samedi 2 août 2008

Mickey and Minnie

Mickey and Minnie have found their place at home.

jeudi 31 juillet 2008

Thank you

I left from work "early" today - about 45 minutes earlier than usual - to fetch our thank-you cards from the same company that provided us with the whole set of our wedding stationeries. This was not on my agenda this morning and as usual things - urgent, of course - come when you have something else planned. I arrived just in time, about 2 minutes before the showroom closed its door, drowned in my own sweat due to the last-hundred-meter sprint but I made it!

Aside from that, we still have not sorted out our guests' pictures from the more-than-1000 pictures Luc made and they need to be printed to accompany our thank-you cards! We know what waits us this weekend...

mercredi 30 juillet 2008

Michel et Augustin

Our favor for the children, a small cute box of sablés - French butter cookies - from Michel et Augustin got featured on their blog.

I was so happy - I was not supposed to but I was so glad that we made a good choice - when the children decided to start their dinner with our sablés right after they were seated and set their eyes on it.

The box being already cute, we only added a simple knot of dark green satin ribbon, a small biologic reglisse - wooden branch used to make French-traditional candy - stick, and our printed thank-you message. My husband loved to munch those sticks when he was a kid and we figured that it would also be the case for these children.

(Real) wedding album online

We went to see Luc, our photograph, to get our complete wedding pictures yesterday evening. We enjoyed our discussion as usual with him - perhaps a bit too much for my husband - that in the end I had to drag him out of Luc's appartment.

Luc had already passed us about 30 or so "sample" pictures he took on our wedding day and so we knew what we were waiting for. I had so much fun looking at them and trying to pick our best shots - there are a few hundreds of them to be sorted out and they are all so georgeous that we had a hard time - that we went to sleep very late, we just did not see the time pass.

I have just put them online and shared with our friends, already reclaiming for it for the past 2 weeks.

jeudi 24 juillet 2008


Waiting for our wedding pictures for almost three weeks was becoming unbearable. We called Luc last Saturday morning to wake him up a bit and he asked us to wait until mid-week. He did send me a "sample" - I thought that samples were only given in perfume shops - album today with (only) about 35 photos in it. It is worth the wait, they are all breathtakingly beautiful!

I put it online and I got some mails right away. Everyone is charmed by our "sample" album and just can not wait to see the rest.

dimanche 20 juillet 2008

Caught in the act

Our wedding is featured on DNA - Alsatia's leading regional newspaper - today. We were not expecting it but as my mother-in-law held an important role in the town council this must be a good reason.

jeudi 10 juillet 2008

Photos donation

Our wedding is still very recent - not even a week old - but yet I feel a sort of longing to go back and live that day once again. Everything happened so fast and I am affraid to miss some seconds of the beautiful day. I wish that Luc could have done the pictures faster but I know that we would not have our pictures ready before 2 or 3 weeks time since he told us that he is booked full until July 14th and even then we are not his only clients waiting for his pictures.

My parents got very impatient. They have their flight back to Indonesia on July 16th and never in the world would they accept to go back empty-handed without our pictures.

God bless our friends who kindly sent us their best shots since the last couple of days, even without us asking them to. We ordered a print for my parents - so they give us some peace since they will have it in a day or two - and we set up a shared album online. That would help the wait.

mercredi 9 juillet 2008

samedi 28 juin 2008

dimanche 1 juin 2008

Champagne arrival

My future mother-in-law received our wedding champagne, 9 boxes of 6 bottles, with the label we chose.

We were so excited when we saw those bottles and then I just realized how close the wedding was.

mercredi 21 mai 2008

Personalized champagne

The champagne producer we took for our wedding offered us personalized label for free. We sent the model and the text we wanted.

dimanche 4 mai 2008

Labours weekend

This year's labours day fell on a Thursday and we took advantage of it by taking our Friday off and go back to Alsatia to continue the organization work on our fast-coming wedding. A real labours weekend.

Thursday - We hit the road at dawn to avoid Paris traditional traffic jam for the coming long weekend - most Parisians did the same as us but for a long resting weekend instead of a long marathon weekend.

Friday -

Saturday -

Sunday -

vendredi 25 avril 2008

samedi 12 avril 2008

vendredi 11 avril 2008

samedi 5 avril 2008

lundi 31 mars 2008

Viennese waltz

I made an appointment for a session of waltz course with a dance teacher I found on the internet last year.

