Archive for October, 2007

Wedding at Musée Rodin

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007

On Monday 15 October, I (Jim) performed the first ever wedding ceremony in the garden of the Musée Rodin, which is the forth most visited museum in Paris.  The museum is closed on Mondays and a couple from Minneapolis had arranged, through a young woman who arranges wedding ceremonies in Paris for visitors, to hold a ceremony in the garden at the Rodin museum.

No, I am not a minister and so I cannot actually marry people.  But all French couples who get married, by law, are first married at their local Mairie, which is like the City Hall in the United States.  Their marriage at the Mairie is their legal marriage, they need not do anything else.  But many couples, desiring a church wedding, have a second, religious ceremony performed.  That is what I did for the couple from Minneapolis, they had been married a few days earlier, by a justice of the peace, at their City Hall, and I performed their religious ceremony in the beautiful garden of the museum.

The photo shown here was taken by me months ago and shows the garden as viewed from approximately where the ceremony was performed.  Is that spectacular, or isn’t it!  Well, let me simply say that it was beautiful, as were the bride and groom.  She was dressed in a simple, but lovely, white gown; and he was impeccable in a black suit and tie. They arrived in a chauffeur-driven car, that stopped in front of the museum at the far end of the lawn that you see in the photograph.  They got out of the car and walked together down the path to the right of the lawn as seen in the picture.  An accordionist played as they walked.  They came to where I was standing waiting for them, about where the above picture was taken from, and the ceremony began.

I had prepared the ceremony over a period of about two weeks using my words together with quotes from four writers that the bride and groom wanted included.  They had also written their vows and the words for the ring exchange. The ceremony took a little over 30 minutes and included four pieces played by the accordionist (which is the instrument that the bride wanted played).

Only the bride and groom were here from Minneapolis.  The others who were present were the accordionist, his wife or girl-friend, a photographer, a videographer, the wedding planner and her assistant, two people from the museum staff, and Pam and myself.  We all drank fine champagne and ate some delicious chocolate cake in the garden following the ceremony.  It was all quite perfect.

How did this come to happen? Well, the wedding planner, who knows Pam, happened to need somebody to perform this particular ceremony.  Someone told her that Pam’s husband, Jim, had a masters degree from a theological seminary.  She thought that sounded like the kind of person she wanted and so she called and asked if I would do it.  And I said, yes.  And what a thrill it was!