Monthly Archive for April, 2008

Wedding Do-Overs

chinese take out favorsLike I mentioned before, my husband and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary this week. As I was looking through photos and tripping down memory lane, I started playing the “what would I have changed” game. I planned my wedding in France long-distance while I was living in the U.S. I had never been married before, had no idea what my “wedding style profile” was, and had to rely heavily on my mother- and sister-in-law who lived in the town that we were marrying in. I didn’t speak French at all, and didn’t understand that a lot of the cute wedding “Good Things” that I was seeing in Martha Stewart Weddings magazine simply didn’t (and still don’t) exist in France. Before I finally wised up, I had this Grand Plan to have the majority of my DIY wedding items waiting for me to assemble in France, which would minimize the already ridiculously huge amount of other wedding crap accoutrements that we would be schlepping across the Atlantic with us. From the get-go, this idea seemed to be a bit iffy. But as everyone with The Style Channel now knows, you can’t deter a Bridezilla from her Grand Plan- even when all of the warning signs are there. My 1st sign should have been that my sole method of communication with my in-laws was through my French- born, weddingly-challenged husband.

For example, back in the day, no self-respecting Follower of Martha would dare to NOT offer her guests a favor trussed up in a mini Chinese takeout box. (These days, they’re just another shape of favor box, but in The Year 2000 they were the bee’s knees!). In the midst of my destination wedding planning frenzy, I had to rely on my husband to explain to his maman in a tiny town in the North of France what:

  1. Chinese take-out was
  2. what Chinese take-out boxes were
  3. what an American favor was (and how it differed from the traditional French dragées)
  4. and why his American bride-to-be didn’t want dragées

He then had to delicately ask her to see if she could go look for the aforementioned boxes in her town. We also had her running around looking for glassine envelopes and monogrammed aisle runners and hosts of other Martha-inspired wedding paraphernalia, all to no avail. After living in France for 7 years, and working as a wedding planner here for the past two, I now realize what ridiculously impossible tasks these were to expect her to accomplish. But for a hyper-sensitive, stressed-out, mono-lingual American destination bride-to-be, I saw it as nothing but incompetence (I remember standing behind him in silent anguish, gnashing my teeth and clenching my fists until they bled as I listened to him try to translate the color “sage” to his mom. Le pauvre, it’s a wonder he went through with the wedding at all :) )

All this is to say that despite all of the crazy, dramatic insanity leading up to our wedding, that week-end was one of the best memories of mylayercake films entire life, and until yesterday, I always thought that I would have only have changed the photographer (he was a little old man from a tiny village on the French/Belgian border. Nice as pie, but not exactly at the forefront of wedding photojournalism). But then yesterday I received a candy-pink cake box in the mail with a dvd from Layer Cake Films inside, and I realized that I soooo want do-overs for my wedding video! Layer Cake Films will shoot your wedding in retro Super 8 film, and then edit the film with the soundtrack of your choice. (For you young’uns, Super 8 was what existed before video and dvds- if you’ve ever seen your grandparents old home movies, they were probably shot on Super 8). You have to check out the demo videos on their site- why didn’t we choose Iggy Pop for our soundtrack?? Layer Cake Films is based in Los Angeles and North Carolina, but the team is available to travel for destination weddings. In fact, Michelle from Layer Cake is also in Paris a few times during the year, and is available to document your Parisian wedding or event for you in fun and funky Super 8. Oh! And while you’re visiting their site, be sure to check out all of the cake-y goodness on their blog. Yurm….

Toe Tappin’ Goodness

Oh, man- this post is going to come back to haunt me :) Precious at precious nuptials & destinations tagged me for this new “embarrassing song” game. I’m to share 5 songs that I’m embarrassed to admit to others that I like and tell why. Then I have to bring 7 more sucka’s down with me. Sounds like fun- here goes:

  1. Jenny from the Block by J.Lo: I heard this song over the weekend in a store and couldn’t stop singing it! It’s contagious.
  2. The Rose by Bette Midler: I swear, the louder you sing it, the better you sound. Go ahead and try it.
  3. La Boulette by Diam’s: Diam’s is sort of a French Missy Elliott. I have no idea what she’s singing about, but it sure is catchy.
  4. Brick House by the Commodores: This song reminds me of tearing up “kiddie night” at the roller rink in my Sergio Valente’s and leg warmers.
  5. Independent Woman (Charlie’s Angels) by Destiny’s Child: Who doesn’t like this song???? “Question?

OK, I don’t know 7 people who haven’t been tagged yet, so I’m tagging 5. Spill it, ladies! Glamour This Polka Dot Bride Erin Gilmore Photography LVWedding Concierge and Perfect Settings


Un Mariage Chez Les Cht’is

Wedding in BerguesThere’s a sweet, romantic-comedy that has taken France by storm since its release this past February. Bienvenue Chez Les Cht’is is the most successful French-language movie in French history, and is almost about to surpass “Titanic”as the country’s all time box office champ. The film tells the story of Phillipe, a postal worker from the south of France who gets transfered to a tiny village in the North of France as punishment for committing a gross error at the office. To Phillipe and his family, the transfer is the ultimate punishment- it’s as if he is being sent off to Siberia. Once there though, he’s befriended by his co-workers (led by the films’ writer and director, Dany Boon) and quickly grows to see the warmth and beauty of the region. The film pokes fun at the misconceptions that people in other parts of France have of the North, and also paints a charming picture of a region that, until the success of this film, had long been overlooked not only by tourists, but by most of France.

Bienvenue Chez Les Ch’tisI’m particularly warm-n-fuzzy about this movie because my husband and I were married in Bergues, the little town that the film takes place in, 8 years ago today. My sister-in-law is a teacher there, and since my husband and I were living in San Francisco at the time, she found the reception venue for us. The town is actually a fortified village with history dating back to the 800’s. It’s pretty sleepy- but very quaint with pretty flower boxes, and cobble-stone bridges, and its now-famous bell-tower, which plays a central part in the movie. I actually haven’t been up north since the movie was released, but I hear that it has put Bergues (population 4000) back on the map. The local tourist board has started offering tours of the region, and people have also been driving up to have their wedding photos taken in front of the belfry. Continue reading ‘Un Mariage Chez Les Cht’is’