My husband-to-be was not really enthousiastic about dancing and certainly not interested in taking a dance lesson but I do not want him walking on my feet or on my dress and there is no way we could avoid the traditional ball opening by the bride and the groom, so I did not really give him a choice. "This is just to save our dignity, okay", he obeyed me then.

I just hoped that the teacher would be very patient because it would take a lot of sweat just to make my future husband follow the rythm.

Civil wedding dress

When a good friend of mine living in the Netherlands who got married last year in Thessalonica told me a secret behind her georgeous wedding dress and accessories as being bought from the Internet and eBay, I could not help myself from browsing eBay for such a good deal.

This dress finally hooked me. I ordered for it though the total cost is not so cheap for a dress made in China. The only minor note was the delay, I calculated that I would have it two weeks before the event at worst but on eBay you should consider it as "at best" instead of "at worst". So it was sort of a gamble for me. It was in early March.

Sometime after, a month to be precise, preceded by series of mail ranging from insisting to harassing - I was beginning to be desperate! - I finally received my dress. The fabrics was a bit disappointing - I do not think they use the same fabrics as the photo they put on eBay and I was expecting something better for the price I payed - but the style is faithful to the description. But what really annoyed me, the dress size is not written anywhere and it was too big for me despite the French size 34 - equivalent to their US size 0 - I asked.

In a moment like this, I must admit that I was so grateful that my mother had forced me to learn how to sew when I was a lot younger though then I did not really appreciate it. I shrunk the dress size myself and after two evening labour it was ready for my big day.

mardi 25 mars 2008

Patience is gold

After dozens of corrections - and a huge dose of patience - through a week of e-mailing, we could finally give a go-ahead for our wedding invitations to be printed.

mardi 18 mars 2008

Joseph Mann

We were supposed to have our 2nd preparation session with our two priests the coming weekend so I made an attempt to call Joseph Mann, the Catholic priest I had not met yet. He was not there and I left a message.

lundi 17 mars 2008


We spent the whole weekend working on the lay-out and text for our wedding invitations.

In France there is the traditional two receptions for weddings: cocktail party where we can invite almost everyone - depends solely on your budget - and the wedding dinner - lasting the whole evening 'til dawn - where we only invite close friends and family. That made two invitations to prepare: the so-called invitation for the cocktail party and the faire-part for the intimate dîner dansant - dinner and dance.

Our guests being a mix of nationalities, we decided to have the text in two versions. French and english.

Everything was ready by Monday evening for my appointment at the printing agency we had chosen.

samedi 8 mars 2008

B for Beauty

My husband-to-be mentionned casually my problem of finding a hairdresser and a make-up artist willing to get up early and transform me into a presentable bride while he was getting his quarterly hair-cut at his usual coiffeur for some years now - a next door salon de coiffure to where we lived a year ago. By chance, she offered us her service.

I went to see her on Saturday afternoon to fix a trial appointment and once again we had another chance. When I told her that I still had not found someone to do my make-up, she passed us an address in the neighbourhood. This was just perfect, I could fix my dress and on the way to the metro stop for the make-up.

I passed to the beauty salon right after, fixed a treatment and a make-up appointments for the civil wedding day.

mercredi 5 mars 2008

Ladurée wedding

We signed our reservation contract along with a down payment at Ladurée's. I handed in all the necessary papers after work, on my way home.

Civil wedding reception

I had been looking for a nice intimate-but-elegant spot in a Parisian restaurant for the past days, somewhere we could treat our guests - we would only have my future family-in-law and our witnesses - with a decent lunch after our civil wedding registry. True that we always considered civil wedding as mere paperworks but we still wanted to have something special for the day. This would be, after all, our official wedding day for the French Republic.

Since our "real" wedding would be done later on the country-side, we thought that this was the occasion of having a Parisian elegant wedding meal.

Bouillon Racine - a beautiful old restaurant in Paris 6th quarter listed in almost every tourist guidebook for its art-deco architecture. They proposed us with a reasonable budget lunch but unfortunately for them - rather fortunately for us - their reservation service was slow and room usage was charged rather expensive. We found it ridiculous to pay for room usage while bringing them 11 clients payed in advance - so there is no risk for them - but contrarily it was free room usage while dining there as occasional clients.

