Back in June, I spent a week in the South of France for a family wedding. The general consensus from family & friends is that no matter how hard we try to describe the week, we will never be able to do it the justice it deserves. The wedding was a fairytale. We have all tried to recount the events to our loved-ones who did not have the pleasure of attending the wedding, and although they think they understand how magical it was, they honestly have no idea. The memories I have taken away from this family event are some I will treasure forever; moments that I cannot put into words with with extended family I haven’t seen in years. Because of this, this post will be mostly photographs. After all, a picture tells a thousand words.
Pre-Wedding: I flew from Dublin to Nice on the morning of Friday 19th June 2015. My Dad’s best friend who lives in Monaco, picked us up from the airport and drove us to Valbonne, a small French town about 20 minutes from both Nice & Cannes. We were greeted with a welcome basket each at our apartment, full of yummy goodies and local produce! We had about an hour to unpack before we had to head over to my cousin’s fiancée’s (now wife!) family home for the first event of the weekend – a pre-wedding pool party!
On arriving at the pool party, I was greeted by many of my first cousins, one of whom immediately handed me a glass of champagne – the first of many consumed over the wedding weekend. While it looks as if there was no one swimming, do not be fooled by the photos. As darkness fell, and more wine was consumed, there were plenty of big kids splashing around in the pool!! The poor swan didn’t last the night though – a family member who is to remain nameless may have an unintentional dispute with the poor creature rendering it airless…!
The pool party ended just before midnight, which was just as well because my aunts & uncles were drinking me under the table – merci to the incredibly stealth wine waiters who kept my glass constantly full of red wine without me realising how much I was actually drinking!
Wedding Day: The following morning was spent relaxing by the pool at my Aunt’s villa, playing table tennis with my cousins, and drinking coffee to counteract the affects of the wine the night before. At one point I was lying on the tiles alongside the pool fully clothed in shorts & t-shirt, when my lovely cousin, the groom decides to bomb-it into the pool and completely soak me on purpose! In the afternoon, we brief,ly explored the village of Valbonne before returning home to glam ourselves up for the most spectacular wedding I have ever had the privilege of attending.
Just like the pool party, the wedding was also held on the grounds of the bride’s family home which was a lovely testament to both her family, and to her new family. It was the first Jewish ceremony I have been to, and the first ceremony in which I never once felt my mind wandering during!! Even though there were a couple of hundred people there, it felt so intimate, and I truly felt honoured to bare witness to such a special moment in their lives.
Champagne & canapés followed the ceremony, once again the French waiters proving that they may as well be invisible because I never noticed them topping up my glass! We ate, we drank, we danced, we sang, we laughed, we drank and danced some more, finally stumbling home after 4am!
Which all sounds wonderful, only for the fact that we had to be up early as coaches were arranged to take us to Antibes for the post-wedding affair – a Beach Brunch!
Post-Wedding: There are more photos somewhere of the beautiful Plage Joseph, but honestly I was so hungover I relied on the other members of my family to be snap happy! Waiters were swerving in and out of the white clothed tables carrying 5L bottles of rosé. There was a monstrous buffet spread, of which I mostly devoured fruit & bread. My head & body did not thank me for the copious amount of champagne & wine I had consumed the previous day, so after a quick dip in the sea, I quickly retreated to my spot under the white umbrellas!
Antibes is stunning though. Next time I’m in the South of France, I shall definitely be spending a little more time there… hangover free. I’m sure I’ll appreciate it a lot more!
The remainder of the trip was spent exploring the quaint narrow streets of Valbonne…..
…. and hanging at the villa with the fambam!
You just can’t explain a family holiday like this. You just have to experience it and feel it to fully understand what it was like! My cousins and I have already decided we’re going to buy a villa in the South of France together and take a family holiday like this every year (or like, every few years 😉 )
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