I think it's safe to say, the entire RMW team has a huge girl crush on today's creative and entrepreneurial bride Chiara Perano, the stylish spark behind Lamplighter London, the original modern calligraphy studio. Chiara was handwriting envelopes and illustrating invites while the rest of the country was still selecting their lilac-butterfly-embossed stationery from that awful book in WHSmith. Chiara really has paved the way for many other design studios, and it's a real honour to be sharing her wedding with you all today. If you don't recognise Lamplighter London, then it's highly likely you'll know Chiara's book, Nib and Ink, the ultimate guide to modern calligraphy. And if you're new to the wedding world and today is your first introduction to this fabulous lady, then prepare to be amazed by the gorgeous stationery and signage for her and Michael's dreamy Bordeaux wedding. Every last detail has been expertly captured by RMW favourites, Fern Edwards Photography and This Modern Revelry. The flowers by the incredible Kitten Grayson will have you swooning, and look out for the gorgeous custom Rewritten bridesmaids dresses too. This is a wedding with endless inspiration...I've literally died and gone to bridal heaven. Enjoy lovelies, I have a feeling you'll like it too!
{Watch The Film}

The Bride

Chiara the Bride: I wanted to wear long sleeved romantic lace for the ceremony, and loved the idea of changing into something fun for the party time, so separates seemed like a great solution. I discovered Catherine Deane, and found all 3 of my items in one fitting - easy! My skirt was dreamy off-white light layers of flowing silk, and I had my wonderful Italian tailor Nicola Donati cut a thigh high split to modernise it. The daytime top was a floral appliqué embroidered body, and then a small sparkly cropped top to party in, and I will wear them both again. Nicola attached gold stars to my veil, I wore a velvet floral headpiece from Luna Bea, and my shoes were nude suede from Stuart Weitzman. On the morning of the wedding I got a gift from Michael - an engraved Victorian love token from Laura Lee, which I wore too. For the evening I added a peach denim jacket that I scribbled a love heart and “Mrs S” onto which I wore to party, and I sprayed my Rose wedding perfume on EVERYTHING so it reminds me of the day when I wear it now.

The Groom

We wanted a sleek, dark grey-bluey-midnight suit colour which proved hard to find, but in the end Michael opted for a lovely tailored Aquascutum suit, and wore it with a Cos shirt, a black Saint Laurent tie with a gold pin bar, and he added a Uniform Wares watch I bought him as a gift. He wore bee Gucci loafers and his Ray Bans to finish the look.

The Venue

We had always talked of marrying in Italy, we even chose our wedding venue on the Amalfi Coast, but various factors changed that for us, and when we found the romantic Chateau Rigaud near Bordeaux it blew us away. Getting married in the UK had never appealed to either of us, we wanted a longer - warmer - outdoor celebration - a big party, and the Chateau offered everything we wanted and even more! We had a planning weekend where we stayed in the Chateau to organise all the details with the team, Hayley our coordinator helped us plan loads of extras from sourcing local specialities for welcome bags to our requests like Nutella crèpes, a liqueur and cigar bar, and ordering in Whispering Angel for our welcome dinner! Our 4 nights at the Chateau with our bridal party (29 of us in total) were so special, with exceptional food and wine. The medieval candlelit wedding barn where we ate and partied is so romantic, we had our ceremony in the gardens, a relaxed recovery lunch and fun pool party the next day, and our last night was half a surprise - the team helped us organise a sunset wood fired pizza dinner (which isn’t their usual practise), and we turned up to a beautiful long table set up with jars of our wedding flowers and festoon lights in the vineyards, with blankets, candles and all the left over wine! It was magical. We can’t speak highly enough of the venue and the team.

The Decor

As I own design studio Lamplighter London, there were some expectations with the stationery...We designed a monogram together (based on a wine label we loved!) and added in personal details like hand drawn maps and bespoke envelopes with handwritten notes and starry touches. We sourced tons of vintage stamps on Etsy & Ebay, and added a couple to each envelope too which we got loads of lovely feedback from, and used the Royal Mail customise stamp service with a photo of the Chateau on for the actual stamp. We drove down from London with all the handpainted signage, mostly in our peach and midnight colour scheme, to tie the whole day together. The Chateau features these colours in their decor, and we wanted it to effortlessly fit in. Our wedding favours were ceramic shot cups with our initials embossed and then I wrote guest names on - we used these as place names on the dinner table, and for all the Limoncello that followed.

The Flowers

My good friend Kitten Grayson offered to do our flowers, and I gave her a loose brief “Romantic, massive blousy roses, greenery, seasonal flowers which will smell gorgeous on the day" and I just trusted her to do something magical - which she did. We flew Kitten and Harriette out and they stayed with us in the Chateau, creating stunning foliage garlands hung with festoons over the dinner tables, as well as seasonal and foraged blooms for the 2 long banquet tables, which worked perfectly with the tapered tall Ester and Erik nude candles I sourced and grey linen. The Autumn leaves on the Chateau were so naturally beautiful as the ceremony backdrop and we didn’t want to overcomplicate it, so focused on a beautiful big bouquet, and 6 more for my bridesmaids in pale Roses, with natural foliage, chocolate cosmos, nude Astilbe, Bleeding Hearts and Snowberries tied with silk ribbons, and huge rose wrist corsages for our mums. The boys wore white and green button holes against their dark suits.

