- "The entrance to the marquee revealed rows and rows of fragile golden chairs set on either side of a long purple carpet. The supporting poles were entwined with white and gold flowers. Fred and George had fastened an enormous bunch of golden balloons over the exact point where Bill and Fleur would shortly become husband and wife. Outside, butterflies and bees were hovering lazily over the grass and hedgerow."
- — The wedding area shortly before the ceremony[src]
The wedding of William Weasley and Fleur Delacour took place on 1 August, 1997 at Bill’s family home of the Burrow in Devon, England. The bride and groom’s younger sisters, Gabrielle Delacour and Ginny Weasley, served as bridesmaids, and Bill's younger brother Charlie served as the best man. The reception was interrupted by the news that Lord Voldemort had taken over the Ministry of Magic, and guests fled as Death Eaters arrived.
Prelude to the wedding
- Molly Weasley: "I just think they've hurried into this engagement, that's all!"
- Ron Weasley: "They've known each other a year."
- Molly Weasley: "Well, that's not very long! I know why it's happened, of course. It's all this uncertainty with You-Know-Who coming back, people think they might be dead tomorrow, so they're rushing all sorts of decisions they'd normally take time over. It was the same last time he was powerful, people eloping left, right, and centre..."
- — Bill and Fleur's seemingly rushed engagement[src]
Bill Weasley and Fleur Delacour began dating in the summer of 1995, when they both worked at the London branch of Gringotts Wizarding Bank. Within a year, they were engaged, and Fleur spent the summer of 1996 with Bill’s family at the Burrow. The Weasleys were initially not very fond of Fleur, particularly Molly and Ginny. His mother, in addition to disliking Fleur’s blunt manner, thought that they were rushing into things because of the stress of the Second Wizarding War.
Ginny considered Fleur a "cow," and wished that her older brother was interested in Nymphadora Tonks instead. On her hand, Mrs. Weasley tried to hide her disapproval for Bill's engagement saying that her son and Fleur were too young, and also that they did not have so much in common, after all, because Bill was a hard-working man and down-to-earth, but Ginny fairly pointed out that Bill wasn't that much.
However, after Fleur proved her love for Bill following his scarring by Fenrir Greyback during the Battle of the Astronomy Tower in 1997, the Weasleys accepted her. Molly even asked her to wear a tiara of her Aunt Muriel’s for the wedding.
- Molly Weasley: "I'm so sorry to break up this cosy little gathering. I'm sure you all need your rest… but there are wedding presents stacked in my room that need sorting out and I was under the impression that you had agreed to help."
- Ron Weasley: "It's like being a house-elf. Except without the job satisfaction. The sooner this wedding's over, the happier I'll be."
- — The numerous wedding preparations[src]
The wedding preparations began in July and were particularly stressful, considering that Albus Dumbledore had only died shortly beforehand and that the Order of the Phoenix was using the Burrow as its headquarters. The Order also evacuated Harry Potter from his relatives’ home on 27 July, leaving the Weasleys with little time to prepare the Burrow. Molly was also keen on trying to keep Harry, Ron, and Hermione separated, as she knew they were planning to go off on their own after the wedding and refusing to tell her that it was to hunt down and destroy Lord Voldemort’s Horcruxes. She had the trio working around the house as much as possible, and always apart.
On the morning two days before the wedding, Fleur’s parents, Monsieur and Apolline Delacour, and her younger sister Gabrielle arrived at the Burrow, which Harry noted had never been so tidy. The rusty cauldrons and boots that were usually on the steps were replaced by Flutterby bushes, the chickens were shut away, and the garden had been pruned. The Burrow also had many security enchantments placed on it by the Order. The Delacours assisted in the final preparations for the wedding.
On 31 July, there was a small celebration for Harry’s seventeenth birthday. It was interrupted by Minister for Magic Rufus Scrimgeour, who came with Arthur Weasley and insisted upon speaking to Harry, Ron, and Hermione. He revealed that Dumbledore had bequeathed items to them in his will, and tried once again to persuade Harry to side with the Ministry of Magic. Disgusted by the Ministry’s secrecy and high-handedness, Harry refused.
Arrival of guests
Bill and Fleur's wedding began at three o'clock in the afternoon on 1 August. Fred, George, Ron, and Harry — disguised as a Weasley cousin by way of Polyjuice Potion and the red hair of a red-haired Muggle boy for security — greeted the guests outside the orchard as they arrived. They all had copies of the seating plan, in order to be able to show guests to the correct golden chair, on either side of the long purple carpet. Inside the marquee, placed there earlier by Millamant's Magic Marquees, were also gold and white flowers. Molly cried a little bit as Percy was the only one who refused to attend.
