We love hearing that Brides and Grooms find their suppliers through Rock My Wedding and are even more chuffed to hear (to quote the bride) “they rock”. I couldn’t agree more with Bride Anne when she says that Chris Barber Photography has captured the moment. From the tears, smiles and undoubtedly the love it is one emotive and truly gorgeous destination wedding.
Chris has also done an amazing job at capturing all the delicious details. The blush blooms and antique key escort sign are immense. As is all the fashion. Anne wears a bespoke gown she had designed herself and her best girls look heavenly in pink dresses from Debenhams.
Don’t forget to check out the video from Blooming Lovely Films too. Showing even more of those adorable moments, as well as all the preparation, planning (by Rock My Love) and styling (by Déco & Harmonie) that went into this glorious wedding.
Annie the Bride: Before getting married and even starting to organize your wedding, you have to be sure about what is most important to you as a couple. It’s ok to be egoistic – because it’s your day and your day only. Your parents had their wedding, your friends will have theirs (or already did say “yes”), so now it’s time to find out what makes you happy. We were lucky enough to have such lovely families and amazing friends who stood a 100% behind us, and made our wedding day the best day of our lives.
The first time I walked into a bridal boutique, I was quite overwhelmed and not sure what I was getting myself in to. I wanted my dress to be a thousand things at the same time: elegant but not too fancy, romantic but not mousy, a nice décolleté but an open back as well… and last but not least it had to have some kind of “sexy” in it. Oh and did I mention that ideally it was meant to be dance-fit? And I didn’t mean the classic Walz! I was looking for a “Kygo-Jonas Blue” – fit.
So that being said, it didn’t take long until I realized, I had to design that dress myself and find someone to give me a “little” hand with the sowing part ☺. 9 months and 6 fittings later my bespoke dress was all set and I was ready to rock.
I chose a more traditional, long gown for the ceremony, bringing a bit of fairy tale into the wedding day. And after a couple of hours, still having a solid 36°C outside in the shade, it was time to take off the long jupe and give my legs some freedom to dance and enjoy the occasional light breeze.
S-h-o-e-s…five letters – big drama! Working in sneakers all day long, being a ballerina-addict with a faible for golden sandals, the high heels idea gave me quite a headache. All I could think about was “Côte d’Azur – 36°C – swollen feet – blisters. Any miracle solution? Yes! Stuart Weitzman. Wow! 6 hours of dancing plus another 6 of walking on grass and cobble stones resulted in ZERO blisters and 100% fun.
Earrings or no earrings? Since I wasn’t planning on wearing any exquisite jewelry, a lovely pair of earrings seemed just about right. I stumbled upon the Thomas Sabo “Double Studs” one late morning after having brunch with a friend. Being a tinsy bit “out of the ordinary”, they were exactly what I was looking for, without really knowing that I was :).
The Grooms Fashion & accessories
When I first mentioned to Jeff that I wanted to go to London to chose my bespoke dress, he just shook his head. When, a couple of months later, he came to me and said: “Honey, I won’t find a proper suit for our wedding here back home”, I thought I wasn’t listening correctly. But I was…and so, only shortly after, we sat on the plane to London, heading straight to Ted Baker and getting Jeff his dream suit. I loved it right from the moment he first wore it: purplish blue with a discreet check pattern, a matching silky bow tie and leather derby brogues in tan rounded it all up. The Paul Smith cufflinks were a gift from me from a couple of years ago, and the tailor-made shirts plain white with a lovely poplin texture.
The Wedding planners
Rock My Love stands for high quality and professionalism at its best. We booked the full options package with them and never ever regretted it. Angélique and Manon are a dream team. They were there for us 24/7, always responded within the hour, found a solution to any problem and got us that incredible hidden secret location in the South of France. They made it their first priority to take away all unnecessary pressure from us. They met with the all the prestataires when we couldn’t. They took the time to get to know us and figure out what we really want. On top of that, they are two adorable, lovely ladies. They are so much fun to work with that it doesn’t feel like work. You can see that they love what they do, they are passionate and dedicated to their mission. What we truly appreciated is that they stick to the budget that is agreed upon at the signing of the contract. No bad surprises. Again, this is professional working! On the wedding day, Angélique came to see us and said “Now is the time to do nothing more than enjoying this very special day. I don’t want you to worry about anything, just about looking pretty and having an amazing time”. From the arrival of the first guest until the jump into the pool at 05:00 am in the morning, that’s exactly what we did. Angélique and Manon took care of literally everything. There was no hiccup. Not the slightest bump on the road. They worked magic!
So here was ANOTHER big challenge of our wedding. Finding a cozy place with a beautiful dreamy garden, a lovely pool with a hint of luxury without being too posh and enough space to accommodate our best friends for a whole week – yes, that’s definitely not that easy to find if you haven’t won the lottery recently. Well, we were lucky enough to have our gorgeous wedding planners making a pre-selection of chosen properties. This allowed us to fly in, do a 48h super efficient villa-sightseeing tour and quickly travel back home. The domaine we finally chose was just perfect. There was this amazing garden with all sorts of fruit trees, a beautiful rose garden and even a quintessential olive plantation set in the midst of the 4 acres of land. The house itself was a fully refurbished 18th century farmhouse that has kept its traditional charms and was decorated with incredible attention to detail. It as very simple but true and authentic.
The ceremony took place under two magnificent maple trees, surrounded by palm trees and huge laurels with gorgeous pink and white blossoms.
Romantic, vintage-inspired, with a touch of rustic elegance.. from there everything was possible. The centerpieces were all made according to the same scheme, but every table was different. We had old books, glass vases, random wooden pieces and vintage tea pitchers. Here and there a piece of lace and some glitter that added the extra sparkle to these little masterpieces. Every table had its own individual tablecloth, some made of hessian, some just of lace. Little candles provided us with enough light for the whole evening and the flowers spread a lovely scent through the table. We had quirky little glass jars filled with raw olive oil and others with local honey as wedding gifts to our guests. They fitted well into the general theme of our wedding and they allowed us to add some traditional Provençal flair to the decoration. And then there was our photo booth – what a masterpiece – hahaha! Again Pinterest did an amazing job at making my head spin like carrousel when I was looking for “some” inspiration. I finally fell in love with quite a simple yet rustic background. I wanted it to be made of different wallpapers, one stuck onto the other, looking like the wall had been refurbished a thousand times, revealing the different stages of its own story. Sounds a little off, but the result was even better than I had imagined. Ghislaine got it just right. The bird cage, the old chair (that we secretly borrowed from the farmhouse), the pineapple sunglasses, the paper hats and the hula hoop were carefully selected over the months that were leading up to the wedding. And since I kind of fell in love with flamingos, the huge inflatable pink fellow was a must! All the signs were custom made by Ghislaine, just as well as the personalized étiquettes you’ll find here and there, and the keys that served as place finder. I insisted on having soap bubbles at the end of the ceremony (instead of rice or flower petals or confetti). Yes, it was me :).
Ghislaine from “Déco & Harmonie” was my florist, event designer, decorator wonder woman. I loved it when she told me “You know Anne, at some point, we will have to narrow down your ideas to just one scheme. Otherwise we’ll be lost before we start”. I guess, I might have gotten just a little bit too enthusiastic about the whole decoration part. Pinterest was just killing me and I couldn’t help myself but getting new inspirations from a million wedding blogs online. At least, I didn’t start buying a thousand magazines as well. Well done!
So I’ve had this amazing bouquet with pastel rose peonies and just a hint of green in it. My bridesmaids got matching bouquets with just a single peony and Ghislaine created a micro-version of these arrangements for Jeff’s and the groomsmen’s buttonholes.
The alley that led to the altar was decorated with gypsophila (or baby’s breath) and the altar itself was a reminder of my bouquet with peonies, roses, laurels,…etc. All very romantic.
Browsing through lists of high end French wedding photographers left me nothing but frustrated…I had already seen hundreds of beautiful pictures but not one of them was really personal and true! Up until I decided to look a little further and spotted Chris’ work on Rock My Wedding. It was “un vrai coup de coeur”. So even before having found the venue, caterer or a dress, Jeff and I arranged for a skype call with Chris in order to talk details. We got along just perfectly, things were uncomplicated, fun and I knew, there was no way another photographer was given the job. If I had to describe Chris’ pictures in only a few words, I’d say they capture the moment. Every time we look at them, we can see that people were having an awesome time that day, they laughed, and cried and danced and celebrated. We wanted to remember every second of this incredibly beautiful day. Even though we couldn’t be in different places at the same time, we didn’t want to miss any second of happiness …or drunken shenanigans for that matter. And Chris did it – he rocked (and still rocks)!
So having found the perfect photographer, we were in now looking for the matching, perfect videographer. What better idea there is, than to ask this bespoke perfect photographer if he happens to know such a lovely colleague? So there she was, the adorable Leanne from Blooming Lovely Films. Let alone her company name convinced me and she didn’t have to say much during our skype call: I had already decided when I spotted her dog, running around the table as we spoke. Dog people are good people 🙂 and Leanne happened to be a true gem. She and Chris have worked together on weddings before, so they complemented each other perfectly. I would describe Leanne’s work as romantic, authentic, original and pure. She captures love at its best. She’s just adorable and fun and professional. We couldn’t have wished for a better duet to document our wedding.
The Wedding Party Fashion
Here is what we told our guests: “Dress the French Riviera way” – “Jeff and I didn’t want to give you a strict dress code, so we didn’t. We’d like you to wear what you feel comfortable in, should that be a dress, a skirt or a sexy swimsuit. The same goes for our male guests. No need for a tuxedo but a suit would be terrific! Ladies, please be sure to bring flats for the late evening hours. There’s a lot of grass around in the garden (obviously) and high heels might just not do the trick for the dancing.
Our ceremony was held in the gardens of this beautiful domaine. It was simple but heartwarming with a lovely reading from my bridesmaids and a silent ring exchange at the end. (We had a falling out with the celebrant, so I don’t want to mention her in the post. Unfortunately she did a terrible job.)
Finding a live band at the Côte d’Azur isn’t complicated. Sorting out a good one, already gets a lot trickier. Now go and find a hugely sympathetic british/new-zealandish Duet, that’s not only extremely talented but will be just as excited as you are to perform (and rehearse) your very personal processional song. If I had not been the bride on that particular day, I would just have sat there the whole afternoon and listen to Helen and Greg’s unbelievably amazing singing. All our guests were mesmerized by their performance and we did not really want to let them go after an astonishing 4-hour live concert!!!
When we first talked to Nick on Skype, we just knew that he was the one to rock our party. We started the dancing around midnight and didn’t stop moving our feed until the early morning hours. Nick just got it all right, and the songs he played were a true spellbinder for the whole wedding party. We only stopped for the occasional G&T and the late midnight snack– the music was too good to miss just that one song. Having provided Nick with a playlist of our favourite songs, we still left him enough room to improvise and adapt to the general mood/swing of the evening. We weren’t disappointed. Nobody was! It was the best party ever!!! When we got closer to the official finishing line, we weren’t ready to stop – not just yet. Nick didn’t hesitate to stay a little longer and keep that party going for another hour. He’s just the best…there is nothing more to say.
Feeding our guests wasn’t one of our top priorities. We knew, if they are provided with enough liquid calories, they would be just fine :). We weren’t so wrong with that mindset but here comes the more appropriate answer.
In order to avoid dehydration when the temperature rises to an incredible 36°C in the shade, we set up a traditional citronnade bar to welcome our guests at the domaine. Nobody really likes to drink plain water (or do you?!) so we pimped it with a range of sirops, with quite the original tastes (coconut, green banana and bubble gum, being just a few of them).
The Champagne shower only started right after the ceremony. During dinner time, white and red wine were served. And once the dancing started, we opened our amazing Gin bar which was a huge success. Since, again, I’m always looking for that little “extra”, I was determined to get in contact with “Fine Cocktails Company” and ask if they would deliver their signature cocktails to the South of France. And they did! I can only recommend them for every wedding (or not wedding) party!
Jeff and I knew that a traditional “sit-down and eat” dinner formation was not what we wanted. With that in mind, the apéro and appetizers were served as finger food so that our guests could continue to walk around, play the “chamboule tout” and get to know each other. The tasty macarons and sorbets, a salmon bar and a bruschetta stand were only a few of the highlights of the dinner. The main course was a surf & turf kind of buffet with preset tables in the lower parts of the domaine. We had a few surprise speeches from Jeff’s brother and best man and it didn’t take long until it was time to dance off those calories we had just taken in.
Dessert was set up around the dance floor and people were invited to first dance a round or two, before heading to the cupcakes, cake pops and cheesecake tower. Emma’s Cupcakes did an amazing job. Every bit of these mini cakes was a true and pure delight!!
Photography by Chris Barber Photography
- Videographer Blooming Lovely Films
- Wedding Planner Rock My Love
- Venue Private Villa in the South of France, Côte d’Azur
- Florist & Styling Déco & Harmonie
- Cake Emmas Cupcakes Nice
- Caterer Atelier Traiteur
- Stationery DIY & Déco et Harmonie
- Entertainment The Little Soul Club
- UK DJs Abroad
- Transport Azur Sd Tanport
- Brides Gown Bespoke
- Earrings Thomas Sabo
- Bridal Shoes Stuart Weitzman
- Bridesmaid Dresses Debenhams
- Grooms Ted Baker