Wedding anouncements and obituaries are sacred pillars in the rural press. I have been encouraged to mention, in my weekly listing, who are the grandparents and the great-grandparents of the babies of the week. Otherwise, who would know in the district that the grocer's great-niece has given birth, since she married a guy from town, with a "foreign" name?
Each week, I do the rounds of the tiny registry offices to collect birth and death news. During summer, saturdays are hectic, running from town halls to churches to photograph the newly weds, and, most important, the bride (wide shots only, to see the full lenght of her bridal gown).
This tradition is crumbling. The registry office in the town hall of D... had curtly informed me that it will no longer communicate forthcoming wedding to the local papers. A few couples have complained. Bad divorces, family feuds and problems, you iunderstand...To top it all, I just heard that the french Constitutionnal Court has granted the "right to a private life" to the future grooms. The local press (the other one couldn't care less) could no longer be allowed to publish the weddings announcements, only with the explicit agreement of the couple. Will the July country bride, on the photograph, sue me?