Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Filed under "things I love": weddings in castles.

I usually rebel against going back to East France (been there done that, ate the cheese, let's move on), but if you throw in a wedding, especially one in a chateau, sentimental nostalgia wins out. Plus, I was introduced to lovely Lyon, during what must have been its most picturesque, beautiful day in years. Win-win-win.

Of course, the real reason we went, was to celebrate the wedding of Flo's little sister Laure to her longtime beau Martin. And these kids did good. They rented out a chateau in the countryside of Lyon, and threw an epic smackdown of a party. Perhaps they had some awesome inspiration?..

It was just a barrel of fun trying to get to the wedding in time, as all AirFrance pilots went on strike 2 days before, and both my flight from Moscow, and Flo's from Miami were cancelled. We had to scramble to buy new flights, on new airlines, while in different countries, and arrived with just enough time to shower and change before heading to City Hall for the ceremony. AirFrance, you are dead to us.

Hello, gorgeous! Lyon's main square, where we met the wedding party.
the ceremony
Right in the feels!

After the ceremony, the newlyweds were treated to a performance by their guests.

 It was a great sight to behold. People walking by stopped to listen, and even the bums lounging around on the steps of the plaza joined in to round out the chorus.

Post-ceremony cocktails at the bar nearby, with the lead vocalist. 

There was a big family dinner at the Chateau that first night, which I missed, because I am weak, and the jetlag had gotten the best of me. In the morning, after 12 hours of hibernation, I rejoined the living, and went out to explore the castle and festivities preparations.

Ethereal hazy light in early morning.
mountains of amuse-bouche await the reception

some quirky details of Chateau Montplaisant

It's hard work getting ready for weddings!
Presenting the groom!

And bride.

Little Lisa is all grown up.

She does!

With formalities out of the way, the wedding party gets down with some ukulele tunes.

Then it was time for a flashmob. Obviously.

...followed by toasts

...whatever he said...
...the time-honored tradition of getting up on chairs and yelling...
...the venerated practice of retaliating in kind...
...arcade games...
...unexpectedly beautiful long exposure fails...
Cakes, fire, and cakes on fire!
We danced the night away, and consumed copious amounts of champagne. And they even treated us to an amazing spread at brunch the next day!

Mother of the bride, manning that all-important bacon station.

It's been a long time since we've been to a wedding as fun, and as full of heart, as this one. If anyone wants to drag me back to East France, all they have to do is get married in a castle.

How I felt at the end of the weekend.
After the wedding, we had but one afternoon to explore Lyon before hopping over to Spain. With no time for anything else, we took a cue from the locals and spent Sunday leisurely strolling around centre-ville, enjoying the unbelievably beautiful weather, sipping cafes au lait on the banks of the Saone, and photographing this remarkably photogenic city.

Sunday market

Not a bad weekend, I must confess. And Sunday afternoon had that glorious slow, lazy quality that goes so well with sunlit patios and cappuccinos. I do wish we had a bit more time to explore Lyon, but, we had a flight to catch. On to Barcelona!

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