Monday, December 9, 2013

A French Wedding

On Saturday, David and I were witnesses in a French wedding. It was a marriage between two church members, both of whom have been previously married and who each have five children.

A civil ceremony is required in France--in fact, it is the only ceremony that matters in the eyes of the law. Conducted by the mayor of the town in a very official manner, the civil ceremony takes place in City Hall.

Witnesses sit on either side of the bride and groom and sign official documents once the vows have been exchanged. Typically, only close family members and witnesses attend the civil ceremony, though other friends and family wait outside to cheer when the newlyweds leave the building.

The entire thing takes about 10 minutes from start to finish. Christian couples will typically have a church ceremony following the civil ceremony--both on the same day. This was the case for our friends.

The civil ceremony was at 10 a.m. and the church ceremony was at 3:30 p.m. As David and I were both participating in the church wedding, we don't have any photos from that yet!

It was the first time we were allowed in to witness a civil ceremony, so it was culturally enriching experience. We were honored to be asked to participate in our friends' special day. 

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