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.