The long version of the wedding story:
As some of you may remember, this wedding was planned to be absolutely underwhelming. The original idea was just to sign the papers - but, as weddings often do, sentimentality was stirred in several hearts and before we knew it, our guest list had grown a bit. A's parents drove up with his sister and her boyfriend, my dad flew from Hawaii, our friends, the newly-wed French and American showed up for moral support, and good-ole Jonas, who'll you'll remember from the Turbulent Harry Saga, showed up with tears in his eyes and pleased as punch that he'd been there on the night that A and I had met.
It was a little nerve racking because we had no idea what to expect. We'd never gotten a briefing on where to stand, what to say, etc. The parents got dressed in their hotel, A and I put on our suit and dress together in our apartment, (his mom also bought me a GORGEOUS bouquet of white and green carnations and pink roses,) and we all wandered over to the city hall. (The Palais de Duc, here in Dijon.) We followed signs to the "marriage waiting room." I had heard rumors that in France, instead of saying "I do," you say, "oui, je le veux." I wasn't sure about this though and I was getting nervous for the moment when I'd be asked.
There was obviously a big marriage ahead of us as we could hear them clapping and cheering, and it took them a while to file out of the room. Eventually we were called in, the family were seated, and A and I stood before the mairie, where we were read a long missive about the laws of matrimony in France. It got a little tedious, though my heart was racing and I was clutching my bouquet with nervous white knuckles. Finally I was being addressed and I knew I was supposed to say something. I sort of mumbled, "oui.." and then tentatively "j-je le veux." "We can't hear you!" The mairie insisted. "OUI!" I shouted then, more or less terrified. Before I knew it A had done the same, we'd kissed, cheered, and then were busy signing the papers. I tried to invent a new, more elegant signature for the moment, but mostly defiled our marriage document with a scribble.
Then we exited out the back where our friends threw rice at us and the heavens threw.. hail at us. -But no problem, honestly, I was surprisingly overcome with joy. So was everybody, seemingly, and we laughed and kissed and smiled and took a whole bunch of photos and, before we had realized it was happening, our "fake," "no frills" marriage had become the real thing.
We drank champagne back in our apartment and went out for dinner in the evening. It felt amazing to finally have gotten over the hump and passed from girlfriend to wife. I thought it would feel old and strange, I thought it would feel old and strange all the way up to the moment I was standing in the city hall clutching my bouquet, but as soon the words were said and the deed was done, there was only elation, and a whole lot of gratitude.