Cote d'Azur Wedding Ch. 02byTravel Girl©
This is a true story which happened while on a business trip to Europe. Doing a favor for a business colleague turned into an opportunity to explore an unknown side of elegance, culture and fantasy of which I will never forget. The wedding party day has arrived and the party meets all expectations and more.
For me, it is more important to have deep sleep than how long I sleep. In this case, I had a bit of both and woke feeling very refreshed.
I showered and got dressed, wearing black slacks and a light blue sweater. I headed down to breakfast, but I really only wanted coffee and something light. The big German breakfasts are too much for me.
I got back to my room and finished packing, taking care with my new dress in the hang-up bag. I was already very excited, trying to imagine what the wedding party would be like and wondering how other women would be dressed. This was the closest I could remember for a long time to the feeling of being treated like a princess out of some sort of fairy tale.
Everything went very smoothly. I took a taxi to the airport and got checked in. The flight was running on time and the plane was not too crowded. I was glad because I got to lay out my dress in the overhead bin without fear of being crushed by luggage.
I got to Nice on time and did not have to wait long for my bags. The weather was lovely as I went out to get a taxi to my hotel. My French is passable and the driver's English was not too bad, so we had a nice chat on the way.
I checked in. The hotel is located right on the road near the water. The famous Cote d'Azur; the blue coast. I have been to Nice previously, so I knew what to expect.
Jurgen had not yet arrived, but he already surprised me as I checked in. My room had been already arranged and paid for. I had expected to handle the costs for my own room. Well, I could always discuss that later.
The hotel itself was very elegant. My room was not huge, but it was much more than adequate and had nice style. I was looking out over the water from my window, so I was pretty happy.
I tried to call Jurgen, but it immediately went into voicemail, so I suspected he was in the air from Geneva. I left him a message to call when he arrived. With some free time, I checked messages and called home. I was speaking to my boyfriend when I saw Jurgen calling me. I let him go to voicemail. My boyfriend knew my work had finished up early in Munich and that I would be spending a couple of days in Nice, but I had not mentioned anything about the party. He knew I enjoyed Nice from a previous trip and he could understand from my descriptions of Nice why it was a good place to spend time.
We talked for another 20 minutes or so. When we finished, I called Jurgen. He had landed and was waiting for his bags, and was expecting to be at the hotel in about a half-hour. We arranged he would call when he got to his room. He wanted me to see the jewelry and have lunch. That sounded good as I had not eaten yet. But I think both of us were relieved that all the various planning had appeared to work out.
He called right when I had expected. He was on the top floor, and I was soon to learn he had a magnificent suite with a balcony overlooking the pool area. It was stylishly decorated and had a lot of windows and light. Really nice.
We greeted each other and briefly chatted. Jurgen suggested we have lunch here. There was a nice table area on the balcony, so we ordered our food and then continued the conversation. He pulled out the jewelry and it was just as I had expected based on our Munich shopping. The necklace length was just right. He surprised me also with a matching bracelet, but he said it was completely optional, as a suggestion from the jeweler. He said everything was insured, so not to worry.
Our lunch arrived and was set up out on the balcony. Nice china and table settings. Very fancy. It was a young guy who brought everything, white coat, the whole nine yards.
Jurgen discussed the agenda. He wanted to meet for drinks at the bar around 6 p.m. and introduce me to a few of his closest friends. The party itself would start around 7 p.m., but he thought dinner would not be served until around 8 o'clock.
It was about 3:30 p.m. as we finished lunch.
I again told Jurgen that I was glad he had invited me to come. He smiled, "I am glad you came also."
I thought to broach a delicate subject with him, "Jurgen, what do your friends know about me? Are we friends, colleagues, dating?"
He said, "They actually don't know much at all. I only said I was bringing someone."
I replied, "Well, I don't know any of them, so I am happy to go along with whatever you would like. Just let me know so we are on the same page."
He smiled at me and said, "I appreciate your kindness very much. The best story is near the truth -- that we have known each other for several years and leave the rest vague."
