“What does it mean?” is a continuing series where we ask a blogger how they used their wedding as an expression of their union with their significant other. Today we are honored to hear from Lindsey Tramuta and her husband Cédric. Lindsey is the blogger of Lost in Cheeseland where she writes about her experience living in France through food, travel, and love. She contributes to a number of web and print publications. Cédric is an aeronautical engineer specialized in aerodynamics for a French company that manufactures airplane engines In all his spare time, he can be found bouldering in Fontainebleau and rock climbing throughout Europe when time allows.
As enriching as it is to live abroad, the implications of such a choice are inherently complicated. Enter into a multi-cultural relationship and complications are heightened even further. When Cédric and I announced our engagement to friends and family, we included a caveat – the nuptials would take place in Paris, six months later. At the time, many of my friends in the States were grad students on tight, no-travel budgets and knew immediately that, despite their earnest wishes, attending our wedding wouldn’t be possible. The same was true for most of my family.
Six months of preparations began and to my surprise, I was comfortable leaving most of the organizational elements to Cédric and his mother, who was eager to help. Despite this distance, the stress mounted. How would I feel having only a small group of my friends and only my father with me in Paris to celebrate? Would the wedding feel… official?
Before and after the ceremony, I watched as my father slipped between groups of guests to introduce himself and learn how each and every one of them warmed our lives in different ways. I saw the connections develop between him and my in-laws and I felt his joy as Cédric and I took our first steps as husband and wife. At the reception, my father could hardly utter a full thought in his speech before welling with tears. But what he did manage to say left us both overcome with emotion. I looked around the room to see some of my new friends and a few old pals who did make the trip abroad, and they too were moved by the moment. It was in the midst of this moment that I realized that no other celebration would feel as real and meaningful.
*Note: we did go on to throw a U.S. wedding reception (3 years later!) for all of our friends and family who were unable to travel to Paris.
Photography by François Jorez and Winston Alford-Hamburg