Part 2 – A Berber rehearsal dinner in Provence

The second weekend of our wedding took place in Solérieux, Provence. We just fall in love with this magical venue: Les domaines de Patras.

This venue was not only beautiful but extremely convenient as it offered completely different setups (nomad tent, barn, shaded courtyard…). When we first saw the nomad tent near the lake we instantly thought about doing a Berber celebration (my family has Berber roots). This traditional ceremony usually lasts for days and follows different steps. As the celebration was planned for one evening, we selected some rituals that we especially liked.

Bride’s arrival

Once the guests had arrived, it was time for the bride to make her appearance. A first procession including the mothers and bridesmaids announced the arrival of the bride and brought the offerings.

Being a real horse lover and having years of experience with them, I wanted to arrive on a horse. I was then extremely happy to make my dream come true. I was a bit stressed at first because the horse was a giant and I was wearing heels but my best friend was helping me arrive safely to the tent.

Offerings from the families

After being help by my husband to get off the horse, we sat together with our fathers to receive our offerings. The mother of the bride offers 7 pairs of shoes (one for each day of the week). Being a real shoe addict, it was the perfect gift for me 😉 My husband and I also got family silverware.

Henna’s ceremony

Then, it is tradition for the bride to follow the henna ritual, to show that her heart has been taken. This ceremony is normally done after dinner with the women only but we wanted to show this important ritual to all of our guests.

First, my mom put a drop of henna in my right hand’s palm. She then placed a golden louis on top of the drop. Finally, she cut a piece of ribbon to wrap my hand and maintain the louis with the henna.

Henna is extremely important in our wedding tradition as it supposed to bring luck on the happy couple.

The bride is not the only one that can participate in the ritual. The young girls wishing to get married can volunteer. However, they are not receiving a golden louis.

Newlyweds lifting

The last part of our ceremony was a bit stressful but really fun. My husband and I sat on our chairs and we got lifted by our family. While the guests were singing and drilling, we kissed in the air.

Berber dinner under the stars

At the end of this evening filled with emotion, we enjoyed a delicious traditional dinner under the tent. The dinner was prepared upstream by Charhazed from Le Marrakech in Montélimar and included exquisite lamb tajines, couscous, traditional bread, oriental pastries and mint tee.

A big thank you to all our service providers who have accompanied us in this wonderful adventure!

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