The Offbeat Bride: Anna, OECD assistant
Her offbeat partner: Charles, musician
Date and location of wedding: Paris, France — December 15, 2012
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Because we planned our wedding in four months, we used our time to focus only on what was important to us: vegan food, happy guests, and something fun to do.
We had a civil ceremony with our guests, and then went ice skating in the Grand Palais.
Charlie loves winter and snow, so we tried to set a wintry mood, using white handles in the shape of trees, snowflake cutouts, and low lighting on the table. Then I decided that I absolutely had to make 1000 cranes, so three months before the wedding, I started making cranes using shiny silver and red paper. These were hung up all around the reception room.
Tell us about the ceremony:
For the official ceremony, we went to our local Mairie (townhouse) and got married in the same room that my in-laws got married in thirty-odd years ago.
At the evening reception, we took a moment before the meal to say some things to each other. Charlie sang a song he had written two days earlier in a frenzy of inspiration. We didn't say traditional vows, nor were they in a traditional format. They were more like speeches mixed with vows. Although I didn't cry at the morning ceremony, my knees shook and I blubbered the whole way through my speech.
We stood on a platform together and did a ring exchange with the words “to celebrate our love, to celebrate our commitment.” I really wanted to do a big first kiss, but we didn't want an officiant of any sort because it seemed unnecessary to us. So after the ring exchange, Charlie simply declared “You may now kiss me!”
My favorite moment:
The most meaningful moment of the wedding for me was Charlie's speech. As somebody who has witnessed bad marriages in his family, and who was very happy being in a civil partnership with me, he probably at first agreed to get married more to make me happy than because he desired it. However, as the wedding drew nearer, he really took the time to reflect on what marriage meant to us, and managed to explain in beautiful, simple words that our wedding was a moment in which to reflect on our relationship, and to share that moment with our nearest and dearest.
Just the other day, he said something even more meaningful about our wedding marking a turning point in our relationship. He realised that day, when we were saying our vows, that we could always trust each other and that we would always support each other to achieve our dreams. So I would say that the best moment of my wedding happened almost nine months after the event!
My funniest moment:
French administrators can be rather humourless. After enduring a seemingly never-ending speech full of quotations of laws, we were finally asked if we consented to the marriage. In French, the equivalent of “I do” is simply “Oui.” The Maire asked me to consent first, and I replied “Oui.” Then he asked Charlie, who replied with a big grin “Absolutely!” Everybody in the room cracked up, though the marriage wasn't legally binding until Charlie actually pronounced the word “Oui.”
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