June 9, 2011:
Monday, September 27, 2010
Marilyn Thomas, Professor of English and Humanities traveled to Luxembourg this summer where she met with Menlo alumni Brian Ahmann '03, Asa Brannenstein '02, and Francesco Gambini '01 to attend the wedding in a traditional style of 17th Century royal Luxembourg for an alum from the class of ‘03, Count Gaston d'Ansembourg.
Count Gaston d'Ansembourg's Wedding
by Marilyn Thomas, Ph.D., Professor of English and Humanities
Narrow winding roads through lush green rolling hills and fields pointed the way to the village church built for the Counts d'Ansembourg and their descendants in the 17th century. The traditional Roman Catholic ceremony was conducted in French, German, and English for the benefit of the multi-lingual congregation. Most were in formal attire, the men in morning suits, the women in floor-length gowns and hats to fascinate. Music was provided by a string quartet and a vocalist, performing classical pieces appropriate for the occasion.
After the formal ceremony the bride and groom, along with the wedding party, were carried off to the castle in horse-drawn carriages for a reception and lunch prepared for 150 special guests. Lunch was followed by a formal dinner and dance to which 450 guests had been invited.
The castle is so much a part of the landscape, one can hardly imagine the rolling hills without it. The views are breathtaking, including a field of sunflowers planted in the spring with the upcoming festivities in mind. The castle has been home to a long line of Counts for the past 900 years. Profuse floral arrangements graced the elegantly draped tables for the formal luncheon, each table featuring a pencil sketch of one of the castles in this, "the Valley of the Seven Castles." Titled guests of Gaston '03 and Marina sat at the tables represented by their castles.