Saturday, May 24, 2008

Nice Day for a Swiss Wedding

Our neighbor's son's wedding was today. To mine and Zach's delight and surprise, we were invited. We'd met Jerome and his fiancee a few times, but certainly didn't consider ourselves close enough to be invited to the festivities. I think Michelle and Gerard might have asked to have us invited almost more for the cultural experience, you know, let the cute American couple get to see a Swiss wedding. ;)

I think we were both a bit worried about how the day would go, especially with D's volatile moods lately, but we figured we'd try it out and if nothing else, if defeated one can always retreat. We got ready in shifts, and while Zach was getting dressed I figured I'd put D in his outfit-- I'd planned to use the outfit Michelle had given us as a baby gift (it's one of the few dressy clothes we have for him). Of course, as soon as I had him all dressed I picked him up off the changing table and I kid you not 2 seconds and he spit up ALL OVER both of us (good thing I hadn't changed yet). So that was that. We decided to then wait till the last minute before heading out the door, and change him again into the one other dressy baby outfit we had. We managed to all be dressed, ready, and out the door only 15-20 minutes after we'd planned. I consider that a pretty grand achievement.

D was already about an hour overdue on a nap, and thankfully he went right to sleep in the car with NO CRYING! AT ALL! So get got a good 30 minute nap or so on the way. The ceremony was in this teeny little church, it was adorable, and I hadn't thought of it before but I'm glad the weather was nice b/c there wasn't a lobby or sanctuary or anyplace outside the actual chapel for taking noisy babies. D did ok, but he started getting a bit squirmy and noisy after about 10 mins so Zach took him outside and spent the rest of the time chatting with a fellow dad who was entertaining his 18 month old (there were TONS of kids and babies at this wedding).

Swiss Wedding

The invitation hadn't had any info on the location for the "vin d'honeur" (here they have more of like a cocktail hour as your "reception" and then often have a dinner afterwards for a smaller group of people, which when you think of it makes so much more sense than the way weddings go in the US) other than that it was "a few kilometers away." At the ceremony we saw nothing with directions. We asked another person or 2 as we waited outside the church while the bride and groom greeted people and took some pictures, and they didn't know where the place was either. We quickly gathered that we were all to follow the bride and groom's car and form a big caravan to the reception location. Each car was given a small bouquet of flowers to attach to the antennae (or other prominent spot) to make us more identifiable, and certain cars had a different type of ribbon which I assumed meant they knew where they were going. It's a cute idea, and it was fun b/c everyone was honking their horns really loud and everyone, I mean EVERYONE, on the streets and in passing cars were also honking and/or smiling and waving at the happy couple. It was really cute. However after one or 2 semi-busy roundabouts the caravan started getting separated so we had to pull over a few times to regroup, and it kinda got disorganized. It didn't help that it took a good 45 minutes to get to the place, and D was screaming for most of that time.

But eventually we got there, and pulled up to the Chateau d'Avully, and it was gorgeous. The reception was nice, we chatted with a few people, met a baby just 2 weeks older than D, people again made comments about how big our baby seems for his age-- one woman walked up and told me what a cute baby I had, and guessed he was 6 months old. D was in decent spirits most of the time, he got a bit fussy at one point and outright SCREAMED when I changed his diaper halfway through (luckily they'd pointed me to a separate room so I don't think we bothered anyone), but the rest of the time he was calm, looking around with that very serious look on his face.

Swiss Wedding

As we left I thought it would be cute to take a picture of D sitting on one of the canons on the castle wall. Um, he apparently did not agree. Started screaming immediately. Oh well. He fell asleep on the car ride back, a very nice blessing, then we got home and he played happily and wasn't too difficult to get down for the night at 10pm. We'll see how the rest of the night goes...

I made my baby cry

I'd meant for this entry to be more of a fun description of a unique cultural experience, instead it feels like I kinda just regurgitated the day in a manner that might not be the prettiest or most interesting... but I'm also tired and if I don't record it now I'm not sure I'll get around to it again later. Ah, well. Perhaps the rest of our pictures and tell a better story...


  1. jessica1:33 PM

    that fun parade of cars is called Le Cortege

  2. Well, you brought back memories. After our ceremony in Orbe, we caravaned over to the reception site. Each car had a bag of candies to toss to the kids on the street as we passed by. It was So Much Fun! I wish we did something like this in the US. My Irish friends had particular fun, they were using the candies to pelt the kids ;-)

    Sounds like D managed pretty well overall, despite a few tough moments.



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