James had proposed in the past, but having already been married once, Lexi was not sure she wanted to go through all the planning fuss a second time. So it was now her turn to plan a suprise proposal, this time a very original one. Here I am witnessing a proposal for an eternal engagement.
Like a little mouse, I set-up the decoration for the ceremony and the dinner while the guests and the fiancé-to-be went on with their day, without suspecting anything. The subterfuge had been to invite everyone to a gastronomic restaurant, but the restaurant being a little far away, it was necessary to be ready in the late afternoon to leave. Here they are, all dressed up. While my assistant occupies the guests, an accomplice friend and I send James in the direction of the gardens. And there he goes on a journey of sweet words scattered throughout the park of the Château. With the last note, he also found a bottle of champagne and two glasses to join his beloved and toast to their engagement. Their friends joined them to toast to this happy news. Long live the fiancés !
But I knew that he wanted a wedding, so I suggested to Lexi that we add a small symbolic ceremony with a handfasting ritual. She was thrilled with the idea. Rather than talking about the values of marriage, we talked about them, their love and emphasised the beauty of engagement: the promise to love each other forever while keeping the freedom! After a short introduction that we had prepared together, each guest came to tie a coloured ribbon. Everyone was so surprised and moved !
And they went on to enjoy their evening as I slipped away before meeting them again the next day for one last surprise: a bike ride in the Beaujolais with cellar visits and tastings!
Photo Credit: Florian Maguin