The hired Austin A135 Princess that threw a piston while en route to the venue. The Best Man who told those stories of your National Service that you hoped were long-forgotten. And in the evening, Coronation Chicken and Baked Alaska –  plus the hired local dance band did their best to replicate the sounds of Del Shannon.

Many guests do enjoy celebrating their wedding anniversaries at Chateau de Bois Giraud and re-kindling the memories of their Great Day – some of which may resemble those suggested above. The many of the anniversary dates are the same in France as they are in the UK, but there are many fascinating wedding traditions – for example, after a  lady receives her engagement ring, she might well give her future a watch.

The groom and the male witnesses are often actively involved in the planning of the ceremony while bridesmaids and Best Men are not usually parts of the typical French wedding. The law decrees that a couple may only be officially wed in a civil ceremony which must take place in the Town Hall in the room that is open to the public. This is conducted by the mayor or one of his or her representatives and many couples then undertake a religious ceremony at a separate venue. One very charming practice is for the groom to walk his mother down the aisle, and another is children blocking the path of the couple en route to the chapel with white ribbons. The latter is so that the bride may cut these obstacles as she passes as a demonstration of how she will transcend the challenges of married life!

As for the cake,  the standard practice is to serve a croquembouche, a delicacy created from profiteroles that form the shape of a  cone,  bound with spun sugar and decorated with flowers and ribbons. The Sabrage  – beheading a bottle of champagne with a sword – is a tradition that dates back to the Napoleonic era and should only be undertaken by those with a very steady hand. Towards the end of the party, Soupe a la Oignon is served to revive the guests in the early hours of the morning.

And so, the warmest congratulations to guests at the Chateau who are celebrating their “Joyeux Anniversaire de marriage”.  You might want to erect a marquee in the grounds while there is certainly more than enough space for the family to gather in the kitchen during the party for a Ruby Wedding. One final note, when producing the photograph albums of forty years ago;  1979 marked the tail-end of an era marked by interesting/disastrous fashions. As various family members are almost bound to observe…