When we first heard back in 2011 that our friends Kendra and Torbjorn were getting married in the South of France in June 2013, we were beyond excited, both for them, and for the opportunity to travel to France.
A few days before the wedding, family and friends, including ourselves, flew in to France from all across Europe and the United States. As everyone arrived in the beach town of Saint-Raphael, you could tell how excited everyone was for the bride and groom and for the weekend’s events.
The wedding celebrations began with a beautiful and romantic ceremony in the courtyard of a small stone church under clear blue skies. Less than half of the guests, including the groom himself, could understand the sermon and vows (which were in French), but somehow the emotions and meaning of the priest’s words were conveyed and there weren’t many dry eyes in the crowd by the end of the ceremony.
After the ceremony we were taken by bus to the reception site, a stunning châteaux and winery built into the hills of the Cotes de Provence. Cocktails were served outside in the manicured gardens and we were greeted by waiters serving small shots of chilled, sweet melon juice, flutes of champagne and local wine.
While we worked our way through the extravagant hors d'oeuvres, which included smoked salmon tea sandwiches, small skewers of cabbage-wrapped paté with pistachios, and little domes of decadent fois gras mixed with chocolate (yes!) on crackers, we managed to take a few photos photos in the garden.
And after snagging a final group shot (Colgate representing!) with the bride and groom, we went into the ballroom for dinner.
Dinner was interspersed with heartfelt speeches, songs, and an amusing video filmed by the groomsmen, and dancing continued well into the night and into the early morning. In fact, dancing was only interrupted by a lavish dessert bar, which managed to get the attention of every guest, and even the DJ, who stopped playing music while we stood in a long line to fill our plates with lemon mousse cake, profiteroles, and rich chocolate cake.
When the lights finally turned back on to the lyrics of Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” (a college tradition), we hobbled our way back to the buses, eventually getting in to bed as the sun was beginning to rise over Saint-Raphael.
Needless to say, there were quite a few glazed eyes at the pool party BBQ the following day, but I doubt that any of us will forget such a great weekend. Congratulations Kendra & Torbjorn!