I could play along. I knew what to do now.
It was about 4 p.m. then and I told Jurgen I was going to go back to my room and I would come back up to his suite a little before 6 and we could go down to the bar together. This would also be the best way to handle the jewelry; let him hang onto it until needed.
I went back to my room and took a long, hot bath. It was very relaxing and I soaked until it was time to get ready. I took longer than normal getting ready that day; a little more makeup than usual, but most people would not call it a lot. Maybe a lot for me. I also spent some time getting my hair up just right.
Then it was time to get dressed. I pulled out all the fancy lingerie and stockings. I looked at myself in the mirror fully nude first, and thought my efforts at staying in shape were paying off. The corset-bustier had the planned effect of lifting my breasts. Finally, I looked like some model out of a lingerie catalog except for probably that my nipples and upper breasts were still exposed. I guess it could be a risqué lingerie catalog.
I had less trouble getting the dress on than I expected. It had to be slipped over my head. In the store, I had been helped. And as I was doing it alone this time, I also wanted to be careful to keep from messing up my hair. But I got it on fine. The only problem was that I could not zip it up in back all the way by myself. I am pretty flexible that way, but I could not get the last few inches.
The dress was not falling off though, and I thought I could get Jurgen to help with the rest. But I looked again in the mirror before going out. It was a little loose on top because I had not finished the zipper, but besides that, I was very pleased by how it had turned out. I put the silky black wrap over my shoulders, even though it was warm enough it would not be needed, so to cover up the zipper.
I knocked on Jurgen's door. He answered it and had gotten dressed himself. He looked great in his classic tuxedo. Nicely tailored and impeccable.
He looked at me with a smile, "Everyone will be jealous."
I smiled back, "Thank you. Could you help with the zipper? I could not get it all the way."
I turned around and he did the rest of the zipper. The effect on the top of the dress was good and it felt very comfortable.
The bottom line though, was that I was showing a lot of cleavage. Certainly a lot more than was typical for me, but then again, I did not attend this kind of event very often either.
Jurgen then brought out the jewelry and helped me with the necklace.
I said, "I have to hand it to you and Angela, great idea."
It actually looked stunning on my skin. The emerald glowed in the light and the diamonds were beautiful. I put on the earrings and then tried on the bracelet. It was a wide band of diamonds on my left wrist, maybe two inches wide. It fit well. My first reaction was that it could be too much, but Jurgen apparently thought differently.
I deferred to him about it and left it on. Now the whole effect was complete. And to be honest, I thought I looked fantastic.
I said, "Look what happens when you give me a blank checkbook. I look nice, but now you are poor."
He laughed, "Well, you have to return the jewelry, but everything else is actually quite modest. And......it is well worth it."
I just smiled back.
He said, "Beth, you look stunning."
I replied back, "Jurgen, I will make a bet with you. Tonight, not one man I meet will be able to tell you the color of my eyes."
He looked a little puzzled, so I continued, "Everyone will be looking at my chest."
He started to laugh.
"I would just like you to know that I do not go out very often wearing this kind of an outfit."
He kissed my hand, "lt is highly appreciated. And I think you look quite beautiful."
We were just going to leave the room when there was a knock at the door. It was our room valet asking if he could turn down the beds and if we needed anything.
Jurgen let him in. Maybe it was forward of him, or maybe he was sucking up. But he told us, "Monsieur and Madame look magnificent!"
Jurgen pointed to me, as if distancing himself from the compliment, "Thank you Marco. She does look quite nice, doesn't she?"
Marco must have been all of 20 years old, a nice looking kid with his white coat and black slacks. I think he was sincerely making a compliment, but part of me wondered if that was just worker training.
We left him to straighten the room while we headed down to the bar.
The hotel itself was five stars. Elegant and stylish. Already there were people drifting in.
The bar had perhaps a dozen people drinking already, but Jurgen's friends had not yet arrived.
I had observed that people in the bar definitely noticed our arrival due to our extravagant evening wear.