Fred led away some Veela cousins of the bride, leaving his twin with a “gaggle of middle-aged witches”, Ron with Perkins, and Harry with a “rather deaf old couple”. Harry then spoke to Remus Lupin and Nymphadora Tonks, newlyweds themselves, and to Xenophilius and Luna Lovegood. Ron escorted his Great-Aunt Muriel to her seat, and she insulted him — and many others — the entire way. The group was then met by Hermione who was remarked upon as looking very pretty, and the twins told stories about their late uncle Bilius, to everyone's entertainment.
The group's laughter was interrupted by the arrival of Viktor Krum, who immediately complimented Hermione, much to Ron’s irritation. Harry quickly showed Krum to his seat, and then sat down in the second row with Ron and Hermione, behind the twins.
- "A great collective sigh issued from the assembled witches and wizards as Monsieur Delacour and Fleur came walking up the aisle, Fleur gliding, Monsieur Delacour bouncing and beaming. Fleur was wearing a very simple white dress and seemed to be emitting a strong, silvery glow. While her radiance usually dimmed everyone else by comparison, today it beautified everybody it fell upon. Ginny and Gabrielle, both wearing golden dresses, looked even prettier than usual and once Fleur had reached for him, Bill did not look as though he had ever met Fenrir Greyback."
- — Harry Potter watching Fleur walk down the aisle[src]
When the guests quieted and the music began, Bill and his best man, his brother Charlie, stood at the end of the aisle. Fleur’s bridesmaids, Gabrielle and Ginny, walked down the aisle in golden dresses. Escorted by her father, Fleur followed, wearing a simple white dress and Muriel's tiara, and looking radiant.
As the couple began to take their vows, several guests began to cry, including Molly Weasley, Apolline Delacour, Rubeus Hagrid, and Hermione Granger. The wizard presiding over the ceremony waved his wand over the bride and groom’s heads, and a shower of stars fell upon their entwined figured. Fred and George led the applause, and the golden balloons by the newlyweds burst into tiny golden bells and birds of paradise that flew around the tent, singing.
- "The chairs on which they had been sitting rose gracefully into the air as the canvas walls of the marquee vanished, so that they stood beneath a canopy supported by golden poles, with a glorious view of the sunlit orchard and surrounding countryside. Next, a pool of molten gold spread from the center of the tent to form a gleaming dance floor; the hovering chairs grouped themselves around small, white-clothed tables, which all floated gracefully back to earth round it, and the golden-jacketed band trooped toward a podium. “Smooth,” said Ron approvingly as the waiters popped up on all sides, some bearing silver trays of pumpkin juice, butterbeer, and firewhisky, others tottering piles of tarts and sandwiches."
- — Ron Weasley complementing how smoothly the ceremony transitioned into the reception[src]
Once Bill and Fleur's vows were complete, the chairs were magically removed from the tent, the walls of which were removed, so that the sunlit orchard and surrounding countryside could be seen. A dance floor was formed, along with tables, and waiters entered with trays of beverages and food as the band began to play music. While the newlyweds were surrounded by well-wishers, Ron led Harry and Hermione to Luna Lovegood’s table, partly to avoid Muriel and Viktor Krum.
People began to dance — including Luna by herself and Ginny with Lee Jordan — and Viktor soon came to sit near Hermione. Ron quickly asked her to dance, and she accepted, pleasantly surprised. When Viktor asked if the two were romantically involved, a disguised Harry replied “sort of”. Viktor then pointed out Xenophilius Lovegood and the symbol he wore around his neck, which Viktor identified as the sign of Dark Wizard Gellert Grindelwald. He then remarked that Ginny was pretty, and Harry, irritated, immediately claimed that she already had a big, jealous boyfriend.
As it grew darker, Harry overheard a conversation between Elphias Doge and his friend Ron's Aunt Muriel, in which the latter made disparaging remarks about the late Albus Dumbledore and his family. This marked the beginning of Harry’s suspicions about what his late mentor had failed to tell him about his past and about the mission he left him. These doubts would bother Harry in the months to come. Hermione soon joined Harry while Ron went in search of butterbeers for the three of them.
- " The Ministry has fallen. Scrimgeour is dead. They are coming." Everything seemed fuzzy, slow. Harry and Hermione jumped to their feet and drew their wands. Many people were only just realizing that something strange had happened; heads were still turning toward the silver cat as it vanished. Silence spread outward in cold ripples from the place where the Patronus had landed. Then somebody screamed. Harry and Hermione threw themselves into the panicking crowd. Guests were sprinting in all directions; many were Disapparating; the protective enchantments around the Burrow had broken."
