The wedding

We were nice and early at the mairie so together with the Griffins we decided to stroll up to Vincent's flat to see if anyone would emerge. En route we passed a game shop. Well almost...

Some weeks ago Vincent had mentioned a great game he'd played once, called Carcassonne. We Daveys, having toyed with buying a big study Bible (too personal a choice) or some daily readings (not special enough) decided that a game would be a great thing to receive as a wedding present. So on Friday while Pat cleaned the student centre I scoured the two toy shops I know in Bordeaux. The first didn't have it and had never stocked it. The second said "Il n'y en a pas", which I found comically unhelpful. OK.

I found it on the internet, so I knew it existed, but now there'd be no possibility of getting it in time for the wedding.

Enter the game shop at the end of Vincent's road. A voice called from the heights - a kind of gallery with the manager's office. I asked for Carcassonne. "Quelle édition?", said the man. Yippeee ! So he wrapped it nicely and we took it along to the wedding.

Bordeaux is quite big and it is June so we had to queue up with the other wedding parties. Everyone arrived and we waited in the splendour of the mairie courtyard. Then we were ushered into an equally splendid room (chandeliers, blue and gilt panelling) and told to wait.

We waited.

Then the lady deputed to conduct weddings came in through some huge imposing doors and we all stood while she entered. She was wearing her tricolor sash. She introduced herself and asked us to sit while she made a nice speech all about the Frenchman who crossed to America and came back with a wife in his baggage. We laughed and clapped.

Then she read out the articles of the code civil that relate to marriage - that husband and wife owe each other faitfulness, love and care, and that husband and wife are responsible for the education of their children and for their financial support until they reach adulthood, etc.

Then she asked first Vincent then Jenna "Do you take ..... as wife / husband ?"

The response is "Oui", and that having been duly given she proclaimed them husband and wife and gave them the marriage certificate, a letter from M. Juppé (the maire), a copy of her speech and the pen with which they signed the register.

We applauded, she left and off we all walked through the streets of Bordeaux, honking happily, to the reception room. People on the balcony of their flats shouted "Vive les mariés !" as we passed. We arrived at the reception room and Sammy gave a short message on "Love one another as I have loved you".

Then we ate fruits dipped in chocolate and little pastries and chatted happily till it was time to go home.


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