos:
I arrived on the Thursday evening to Strasbourg – there is a direct flight from Copenhagen to everybody’s surprise (some guests hadn’t even bothered to check so they had to travel via Frankfurt). I thought that the heart-shaped window shutter at my hotel was very fitting for the weekend!
Friday: The Civil Ceremony
On Friday morning I took a walk in Strasbourg, a city I barely know even though it was my second wedding there (first one was in 2003). The sun was shining and I enjoyed walking along the narrow streets and the river called Ill (I keep thinking that people were referring to an island – “l’île”).
The Hôtel de Ville where the civil ceremony took place. French couples always need to get married in a civil ceremony, regardless whether there is a religious ceremony afterwards. Only family members and witnesses are usually invited to the civil ceremony if followed by a church wedding. The mayor reads several legal paragraphs, and the couples’ addresses and professions (as well as their parents’ and witnesses’ addresses and professions*) before the couple gets to say “oui” to each other.
Saturday: The Religious Wedding
The religious ceremony in l’église Sainte Madeleine in Strasbourg. The bride had asked me to read “la prière universelle” (the Universal prayer) in the church, and I was quite nervous but I told myself that this is what I have been preparing for during all these years when I have struggled with my French and felt that it wasn’t good enough… I was wondering though if the priest knew that I am protestant!? An older wedding guest came up to me at the reception afterwards and told me that I had read very well and that my accent was very sweet – for once I didn’t take it as an insult 😉
The wedding dinner was lovely, and since we were quite a few Scandinavians (Swedes, Danes and Norwegians) we introduced a few Scando wedding traditions such as making the couple kiss under the table and standing on the chairs, as well as stealing kisses when one of them left the table (when the groom leaves the table, all the male guests run to kiss the bride and vice versa)
It was a wonderful wedding, and I am sure that “P No 1” and her G will be very happy together. I felt so honoured that she had chosen me as one of her witnesses, and it was great to witness how much in love the couple is.
*) The bride apologised to me that they had refused to mention a profession for me as I am currently unemployed – I didn’t care of course, it all seemed a little silly to me
**) I guess they add pages if you have more than 10 kids…