The Wedding!

Speaking of weddings, I have some news. Well, it’s not my news, it’s Jean’s news. He’s engaged! Valerie is totally awesome and they are great together. We’ll have to save our pennies because as of right now it’s going to take place June 2012. He actually proposed Easter Sunday, but every time he thought of calling my parents it would have been a bad time (like the middle of the night :P). We had a barbecue tonight and Valerie and Jean were here so we took a chance on calling them. They were both home and we ended up going on Skype, but we had to cut it short because supper was ready. Now that my parents know, I can put it on here. I’ve been waiting almost a month to write about this! Even though my Mom says Jean was being a brat like always, I’m going to side with him; the whole time change thing can be a little crazy. Once I called Lisa because she had called me, but I mixed up the times and forgot that it was only about 6am there. Luckily she was awake, but just lying in bed.

So I’ll give a brief run-down of today (minus pictures….) before talking about the wedding. After dropping Bastien off at school I just kept walking. I ended up walking for 4 hours. My feet were sore! And my legs. This time I remembered the sunscreen, but I was already burned from yesterday it didn’t make much of a difference and I still look a little like a raccoon. So hey, that’s not bad, 7 hours of walking in 2 days. I went through 5 towns (including Wasseiges), 2 of which I had never been to before. Of course I just walked through them and so didn’t see much except for what was off the main (or whichever) road that I was walking on. When I got home it took a lot of energy to make myself some lunch. But I did and then I just sat for a while. Eventually I got up to take a shower and get ready for class. I did my homework, helped Adeline make the table bigger for supper, and left. Of course there’s construction and they changed the detour so I was a little bit befuddled.

Class went well. The homework we had was so easy. I mean, really. We were given a sheet with the Belgian Royal Family Tree. We had another sheet that made statements about family connections and we had to insert ‘is’ or ‘is not’. So and so ‘is’ the brother of so and so. She ‘is not’ is Aunt. And so on. I mean, so easy. At least it should have been for most people in the class. There’s a guy who started the same time I did and he hadn’t done his (I don’t know if he just forgot his sheet or just didn’t do it…maybe both) and he came over to sit next to me and asked to see my sheet to copy the answers. I said no, it’s not that hard. Before I could explain why I wasn’t going to let him (which would have disrupted my concentration on the teacher even further) the women behind me gave him hers. This is the same women who always answers, even when she isn’t asked. And I would say about half the time she’s wrong. Ok, maybe 1/4, but still. It’s great that you’re confidant, but other people need to learn too. I know the answers just as much as you do, but I’m not going to shout them out when the teacher asked someone else for them. Anyway, I was going to tell this guy that if he doesn’t do it on his own he won’t learn. Maybe it was mean, but come on, we’re adults here. Also, at the end of class my teacher commented on my colour (I told you, I got a LOT of sun) and I told her about the walk I took today. We actually had a real conversation. She commented on that too. I’m making progress!!! We have an oral test on June 6th, no class June 13th, a written test on June 20th, and then it’s summer break.

Any way, the wedding! There were differences and similarities to Canadian weddings. Instead of having a bridal party like we’re used to with the brides-maids in the same dresses and the guys in the same suits/tuxes they have all of their closest friends with them outside the church. The guys all had the same flower, but other than that the could all wear what they wanted. They stand guys on one side girls on the other and walk into the church before the bride. After that they sit down. I’m not sure if or how they participate in the ceremony because I couldn’t see. As far as the ceremony goes, I didn’t understand much because it was in French, but I think it’s basically the same. They even had Franck’s Panis angelicus and Schubert’s Ave maria, two songs I sang at the last wedding I sang at. There was a lot of standing and congregational sining, but Jean said that this was very traditional and not all weddings are like that.

After the ceremony we went to Grandglise and they had drinks (champagne, strawberry juice, orange juice, wine I think) for the guests waiting for the meal. So I know that I

 already mentioned the barker, that was interesting. It was funny because there were so many of us left and we (well at least I wasn’t) weren’t sure what was happening. I noticed that he only had one sheet of paper left, but then I saw the table and it made sense. They had speeches interspersed throughout lunch (which was very thinly sliced salmon for the first course, duck with some veggies for the main dish, and ice cream with fruit inside a bowl that tasted a lot like peanut brittle) and I was even able to understand a little bit. One thing that they didn’t do was the whole tinkling of the glasses for a kiss deal. I’m not sure if this is just a North American tradition or if they just didn’t do it. So all the friends who were outside the church, and then most of the cousins (and me….) were at the head table. Because that’s where the bride and groom sat, at that big long table. It was neat, all the tables were named after destinations.

After lunch we went back outside for coffee, tea, and more drinks. For the rest of the time we were there they had servers going around with drinks and hor d’oeuvres for everyone. I talked with Amelie until she had to go and then I wandered between the people I knew. Valerie made me try oysters. I tried one and was not very happy…then the guy serving them and Valerie said I had to try one with vinegar on it (there were some spices as well). They told me it was better with this. So I gave in and tried it. It was better, but I still never want to eat and oyster again. Lisa and Dad can have them they’re not for me. Valerie’s right though, now I can say I’ve tried them. Although I might have tried them at home already, I honestly can’t remember.

All throughout the afternoon there was a bit of background entertainment. A group of guys in hunting gear played hunting songs on horns. Jean told me that on the day of a hunt there are many different songs that signal the beginning of each activity throughout the day. It was very loud when they played, but it was interesting. The horns look like really simple French Horns. No valves.

Oh! I know this is kind of random and I can’t remember if I’ve already mentioned it, but you know how if you looked at pictures of the Royal Wedding a lot of the women were wearing outrageous hats? I mean, some are cool, but some are crazy. I think that’s just my cultural perspective. To each his own. I got to see some of the most interesting…and, for me, strange hats on Saturday. I don’t mean to make it sound like I think wearing them is stupid or anything, I think they’re a nice accessory, the help complete an outfit. I just didn’t quite like all of them ^_^.

 So later on that night there was a dance as well, but we didn’t stay for it. There was more food inside the tent for during the dance. I’m glad I brought flat shoes to change into because we were standing for most of the day! You know, I talked with Adeline on the way home about the differences and similarities and I feel like I’m forgetting to mention something. I mean, that’s the usual, but it sucks. All in all it wasn’t too different. Although all weddings I’ve been to have had the same basic format, they all were a bit different from each other. It was a beautiful wedding and for the record, champagne and strawberry juice is pretty good. We had to mix it together on our own, they didn’t come like that, so mine ended up being all champagne on the top and then juice on the bottom, but when they did mix it was good. And it was thick strawberry juice, almost smoothy thickness.

 I talked to someone (Jean’s aunt I think) who said she sent him a card everyday he was in Canada and asked if I remembered. I didn’t even know about this! I missed a lot when I was 10. It seems Mom knew about Grandglise, but I had no idea. It was neat seeing the cousins that I saw at Easter, knowing more than just the immediate family was neat. Aw man, I’m sorry. This isn’t turning out like I had hoped it would. Sorry. If you have any questions about if they did or didn’t do something that I’ve forgot to mention, ask me and we’ll see if I remember/know!

 

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