May 19: Deborah and Cyrille are getting married today! After my wife and I eat breakfast, we check out of our second hotel on this trip. We drive from Auray to Erdeven and park in the lot of Cyrille’s company.
Walking to the town hall and church, the fact that we had been there before was helpful to other guests. We were told to be there at 10 a.m. for the 10:30 civil ceremony. Unsurprisingly, given how late she must have gone to bed and the congestion around her apartment, she was about ten minutes late.
The ceremony, officiated by a woman wearing a tricolor sash, was all in French, but I got the gist.
Then we walked a short distance to the church. And by short, I’ve walked farther from a parking space to a supermarket.
The service was in French and English and laid out in a 40-page booklet—the marriage celebration, followed by readings, including Psalm 67 and John 15:9-12. I discovered a typo in the version I had seen on May 8, which I noted to Deborah, but I doubt anyone else noticed. Then more blessings of the marriage, the prayers, and the peace.
Then a German couple, my wife and I got up and went to the rear of the church to bring up the Holy Communion elements. They weren’t there. In retrospect, I think the priests brought them forward beforehand because the church service started late. As the German woman put it, “We are unemployed.”
One of Deborah’s surprises for Cyrille was getting a gospel group from Rennes to sing. They performed Amazing Grace at the beginning, Let Us Break Bread before communion, Down To The River To Pray before the distribution of the elements, and Oh, Happy Day at the end, with one of the priests dancing in the aisles.
After the service, two Breton sonneurs – traditional music players – led us in a procession through the village. There was a reception where I engaged in wonderful conversations, including with Deborah’s two adult children and their significant others.
We were all directed to a castle, le Château de Trédion, about 45 minutes away. My wife and I realized we had time to check into the nearby B&B where we stayed that night.
We returned at 16:30 and listened to Jérémy Simon and his accordion/keyboards/horn jazz trio. They were surprisingly good.
There were cocktails at 18:00 while photos were taken. Dinner was supposed to be at 20:00, though it was late; I wasn’t terribly hungry with all the hors d’oeuvres. We had a magician that came from table to table doing card tricks or something involving fire; we got the tamer offering, involving the fake card shuffle, which Mark Evanier subsequently linked to here.
Dancing “til dawn” was supposed to start at 22:00; not even close. Speechifying was still going on at 22:45, including by the groom’s 87-year-old father, in French and translated by a woman from Ireland I had met.
. Later, we learned the dancing didn’t begin until one in the morning. We had to go. Specifically, my wife, who was driving, had to depart before she got too tired to move. We said our goodbyes to Deborah’s kids; the folks at our table, including Ruth and Vernita, whom I had met in the 1970s; and finally, the bride and groom.
However, we did stay for the address by Deborah’s friend Igor in English and translated by Deborah’s son. It was very accurate. I will say cryptically that we would not have come if Deborah hadn’t asked.
We would miss the wedding cake and the next day’s crepes event because we needed to return to Paris to take a plane home. Our time was too short. Still, it was worth the effort.
We went to the B&B and crashed.