Ah Bordeaux. What a beautiful place for a beautiful wedding.
Jacqui & Simon’s day is so relaxed, so pretty and so them. Jacqui’s Tatyana Merenyuk’s gown is divine. The decor is perfection. I love the simplicity of the candle sticks and the flowers in planters on the tables. The flowers, btw, are immense in their own right.
There’s music and a menu to die for and I love the favours! And the napkin with the menu details printed on is just genius. Introducing the very smiley, very happy, Jacqui and Simon…
Jacqui The Bride: We love France and hope to move there one day, plus our friends and family are dispersed all over the world so what better than to celebrate a la francaise! We were on holiday last year in Bordeaux and when we saw Rigaud and we loved it – plus as we were living in two different continents it was hugely appealing to have an all-encompassing venue complete with a planner!
The Brides Fashion & Accessories
I didn’t want to be a traditional bride wearing an exorbitantly-priced, frothy white confection that I’d only wear once and frankly feel quite silly in. I combed the internet looking for coloured dresses and happened upon Tatyana’s work on etsy via a wedding blog. I was living in Boston at the time and went to visit her in Brooklyn, and I loved it from the outset. Tatyana is truly talented, and was awesome to work with – chilled out and meticulous all at once. We picked the peachy colour in line with a light summery feel. It was perfect!
Simon was also relaxed about his outfit choices – we went to a J.Crew Ludlow Shop and picked out a couple of light suits and brogues to match. I gave him an arrow-shaped rose gold tie pin on the day in light of his objective to have a “body like the green arrow”.
Colour Scheme & Decor
We decided early on that we’d stick with a casual and hopefully non-cliché French theme. So burlap, red stripes, wood plus some brightly-coloured whimsy. This was mostly created by my mum and my sister Susie. They spent days on end making the bunting (mum made almost 100 metres), tulle garlands, wedding favour finishes etc. Susie made our shell-shaped ring pillow as Simon proposed hiding the ring under a shell, and Finn Family Moomintroll chair backs as Simon and I both love the moomins!
I was a pretty ordinary bride when it came to preparation, so a month prior I finally skyped with Heidi Lee, our florist at Rigaud. I had no idea about colours, but was certain I wanted berries, thistles and none of the traditional neatness. To suit my dress colour, we decided on peach David Austin roses, blue thistle, hypericums and ripening blackberries with green foliage. I was so happy to see them on the day, I think I squealed with delight. Our flowers were one of our most beautiful components of our wedding and I will never forget them.
Short and sweet – with Jazz Around Midnight playing the Heitor Pereira guitar piece, “Remember Me”, from Something’s Gotta Give – one of our favourite films.
We had such a fun few days, with canoeing on the Dordogne River and lots of water fights, a wine tasting and outdoor dinners at dusk.
On the day, we had lots of music and fireworks at the end of the evening.
Music is an instrumental (ha!) part of our lives. Simon and I have had some of our happiest moments cooking or eating at our table listening to artists like Ella, Chet Baker and Django Reinhardt. Music also runs deeply in my family, with me a dabbling cellist and my sister Susie a classical violinist, so we decided we would not scrimp on music.
We found Jazz Around Midnight in France and loved some of their gypsy jazz in particular, while Swinging Little Big Band had a great musicality and would bring in lots of romance and fun for the dancefloor. Susie also played a couple of pieces with Jazz Around Midnight on request – without rehearsing once they played Django Reinhardt’s and Stephane Grapelli’s “Minor Swing” together, complete with improvisation! We also had a lovely roaming accordionist during the reception and for Sunday brunch. The music was beyond our expectations. We were deliriously happy.
Another aspect which blew our expectations was the wedding meal. Simon and I are both greedy gourmands, and our lives revolve around food. We had picked what we wanted for the four days at Rigaud, and Steve Carss, the chef, tailored everything to our request. Seafood is extraordinary near Bordeaux so we had to feature this. We started with split grilled langoustines with persillade, then roast duck breast with pithivier and in-season figs, and a berry sponge as our wedding cake. This was properly amazing food, nothing akin to the wedding meals one resigns oneself to. I didn’t care about the bodice on my dress, I gobbled up every morsel!!! Our cheese wedding cake was delicious too and kept everyone going on the dance floor through the wee hours.
We wanted a photographer with a sunny and light aesthetic to suit both our wedding and our personalities, and we loved Amy’s work as soon as we came across it. Simon was anti-photography as he believed the wedding should live in our memories, but he was reckoning with me and even he begrudgingly admitted her photos were lovely. On the day, Amy was incredible. Really fun, unassuming and unobtrusive yet somehow figuring out what we were like within a few moments and capturing it all just as we remember it. We think her pictures say it all, and Simon is especially pleased now that we have Amy’s photos to relive the idyllic happiness that was our wedding sojourn!
Becky is at her happiest when dunking a slightly chilled chocolate digestive into a very warm, very milky cup of tea. She also loves her job and pinches herself every day to make sure that she isn’t in a graphic design dreamworld.