Annika + Julien’s Wedding part 1 — la première partie

It sounds like a fairytale; American girl moves to France, falls in love with French man, gets married in a massive Manor in the countryside of Normandy. It was straight out of a dream. So beautiful that I don’t even know if the photos do it justice… but I’ll try.

Let’s first start with an intro…

Annika met Julien when she moved to Angers, France from Seattle to work as an English assistant about 4 years ago. It was luck and the crafty matchmaking skills of a mutual American friend that got the two of them to meet at a bar in January of 2011. Annika was still fairly new to France and didn’t feel 100% confidant in her French speaking abilities, so she kept quiet most of the night (which I’ve since learned is very unlike Annika!). Though they drank plenty of beers together that night, it took another meeting two weeks later at a different pub to really seal the deal that they both liked each other (probably due in part to the fact that they drank so many beers that first night haha!). The rest is history as they say, their relationship progressed naturally with her meeting his family in France, and then Julien flying to Seattle to meet all of Annika’s friends and family as well. However, their engagement story is a bit nontraditional, with Annika and Julien mutually deciding that it was time to get married! I think that says a lot about the equality in their relationship and I love that!

In France there is a long process for legally getting married (one that I won’t pretend to know all about), but I do know that there is a civil ceremony at the Mairie (similar to a courthouse ceremony in the US) that has to take place to be legally married, then since Annika is an American, she wanted to incorporate an American wedding, but since Julien is French, they also incorporated the long elaborate (amazing!) meal that is traditional for French weddings, as well as a dance party that went till 6am or later (I was in bed!) and a full post wedding day luncheon for all of the guests of the wedding. It was truly incredible. I felt quite spoiled!!

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** For those of you that were lucky enough to attend the wedding weekend, these are just the “favorites” not ALL of the photos I took. There will be two blogs, this one concludes at the French ceremony. The next one will begin back at the manor, where we were making last minute changes to the ceremony plans! Eeek! I am also finishing up the 4th of July party pics and those will be posted and/or emailed to everyone this week. 🙂

Thank you Ashley Vos Photography and her husband Shea for providing assistance at this wedding!

Fun fact: Blog post contains 165 photos!

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