I know how much you expected this post. You were many to ask me about the differences between a French wedding and an Irish wedding. You saw a part of the wedding if you follow me on Snapchat, you could see the beautiful bride that was my friend Laura. Today I tell you and shows you more.
Friday, December 30, 2016, it is 6 o’clock alarm rings. I shared the room of the future bride for her last night as a single woman, so I am the first to jump on her bed shouting (everything is relative it is 6 am do not forget ^ ^) “It is the day, it is today! “. 2 years to the day have passed since Mark’s proposal. That was December 30, 2014 in Ireland. We were living in Canada. On her return to Toronto she invited me to be with her for the most beautiful day of her life. 2 years later I am so proud to have been able to be there with her on her special day.
7 am I am with the future bride, her mother and the bridesmaids for our setting in beauty in a very nice hairdressing salon of the city. A few hours later we are back home, the stress is palpable, the pressure rises, everybody rechecks things several times. We do not want to forget anything. Several times I hear that we must not forget the green folder, without the green folder they will not be able to marry. The green folder is secured in the car.
1.00pm o’clock the church is full, the future groom, surrounded by his witness and his closest friends, awaits the arrival of his dulcinea in front of the altar. Here she makes her entrance to her father’s arm to the rhythm of “How long will I love you” in a quiet and romantic version. Time seems to have stopped. All eyes are turned towards Laura. In some we find the memory of a marriage more or less distant, in others one can read the desire to be the next one. In mine you can read amazement and many emotions. She is magnificent.
The priest is very funny, he is modern. I’m really delighted with his performance. He talks about our young married couple as he would talk about his friends. With accuracy. We feel him involved in this marriage. He came especially for this wedding, it was not his church but Laura wanted to marry here with him. The family succeeds the microphone. Applause choked the church. The eyes fill with emotions. Laura and Mark are now husband and wife. One group plays at the top. I feel like I’m living a movie. Everything is perfect.
The church is emptied slowly, everyone embraces the bride and groom, we hug each other, we embrace each other, we congratulate them. I follow the others, I am the last, I close the march. The return to the outside is icy, the cold wind reminds us that we are in December. Lovers ride aboard their vintage orange-colored Coccinelle, Just married proudly displays in the back. To my surprise we all head towards the pub. This is the tradition, we are in Ireland going to drink a pint of beer. Or a lemon soda for me. The tradition also means that the new marrried couple serve a few pints of beer. For me it is the surprise, I discover, for them it is an important passage, it talks, it laughs. This is one of those times when everyone is happy.
I am with the family for the photo shoot in a beautiful castle of the commune. I will talk about that in a future post. The ceilings are very high, the decoration old. We made a leap in time.
The wedding procession then heads to the hotel which will host the rest of the evening. The bride and groom barely have time to spend the first door of the hotel being offered a glass of champagne. The flashes flicker on both sides. Everyone wants to immortalize the moment. Fix it in the photos. Keep them for eternity. Remember this beautiful day.
Before we go into the room we have tea. Laughs of laughter are exchanged, smiles and accolades. Irish women like to dress and it shows, the outfits are all more beautiful than the others. The photo shoots follow in the hall of the hotel, it must be said that it lends itself to wonder. A huge chandelier adorns the entrance, the Christmas decorations bring a magical side to the photos. Everyone is so beautiful.
I am in full conversation with some of her friends when a bell rings, it’s time to join the room and find her table. One of my neighbors told me about his wedding two months ago, with his lover they flew for a weekend in Rome and decided to exchange their vows there, I loved his story. The waiters offer us the choice between two entrees then between fish or meat for the suite. The wine bottles waltz on the table, the table of honor thrills proudly in height facing the audience. The meal takes place in a cozy atmosphere. The end of the meal is punctuated by the very moving speeches of the men of the table of honor. The 2 dads have a hard time hiding their emotion. A little nod to their families coming expressly from Canada, others coming from London, Liverpool and then me coming from my south of France.
The cake is cut out, in a few movements the table of honor is dismantled to make room for a wooden stage, the tables of the guests are pushed to the sides, the dance floor is officially opened. The newlyweds open the ball accompanied by a group of musicians. They are quickly joined by other couples. The second part of the evening is launched. Traditional music mingles with the more modern music. The track rarely depreciates. While some dance others rehydrate at the bar. The party continues for a few hours to the sound of the group then a DJ takes over until 3:00 in the morning. At this point the survivors head to another hotel bar to prolong the party. It was a wonderful wedding.
And then the differences between an Irish wedding and a French wedding?
- The famous green file I mentioned earlier is the document that makes marriage in the official church. The state and the Church not being separated as in France the marriage takes place only in the church, no need of town hall like with us.
- Winter weddings are very common in Ireland, in the space of 10 days I saw 5 in addition to this one. The reason ? They are never sure of having magnificent summer days so as to do it in the winter they know in advance that it will not be nice.
- Weddings are held on weekdays. Friday most often but also on Thursday. Especially in Christmas time like here.
- Many weddings take place between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Newlyweds enjoy this time of year when family and friends return to their hometown for the holidays.
- Irish weddings are very often held in hotels. In our case the room rented for the occasion had a bar where guests could pay their own consumption.
- In Ireland if you are invited to the church you are also invited to the meal, there is no notion that we have in France invitation to church and wine of honor only.
- The bride had 3 bridesmaids, one of whom was her witness.
- The women’s outfits are very chic, really very chic.
- In the toilet a box was available to the guests, maybe this is done in France but I have never seen it. In the box: deodorant, tampons and other little touches that can save you an evening. Even a few pairs of flip-flops for those who can not stand their dizzy heels.
It was truly a wonderful wedding, everything from the beginning to the end was perfect.
Have you ever attended a marriage abroad? Did you notice any differences? Tell me in the comments.
Belle soirée mes petits loups à frange.