Je Thé Me
- a very cosy home-like restaurant in Paris 15th quarter, just next by the City Hall where we were getting married! Food was said to be nice and ambiance was quite intimate. Price was reasonable but no possibility to have private space. We hesitated because we wanted a more sophisticated meal than everyday home-made food.

Villa Spicy - we had never been there but found it on several restaurant critics online. It did not look spectacular but we liked the cosy atmosphere and its nice location in the Paris chic 8th quarter. Reservation service was responsive and they offered interesting price for groups. The only backdrop for us is the size of the restaurant and the impossibility to have a private space for ourselves.

- the legendary Parisian pastry house known as the world's best macarons maker. I found their website by accident - I did not know that they also served meals - and called right away their reservation service. It was more of curiosity that I called since I figured that their price would be way above our budget. It turned out that they made us an irresistible offer. We had no idea of the quality of their meals but we thought that someone capable of making such delicious sweet temptations would be capable of making wonderful sophisticated meals fit for a king's table.

By Tuesday evening, our first choice was Ladurée. Just to make sure that the dining room and the service were up to our expectations, we stopped by and had our evening tea that same night. They showed us the private dining room and we discussed about the occasion with some personnels. All seemed to be fine. We had found our civil wedding reception venue.

dimanche 2 mars 2008

DJ, or not DJ

We did not hear any news from the musicians we contacted in early February and with some time left we were still looking for alternatives.

The manager of the gymnasium-looking community room gave us a name card of a DJ friend of his. His stage name, Doudou - a french word for something like teddy bear - is a bit ridiculous for a DJ to be taken seriously but we decided to give him a chance. At least to meet him in person.

DJ Doudou turned out to be an average party-DJ. Despite of his stage name, he was a serious person and he made a good impression on us. He was willing to adjust his music with our wedding theme and his price was okay. On the other hand, he was a DJ and this means that we would not have "real" music.

We kept his number in case we found nothing better.

dimanche 24 février 2008

Another hectic Saturday

I have never been the kind of girl who puts on make-up to go out. Obviously I did not feel comfortable to do my make-up myself for our civil wedding even if I took a make-up lesson with the city's best make-up artists at Guerlain's.

It would have been a simple quick stop at the nearest beauty salon from my appartement if only they gave me a decent hour - at least according to Parisian beauty salons' standard - for the wedding registry instead of the 11.00 am ceremony they gave us. This means I had to find a make-up artist who opened her boutique before 10.00 am plus a hairdresser working at least an hour earlier and that is almost impossible in Paris.

We live in a tiny appartement in Paris downtown, only about 500 m from Champs de Mars, the park where they built Eiffel Tower. In such a neighbourhood, we only had beauty salon chains and they all opened at 10.00 am.

After struggling with the yellow page, I found two addresses in the neighbouring 8th quarter - I live in Paris 15th quarter - the most chic Parisian quarter. We headed for Lucie Saint Clair beauty parlor and Biguine. Lucie's was ready to open early just for me but their price was discouraging. If it were for my "real" wedding - Church ceremony, cocktail party and all that - then it would have been okay but 300€ for a less-than-30-minutes-worth make-up is out of my budget. Biguine's was more affordable, half the price, but they would not start earlier just to make sure that I would be on time for my wedding registry. They passed me the "message" with a clear take-it-or-leave-it attitude.

I went back to my home quarter exhausted and exasperated. After a quick light lunch, I gathered what was left of my spirit and then it was time for our wedding list appointment.

We chose an online wedding list, that we did not know yet what to fill with, called 1001listes. The idea is simple yet alluring: you put virtual goods in the list - you can even create your own goods - and your guests can just buy what they intend to give you. When all is done, what you actually have is a voucher worth the total amount of donations. You can spend it the way you want in shops affiliated with 1001listes or not. Of course there will be extra charge you if the shop is not on their list.

After courageously waiting for almost 30 minutes - every Parisian wants to get married in summer - we had our empty wedding list online by the end of the day.

vendredi 22 février 2008

Third fitting

The pictures I had taken from the previous fitting compared to the pictures I had from a recent wedding of a friend of mine - I was not invited but he always said that I was a friend so I considered his words as sweet talk - convinced me that I did not have a suitable petticoat giving enough volume to my strapless A-line gown.

