Saturday morning and we were up early. By 9am we were packed and heading to the chateau for the first of several trips.
My job was to set up the tables for dinner, greet guests and take them to their assigned rooms, organise the caterer and flowers and get to the chapel at 5pm. Didn’t seem that hard.
Letad was faced with three trips between Valbonne and the chateau, organizing the sound system, picking up the kids, doing pretty much everything else and also getting to the chapel at 5pm.
By 1:30pm things were progressing well. It was very hot and we’d managed to get two long banquet tables set up with sixty four chairs. The tables were set, the lavender bag place names which I’d spent hours making were finally done and everything looked gorgeous.
Things were on track and with three hours to go, all looked good. Except for the sky.
It had become increasingly cloudy and the ominous rumble of the thunder filled our ears. We glanced anxiously at the sky while we ate a quick lunch. Surely it couldn’t rain, today of all days. After all, it’s the south of France.
The thunder became louder and lightning streaked through the sky. Letad had left to pick up the kids and so I waited with a group of friends and family to see what would happen next.
Suddenly a storm was overhead. The lightening flashed above us as an enormous crack of thunder immediately followed and the first drops of rain became a torrential downpour.
It was all hands on deck as we ran to strip the tables. The caterers had arrived, the guys delivering the flowers, friends, cousins, anyone who could, jumped to help.
The tables were stripped, the wet crockery, cutlery, glasses piled hurriedly inside. The chairs were quickly stacked, seat pads were salvaged, the lavender bags I’d so carefully toiled over were ruined but the real casualties were the drenched table cloths.
Sodden and dirty, they lay on the terrace, a heap of soaked, heavy cotton. It was a catastrophe.
The rain continued to pour down outside as the storm passed overhead.
The catering crew wrung out the table cloths and everyone jumped in to help but a decision had to be made. It was 3pm, the ceremony was in two hours, we had sixty four people and no reception dinner. Could we pull it together in time?
I decided to give it until 4pm to decide whether to move inside or reset everything outside. It started to brighten and a tiny patch of blue sky gave me hope that we could still have dinner on the terrace, but would we have it ready and could we even set the tables again?
Behind the scenes my incredible friends worked tirelessly. The table cloths were washed and dried. My cousin’s wife ironed them dry. The catering crew started to reassemble the tables.
At 4:15pm I left to get dressed. I had no idea if we would make it but we had to try and so with rain soaked hair, I went to get ready.
Forty five minutes to go…