[The truncated version]
Stars were falling from the sky the night we met. It was November 17, 2001, the evening of the Leonid Meteor shower. We were at the housewarming party of mutual friends, Meriem and Dimitri. Toward the middle of the night, the party moved to the roof-top to watch the sky. Fred offered me his jacket and I accepted, even though I wasn't cold. We talked the night away. Although Fred was planning on moving back to France the following year, we fell in love and he stayed with me in San Francisco.
On July 1, 2004, at Lac de Gaube in the Pyrenees Mountains, between France and Spain, Fred got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I said "oui," "si," and "yes" just to make sure there was no misunderstanding!
Like many couples of different nationalities, Fred and I had two ceremonies. The first was two years ago today in San Francisco. And the second was in Bordeaux the following September. The traditional French wedding is two steps: civil and religious. Family and friends gather at the Hôtel de Ville (or the Mairie) of the arrondissement or ville of the couple. The mayor performs the civil ceremony in a small room overflowing with guests. The couple, flanked by their respective witnesses (best man/maid of honor), in the center. Thereafter, the guests usually walk as a group to the church to observe the religious ceremony, which is similar to a typical U.S. ceremony except the wedding party is usually limited to the witnesses and the mother-of-the-groom accompanies him down the aisle, opposed to observing the procession from the front pew. Then it’s on to the reception, which is pretty much the same in both countries: family, friends, champagne, food, cake, and dancing!
Our civil ceremony was held at San Francisco City Hall. Here are a few photos:
If you'd like to continue on our lovefest (or you're bored at work), click here.
Today also is a special day for my cousin John and his wife Mandy. It is their one year anniversary. Happy Anniversary!
And it is our friend Meriem's birthday. Bonne anniversaire et gros bisous, Meriem! Merci pour avoir mis en scène l’événement qui a changé nos vies.