I hesitated to call Michelle at Fortunée's because I did not want to nag her and I had done two fittings with still at least one more to come - the alteration fitting - but she was so kind over the phone and told me to come anyway.

I came the next Friday, after work, armed with my lingerie, slings, and veil. I had not tried on the last two items with my gown so I figured that it was a good opportunity. By chance, the seamstress that Michelle promised me - her name is Valérie and she was an independant couturière working from time to time for Parisian designers for ponctual seasonal collections - was there. Valérie was as sweet as Michelle and she agreed to give more volume to my dress by adding a flexible circle on my petticoat without adding extra charge.

We agreed to meet again in late March or early April for the fitting appointment, once she would have modified my petticoat.

mercredi 20 février 2008

Wedding photograph

We met Luc again and signed a contract with him this evening. So that was it, we had then our wedding photograph for both the Paris and Alsatian wedding ceremonies.

dimanche 17 février 2008

First hectic week

Monday - I figured out that it was about time to find musicians for our wedding receptions. We spent the whole evening scanning through DNA - Alsatian leading newspaper - ads hoping to find some decent local musicians. We wanted something of a easy listening jazzy atmosphere but looks like we have to compromise with what was available. By the end of the evening, we managed to make a first contact with a potentially real group of musicians.

Then I spent the rest of the week searching for a real photograph "worth the occasion". Knowing now how difficult it is to find a good photograph, not to mention two photographs, I changed my strategy to get one willing to cover our two separate ceremonies: the civil wedding registry in Paris and the Church ceremony - along with the receptions - in Wickersheim.

I found this great website of wedding journalist photograph association which is exactly what we were looking for. We hate unnatural looks on posed pictures. They even put estimated prices so we do not waste time contacting those outside of our budget. I contacted two of them working in France : Franck Aulnette and Fanny Dion. Mrs Dion responded almost right away but unfortunately she is not available for the date while Mr Aulnette was taking a bit of time.

Meanwhile I continued looking up for a photograph and by accident I found this website. I fell instantly in love with his works! I showed it to my future husband in the evening and he agreed right away to fix an appointment.

Friday - We met the photograph. For a second time, after my wedding dress, our instinct worked well. The guy, Luc, matched perfectly to the one we had been looking for! He was very passionated by what he did, with a good sense of humour without being too much, and of approximately our age. It was like having a friend for our photograph wedding. We booked him up a that same evening.

Saturday - We went to Dancourt, a wedding stationnery provider, to make up our mind on the choice of stationnery. They have a very nice website but I still find it important to feel the touch of their papers, their printing, ... The feel can make a difference. We picked this model for ours.

dimanche 10 février 2008

Civil wedding in two months

Our civil wedding registry date was out - April 12th, 2008 - that left me two months to plan the whole thing. There were only our witnesses and my family-in-law but I saw it as an occasion for an intimate celebration and I would not have missed a second of it.

Photograph - First thing I looked for was a photograph worth the occasion. We had a bunch of photograph pubs - french slang for publicity messages - since the day the City Hall put our civil wedding registry announcement on their wall. After inspecting them thoroughly, we decided to meet this photograph who did not really excite us but he sounded the least worst than the rest over the phone.

True that I had quite an expectation for a "photograph worth the occasion" - myself being for a moment a freelance photograph during my university study to get some pocket-money ending up in expensive materials for architectural maquettes - but this one was quite awful. He seemed in the least interested in our wedding since it would "just" be a simple civil registry taking a short half day and this was equal to half a day unprofitable for him. Then he talked and talked and talked about costs while pushing us to buy optional packages. We found out later that it was not him doing the photos, he would simply send one of his photographs - there I had the impression of going to a work agency to hire a cleaning lady. I was so relieved when the appointment was over and we politely said goodbye while promising to give a firm respon se within a week.

Marriage contract - Both of us come from a traditional family where divorce is not an acceptable solution. Mine living in 3rd world Indonesia and his living in France. The latter is quite surprising knowing that half of marriages in France end up in a divorce. However, we were not so blinded by romance to ever think of a happily ever after 'til death do us part - see how my husband-to-be made his contemporary proposal to me.