We took our seats at the bar. I had not really sat in this dress before, and when I sat down, I noticed I was showing a lot of leg with the slit cut of the gown. This was of course in addition to the mega cleavage on top, which was emphasized further by the bra support lingerie and the fact I was seated and lower. Even then, I could not help but realize the eyes of anybody would be drawn to the necklace and emerald hanging just above. Perfect excuse for anyone who wanted to stare at my breasts.
Jurgen knew me well enough not to ask me what I wanted to drink, and soon our rose champagne arrived. I smiled at his insight and we toasted, "la dolce vita."
Here is the rub. I was definitely on display this evening, but the truth was I liked the idea. How bad is that?
We were alone for a short time when Jurgen saw his friends arrive. They were also dressed to the nines, the men in tuxedos and the women in gowns. I was immediately relieved to discover I would not be the only woman dressed in this style.
On the other hand, everyone in this small group was Jurgen's age.
I had trouble keeping up with everyone's name, but Jurgen introduced me around. I can immediately tell when people will be shallow and polite, but not mean it. But I got none of that feeling here. Everyone seemed to be genuinely friendly and welcoming. Women, especially older women, can behave very differently and make an outsider feel unwelcome, without saying a word.
I knew this would be a fun evening as everyone else got drinks and we started conversing. It seemed the entire group could speak good English and perhaps for my benefit, that seemed to be the main language spoken.
Jurgen's friends were very outgoing and I soon learned various professions of both the men and women. Of the three couples, two of the women were involved in businesses and the other was a restaurant manager. The men were all lawyers, so I guess Jurgen might have known them from even school days.
With many drinking champagne, soon a bottle arrived as I started my second glass. I have a pretty good drinking capacity, but I warned myself to be a little careful and pace myself.
It was time to move to the reception hall. I have to give them credit. The party hotel in Nice is the finest hotel in the city and the room did it proud. Very elegant décor and the party decorations were beautiful.
Many people were mingling and talking. Later in the evening, I estimated the total attendance at about 300, but under a hundred were already in the room. Nicely dressed waiters had trays of champagne flutes being passed out and it looked like you could order something different if you liked.
I held Jurgen's arm as we entered the room. In one second my fears of being overdressed were allayed. Everyone was decked out beautifully. Nevertheless, I felt spectacular and was excited to be there. Even Jurgen did not know everyone, but he was extremely polite and introduced me to everyone he knew. Quite the whirlwind actually.
Virtually every woman who Jurgen introduced me to would compliment my outfit. I would return the compliment as everyone in the room as far as I could see looked very sharp indeed. Some of the men were subtle, others less, but even when they were being polite and well mannered, there was not a doubt in the world they noticed my chest. The large emerald provided the excuse as the eyes were drawn down, but I suspected the real reason. So no one would win the million dollars by correctly identifying my eye color at the end of the night.
At one point I told Jurgen that he could leave me to fend for myself if he needed to go off alone. But I think he was enjoying himself very much as he was introducing me to his friends.
The crowd looked like they were accustomed to attending these kinds of functions and wearing fancy clothes. All the men wore tuxedos and the women had more of a variety. Lots of long dresses such as I wore, but a few with stylish shorter dresses too. The classic little black dress, or some variation of it, is never the wrong choice. Several women had extensive jewelry, and most women had at least some prominent jewelry. I was glad we went with the simple necklace. It presented the word expensive in bold letters, but it also had a clean elegance where less is more. The diamonds on the strand were large though, and the emerald was very large.
I played my part well. I could tell he liked it when I had my hand on his arm. He would put his arm around me sometimes and I would tuck myself in or place my palm on his stomach or arm. Definitely no one would think he was bringing a niece to the party. Jurgen spoke fluent German, French and English. There were a number of times when I could not make out much of the conversation. I would at least be smiling and not look bored.
