A Vanzay wedding

On the 7th August we had a wedding here in Vanzay, Marion and Philippe were married at L’Église de Saint Jacques.  The groom’s parents and his brothers were staying with us in La Petite Maison, along with some friends of theirs who had travelled over from Los Angeles, who were staying in La Grange.  Family and friends started arriving the Wednesday before – this was a large wedding for the village and had been generating excitement for months.

All available accommodation in the village had been booked out well in advance, whether it be a gîte or someone’s spare bedroom! La Ferme de L’Église is right next door to the church and two doors down from the bride’s family house and so was the perfect choice of accommodation for the groom’s family and friends. I had been exchanging emails with Elizabeth (Philippe’s mother) for a few months, and she and Angel very kindly invited us to the wedding. Considering that we had never met this was a pleasant and touching surprise.  And what a great bunch of people and over the following week there was lots of activity building up to the wedding. Family and friends would gather at the gîtes for evening meals or pop ’round to catch up with each other so it was a very different vibe to having people here purely for a holiday.

The wedding was lovely, and very different from one that had taken place a few weeks beforehand, when, just after the civil ceremony at the mayor’s office, a volley of gunfire burst out in the car park!  Apparently it was a wedding attended by many members of the chasse (hunt), and firing off (live?) rounds in the middle of a sleepy village is quite normal.

Here are some of the photos that we took on the day, and thank you to Marion, Philippe, Elizabeth, Angel, Olivier and Alex for letting us share it with you.  And thank you for introducing us to your wonderful friends, Ewa and Voytek, Mary and Mike.

L'Eglise de Saint Jacques Vanzay Deux-Sevres Poitou Charente Wedding Classic Car Hire

Guests waiting for the bride to arrive

L'Eglise Saint Jacques Vanzay Deux-Sevres Poitou Charente Wedding Classic Car Hire

Benches in the church yard for people to hear the service outside

L'Eglise Saint Jacques Vanzay Deux-Sevres Poitou Charente Wedding Classic Car Hire

Following the groom into the church

L'Eglise Saint Jacques Vanzay Deux-Sevres Poitou Charente Wedding Classic Car Hire

Church interior

L'Eglise Saint Jacques Vanzay Deux-Sevres Poitou Charente Wedding Classic Car Hire

L'Eglise Saint Jacques Vanzay Deux-Sevres Poitou Charente Wedding Classic Car Hire

Bridesmaids and page boy

L'Eglise Saint Jacques Vanzay Deux-Sevres Poitou Charente Wedding Classic Car Hire

The choir – as the bride walks down the aisle

L'Eglise Saint Jacques Vanzay Deux-Sevres Poitou Charente Wedding Classic Car Hire

The bride and groom

I am not sure what the significance of the image below is – this is the second one I have seen set light to after a wedding ceremony here, none of my English friends knew, and we didn’t get the opportunity to ask one of the French guests, as it was all a bit hectic at this point!  So if anyone can explain what this is, that would be great!

Edit: found out last night that this is called a feu de joie – the literal translation in the dictionary is bonfire, however feu de jardin is what we would call a bonfire, so this is obviously something more special.  We were at M. et Mme. Arnaud’s to order our wood for the winter and were telling them about the wedding, and she asked if they had a feu de joie, unfortunately Mme. Arnaud speaks very quickly and although I understood that this is a wedding tradition, I still don’t know why!

L'Eglise Saint Jacques Vanzay Deux-Sevres Poitou Charente Wedding Classic Car Hire

If you’d like to share the experience of life in Vanzay come and stay in one of our gîtes.