Carcassonne Caresses.


Chris and Carolyn’s wedding is an absolute corker.

For a start it takes place in Carcassonne and a French wedding is always guaranteed to float my boat. For seconds there are men in colour-pop Bermuda shorts, Carolyn’s exquisite wedding dress and a freestyle limbo competition that dominated the evening festivities.

I’ve yet to go to a wedding with a limbo but it’s now on my top ten ‘things to experience at a wedding’ list along with a sweet table (still haven’t had the pleasure!) and a champagne fountain (so chic!).

And then folks there’s the marmite. I don’t want to spoil the surprise at this stage but I think it’s a really sweet, comedic touch on Chris’s part that brings a lightness to what can be an emotionally overwhelming day.

It made me smile anyway.

Let’s go check it out…

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Home Away From Home

Carolyn The Bride:We married at Domaine Gayda, which is near Carcassonne in France. We chose this venue because Chris and his family had been coming to the Carcassonne area and Domaine Gayda for many years. The food at Domaine Gayda is delicious and as you would expect from a vineyard, the wine is pretty good too!

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Classic And Contemporary

I wanted my hair and make-up to be fairly simple and natural and not too over the top. Sarah Res from SR Beauty did my hair and make-up.

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My dress was designed and made by Beau Monde from the Beau Monde shop in London. Having tried on quite a few dresses I just fell in love with the classic, clean lines of this dress. I wore a pair of turquoise stilettos from Billy Chan to match the bridesmaids’ turquoise dresses. The veil I picked up from Rachel Trevor-Morgan.

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Bermuda Shorts

I had two bridesmaids and Chris had his groomsmen too. In terms of a colour scheme, we decided only to link the bridesmaids dresses with my shoes and we didn’t worry too much about Chris and his groomsmen.

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The bridesmaids dresses were from Two Birds Bridesmaid. I am from Bermuda and it is Bermudan tradition for the men to wear shorts so my father, Chris and all his groomsmen wore yellow Bermuda shorts. My parents then brought the shorts in especially from Bermuda for the wedding. Lots of the male guests also wore Bermuda shorts though in a variety of colours!

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Les Jolie Fleurs

We wanted our wedding look to have a simple, elegant, homemade, vintage feel.

Most of the flowers were supplied by a local florist called Fleurs et Nuances. The rest of the flowers were wildflowers which we picked in the fields locally. For my bouquet I had yellow and pink roses mixed with yellow iris.

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On the tables we had rosemary, daffodils and purple iris. Chris and his groomsmen had a yellow rose as their buttonholes. Chris is mad on Marmite so we’d asked everyone to save their Marmite jars and used them to create pew ends or row markers filled with various wildflowers we’d picked in the morning.

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The Art Of Marriage

We had two readings during our ceremony. We read The Art of Marriage by Wilferd Arlan Peterson as well as excerpts from My Fair Lady.

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We used a local French DJ for our wedding entertainment who came highly recommended. Our first song was Let Your Love Flow by The Bellamy Brothers for no other reason other than the fact that it’s cool!

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A Bespoke Menu

We designed the menus ourselves and we had three courses: To start we had sautéed Quail with fresh coriander, asparagus and paprika. We chose Roast Bigore Pork with a wholegrain mustard sauce, puréed potatoes and fresh herbs for the main course followed by chocolate bavarois with a kumquat coulis verbena cream.

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I made our wedding cake myself!! I used a traditional Bermudan dark ‘n stormy recipe made with Goslings Black Seal Rum and ginger. Our favours were two headache tablets in an envelope to relieve the hangovers!

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Paper Doily Chains

We chose the DIY route when it came to our wedding decor; in fact a lot of the elements were DIY. We brought lots of old glass jam jars with us from the UK which we decorated ourselves with ribbons, lace, hessian and buttons to give them a vintage look.

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The menus we thought would look nice placed onto corks tied with string. We also used paper doilies to create a chain to hang in the trees and we had some paper lanterns which we’d brought over to decorate. The table cards were a bit DIY to be honest! We thought it would be funny to have humorous wedding related cartoons on each table.

