un an

Last month, J and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary. It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year since we were married in Franche-Comté.

almostbilingue anniversary flowers

Flowers from J

The date fell on a Sunday, so we actually went out the Saturday before since the restaurant we wanted to go to is closed on Sundays.

For anyone who knows us, it’s probably no surprise that one of our favorite restaurants is a pizzeria, so that’s where we chose to go. It’s also in our neighborhood, and you can build your own pizza from a list of ingredients. (If that’s your thing, and you’re ever in Lille, then you must eat at O Ch’Ti B.)

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mariage franco-américain

About a month ago, I posted about wedding prep. Well, the big day has come and gone! It definitely seems to have just flown by. I’m going to try not to ramble on too much here so as not to bore you to death.

My mom (along with an aunt and an uncle) arrived in France a few days before the wedding, and we spent a few days exploring the area with her as it was her first time in France. More on those adventures another time.

We also had some friends that made the trip down including two very dear friends that I haven’t seen in about three years.

First off, I want to say that we couldn’t have done this without the help of J’s parents. They practically organized everything which was such a blessing as we’re not anywhere near the town.

Our other goal was to keep everything simple. We did a lot of the decorations ourselves and with the help of friends and family. I didn’t see myself in a fancy white dress (actually, one of the criteria for the dress was that I could use the restroom by myself). I chose a simple off-white dress from Modcloth. As it was super hot, not having a big dress was definitely a good thing even though I still felt like I was melting most of the day and night. Continue reading

photo post : wedding prep

With just a month left to go, we are in full on wedding prep mode. Most things are happening down where J’s parents live, so we only have a few things here with us. I thought I’d share some photos with you of the decorations.

We are going to get crafty and decorate old transparent wine bottles with silver ribbon and mint colored tape for the center pieces. We originally were going to use the coral color as well, but that was literally the only thing we found in coral. We had fun drinking wine rounding up enough bottles.

Wedding decorations - Wine bottles


Mint colored hearts to sprinkle on the tables.

Wedding decorations - Mint hearts


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publication des bans

To get married in France, wedding bans have to be published for at least 10 days. They’re hung up at the town hall in the town where you will be married and the town where you live.

In France, you can only get married in the town where you have lived for at least a month or the town where yours or your fiancé’s parents live. For us, this meant we could get married in Lille or in Bourguignon. We chose Bourguignon as most of J’s family lives around there, so it was simpler logistics wise.

Bans of marriage

Our bans of marriage (a little edited for privacy reasons)

Why the bans?

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audition at the mairie

A few weeks ago, we were down in Franche-Comte (where we will have our wedding). As J’s mother works at the school (which happens to be in the same building as the town hall – gotta love small town France!), she was able to get us the “dossier de mariage”, a wedding date already on the books (normally you need to hand in said dossier for the date), and an appointment for our “audition”.

Dossier de mariage

Dossier de mariage that the town hall gave us

Wait. Audition. What the hell is that? Even if you were married in France, you might not have ever heard of it unless you were married fairly recently. It’s a rather new development. It’s basically an interview that you do with someone at the town hall. It’s a way to sort of feel out if it’s a “mariage blanc” (green card marriage) or to be sure both parties want the marriage. It’s not just for foreigners (as the woman assured us several times), but for all couples getting married in France. Not having an audition can be grounds for the marriage to be canceled by the Prefecture. Continue reading