In the first of an occasional series for Provence Guru, brides tell the story of their Provence wedding, here Faiza Janselme recounts the story of her wedding in Gargas in the Luberon.
I walked out of the darkness of the Mairie in Gargas into the bright Provencal sunshine and saw my new husband, wearing a cream linen suit, sitting astride a Harley Davidson motorbike. My bridesmaid handed me a helmet beautifully decorated with lace and flowers to match my 1950’s tea-dress and we drove off under a cloud of confetti.
The ride of my life
I will never forget that motorbike ride. We drove through the centre of Apt accompanied by the cheers and hooting car horns of well-wishing strangers. We wound our way up into the quiet, sun-dappled lanes of the Luberon in the direction of The Auberge des Seguins at Buoux where our wedding reception was to be held.
Our decision to get married in the Luberon had been an easy one. Pierre’s family are originally from Gargas and his grandfather was renowned for being the founder of the village’s famous ochre mine. Although we knew we were going to have a religious ceremony in Ireland we wanted to have the civil ceremony in the Luberon.
We both love Provence and we had guests coming from all over Europe so the south of France seemed to be an easy destination for most people, not to mention the bonus of good weather and a stunning setting.
The location for the reception was very important to us and we looked at quite a few places recommended by friends and family who live in the area. I really wanted an informal, Fete de Champetre or typically French picnic style reception.
Finally we found the Auberge des Seguins which is a small hotel normally used by climbers and walkers with an excellent restaurant and the bonus of a swimming pool. However perhaps the best thing about the Auberge is the location which is quite simply stunning. It is hidden in the very depths of the Luberon, nestling under an enormous jagged cliff face.
As soon as we arrived Pierre surprised our 150 guests by stripping off and dive bombing straight into the swimming pool. It was the start of a very good party. Many of our guests were staying at the Auberge and so we had a relaxing couple of hours between the reception and the evening meal. Some people took a siesta others enjoyed the pool or a few cool glasses of rose underneath the plane trees.
The evening started with cocktails around the pool at dusk followed by a truly wonderful meal at the restaurant. Long tables adorned with bunches of freshly cut lavender were laid out on the terrace and we enjoyed a long sumptuous Provencal meal accompanied by local red and rosé wine. Speeches and dancing to an excellent local DJ followed and as most people only needed to stumble back to their rooms the party went on until late in the night.
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