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Special Moments

Whilst there was a lot of work involved, we would highly recommend getting married overseas. It meant we had to organise quite a lot remotely from London though it was very worthwhile.

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In terms of special moments, the speeches were funny and also we had great success with Bermuda Rum Swizzles in the evening….along with some brilliant spontaneous limbo!

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Click here & view all images from this wedding

Venue – Domaine Gayda
Florist – Fleurs Et Nuances
Photography – Jay Rowden Photography

Does anyone else think that Carolyn looks ever so slightly like Reese Witherspoon? There’s just a smidgen of that look about her, non?

Would any of you lovelies consider popping your menfolk in shorts? I’m telling you if it hadn’t been October then I so would have gone there; I love the preppy vibe it evokes.

And right now I’m really fancying a Bermuda Rum Swizzle? How would I go about making one of them then?

All my love Lolly xxx

Author: Lauren Gautier-Ollerenshaw
Lolly is a self-professed frustrated florist and styling maven with an endless passion for all things pretty.

23 thoughts on “Carcassonne Caresses.

  1. Rum swizzles, dark n stormy cake, Bermuda shorts…..takes me right back to our honeymoon there! One day we’ll save up enough to go back…..we have to, we’ve nearly run out of rum 😉

    We enjoyed some rum swizzles at the Swizzle Inn – they are highly deceptive though, they taste like fruit juice but are a lot more potent which you realise when you go to stand up! 🙂

    Try here for the recipe…..

    “Rum Swizzle, it’s an orange slice, a lime slice, a pineapple wedge and a cherry, all floating in 8 ounces of hangover.”
    -Bob Hope

    L xx

  2. Wow Carolyn looks amazing- the dress is so stunning! What a lovely vibe the photos portray- looks like an incredible day! Favourite photo has to be the boys in all the different coloured shorts- brilliant! Congratulations

  3. @Lucy Lu thanks for the recipe pointer lovely and the Bob Hope quote. You’ve got to love a bit of Bob. I think I might have to pass this along to my sister who is a bit of a fan… of the ol’ rum that is…not so much of Bob.

    @Lou I loved the rainbow of Bermuda Shorts too – so much fun!

  4. Wow, thanks Lolly!!!

    Another amazing blog post.

    I’d just like to say what an honour and a privilege it is to be featured on RMW.

    Massive thank you again to you and Charlotte.

    Best Jay x

  5. What a lovely wedding! We are also getting married in Carcassonne next year and we looked at Domaine Gayda as a potential venue. It’s great to know that you were still able to keep the DIY elements as we are finding the travel is a bit of a barrier to that!

    I was wondering if you could forward the contact details of who did you hair and make up? I am struggling to find someone in the area and don’t really want to pay someone to travel from Paris!

    I would be very grateful.

    Thanks xx

    1. Hi Sarah

      If you send me an email (, I will put you in contact with the bride Carolyn who will give you all the H&M details directly.

      I had trouble tracking them down myself.

      I know that both hair and make up were English girls who were both now living in Carcassonne.

      Speak to you soon.


      Jay (Photographer!)

    2. Hi Sarah, just left a message and read yours – did you manage to find a hairdresser near Carcassonne I am too about to live in the region taking over running a boutique B&B and would love to find a fabulous hairdresser locally. Thank you Jules

  6. Hi, I would love to be able to connect with the english ladies who did the hair – I am due to move to Carcassonne in January, would it be possible to forward contact details please. Thank you so much

  7. Hi! We’re getting married near Carcassonne next year & desperately seeking a great DJ. We’d be hugely grateful if you could pass on the contact details – looks like an awesome party & such a beautiful wedding. Thank you

        1. Hi, Carolyn here. It was actually a local French DJ. I can’t recall his name but if you contact the events person at domaine Hausa, Joanne, she will probably be able to help you. Good luck!

  8. Hi,
    I was the hairdresser for Carolyn and Chris’s wedding at Domaine Gayda and welcome enquiries from any future brides looking to get married in this beautiful region of Southern France. I am fully qualified, registered and living in France.
    Annette Carr

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