By 4:15pm I was finally getting ready. The skies had started to clear and a faint shadow appeared on the ground. The tables were being reset outside and it was game on.
I was getting ready with three of my closest friends who had come from LA. We had shared a bottle of champagne (much needed by that point) and were starting to laugh about the catastrophic day.
At 5pm on the dot, the bell of the chapel began to ring and ring incessantly. I wasn’t ready and there was no way I was going to hurry.
Eventually by 5:30pm, my father, my dear friend Stella and I walked slowly down the path to the chapel. The ground was damp and muddy and I feared for my poor Pradas but otherwise all was well.
Outside the chapel we paused as Pious Giles began the ceremony.
I had gone off Pi-Gi at our previous meeting as it appeared there was a lot of ego involved. Sure enough, as the ceremony began, Giles announced to our gathered family and friends that we had already married in a civil ceremony and this was, in fact, only a blessing.
It was true as under French law a religious ceremony has to be preceded by a civil ceremony and while we’d planned on telling people, we hadn’t wanted to detract from the French celebration. So thanks for that, Giles the vicar.
As I entered the chapel, family and friends turned towards me. I kept my eyes on Letad as I walked the ten steps to the altar.
I held my father’s arm and Letad’s hand and wasn’t sure which of us was shaking. The marriage vows were brief, the sermon was long and the sweat poured from the brow of my now father-in-law as he read from Corinthians Chapter Two.
Finally we waked back down the aisle and were released into the glorious sunshine. The fickle weather was now absolutely perfect.
Ivory rose petals were strewn over us and photos were taken before we squelched our way along the muddy path to the reflecting pool for a very welcome glass of cold champagne.
At the risk of sounding unromantic, the worst was over. Let the celebrations begin!