French, Chinese, Pinoy – Frenchinoy. Fabien and Erika’s wedding isn’t just cleverly named; it’s a celebration filled with distinctive cultural elements, diversity, and impeccable execution. For three days, the seamless fusion of French and Filipino cultures created a truly exceptional experience. Without further ado, let’s savor the unforgettable highlights of Fabien and Erika’s Frenchinoy wedding in France.
Days before the wedding, friends and family gathered, marking the start of a heartwarming reunion. The festivities began with a delightful homemade lunch at Fabien’s childhood home, allowing everyone to bond and embrace the richness of both cultures.
Fabien and Erika had a unique vision for their wedding – they actively involved their loved ones in organizing it, making it more meaningful and memorable. The day before the wedding was a flurry of activity as parents tirelessly built and assembled, while friends brainstormed creative ways to decorate the venue. Witnessing everyone come together to prepare for the special day was a truly memorable experience.
The night before the wedding, a ‘white party’ provided an opportunity for friends to deepen their connections and create lasting memories.
On the morning of the wedding day, Erika woke up beside her dearest friends, Jin and Bea. It felt like a throwback to their sleepovers at Bea’s house, a nostalgic moment filled with laughter and anticipation.
“It was like old times. This moment was so special because it was Bea who designed my wedding gown back in 2019/ 2020. She has always been my go-to person when it comes to fashion, makeup, hair, shopping, and everything else. So, it made the day even more special since she did my hair and makeup together with Jin.” Erika shared
When Erika arrived at the church, a mix of nervousness and excitement filled the air. As the church doors opened, her eyes met Fabien waiting at the altar, and tears welled up. As Fab whispered, ‘We’re finally here’ as they stood together in the church was so magical. The bilingual ceremony, with verses and songs in English, Filipino, and French, wrapped the essence of their blended culture.
Following the ceremony, the couple embarked on a joyful procession to the château, led by the voiture-balai, a car with loud music announcing their wedding to the world.
In addition to the ceremony, a typical French wedding includes a vin d’honneur, cocktail hour, reception, and an after-party. To reflect their ‘Frenchinoy’ heritage – a fusion of French, Chinese, and Pinoy cultures – the menu, drinks, and music showcased both traditions.
One unforgettable highlight was the surprise lion dance during the vin d’honneur in the château’s garden. French guests were enthralled, experiencing this cultural tradition for the first time. The day flowed seamlessly, thanks to the couple’s wonderful friends who acted as on-the-day wedding coordinators.
Their impromptu entrance to the tent just moments before was a blast, and their first dance as a couple, followed by a choreographed family dance, brought everyone to their feet. The after-party was a lively celebration, with dancing that continued well into the early hours.
It’s customary in France to invite guests for lunch the day after the wedding, recognizing the effort they made to join the celebration. Everyone was treated to grilled meats sourced from local farmers, accompanied by Philippine mangoes for dessert and delectable French pastries.
The afternoon was filled with laughter as guests played giant lawn games at the château, bridging language barriers and fostering new friendships. As the sun set, friends and family joined forces to dismantle the wedding decorations, showcasing the spirit of unity once more.
Being from Normandy, Fabien wanted to share his hometown with the guests. In the wedding planning process, they organized a 2-day visit to Normandy. Day one featured a journey to Mont-Saint-Michel, a UNESCO world heritage site. Day two was dedicated to a WWII D-Day tour, exploring historical war and landing sites.
The couple was fortunate to have a Filipino NGO connection, Gawad Kalinga (GK), which helped with logistics. A GK Tito, an entrepreneur with ties to France, facilitated the logistics, ensuring guests had a smooth and wonderful visit. Communication in the French countryside could be challenging due to the language barrier, but witnessing guests enjoy the sights, food, and culture of Normandy was incredibly rewarding.
In the end, their primary goal of sharing Fabien’s beautiful hometown with their loved ones was a resounding success.
Photo – Ram Marcelo
Video – Hello & Co Cinema
Prep Venue – Laiterie de Tocqueville
Church – Eglise de Saint-Pierre-Eglise
Venue – Chateau de Carneville