The St-Germain Guide to Elegant Nuptials
Could there possibly be a more romantic or storied venue for nuptials than the Abbey of St-Germain- des-Prés in the sixth arrondissement of Paris?
The answer is clearly oui, c’est possible! All one has to do is simply bring some of the wonder and enchantment of Paris and St-Germain to wherever one–or more accurately, two–have decided to exchange vows. Truth be told, after 14 centuries, the old abbey is prone to a little dust.
The first thing one must do with The St-Germain Cocktail is to make it one’s own. That is to say, this artisanal apéritif is willing to adapt to any wedding’s color palette. A twist of yellow lemon, a fresh green mint sprig, any number of worthy pink berries.
One may also wish to complement
the wedding bouquet by choosing floral garnishes–or by commenting
on how lovely it is. Bright orange marigolds, purple pansies, lush peonies, and classic roses can
enliven a cocktail with the textures
of their petals while highlighting
the transcendent flavor of
St-Germain’s precious elderflower blossom with notes of pear, citrus
and tropical fruits.
It is yours. Do with it what you will.
Giving a toast at a wedding is simultaneously an honor, a sacred trust and generally the most traumatic part of the day for those so tasked. But this can be mitigated by a little preparation and coaching, which we will now endeavor to do.
First and foremost, be prepared. Learn what you can of the attendees and their sensibilities. The good news is that brevity is our aim. By all means, make notations beforehand, in bulleted and not narrative form. Practice the toast several times until you only have to glance at your notecard. And yes, it should be a notecard and not be a piece of paper that you pull out of your pocket, unfold awkwardly and then read.
Be witty but never vulgar. Vulgarity is the bankruptcy of wit. And no matter how hard the audience is laughing, one must keep a straight face throughout.
Recall an endearing story about the bride and groom. Perhaps a unique glimpse into their personalities or how they met. Do not be overly serious or overly sentimental.
After dinner or the cutting of the cake, everyone should be served a glass of Champagne, ideally with St-Germain (we’re trying to import France to the event, after all). The French way is truly to toast early and often.
Do not tap the microphone or ask if it is on. Check that earlier when no one is listening.
After a touching story or two, get to the formal part of the toast. Look at the bride and groom directly and say something to the effect of, “And now, ladies and gentlemen, I ask you to rise and join me in wishing this beautiful couple enduring love, health and happiness— whichever comes first. To Claude and Marie!”
At which point, everyone will raise their glasses and repeat, “To Claude and Marie.” Unless the bride and groom’s names are not actually Claude and Marie. (See point one about preparation.)
À votre santé!
Transporting an entire wedding party and guests to France is certainly not impossible. But it may be unnecessary.
Let us begin with the most minute of details: floral garnishes for the artisanal apéritifs. Of course, these should be carefully chosen to complement the color pallete of the wedding bouquet, but special consideration should also be given to the texture of their petals, their delicate flavors and how they play against St-Germain’s transcendent elderflower and its subtle notes of pear, citrus and tropical fruits.
- Calendula (Calendula Officinalis)
- Amaranth Flower (Amaranthus)
- Fennel Blossom (Nigella Sativa)
- Lavender (Lavandula Angustifolia)
- Rosebud (Prostonify Rostisitis)
- Snapdragon (Antirrhinum)
- Bachelor Button (Centaurea Cyanus)
- Orchid (Orchidaceae)
One certainly need not be enamored of French weddings
to enjoy St-Germain at one’s nuptials. One may merely be
desirous of serving transcendent cocktails.