After deciding that we were not perfect, we went to sign our contract at our lawyer's office in Alsatia who was kind enough to accept our appointment on Saturday morning.

samedi 2 février 2008

Fifty - fifty

I am a Catholic and my husband-to-be is a Protestant. There is no "fundamental" difference except in Alsatia, torn apart a few centuries ago by religious wars and has never seemed to recover fully.

The village where we would hold our wedding celebration only had one church - a Protestant one - and my future family-in-law was Protestant. For some people, the whole thing was obvious. Thus, when we announced our eucumenic celebration some were surprised and some even sneered. This did not stop us from having our "useless" - as someone put it - eucumenic wedding.

What could be more beautiful than tolerance and sharing in a couple even if they have thousands of differences?

We met Nicolas Ribstein, the priest of the church and discussed for hours - he loved chatting and so did us. We were so glad that it was him who would conduct our wedding. At the end of the discussion - it was already end of the afternoon - he brought us to see his charming little church and promised us to bring Joseph Mann, the Catholic priest, who would join him for our wedding, the next time we went to see him.

jeudi 31 janvier 2008

Rental... checked

Rental for our wedding venues were signed. I ought to find an idea to transform the damn "gymnasium" room into a ballroom fit to welcome the ball of the century. At a restricted budget, of course.

mardi 22 janvier 2008

Ball opening

I found a professional waltz teacher over the internet - bride and groom must traditionally open the ball in Alsatian weddings - and we really needed it. I did not know how to dance a waltz and my husband-to-be's case was even worse. He did not have a sense of rythm.

dimanche 20 janvier 2008

Cymbeline outlet

While my wedding dress is already waiting for me at Fortunée's - I asked Michelle, the owner, to keep it for me since I have no adequate space in my tiny Parisian appartment to store it conveniently and I figured that it would be hard keeping it off my future husband's curiosity - I still need to find a veil, a pair of shoes and perhaps a pair of gloves.

By chance, I found an address on the Internet of a shop in Nemours, about 60 kms from Paris, named Mariées de France selling old Cymbeline collections. I called right away to fix an appointment the next Saturday midday. It is a pity they do not have a website. So here is the complete address for those interested to find an affordable new Cymbeline dress from previous collections:

Mariées de France
4bis rue Magloire Constant

Telp. +33-(0)1 64 28 49 40

Do not be surprised to see the place from outside. I did not find it right away when I passed in the street since it does not look at all like a shop, let alone a wedding shop! The only thing that helped me find it on my way back to the car - I almost gave it up - is the Mariée de Nemours card-board hang on an opaque door of a building that looked more like a warehouse.

Once inside, I was really amazed. It was an Ali Baba's cave, in bridal version, and I almost regretted having already bought my wedding dress. The lady who received me was nice and patient but pretty fussy about the dresses they have: it was forbidden to touch the dresses without the gloves provided so it was literally impossible to feel the fabrics in our hands, you just have to go with your eyes to judge them. It is true that with the number of women coming in and out they must have a tough job keeping them all clean. These are after all brand new dresses that must look like brand new dresses.

Finally, as before, almost nothing were at my size - which is a good thing because I was then not tempted to buy another dress - but I was lucky enough to find a pair of slings for my tiny feet and a veil. All that at 25% of what I would have had to pay in an ordinary bridal shop. My veil is not decorated with exactly the same lace as my dress but they still match and of course at that price there is really nothing to say.

vendredi 18 janvier 2008

Second fitting

Lingerie for the wedding day in hand, I went back to Fortunée's for a 2nd fitting after work. I did not need to make an appointment for weekdays visit but I had called the shop at midday to make sure that I could come and try my dress.

The owner, was just as kind as during my 1st fitting. She patiently helped me putting on the dress and even took other pictures. I fell in love even more with my dress when I saw the pictures. All was fine, I could keep the lingerie and use it for the D-day.

dimanche 13 janvier 2008

Paris winter sale

Michelle - Fortunée's owner - promised me to find a seamstress who could make alterations to my wedding gown and scheduled my next fitting a couple of months later. She reminded me to have the lingerie and the shoes I intended to wear for my wedding day by then.