I was introduced to the bride and groom and their family. As I mentioned earlier, the wedding ceremony itself had occurred sometime in the past, so she was not wearing a bridal gown. Instead, she had on a lovely white beaded long gown which showed ample cleavage as mine did. However, her gown was exceptionally clinging and you could really tell she had worked hard to get in shape.
As with everyone else I had met, the bridal couple was very friendly.
We sat down for dinner. I was seated at a table for eight and sat on Jurgen's left. There had been string music the entire time, a little drowned out by the talking. Dinner and the conversation had been great. They offered champagne and red and white wines with various courses. I began to wonder how much all this cost as they had not gone cheap with anything. The food was wonderful, all presented very professionally by a good waiter staff.
I commented to Jurgen at one point how beautiful everything was. He must have been reading my mind when he said, "Both of their families have a lot of money."
The band played classical music all evening. I could not in most cases identify the composer or title, but I recognized virtually all of the music. After dinner, many people began dancing and I was happy to join Jurgen when he asked.
As we were out on the floor, he said, "Are you having a good time?"
I replied, "Yes, thank you. This is very nice."
He continued, "I am really pleased you were able to come. Thank you."
"Jurgen, I am very glad you asked me. With all your arrangements yesterday and today, I feel very special."
He said, "I am glad to hear that."
I smiled and ventured, "And do you think your friends are impressed?"
He laughed, "Oh yes, I have had several comments."
We danced a couple of songs before walking over to the photographer. They had one person going around the room taking photos, but they also had a second photographer who had set up a special area outside of the main party chamber with special lighting and a royal blue backdrop.
We had been told the bride and groom had requested all guests to stop by the photographer for pictures. Another unique aspect to this party. The lines were very long initially but by now we would not have to wait.
We gave our names and the photographer started to position us. We had our arms around each other's waist and the photographer made several small adjustments. He was pleased finally and took a couple of photos.
He then brought over a fancy chair and said, "Another one with Madame seated and monsieur standing behind."
The photographer got me seated the way he liked. We had to try a couple of leg positions for me as the initial way the dress hung did not make the best photo. We got that worked out and then he positioned Jurgen behind me but to the side a little at an angle and his hand on my shoulder.
He took a couple of shots at slightly different camera angles, with perhaps different camera settings, and we were finished.
Jurgen excused himself to use the restroom which was just down the hallway.
The photographer complimented my dress and then said, "I would love to be able to photograph you in other parts of the hotel where the backgrounds are even better. We would make fantastic photos with you dressed this way."
One of my fantasies was to do elegant style modeling and it was unlikely I would be dressed this way in such a setting anytime soon. So while the offer was enticing, there simply was not time.
"Thank you, that is very kind of you. But I don't think I could be away from the party. I am sorry."
I had not really said no to him, but I had not left any openings either.
He replied, "Yes, I understand. Maybe another time?"
He handed me his business card, but I explained that I lived in the U.S. and it was not common for me to get to Nice. Jurgen returned about that time and we reentered the party.
He saw I had the business card, "What is this?"
I explained the conversation and Jurgen said he thought that was inappropriate of the photographer.
I put my hand on his arm, "No please, it was no big deal. Please do not say anything."
He softened up, and then smiled.
I continued, "I took it as a compliment."
He said, "The hosts would not be pleased to know this......"
But I interrupted him, "But you are not going to mention anything, right?"
He smiled and relaxed, "I will not say anything."
I gave him a light kiss on the cheek, "Thank you."
I really just wanted no incident. Part of me wanted to say yes to the photography offer, but I was here as a guest and it would be rude. Not my style.
We stood by the bar for a little while and got drinks. Other people came up and we were engaged in some nice conversation. Many people were mingling around the reception, some still seated at their tables, etc.
The weather was really great and at one point we went out onto a terrace looking out over the water. The moonlight was beautiful on the water. There were many people there already, having the same idea. A waiter brought fresh drinks and we enjoyed the breeze and the fresh air of the Mediterranean Sea.
At one point, the men and women had slowly segregated into their own groups with polite chit-chat. However, one of the ladies asked me how I knew Jurgen.