Penny and Stephane’s Real Life Wedding

Penny and Stephane

19th August 2000

How did you meet?
As part of my university course I had to spend a year in France to perfect my language skills. However, I didn’t just pick up the local language as much as the local men!

I met my husband in the town where I was living and we began our courting days. After nine months together we had to make a decision about our future, as I had to return to study. We decided that Stephane would give up everything in France and follow me back to the UK. He didn’t speak a word of English and had to start work from scratch. We weren’t sure if it was going to work but eight years on…


Describe the marriage proposal.
On the last night of our holiday in Australia in 1999 Stephane proposed on one knee in a restaurant in front of waiters so I had to give him an answer with no hesitation! I said yes and it was like we had fallen in love again and couldn’t let go of each other during the 21-hour trip back to the UK.

Tell us about your wedding.
With Stephane being French and my family being lovers of the country we decided to get hitched in France. The theme was a mixture of Scottish and French (my mother is Scottish) and we did everything ourselves. My mum made the waistcoat and veil whilst I was busy with home made fancy name cards, information sheets for hotels and travel details. I even made some amusing ‘useful phrases booklets’ so that the French and English could communicate at their tables.

I hardly slept a wink because I was so nervous but wasn’t at all on the actual day. We had half an hour of sunshine but the rain came down for our photos unfortunately. However, this didn’t dampen our spirits. We had a Scottish piper and haggis with the aperitif, which went down a treat and the French guests loved Pimms, which they had for the first time.

I was still a bit stressed until 11pm because I couldn’t eat my meal but after a few glasses of wine… the cake ceremony was amazing with fireworks and we danced until 5 in the morning. We also did the traditional ‘garter auction’ whereby guests are invited to bid for the brides garter. It was a real eye opener for some of the Brits!

We had the best weekend ever as in France everyone comes back the next day to do all the same again. So we had four days of celebrating which is what it’s all about. Now you know why we chose France!

We just want to do it all over again!

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