A pre-wedding celebration

A pre-wedding celebration

As any of you who’ve been reading this blog for a while know, Yvette and I are engaged — in the past few months, while we giddily awaited & planed our wedding next Summer, we realised that not all of Yvette’s family and friends here in Venezuela would be able to join us in France.

We decided to make our trip here to Venezuela a little longer one so we could both celebrate (Yvette’s sister) Christie’s medschool graduation and have a pre-wedding celebration in Yvette’s late Aunt’s house, on the hills of La Florida in Caracas.

Yesterday was the day! We gathered 15 of Yvette’s (now our!) Venezuelan nearest & dearest for some some delicious treats, lots of stories & conversation, a glass of espumante or two, and some heartfelt speeches from the two of us.

Us and 5 of our guests gather around a table outside for an ad-hoc selfie
Some of our guests! Clockwise from me in the middle is Tío Michel and Tía Stella, cousin Ángela, her daughter Mariángela, then Yvette's Dad Henri, and Yvette!

First the food! Venezuela has a  delicious bread-like bap called arepa (imagine pita bread but thick as a crumpet and made from ground corn instead of wheat) — always filled with the most incredible flavours. My favourite was reina pepiada (a shredded chicken and avocado mix) with a delicious local cheese, all stuffed into a toasted palm-sized mini arepa chicharrón (where the arepa flour is mixed with deep fried pork rind 🤤). I may have had a few of these…

Caracas Catering looked after us incredibly well, but our dessert was always going to be brownies from Yvette & Christie’s childhood friend Isabel, who now runs a brownie business here in Caracas called Top Brownies. She made us a hundred delicious and beautiful brownie morsels — with fillings like guava and cheesecake and salted caramel and extra chocolate — each just big enough to make you want a hundred more. When her business eventually expands to the UK I’m going to grow a few waist sizes.

Yvette descends the spiral staircase that is the centrepiece of this stunning home, in her elegant white toga-esque dress.

We finished the day with some heartfelt speeches from the two of us. We thanked everyone for joining us—and Christie particularly for her amazing work preparing the house for us before we arrived—and took a few minutes to tell Yvette’s family about our love for each other, and for our Mums — both very much present in all of us, despite their absence. It was magical and perfect, especially with my new family-to-be, under the tropical sun, in this wonderful family home.

Yvette’s tireless planning of this incredible day showed in every detail, and I’m so thankful that she took on such a huge task while I was mentally absent, planning Mum’s funeral. Clearly our love for everyone involved in both those days brought out the best in us, and I couldn’t have wished for a better way to meet my new family, and celebrate with them. 🥰