Paris sale season happens to be in January and early February every year. I figured that it was a perfect timing to get the lingerie I needed. Why paying full price when you can have it for half or even quarter price, right? True that I could have taken a pleasure shopping out from the latest collection in a chic boutique in Paris 8th quarter away from the sale crowd but we needed to balance our budget with the additional community room we had to rent. So I chased away the little voice in my head whispering the once-in-a-lifetime excuse.

Being of extremely small sized in underwear, I planified my whole Saturday for the hunt. I dragged my husband-to-be for the expedition knowing exactly that it would be fun - kind of test for him and revenge from my part from his cruelly unromantic proposal - because he hates shopping and especially for lingerie. He always gets red - sort of the face you have after exposing it for at least an hour under a fiery sun - whenever we pass less than 10 meters away from a lingerie department then he behaves as if it were an accident that he arrived there.

After running around Paris lingerie shops, asking countless times for a literally non-existing size, and fighting out hysterical Parisian women to find our way, we were finally rewarded for our bravery. I found a guépière and a matching panty of my size in the sober-but-sensual style I wanted and we could finally went home feeling relieved - especially my husband-to-be.

dimanche 6 janvier 2008

Dress of my dream

My job had been keeping me at length for preparing my wedding properly, especially during my resignment period where they were flooding me with works and sending me running all over Europe. I finished my contract on December 22, 2007 evening. That was it, then I could run and find the dress of my dream.

Six months to the wedding and I had not tried a single dress yet. I was not really in a hurry until I learnt that most brides-to-be in Paris have already picked their dress a year before the big day! Then it was panic for me.

My future sister-in-law has always been dreaming of putting a wedding gown herself and she was naturally enthousiastic - even more than me, I would dare say - and very touched, perhaps even in the brink of tears, when I asked her to accompany me for my dress hunting in Paris. She is the kind of level 10-out of 10-romantic girl - now I know where all the romanticism in the family goes! I figure that she imagined a delightful fitting and défilé in a cosy rosy private rooms lined with endless rows of georgeous (priceless) gowns which lasts for hours.

So, now the visits.

Complicité - we went to their Montmartre shop. Dresses are quite nice and affordable but service is very poor. Their employees can be a bit rude and pushy. They only let me try 2 dresses out of 4 I wanted by saying that the other two do not suit me anyway and then they gave me less than 5 minutes to see myself in the mirror for each dress. Finally, after the 2 dresses fitting, they pushed me to buy the most expensive one right away along with the horribly expensive accessories. No appointment given.

Complicité Montmartre
12, rue du Faubourg Montmartre
75009 PARIS

Telp. +33-(0)2 43 53 75 00

Fortunée - is a dépôt de vente specialized in wedding dresses, a place where you can buy second-hand wedding gowns. This one is particular because they only have branded and haute-couture dresses. From the outside the place looks old and a bit shabby, like your grandma's dressing room but inside they certainly have a fabulous treasure. Most of all, the owner works by herself and she is an absolute dear. She is sincerely kind and while helping all those happy brides-to-be, she has that twinkle in her eyes as if she were preparing her own wedding. An absolute stop in Paris! Be careful, only by appointment on Saturday.


11, rue Pache
75009 PARIS

Télp. +33-(0)1 43 72 05 59

Fortunée has beautiful dresses made with beautiful materials. Nothing compared to the synthetic fabrics we saw in the previous shop! Everything is so pretty but... not many in my size. Almost none in fact. Most girls are complaining that wedding dresses are made too small, I could yell the contrary. After looking through the whole collection, the kind lady showed me the two smallest gowns she had. They were so dreamily beautiful that I did not dare too much touching them, I was so affraid to damage them. She helped me try on both of them and let us all the time we wanted to see them on me. She even offered us to take some pictures. She told me, for every gown, what should be done and some other tips that might help. She really looked enjoying, even happy, seeing someone in a second hand dress she kept.

The moment I saw myself in the mirror wearing the 2nd dress there, I knew that I have found the one I was looking for. My future sister-in-law saw it too and she told me to take it without hesitation. For a fraction I was so affraid to look at the price tag to find only disappointment but thank God it turned out to be affordable for what it is, a dress from the house of Cymbeline used only once for a défilé, practically new. My future sister-in-law laughed and said that for once I was lucky to be of small size, otherwise someone else would have had the dress. She was right, perhaps the dress was waiting for me.