30 June, 2010

Corsican Wedding

The purpose of this summers cruise was to attend the wedding of my best friend Richard's son John who is marring a Corsican girl.  Her family comes from the main mountain town of Corte where the grandmother still runs a hotel and other enterprises.
We received the wedding invitation in three languages, English, French and Corsican.  This set the tone of the celebrations.  The first event was a serenade of the groom of the bride outside the door of her house.  Today South African boys don't sing so he got a band of local singers to take his place, the home is transferred to grandmother's hotel and rather than a private affair guest are invited.  The singing was beautiful and at the appropriate moment the bride opened the door and the singers entered to continue the singing well into the night.
The following day we all assembled at the hotel we were staying in and boarded a road train to be taken to the Municipal offices for the official legal ceremony.  The Mayor in all his robes and chains was in attendance along with six witness who all had to sign, with flourish in the appropriate place.  The wedding party was then presented with the official wedding documents.
Now off to the church.
The brides family had been married in this church going back eight generations.  Some tradition.  The ceremony was in French, Corsican and for us foreigners parts in English.  In the middle of the ceremony the thunder started and just before the wedding vows the heaven opens and the rain came down.  Thankfully the roof did not leak.  Local tradition states that the rain washes away the past and the bride and groom start a new life wash of the past.
By the time the wedding couple had to leave the church the rain had almost stopped and we were able to throw rice and paper hearts over them as they departed.  then the drive back down to the coast for the reception at the most upmarket seaside restaurant.

No comments: