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Planning A Wedding In France {Lou & Olivier}

It’s been a bit of a roller coaster ride since my last article and today I feel like I’m on the Waltzer! I’m pretty sure that no ‘wedmin’ goes without some sort of hitch, whether it be the venue isn’t available on your ideal date, or the photographer you wanted will be on holiday or more alarming matters like the dress has gone missing! I’m sure we all have our own stories!

CHOOSING A WEDDING VENUE

Olivier and I had originally pencilled in September 2018 for our wedding. September is easily the best month in the Basque Country where we live. The evenings are long and balmy, most tourists have gone home and things start to get a bit more relaxed! We had decided on the perfect reception venue for us, a small, unassuming beach bar restaurant by the village of Guéthary. I was looking for a venue that would wow our guests with natural beauty and give them a taste of our lives out here, and this does just that. The venue looks onto Cenitz beach, Olivier’s favourite surf spot and where we spend a lot of our time. In the same way that our proposal site is so dear to us, so is this place and it seemed like a very natural choice…

Here’s the hitch though, September was fully booked wasn’t it! – One of the bookings even being a gorgeous Welsh couple, my own clients through my destination wedding company, French Bague-ette. The only date available was the 6th July so, although I’ll have less time to plan, we took it!

CHOOSING A CEREMONY VENUE

The next step was to choose a ceremony venue. After days of searching, I stumbled across something magical – a stunning villa on the cliff above the restaurant, it couldn’t be more prefect! Hidden in it’s own beautiful gardens I have walked passed it 100 times but had no idea it was there. With turquoise shutters, incredible sea views, countless bright blue hydrangeas lining the gravel paths and even a swimming pool. I was totally in love. We visited the property, met the owners and discussed all our plans with them. I got really emotional standing at the spot in the garden where we would say our vows. I was just overcome with happiness, looking over the sea, knowing this was where I would make my promises to Olivier…As I write this now, I have just learnt that the owners of the villa have now decided that, although it can be used for accommodation, they don’t want anyone who is not a family member to have a wedding ceremony at the property. We are both truly gutted.

So, the search is on again! At this point it’s very hard to imagine that we will find something just as perfect, but the area is full of beautiful places so I have faith that we will find a solution, and it might be even better! Here is proof that these things don’t always line up, even for a wedding planner! So, don’t be disheartened if your big day plans don’t all fall into place right away, it’s all part of a wedding jigsaw puzzle.

ENGAGEMENT PARTY

It hasn’t been all bad luck since my last post. Olivier and I organised an engagement BBQ at home in our garden. A beautifully relaxed moment with our friends and some of Olivier’s family. We also had the pleasure of having the incredibly talented photographer @lafemmegribouillage with us, whom I loved working with and totally recommend! We had some live music from our friend and wedding musician Andy Gregory and everyone chipped in with ‘cote des boeuf’, sausages and salads…as well as generous amounts of bubbles!

We are actually having two engagement parties, the second one is next week and will be a more formal, styled, al fresco dinner party at Olivier’s parent’s house. It will also be the first time that my parents and Olivier’s parents meet! Gulp! The language barrier might make for some rather comedy moments and I’m sure some embarrassing stories will come out from both sides! I spend a lot of time with Olivier’s family, who have been so welcoming to me. It seems strange that my parents have never met them but I guess it’s quite normal especially as we live in different countries. I’ll let you all know how it goes!

So, there’s lots to do for my wedding, and still lots to do for the other weddings I’m planning. My next mission will be the search for the dress! If you want to follow my story and find some wedding styling inspiration, check out my Instagram account and website.

Lou xxx

Author: Lou French
Louise French is a Brit living in the South West coast of France, near Biarritz. She comes from a fashion, trend and interiors background but has been working as a wedding planner since November 2016. During this exciting time of new business ventures, her French boyfriend, Olivier, asked her to marry him! She now finds herself planning her own, as well as many other stylish French destination weddings!

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