- — Kingsley Shacklebolt's Patronus warning and the ensuing panic[src]
The reception was interrupted by the arrival of Kingsley Shacklebolt’s Patronus. This interruption caused everyone, even people dancing to freeze in place, because of the surprise it caused. The Patronus then announced that the Ministry of Magic had fallen, as it had been taken over by Voldemort. The Minister for Magic Rufus Scrimgeour was dead and the Death Eaters were currently on their way. Panic immediately erupted among the guests and chaos spread. Many began Disapparating, just as all the protective enchantments around the Burrow broke.
Death Eaters began Apparating into the crowd crashing the reception, Order members such as Remus Lupin and Nymphadora Tonks began casting Shield Charms, and Harry and Hermione pushed through the mob of terrified guests to try to get to Ron. With Harry’s hand in hers and Ron’s on her free arm, Hermione Disapparated the three of them away to Tottenham Court Road, thus beginning their quest to find the Horcruxes.
Those who remained behind were interrogated by the Death Eaters who arrived and wanted information about Harry. No one was seriously hurt. Arthur Weasley managed to send his Patronus to the trio to tell them this, and to warn them not to try to get into contact, as the Weasley family was subsequently put under surveillance.
- "Bill and Fleur's cottage stood alone on a cliff overlooking the sea, its walls embedded with shells and whitewashed... Wherever Harry went inside the tiny cottage or its garden, he could hear the constant ebb and flow of the sea, like the breathing of some great, slumbering creature. He spent much of the next few days making excuses to escape the crowded cottage, craving the cliff-top view of open sky and wide, empty sea, and the feel of cold, salty wind on his face."
- — Description of Shell Cottage[src]
Bill and Fleur Weasley set up a new home in Shell Cottage, near the outskirts of Tinworth, Cornwall. Protected by the Fidelius Charm, its Secret-Keeper was Bill Weasley. Their home would be used as a safe house for the Order of the Phoenix playing host to Harry, Ron, Hermione, and others, after they escaped the cellar of Malfoy Manor. The cottage is likely where they raised their three children — Victoire, Dominique, and Louis Weasley — after the end of the Second Wizarding War in May 1998.
- The wizard who presided over the ceremony.
- "A host of white-robed waiters".
- "A golden-jacketed band".
Behind the scenes
- Molly Weasley: "Bill and Fleur ... well ... what have they really got in common? He's a hardworking, down-to-earth sort of person, whereas she's —"
- Ginny Weasley: "A cow. But Bill's not that down-to-earth. He's a Curse-Breaker, isn't he, he likes a bit of adventure, a bit of glamour.... I expect that's why he's gone for Phlegm."
- — Mrs Weasley and her daughter discuss Bill's and Fleur's contrasting personalities[src]
- Jenny Packham, who is a well known fashion wedding designer, designed the outfits for the wedding in the film of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
- In the first part film adaption of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, in which the wedding took place, several differences were made:
- Madame Maxime appeared at the wedding in the film version, which is notable since her appearance is not mentioned in the novel.
- The music played at the film version of the wedding is "Humours of Glendart."
- In the film, Fleur Delacour is seen wearing a lavish black and white dress at the wedding. In the book, she is wearing a simple plain white dress.
- In the novel, Ginny Weasley is wearing a golden dress at the wedding. In the film, she is spotted wearing a silver and black dress at the wedding.
- In the film, Hermione Granger is spotted wearing a red dress robes to Bill and Fleur's wedding. In the book Hermione is spotted wearing a lilac dress robes at the wedding.
- In the film version, Harry Potter did not disguise himself as he had in the novel; he went as himself without fearing detection.
- In LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7, the part of Elphias and Harry's talk about Dumbledore is omitted. Only the part where Xenophilius Lovegood first meets Harry wearing the necklace of the Deathly Hallows is shown.
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (First mentioned)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (video game)
- Wizarding World
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
- Harry Potter for Kinect (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter: The Character Vault
- Harry Potter: The Creature Vault (Mentioned only)
Notes and references
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 8 (The Wedding) - The wedding is the day after Harry's 17th birthday on 31 July 1997
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 8 (The Wedding)
- Harry Potter Limited Edition - A Guide to the Graphic Arts Department: Posters, Prints, and Publications from the Harry Potter Films (See this image, note how the "W" and "E" in "Wedding" are the same ratio as those in "Weasley")
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 6 (The Ghoul in Pyjamas)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 5 (An Excess of Phlegm)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 29 (The Phoenix Lament)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 7 (The Will of Albus Dumbledore)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 9 (A Place to Hide)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 24 (The Wandmaker)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 25 (Shell Cottage)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7