dimanche 30 décembre 2007


Bad news. Our chef de cuisine refused to work in the old and (very) restricted kitchen of the community room we picked - the one in which we had always wanted to have our wedding.

We would for nothing in the world change with another one, so we switched to plan B and went ahead for a two-venues wedding: a cocktail party in the original room we wanted and a wedding dinner in another room with a kitchen that suited our chef de cuisine. He agreed to it and gave us the address of the room with his standard of "adequate kitchen".

We called to check out the room during our Christmas break. It was a room in another Alsatian village next to a highway - about two exits away - to Strasbourg, Alsatian capital. The kitchen turned out to be very well equipped and certainly fitted for a chef looking for a perfect condition in breeding out his masterpieces but we worried about the room itself. This is very far from the friendly and cosy atmosphere we wanted.

My husband-to-be cheered me up and said that we could certainly do something with the decoration to fix it up. Knowing that we did not have much time - works were stacked full at office and wedding was due in 6 months time - to go back and forth from Paris to Alsatia looking for another room agreed by our chef, I reluctantly agreed.

I braced myself for the challenge - this was a real test to prove that I did merit my architect diploma - and the tons of work that waited to take that gymnasium-look off the room.

mardi 25 décembre 2007

Last single girl's Christmas

My last Christmas as a single girl. Everyone was teasing me about how relieved my parents must have been knowing how fussy they are about old girls - especially when it comes to their own daughter.

I had never been very close with my future sister-in-law - not that she is not nice because she is, indeed - for a reason we do not really know, perhaps the distance, perhaps our very different characters.

Anyway, this Christmas she - and her adorable boyfriend, but I bet that it was her idea - offered me a present that touches me: my hairdo for the wedding day and the trial session. Then she hugged me in a sort of welcome-to-the-family-hug. I loved it, it made me feel really like entering the family.

I also received a mini set of Miss Dior Chérie beauty care that I kept for my wedding day containing a small perfume, shower gel, and body lotion of the same fragrance. It is extremely difficult to find a fragrance as a gift to someone and my future sister-in-law actually picked something that suits me very well.


In a country like France, where cuisine is a serious - if not the most serious - matter, the food you serve for a wedding is THE most important decision to take above all. More important than the wedding attire, the venue, the music, than ... all!

In our case, having guests varying from locals, different French regions, European countries, and even distant destinations such as China, Japan, Australia, and Indonesia, we would like to have something distinctly Alsatian while not sticking to traditional heavy Alsatian cuisine.

We took advantage of my future mother-in-law's thick address book - she was a former international school headmaster in Strasbourg - to select our chef de cuisine.

During Christmas dinner in her home, we decided together to confide our wedding dinner to a particular chef from a local Ecole Hôtelière and his students. Knowing his and the school's reputation, it was an obvious choice. We needed someone who could provide us with full-service dinner on table and he proposed us exactly what we wanted : elegant but simple dinner orchestrated with his maître d'hôtel and waiters.

We just could not wait to see the result!

mercredi 3 janvier 2007

Home for Wedding

We had already known where to celebrate our wedding even before the day we decided to get married. We attach a lot of importance to tradition and family and the moment I learnt of his family long history of origin rooting in a very small village in Alsatia - a French region bordering Germany - I agreed with his idea of going back there for the celebration.

His father's family has been living there as farmers for more than a century and very probably even longer - we only manage to trace it up to his grandfather's parents. I love the village even if people are staring at me as if they have never seen an Asian in their whole life, and certainly because I come around the corner with a guy whose family is the oldest one in the neighbourhood. Simple curiosity, I guess, and I do not mind it.

Art nouveau

Most girls dream of a romantic wedding proposal as it is supposed to be the most important moment of their entire womanhood existence. And I do, like other normal girls. Unluckily, my husband-to-be is not in the least a romantic person nor capable of pretending to be one, not even for once in his - and mine - lifetime.

Instead of a wedding proposal, our wedding begins with a reckless "negociation":

Me: "... geez, you know that you are starting to loose your hair?"
Him: *humpf*
Me: *teasing* "At this speed you will have a big clear space on your head on our wedding pictures."
Him: "Then we'd better get married soon!"
Me: *amused* "You are panicking because of your hair?"
Him: "I want to have my hair on my wedding picutres! Besides, you are getting to be an old girl also. It's been what, six years in a couple of months, that we live under the same roof. Don't you want us to get married?"
Me: "Do you?"
Him: "Well, I do if you do, I just want you to be happy."
Me: "Oh yeah, so now it is for me. I am asking you now do you want it? Because I do but I want you to want it also to do it."
Him: "Okay, then let's get married."
Me: "What? Now?"
Him: "Well, not now like now. What about next summer?"
Me: "You are not expecting me to prepare a wedding just in a couple of months!"
Him: "Well, do we need more time?"
Me: "Definitely yes."
Him: "When do you think we can have it then?"
Me: "The next summer after next year?"
Him: "Okay, then we'll get married in summer 2008."

I must admit, however unromantic I am - my friends say that in the scale of 0 to 10, my degree of romantism is about on level 4 - still I found the "proposal" - more like a negotiation to me than a proposal - really surealistic and perhaps a bit pathetic. On the other hand, knowing very well my husband-to-be after 6 years of sharing the same bathroom, I knew what was in store for me. It is so... him.

Later on, when I saw how Mr.Big proposed to Carrie, I was literally rolling on the floor. It was exactly like that - minus the prelude. If the film had been relased before our conversation, I would have swore that my husband-to-be were copying it! Luckily, in our version, my husband-to-be showed up on time on our wedding day and waited for me docilely.

It was in beginning of December 2006. We announced it later, on Christmas, to the whole family.