*All photos kindly provided by K's family and friends
Breakfast with the bridesmaids
Loaded with fresh pastries and fruit, the bridesmaids arrived at our apartment to surprise K. I made coffee and we sat around chatting. It was sweet, a kind of calm and casual prelude to what we all knew would be a full day. To ensure the bride had all the luck we could give her, once we'd polished off pastries and coffee, we each gave her a gift before wrapping up breakfast: something old, something borrowed, something blue and a sixpence for her shoe.
Literally stopping traffic in Dole
We did, we took up an entire street while the photographer took photos of us walking, laughing and posing. But the drivers could see the white dress and were understanding, one of them giving K the thumbs up! And, as these thing happen, we spotted a zebra crossing and just had to have a photo taken of us reenacting the famous image of the Beatles crossing Abbey Road.
I don't normally get teary eyed at weddings. But there were so many moments when I did at this one. I blame K. I'd be fine till I saw her holding back tears. Maybe I should have just not looked at her, but that's kinda tricky to do as maid of honour ;) So instead, I invented distraction techniques.
Before we all lined up to go down the aisle, I went over to K, gave her arm a squeeze and wished her luck. Her eyes were red as she choked out a 'thanks' - distraction technique #1 - think about the task at hand, aka not tripping as you walk down the aisle in front of everyone.
I loved, loved, loved watching K walking down the aisle and seeing the look on P's face, he could not have looked more in love. She was incredibly beautiful and positively glowing. It was such an incredibly sweet moment and so distraction technique #2 is - no distraction, just enjoy the moment.
When K got to the front, K's dad was so flustered giving her away he forgot to kiss her. Poor guy must have kicked himself later, and poor K was leaning towards him for that kiss only to be left hanging! I could see slight disappointment cross her face and felt for her. Awkward. So, distraction technique #3 See the humour and sweetness. He'd never given a daughter away before, and it was plain he was not sure what he should be doing. K now has endless teasing arsenal for the future. And even though he forgot, K forgot all about it too as P took her hand...
Possibly the worst tear-jerker of all was when K choked up saying her wedding vows (in French!). P patiently helped her along while she clutched him tight for emotional support. Yeah, i kinda failed at finding distraction #4 for this too.
Mr and Mrs Smith
The emotions and the formal wedding done, it was time for some fun and the reception. Competitive to the end, some old ornamental pistols were 'borrowed' from the chateau and K and P posed with them Mr and Mrs Smith style before K turned a pretended to shoot P in the back to the amusement of many of the wedding guests before P retaliated. So very cheeky.
There was a moment, after the Bride and Grooms first dance, where I was tossing up whether to dance or just watch. I cant help being self-conscious and, usually, am quite happy being a wall-flower. But I don't know, this time I was like, what the hell? And I'm glad I did. It was so much fun dancing with K ans P's friends. I had my first ever swing dance too! Ive never been spun before and it was brilliant - it helps that the person doing the spinning knew what he was doing even with my being an unco. I loved dancing to Taylor Swift's 'Shake it off' and Carley Rae Jepsen's 'Call me maybe' with the girls, bopping around and being silly. There was a conga line (yep, I joined it) and I even danced to Elvis' 'Jailhouse Rock' in heels that were killing me at the time, I might add. I also managed to literally dance like no-one was watching - which resulted in possibly the most hilarious and kind moment of the night. As the evening wound down, those of us still on the dance floor all danced together in a circle swaying and doing that kicking thing from 'New York, New York' - if you know the name of that move, let me know in the comments please! I'm so glad I decided to join in and not sit on the sidelines - though I did stop when it was a song I just couldn't get the beat of or when I got too hot.
Tender is the night
When I did get too hot, I slipped out of the marquee and sat a short distance away in the dark, to cool off, while watching everyone inside dancing and the light flickering out into the night and playing on the lawn and walls of the chateau. I slipped of my shoes and walked barefoot around the grounds and loved that it was so dark that the stars in the night sky appeared within reach. It was peaceful and wonderful and just magic.
The trip home
K's friends were nice enough to give me a lift home at the end of the night. Unfortunately one of the guys had had a bit too much to drink so instead of two cars, we all had to pile into one...and he went in the boot. We drove home alternating between complimenting the day and each lost in their own thoughts, or passed out, till we heard a hesitant voice from the boot..."Ah, M...your left hand turns are OK, but can you go easy on the right?" which made everyone giggle, poor guy. When we got to my apartment, another slightly muffled "Can you open the boot please..." and a more urgent "No, you don't understand, you need to open the boot now" before he made a dash to a darkened entrance...presumably to admire the cobblestones at a closer proximity, as you do ;)
But perhaps the best moment out of the whole wedding day was...finally sitting down and taking off my shoes (kidding). A word to those attending weddings, wear your shoes a couple of time before the actual day...and take flats, they saved my life!
I do have one regret...K and I didn't get a photo of just the two of us together :( So many photos were taken though and there's always photoshop!
After the crazy hectic pace, the next day it was nice to wake up late and take a stroll around the quiet streets of Dole before heading home. It was such a whirlwind few days that, in the light of day, it was had to believe everything that had happened and all of it come to such a beautiful and memorable conclusion. K and P - I wish you every possible happiness, joy, and laughter for your future together.
And that's it from my trip to France for my friends wedding. Hope you enjoyed the memories I shared. I'd love to hear some of your favourite wedding memories so drop me a note in the comments!
P.S Don't forget to check out Pre-wedding day memories if you missed them.