It is arguable which sense is the strongest. Many say smell, others sight. However, for Erica and Vincent, sound - more specifically, French, the language of love - was the strongest for them. The couple met when Vincent arrived from Paris to be the new French language assistant at Furman University. Erica, a member of the foreign students association and a French major, was leaving the next week to spend a semester in France. "We hit it off right away and found out we're both really into movies," Erica says. "Vincent told me about theaters to go to in France and how to get a card, so you can see as many movies as you want." When Erica returned, she found Vincent was holding French movie nights on campus. "It took a while before we actually started dating," Erica admits. "In fact, our first few dates were merely by chance."
After Erica graduated from Furman, the couple began a long-distance relationship. Erica moved to Boston, and Vincent went to Rwanda to teach translation. The two struggled to find a way for Vincent to obtain a U.S. visa or Erica to get one in France. Finally, the couple found they could both get visas in Japan. "We always say Japan is where things really started to work for us," Erica says.
Work they did - so much so that after two years of finally living in the same country, Vincent asked Erica to be his wife. Vincent took Erica on a picnic in a garden near the Narita airport during cherry blossom season. "Airports have always been a place of separation or reunion for us, and he wanted to make them a place of happiness instead of sorrow," Erica explains. "He asked me in English, 'Will you marry me?' to which I responded in French, 'Bien sur que oui!' (Of course I will.)"
Six months later they were married at city hall in Japan. "It was funny. We dressed up and everyone else was in jeans," Erica says. "They handed us a paper number, and when our number appeared on the screen, we picked up our marriage certificate."
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The couple, however, still wanted to have a wedding ceremony and celebrate with family and friends, and they chose the Morehead Inn for the big occasion. With the location nailed down, Erica began her search for a photographer. She found Indigo Photography on a list of recommended vendors provided by the inn. "As soon as we met with them, that was it. We knew they were the ones," Erica says. "We didn't want formal pictures with everyone standing in a row. We like more of a photo-journalistic style."
The bride found her Cymbeline gown by sheer luck at a NY Bride & Groom sample sale. "It was the first dress I tried on and ironically Cymbeline is a French designer," Erica says. For her bridesmaids she kindly chose black, while Vincent's groomsmen wore gray tuxes.
The outdoor ceremony was followed by delicious eats including pork tenderloin and shrimp and grits - a groom favorite. To overcome the language barrier, Erica and Vincent had one person who spoke English and one who spoke French at each table. Guests enjoyed a decadent white chocolate raspberry cheesecake with chocolate swirl crafted from Cheesecake Etc. "Weddings in France run really late, so a group of us gathered in the main house and stayed up late drinking wine and playing piano all night," Erica says. "The best part was having everyone come and celebrate with us after living abroad for so many years."
NY Bride & Groom