Thursday, August 18, 2011

Weekend Wedding in the Bordeaux Wine Region

Last weekend Keenan and I attended our second summer wedding of the year, this time in a small village in the Bordeaux wine region.  We met this wonderful couple through the groom’s brother Rod after they relocated from Sao Paulo to her native London. The wedding took place at an amazing chateau, which is a special place for the happy couple as not only did the bride spent her childhood summers here, but the couple also got engaged here last summer in front of a group of close friends. 
Arriving early on Friday morning, we drove straight from the Bordeaux airport to our B&B in St. Gemme. The drive through the French countryside was simply gorgeous – rolling hills, miles of vineyards, cornfields, sunflowers, and picturesque little villages. Keenan and I, along with a newly-engaged couple friend, settled into the La Cigogne B&B, and then went to check out the farmer’s market in Monsegur based the B&B’s recommendation. The town itself was small with several restaurants on the main square and a medieval church. There’s not much in terms of sightseeing here, however, there are several famous wineries in the region such as Chateau Lavison and Chateau Yquem in Sauterne, home of the famous sweet French wine. Having visited Bordeaux and St. Emilion last May, we were quite content just relaxing and spending time with friends.
 
Friday evening, the bride and groom hosted a fun casual dinner in the main garden of chateau. We spent the evening under the stars chatting with their family and friends, many whom flew in from Brazil or from different parts of Europe, drinking wine, and drinking more wine, including several nice vintages pulled from the wine cellar.
Saturday was the big day! But before the wedding, we enjoyed some pool time, volleyball, and badminton with the bride and groom back at chateau before the evening ceremony. We also had an impromptu BBQ, lied in hammocks under the trees, and enjoyed the beautiful property.

The wedding ceremony was held in the main garden overlooking the French countryside. It was a beautiful ceremony. The bride looked stunning! With her father escorting her down the aisle, the bride wore a gorgeous strapless mermaid gown with lace appliqué and layers of organza. It was very fitting for the bride and her warm personality and sophisticated style, yet also very feminine. She looked beautiful opting for natural hair and make-up for her big day.
The groom wasn’t so shabby either. He and his groomsmen wore matching grey waistcoats and black suits, while the bridesmaids donned colourful maxi dresses for the joyous occasion. The bride’s father picked up the newlywed couple in his vintage tractor decorated with a sign “Just Married” and whisked the couple away for a photo session on another part of the property. 
The champagne and hors d’oeuvres reception was held under the trees, followed by dinner in the main marquee, and dancing in the piano room where the DJ and bartender kept the party going until 3am with music through the decades and delicious watermelon and lycee martinis. Congratulations, and thank you for inviting us to share your special day! Enjoy your sweet honeymoon in the Seychelles!
 
The next day, slightly hungover and completely exhausted, we went to our friend’s B&B, Chateau Le Bosquet des Fleurs, in Le Reole for their annual wine-tasting open house before our evening flight back to London. It was a wonderful weekend of celebrating the marriage of our friends, drinking Bordeaux wines, hanging out with friends – old and new, and soaking up the sunshine in the French countryside.

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