It was at a neighbours dinner party that we met the happy couple. One from Singapore one from France both new to Perth and short on friends in their newly adopted city. My wife and I hit it off with them immediately due to our mutual love of good food, good wine and travel. Over two years we met a bunch of times for indulgent dinners usually ending with Ken and I sharing whiskey while our partners drifted off to sleep.
The last of these dinner parties, a farewell for us before our year long travel adventure, came with a surprise from the couple. They were to marry in France in a few weeks, a simple civil ceremony in the home village. I am not sure if we were invited or we invited ourselves during the whiskey drinking part of the evening but within a few days our travel plans included a trip to Mauves, a small town near Lyon to celebrate the wedding.
We were met by the couple at the Lyon airport then taken to Les Halles, a gourmet travellers dream come true, to share some oysters and wine before the drive to Mauves. This was the start of four days of indulgence in the Ardeche, the heart of food and wine production in France.
The wedding was on Saturday, the clouds gave way from a Friday night shower bringing relief to the couple and their parents. The guests arrived. They came from all corners of the globe and all walks of life with one common bond, a love and connection for the happy couple. The ceremony was set like most in France in the Hotel De Ville or town hall as we know it at home in Australia. The reception was at the family home, the proud parents sharing French hospitality and their home with us all in their remote hilltop cottage.
City of Lyon
The family home
Ken prepares to marry
There is a twist in this fairy tale. This was a village first in the small town of Mauves, the couple are Ken and Pierre two men in love. By any other measure this was a typical wedding, the bringing together of friends and family to celebrate a connection of souls. So much joy and fun was shared over the weekend, so many smiles brought to the world.
This celebration is illegal in our home town of Perth a place that by most measures is progressive and accepting. The people of Perth I am convinced are all for such an occasion but our politicians have no such insight. Look at the faces in the photos that accompany this blog. The happy guests, proud parents and connection in the eyes of the couple are all the proof anyone needs that gay marriage should be embraced. Our friends are now legally and socially accepted as one and free to have all the highs and lows of a married life that the rest of us are entitled to. Congratulations to our good friends Ken and Pierre.
Words: Wade Ranson Images: Michelle Ranson and Wade Ranson