When Parisians first hear about a weddding, they get excited. Mechanically. Not by the good news itself; by the announcement of it: le faire-part. This one piece of paper that defines both the class origin of the couple and the social value of the new household. Le faire-part is an indelible imprint. Friends will find it “super classique“, “hyper moche“, or “original, disons“. Le faire-part is not really a wedding announcement note. It’s more one of these bound-to-fail tests. Mechanically indeed, excitement ensues for the Parisian.
Such pace is hard to sustain. At this point then, the Parisian gets annoyed with the wedding. He happily claims that he does not want to attend. Fun events are by essence painful to the Parisian. When fun takes the form of a social obligation, the Parisian sees nothing but non-sense. But he shall give in. Resiliently for the Parisian man; in vaguely hysterical stress for the Parisian women: “Oh la la, j’ai rien a me mettre. Et puis j’suis grosse, faut absolument que je perde cinq kilos d’ici le mariage“.
Then comes the glory day. Everytime, the same magic happens. The nice dresses, the charming church, the beauf uncle… Parisians smile. Genuinely. They are happy to be there. For a few minutes. And, slowly but surely, the soothing pleasure that comes with the reassuring ceremonies of life gives way to a new form of excitement. A more Parisian form of excitement that comes with the unconscious treat of encapsulating countless new people and groups into little boxes. Plenty of tiny boxes – usually sealed for life. The excitement is all the greater as all these people are acquaintances of a friend or a family member. “Oh, putain, tu l’as vu avec sa cravate l’autre, oh la la, putain, c’est pas possible“. It is impossible to have more fun than this.
Weddings do give many opportunities to judge. The ceremony, the venue, the looks of the guests, the food served… That is judging instead of enjoying. Which is fun enough to the Parisian. But a good Parisian wedding also allows Parisian guests to judge while enjoying. This happens during dinner. Good things come to those who wait.
The past few years have been years of escalation in French weddings. Escalation in the broad category of “les discours“. Between each course, one, two or three “discours“. Everytime, the same interrogations around the tables: “Alors c’est qui ca? Ah, les amis d’ecole? Il a fait l’ESSEC, lui, c’est ca? Bon, bah ca devrait etre pas mal alors!”. Just like in Roman times, each discours only has two possible outcomes. One – guests are captivated, smile, laugh or are touched. Two – discours sucks: polite guests simply look down – cheeky ones look for partners in crime to makes faces to.
An advanced form of “discours” is one enriched with a powerpoint presentation presenting old and funny pictures of the two. Pictures are certainly powerful allies to the uninspired. But the climax of the “discours de mariage” is la chanson. Cousins, friends from university, colleagues… Each coherent group feels a disturbing obligation to come up with a personnalized cover of a famous song dedicated to the newly weds. While some of these songs confine to comic genius, most navigate somewhere between plainly useless and straight-up embarrassing. Interestingly enough, the moment when a group of friends grabs the microphone and says “Lili, Nico, on vous a préparé une p’tite chanson” is the moment where Lili for the first time considers running away in the middle of dinner a worthy option.
The rest of the night is history. Older guests will go to bed early. University friends will get drunk and dance. The rare single friends left will regret the good old days where weddings were a good opportunity to meet people. The encapsulating process will be debriefed and continued in small groups. Newly weds will be amazed of how fast the day flew by.
The next day, everyone will agree that “Non, vraiment, c’était super“.
Super is strong enough a feeling not to sink in disliking weddings.
Mixed feelings, really, will do.
Useful tip: When it comes to “discours”, “Go strong or go home” sounds likes a wise policy.
Sound like a Parisian: “Ecoute, finalement, c’était hyper sympa le mariage. Ca me saoulait un peu d’y aller, mais vraiment, super cool finalementl. A part le DJ, ca, c’était un peu la cata, le reste vraiment, c’était super.”
NB: The URL of the blog has changed. It now is http://www.o-chateau.com/stuff-parisians-like. Best to update your RSS if you have one .
NB2: I have no idea what that last sentence meant
Tags: beauf, ceremony, family, food, french, friends, fun, judging, marriage, News, notes, Pain, Paris, Parisian, parisians, party, people, politics, social, wedding, wedding day, wedding paris, women