Our Tiny Pandemic Wedding in France
I have never in my life dreamed about wedding dresses. I honestly didn't even want to be a bride or married or any of that crap. And yet... here we are! Now look at me—a goddamn princess in some twisted Disney fairytale.
We survived 82 days of being locked in a tiny flat together in France during a global pandemic (like we had to have permission slips to leave our home and could only go 1k for 1 hour a day to exercise). At the end of it all, we realized we still weren't sick of each other somehow. Despite the fact I've never spent that much time with anyone in my adult life, I still looked forward to seeing Anthony every morning. Which I found shocking. So... we finally just said... fuck it! Let's just get married already.
Especially after I learned that I would be marrying into a family of an old ass pony called Betty Boop, 5 baby donkeys, 3 regular donkeys, one llama, and this mini llama.
My girls took me to a lake for my "Bury the Young Girl" party (bachelorette party). It was low key and perfect. We just literally did nothing and they made me wear this stupid crap.
We only had about a month to plan this thing and around one thousand bucks to spend. But we somehow managed to pull it off. I happened to find a dress in a tiny shop that sold weird dumb stuff like kid's purses and charms. We jokingly said to the lady behind the counter "you don't have wedding dresses do you?" and she was like, "Well, actually.... I made this one for my friend and she wants to sell it now" then brought out this handmade gorgeous gown. So I tried it on and loved it, but wasn't sure. Then I tried it on again an hour later and got period blood all over the back of it bc my diva cup runneth over, so I had no choice but buy it lol. Classic Melanie move... staining a white gown before even leaving the dressing room. But it was only 250 bucks! A handmade wedding dress for 250. Amazing.
We were given our date from the mayor's office one month before the wedding. During that time we had to post our intention to get married in the town square and people had two weeks to "protest" it. I love the French spirit of protest, but this seemed a bit odd lol.
For everyone's safety, all 25 guests had to wear masks indoors (except us and the mayor's assistants). Anthony and our friend Michael spent three days stencilling these hand-made masks (which Michael gave us as his wedding present to us).
Is this photo not the most 2020 photo?
Our talented friend, Michael, also played music for us (Game of Thrones and that pretty Metallica song, Nothing Else Matters)
Two hundred people in America (including all my family) watched 90 the ceremony on zoom. It was all in both French and English and there was a lot of weird stuff about having kids and announcing my parents' addresses and such. Then we signed these papers. Et Voila! Anthony's vows made everyone cry.
Oh and Anthony's dad works for the mayor's office, so he actually married us! It has to be a govt official and this was not only his first wedding, but his SON. He was so proud of that sash.
We had the reception downstairs, which came FREE with the wedding. Most the tables were outside in the parking lot but we had some inside for the old people who didn't care about covid. Our biggest fear was killing everyone we know with this virus because of our wedding, so we played it super safe. Despite France only having a few hundred cases of covid per day during July, we still were scared b/c 11 of Anthony's family members have had the virus, two in the ICU, as well as many of my friends/family back home. None of his extended family or any of mine from the USA could come).
Our friends set up this "photo booth" and it was adorable
I'm a vegetarian more or less, but this is France. Meat everything. Look at this table. Barf. But you gotta give the people what they want!
Anthony REALLY wanted a heart-shaped red wedding cake so I went along with it. Seriously, this is what he wanted and that makes me love him so much more cuz he is so comfortable in his masculinity. The dude ain't scared of being judged by no one! Plus he's French and they're allowed to be more "feminine" here.
The cake came with all these mini cakes for people who didn't want the heart-shaped fruit cake thing. Plus our friends all brought food and deserts so we had plenty of sweets and meat.
I haven't had a drink in like 17 years I think? This is me pretending lol
Someone thought to bring sparklers. Good call.
We had our fun photos outside in the parking lot.
Again, this is where we got married and it was FREE. Can you even believe that shit? I'm pretty sure churches back in the USA charge for weddings lol.
We also took photos by the old ass church
And even in the old ass church
Then we headed to his parent's little farm where Betty Boop lives
After the reception, we camped out with about 8 of our closest friends and it was just the best. Anthony and our French friends had s'mores for the first time ever. They took so much time to cook them. Classic French attitude of respecting the food. I always burn mine to a crisp because I'm impatient as hell.
One of the neighbor's horses showed up that night to say hi. Betty Boop could not be bothered. Old lady don't care about no one.
The next morning we had... coissants of course.
We really lucked out on our honeymoon too. Totally free! Anthony and his family built his sister's home in the Alps. It's my favorite place in France. So nice. And made with love. So she let us stay there while they were on vacation. A one thousand dollar wedding and a free honeymoon. You really can't beat that!
Took pics with Alps stuff.
And made dinner with veggies from the garden.
Oh and they have a hot tub. That you have to cook yourself. You throw chopped wood in it and let it cook for about 4 hours. Then, voila!
So that's our pandemic wedding story. Or rather a tiny part of it. These are my two favorite pics from this amazing day.
Anthony slapping dat ass..
And us being cute.
(Melanie Hamlett Buisson and/or Anthony Buisson Hamlett have my permission to reproduce this photograph for non-commercial purposes. Melanie Hamlett Buisson et/ou Anthony Buisson Hamlett ont ma permission de reproduire cette photographie à des fins non commerciales. James COLBURN Lyon, France 09 Août/August 2020)