Thursday, July 31, 2014

Wedding Bells and Champagne Bubbles

When Jean-Francois called us in Denver and said, “Marla and Dick, you MUST come to the wedding because it will be a show”, we decided we couldn’t miss the event. We first met Jean-Francois in Cannes many years ago, and yes, he is definitely “a show!” The wedding took place in the beautiful and historic, Basilica Saint-Remi in Reims.  The church was founded in the 6th century and was originally an abbey dedicated to Saint-Remi who converted Clovis, king of the Franks, to Christianity in 496. The majestic setting was perfect for the marriage of Jean-Francois and Marie-Laure.

The couple looked radiant as they descended the steps of the Basilica.

Marla enjoys the spectacle. Jean-Francois’ sister, Alex, worked for us at Wesco Fabrics a number of years ago in Denver. While on a trip to San Francisco Marla introduced Alex to Chris, our son-in-law Ray’s best friend from college. Marla was Matron of Honor and Ray was Best Man at their wedding.

They took a vintage Mercedes roadster to the reception. The back of the car was filled with magnums of Andre Clouet, Jean-Francois family champagne company.

The Palais Du Tau was the site of the reception and dinner. The Palais was the former residence of all the Kings of France before their coronations in the Church of Notre-Dame de Reims next door.  This was the very first time the Palais was used for a wedding reception and was perfect for their theme, “The Great Gatsby.”

The reception was definitely “a show”, with dancers and music from the 1920’s competing with the sound of popping Champagne corks. I must say I was distracted from viewing the beautiful historic tapestries on the walls!

We love the huge Champagne Tower!

Jean-Francois and his father, Pierre, appear to be assisting the dancers with their choreography for their next “Gatsbyesque” dance number.

They are ready to dazzle!

For a moment we were all transported back in time!

Alex’s husband, Chris, and Marie-Laure share a moment before descending the stairs to the Palais’ cellar, beautifully transformed for the dinner.

The dinner began at 10:00 pm.

Each wine and dinner course was beautifully orchestrated for maximum effect. We began the very long evening with vintage champagne from the family’s cave in Bouzy. Wonderful!

I sat next to Baron de Geer from Sweden. The Rose Champagne was served at around 2 am! The Sainz family loves long wedding affairs, and I remember the wedding of Alex when at 3:30 am the cake was still yet to be cut!

Though dinner and dancing came to an end at 5:30 in the morning, we all traveled to Bouzy, 45 minutes south of Reims, for brunch…and MORE champagne! Jean-Francois gives a toast thanking the guests for coming to the wedding.

Francois and Pierre Sainz take a moment to enjoy the day with Francois’ sister who owns a competitive champagne house in town.

Marla and I have one more glass next to the family vineyard. We were very tired from three days of celebration, but so happy we came!

1 comment :

  1. Thanks for allowing us to vicariously share in the wonderful wedding extravaganza! It must have felt at times as if you were in a movie rather than real life! I am not sure if I would have been able to stay up all night (unless I slept the entire day prior) but I would imagine the excitement kept you going.
    How much fun to be able to share the lives of friends in different cultures!