Saturday, 5 July 2008

French Village Life

Great excitement in the village today - we have a wedding !!!

Weddings in Brittany are something of an event, and can last for days ! Day one is the wedding itself , which normally consists of two ceremonies - a legal ceremony carried out at the local 'Mairie' (Town Hall) followed by the church ceremony, which is not obligatory ! The Mairie and church are usually within walking distance , so all the wedding guests will parade through the streets behind the bride & groom, in all their finery, from one venue to the other regardless of traffic and sometimes the weather (!) - in fact, we have been stopped and made to wait on the verge to allow weddings to pass - not that this is ever a hardship as it is lovely to see all the 'fashions' passing you !

After the wedding its off for a slap-up meal which will comprise of at least 8 courses , followed by a dance - not any old dance/disco though ,but one which is mostly traditional folk dancing ! There is a very strong following of Breton dancing in the province and you will always see people of all ages taking part, from 8 - 80 and even 'foreigners' like me getting roped in !! This goes on until very late (or should I say early) or until the last one drops !!

The next day all the guests will be invited to the groom's parents home and the fun starts all over again ! If the happy couple are still around after this, there is a possiblity of a third day's jollies at their home - so as you can see, a serious business !!

One of the main traditions though is to decorate the wedding car - and this can be anything from some ribbon to a full blown make over job that involves dummies representing the bride & groom . These replicas are all in good fun , sometimes showing a gaggle of children as well , maybe as a warning of things to come !! Our wedding is a little quieter, as the happy couple are passed their first flush of youth, but the car is decorated

and every other car going to the wedding will have a piece of tulle tied around their aerial to show they are guests, and as they leave the village this afternoon , EVERY car will sound its horn all the way from here to Meneac ,some 10 kms, to let the world know what's going on !!
Now this noise has to be heard to be believed, so I am going to find some ear plugs before it all kicks off !!!


Elizabethd said...

Such fun, a village wedding. We put up the groom's father recently for 3 days! He had come up from the Landes area, and was told we might have a spare room...luckily he was charming, and we were invited to the vin d'honneur too!

Kristie said...

That is so interesting! Thanks for the information on how this is done in France. I never knew that!

Quilting Diva said...

8 courses? wow.Very interesting.