CAP Mariage, part 3
Who knew this would turn into a three-part series?
The last part of the meeting talked about what we could actually do to personalize the civil ceremony and make it our own. According to one of animateurs, about half of French weddings take place only at the Mairie, ie they don't do a church wedding afterwards. And since the City Hall wedding is normally a wham, bam, thank you Mam kind of occasion, they encourage those who are only getting married at the Mairie to take the time to make it special.
So here is a list of things you can do to make the ceremony your own. I was actually pretty surprised about all the different options available - I never would have thought we'd have so much choice in the matter:
-You can have them play music when entering the salle des mariages
-You can ask the Mayor to say certain things during his welcome speech
-You can ask to decorate the room
-You can have the witness, a friend or a family member read a text (FYI: 140 = ~1 min)
-Both partners can say vows if they so choose
-You can have someone sing or play a song
-You can exchange rings (this is highly encouraged by CAP Mariage for its symbolism)
-You can have the witnesses, family members or friends make a speech
-You can have music played while you're exiting the salle des mariages
If you'd like to do any of these things, it is strongly advised to make an appointment with either the Mayor or whoever is going to be marrying you to talk about what time is available and how much your city hall lets couples personalize things.
And what's next for us? After the initial meeting, we can also do a follow-up meeting with one or more of the volunteer couples. I think we'll probably do it, especially since C couldn't make the first one. And as a side note, they are also available to help you decide which of the French marriage contracts you should choose (this is mandatory when filling out your wedding dossier). It is a fairly important choice because the type of marriage contract cannot be changed within the first two years of marriage, plus changing it is quite costly as it requires the help of a notaire.
Labels: Franco-American weddings