Lovely Awkward: A Year of Wine, Romance and Life Among the French

Lovely Awkward: A Year of Wine, Romance and Life Among the French

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Getting ready for the French wedding party

While I've been busy trying to reclaim my files and re-writing the parts of the book that were lost on the Great Day the Files Were Eaten, I've also had a wedding to plan. The final wedding. And I actually haven't done any planning yet.

I should mention that the project isn't exactly mine. The French side of the family has been working on it. I'm still not up on all of their cultural traditions, so it's good that they're so willing to help us. Now, however, with only a month-or-so to go, the Prof and I are going to have to kick in some effort.

So far, we've found a little inn where we're going to hold the dinner and we've invited all of the guests. I've got a few family members flying over from Canada who will make up the English-only table; the rest of the party, I think, will only speak French. During our little fête, the Prof. and I will act as translators for everyone -- I'm sure, putting us in an enviable position for some couples who would have loved to have been able to control the information that passed between the two sides of the family at their own weddings.

I'll post some details about the inn when I've got everything figured out. The place, overlooking the water, is absolutely adorably gorgeous. (The description I've just typed tells me I'm definitely being influenced by the French. Translation: the inn is "quaint.")

My first priority in this planning, however, is finding a dress. This is always a difficult project for me, especially in France. And especially this year! (Read: I'm not wearing those pants that make French women look like North American car salesmen from the 80s -- the ones in the commercials with the brightly coloured cotton pants.)


The collection of dresses I had when leaving Canada. The tags have since been taken off (thank goodness I've given up that ridiculousness), but none of them are quite right for the French wedding. Well, they could be. But if there were ever an excuse to buy a new dress ... your own wedding celebration is it.

I'm not sure what is up with the style in France right now, but I can't quite pull off this frilly, little school girl look that seems to be in many of the stores. Although, I'm still just learning how to shop here. Maybe I'm still looking in the stores that are geared to 11-year-olds. I don't know. What I do know is that I'm too old for that. I also know that my body isn't shaped like a telephone pole and I can't pull off the mysteriously French, straight-lined looks. Those seem to be the two choices. And at the moment, that's left me somewhat stumped.

I need something that accepts curves, looks feminine, doesn't cost a lot, and is respectable enough (in a French way) that my new relatives won't think I'm a tramp. I've been thinking of the kind of flowery dress women wear in movies while riding bicycles in Italy, but that's proven to be quite a googling challenge. I keep coming up with Il Postino ... and that's it. In a country that seems to adore Marilyn Monroe, you'd think a curvy woman might have a little more choice. But nope. Everyone likes Marilyn Monroe, but they don't seem to want to look like her. (Not that I do! Anyone who has been to France, I hope, knows what I'm talking about.)

That said... This week, I'm giving up on my exercise in France expose (it's already too late for that as far as party prep!) and I'm going concentrate on how to dress. Then I'll move on to the rest of the check list.

Anyone have any suggestions?

10 comments:

  1. I had to chuckle at the telephone pole thing. Yeah, I def can't pull that look off nor can I pull of layers of ruffles.

    I did see a few lovely summer dresses in a shop window yesterday. I didn't stop to investigate the price but can do so and let you know.

    Good luck with the planning!

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  2. Oh! Oh! Oh! If you pass by the store again, let me know the name. I'm going to wander downtown for a little window shopping tomorrow!

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  3. It's not you. When I first came to Canada, I shop so much because suddenly, everything fitted. And I was the exact same size...

    The only things that annoys me in Canada is that sizes seem to be defined by the waist. I.e. I pick pants, size 10, legs are too small but waist is okay. Size 12, legs are still too small but you could fit two of me at the waist.

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  4. Zhu: Wait... and the pants in France fit? I've never tried pants here! I did always have that waist problem in Canada, though. I thought it was just me. I'll make sure to try some on here if they might actually fit!

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  5. Wow, the French wedding! Voila! Are you thinking of a colorful summer dress or a more traditional (yet simple enough) white dress?

    Carmen

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  6. I'm thinking of a nice summer dress, not a white one. It's more of a party than a wedding. Before I find the right dress, though, I have to find a store that sells them. (The dresses that aren't for 11-year-olds!)

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  7. Yes, I forgot to read the "party" part....I can't wait to see your pictures. Hope it's not that hard to do shopping over there...no more school girls, we are definitely on a different level!!!! ;)

    Carmen

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  8. No, no. I added the "party" part after to save some confusion!

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  9. Any luck finding THE dress so far????

    Carmen

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  10. Still trying... the only ones I've liked online are still in Canada!

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