The Wedding Party

I had my 6 favourite ladies in my bridal party - two of them are my younger sisters and whilst I knew exactly the look I was going for - mix and match with romantic midnight and nudes - it was a fairly long (but fun) process to find a dress to suit everyone from 33 to 12 years old, even with my ever changing Photoshop mock ups! I loved the final look so much, they are all such beautiful women anyway, but they looked perfect and individual in their gowns, from the stunning Reformation dark and dramatic ones to the custom Rewritten ones (Fran and Katie were my studio neighbours and helped with a bespoke colour), and the nudes and gold for my sisters looked cool without being too grown up. We all got ready together with my mum in the bridal suite, with Champagne, mint tea, and special songs playing which calmed my pre wedding nerves. Our groomsmen looked so handsome in their dark suits and flecked cream ties. We are lucky that our bridal party are good friends, and they were all staying on site with us, so there was a special vibe amongst the group. On the morning of the wedding the guys had a chill pool party (men have it so easy) and Michael got them all pink Supreme swimming trunks which was hilarious.

The Ceremony

The Chateau team helped us get married legally in France, so we signed the papers at the local Mairie, and had our wedding ceremony in the Chateau gardens with a local celebrant. We wanted our ceremony to feel personal and romantic but also to focus on the commitment of marriage, so we wrote our vows together, it was all really emotional, there were happy tears. We asked my sister Chantelle and best man Matt to perform, they did an acoustic version of “Hallelujah” it’s so beautiful, and makes us well up watching them on video. We also asked our brothers to do a reading each, Silvio read “The Secret of Your Heart” in Italian, and Niko read the lyrics to “God Only Knows” by the Beach Boys. I walked down the aisle with my Papà to “You and Me” by Penny and the Quarters, and Michael and I walked out to a fun confetti toss and “Marry Me” by Alvvays was blaring!

The Entertainment

The Chateau recommended a local accordionist for the Champagne reception which really set the tone for the beginning of our French celebrations! We were fussy about the music for the whole day, and had set playlists for everything, and Michael found a band for the evening party. They did 2 live sets after dinner, kicking off with The Smiths for our first dance, into a fun swing set, and a proper dance party with an indie mosh at the end playing Pulp, Weezer and Blink 182. It was so fun and totally worth bringing the band over from London.

The Food & Cake

The Chateau have a talented team of bakers and chefs, they grow lots of organic produce on site in their vegetable garden which is cool, and meant we could be really flexible with our choices. We had so many compliments on the food, from our French farmhouse Champagne picnic on the Dordogne, to wedding day oysters mignonette, saucisson, seared scallops, cured salmon, tender beef fillet, divine local cheeses, excellent French wines and cocktails flowed all weekend. Our spectacular Croquembouche profiterole wedding cake tower was made in-house and filled with Vanilla, Hazelnut and Salted Caramel Chantilly cream, sugar spun and finished with sparklers, it was divine and served us well into the next day. The French cuisine and high quality local produce really shone, Nick the head chef was inventive and up for a challenge, making amazing veggie dishes, wood fired pizzas, and a huge brunch of Huevos Rancheros to see us on our way when we sadly had to leave on the Monday!

The Photography & Videography

Our photographer was Fern Edwards and our videographers This Modern Revelry. I found Fern as she had shot at the venue before, and we wanted someone who knew the Chateau - where the best light was and the secret spots, and the tone of her candid photography style is exactly what we wanted, she is really talented at capturing organic colours and a relaxed vibe. The autumn light was soft and romantic and Fern totally got it grabbing us for a sunset stroll, and even taking a midnight slow shutter speed pic of the stars and night sky as we partied - as she knew that was special to us. We loved Laura and Alan’s fun and modern style of videography, they are really hard working and really good at what they do, the grading and editing is perfect, we’re so glad we picked them. When we watch their video it feels just like how we remembered it, captured perfectly - something I had heard wasn’t always the case with videographers - and Alan bringing out a drone was a very cool touch! We had a laugh with them throughout the day - which was important to help us relax into the awkwardness of being infront of the lens.


My main words of advice, however well planned - shit does happen - we broke down in our VW Camper on the way to France and had to abandon it (and it was meant to be our Photo Booth and our honeymoon accommodation!) half our guests had their flights cancelled from London and Italy by Ryan Air the week before our wedding, things don’t turn up, or aren’t as expected - but it doesn’t matter on the day. There really is nothing like the overwhelming happiness you feel to have all your favourite people in one place celebrating your commitment to each other, it’s the only time in your life you have this opportunity, and it lives up to your expectations and more I promise! During the planning process it’s important not to lose sight of the reason for all of this - you two. Make sure your decisions reflect who you are as a couple - details and personal touches make the big day unique and special for you and your guests. On the day make sure you have a special newlywed WE DID IT moment in private, and enjoy the romance of it all - that’s what’s at the heart of it.
Fern Godfrey

Written by Fern Godfrey

Videography: This Modern Revelry | Bride: Catherine Deane | Headpiece : Luna Bea | Shoes: Stuart Weitzman | Floral Design : Kitten Grayson Flowers | Venue: Chateau Rigaud | Bridesmaids: Rewritten | Reformation | Groom: Aquascutum | Tie: Saint Laurent | Shoes: Gucci | Stationery & Signage: Lamplighter London | Evening Band: Academy Function Band

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