Inspiration

Hands up who's enjoying the mini heat wave we're having in the UK this week. We are, we are! If only we could be poolside like this gorgeous wedding party in the South of France too. Firstly they look incredibly stylish in high street fashion from Needle & Thread, ASOS and Reiss and secondly the whole Le Peit Hameau villa looks picturesque and has made this intimate destination wedding an absolute treat to put together. All the images by Lovestruck Photography are full of joy and ooze a warmth that isn't just the gorgeous mediterranean sun. Do look out for the adorable confetti table too, allowing guests to fill their bag with a chosen herb, each one representing something different so you can shower the couple with loyalty, tranquility and more. Such a genius idea.

Dress

Emily the Bride: I am going to be honest here......for me it wasn’t about getting a designer dress or spending a lot of money on my wedding dress or even the visiting numerous dress shops (the thought of this did not excite me). What I wanted was something that was natural, elegant and would suit a sunny day in Provence and that is exactly what I got from Needle & Thread. The beaded top added texture and sparkle while the flowing skirt was classy and elegant.

The Groom/Best men

Rich wore a classy chino combo from Reiss, that totally suited the South of France. He really didn’t want the whole traditional wedding suit look. He decided on two best men with a similar chino combo.

The Venue

From the beginning, Rich and I knew that we wanted to get married In the South of France so after evenings and evenings of trawling through google we found two venues in Provence. We booked to see both, but the more we looked at them days before visiting, the more we knew Le Peit Hameau was the one. We cancelled the other (risky I know but we knew it would be amazing!). We fell in love with the incredible three villa farmhouse complex the second we pulled up at the gates and knew we could never find anywhere as incredible. What more could we have asked for, three incredible villas with their own pools secluded in their own gardens of lavender bushes and olive trees, walkable from the little French village of Saint Remy de Provence. Mike & Jocelyne from Grand Properties Collections could not have done more to make it such a memorable week.

The Decor

When it came to the décor we knew that we wanted... It was already in place in the gardens (everything French), lavender bushes, olive trees, rosemary bushes, the incredible French farm houses with traditional French shutters. A few little additions from our wedding planner Marjorie from By Mademoiselle just added those personal touches. Marjorie became my best friend for twelve months, she was truly a star and on the day just made it all happen, for that I cannot thank her enough (we did have a little scare of rain too). Eucalyptus in rustic pots, fairy lights, Marjorie brought it all to life. I cannot forget our cork letters of BAR and E&R that my Mum and I made together (those special moments made our planning process so memorable). We love candles so these were a must too. My favorite piece of décor being our confetti table (thank you pinterest for the inspiration) we both love great smells (because they create great memories) so we wanted confetti of dried lavender and rosemary, rose petals so when it was thrown it smelt amazing!

The Flowers

Because our venue was in the most incredible provençal gardens, we felt there was no need for much more, so we kept the flowers very natural, rustic and loose. Lots of greenery (eucalyptus & herbs) with a touch of pale pink. When we met Marjorie a few months before we discussed a few ideas and she just got exactly what I wanted. I didn't see my flowers until the morning, they were everything I had imagined.

Bridesmaids

I had four pretty relaxed bridesmaids (albeit ranged in height by a foot which was a little challenging) so after throwing a few ideas around and one or two bad outfit choices (on my part), good old ASOS came to the rescue. They were absolutely everything we wanted and they looked gorgeous on the day.

The Ceremony

One of the best decisions we made was to keep our wedding small & intimate so when it came to the ceremony we wanted to be outside (we love being outside) and someone to carry out the ceremony who would be able to tell a story of our time together in a relaxed way that suited a garden ceremony and allowed us to add a few personal additions (we handed champagne out to raise a cheers at various points during the ceremony). Again, thank you google and a few phone calls we found Sandi Smith (English Celebrant in France). She was incredible.

The Entertainment

All I had ever wanted was a Saxophonist at our wedding so I have to admit the music was the biggest challenge for us as it can make or break an environment. With a bit of patience, we found an amazing 3 piece band Lizzy Parks who just exceeded all expectations and created such a fabulous vibe as we sipped champagne and ate the best canapés ever. We decided on a DJ (UK DJ’s Abroad) for the evening (which was a bit against where we had our minds set at the start) but we were so glad we went with this option as it was great and we had a full dance most of the night.

The Food

Well what can I say, I think the universe well and truly delivered us the best caterer ever, Steven Borishansky (Stevens Kitchen). From our first skype call we knew he would be awesome but honestly he blew us all away. Our tasting session with him a few months before was such a fun and a memorable experience. My dad disliked goat cheese until Steven came along. Steven was so easy to work with, his experience to create the most delicious food was out of this world. He said something that will stick in my mind forever, “a wedding should be like a musical experience, you should always be excited to discover the rest”. He truly delivered this for us. All the wine and champagne was French (of course) and chosen by our parents who are both French wine lovers. Both our families love good healthy food so this was so important to us and Steven’s passion to cook with local provençal products was just everything we had hoped for. When we thought he could not get any better, his BBQ food the day after blew us away.

The Photography

We used Lovestruck Photography because they shot my Brother and his wife’s wedding a few years prior and they were just incredible. We asked them if they wanted to join us in France and shoot our wedding and they jumped at the chance. They were so easy to deal with and we wanted photographers who were part of our day because it was a small wedding and Juliet and Laimonas did just that. We wanted natural shots that captured emotions, laughter, happiness and just everything Provence – they exceeded our expectations with their pictures. I cannot recommend Juliet and Laimonas enough for any wedding UK or abroad.

Advice

Make sure you chose a good looking wedding party ha! Chose a planner you click with if you are getting married abroad – they just know what they are doing and make it work. Do exactly what you want to do, don’t listen to anyone else as everyone has an opinion. Don’t let it take over your life planning it. We didn’t want our wedding to be just one day so the majority of our guests came for the week and one of the most memorable parts for us was the whole week around the wedding, fun, amazing food and wine, laughter, games! Was truly the best week ever!

Written by Lorna Shaw

Wedding Planner: By Mademoiselle | Venue: Le Peit Hameau | Catering: Steven's Kitchen | Band: Lizzy Park's | DJ: UK DJ's Abroad | Dress: Needle & Thread | Hair : Agnes Caneri | Makeup Artist: Ylva Langenskiold | Jewellery: Townsend's UK | Groom's Suit: Reiss

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