Chateau weddings don't come much more relaxed than this gorgeous, intimate wedding at the beautiful Chateau De Lisse. Emma and Dan considered many venues in both France and Italy and this one ticked all of their boxes. We can see why - the outdoor ceremony space alone is just stunning, without even mentioning the grounds and charming house! They chose the lovely Oli from McGivern Photography to capture their big day and he truly did it in style, as well as lots of gorgeous shots from the day, it looks like one helluva party went down after dark...and don't worry, we've got the film from MotionCraft Creative for you too, so you can see for yourselves!
Emma The Bride: I wanted a dress that didn’t look like a wedding dress. I wanted to be comfortable and relaxed and I felt a bit silly in some of the more traditional dresses I tried on. Everyone said that what I wore was exactly what they imagined I would wear, which was exactly what I wanted to hear. I didn’t want to look like somebody else on my wedding day. I kept my accessories simple. With my dress being backless I knew I didn’t want a veil, but wanted something that looked slightly bridal, so I wore a hair vine, which I found on Etsy. My jewellery consisted of a beautiful gold chain belonging to Dan’s Grandmother, which Dan’s dad had given to me before the wedding, as well as a pair of diamond stud earrings and a gold bangle, both from Dan’s dad’s jewellers in Bath. My shoes were Valentino Rockstud sandals, which I had fallen in love with but couldn’t justify buying myself. My bridesmaids, flower girls and mum all clubbed together to buy them for me as a wedding present which was a complete surprise. They were without a doubt my favourite part of my wedding outfit!
Dan chose matching linen from a great shop in Bath called Gabucci. His trousers, shirt and tie came from Hacket with his shoes from Russell and Bromley. He also wore his late grandfather's RAF cufflinks.
We always knew we wanted to get married abroad as we dreamt of a sunny day with everyone in full holiday mode. After our engagement in October 2016 we began contacting lots of venues in Italy and France. Our main aim was to have a house that would accommodate both our immediate families, bridesmaids, ushers and their partners. We fell in love with quite a few but became frustrated with what we felt were a few significant hidden costs, which weren’t made clear from the outset. We ended up emailing a few places, being totally explicit with our budget, and Chateau de Lisse said they could do it. We never imagined getting married in such a fairytale location but we are so pleased we did. It was like a dream.
As with my dress, I just wanted to keep things simple. Because the girls and I were all in white, having white flowers and lots of green foliage was exactly the boho look I wanted, especially with it being an outdoor wedding. My only brief to our wonderful florist, Faith, was that I wanted my bouquet to be big...which it was! After deciding on the bridal bouquet and sharing my boho-inspired Pinterest board, it was Faith who also suggested having a handmade macramé hanging on a silver birch frame as the backdrop for our wedding ceremony, and also to have little cloches on each table filled with small white flowers and mosses. All very “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”! She did the most amazing job.
The Wedding Party
I always knew I wanted the girls in white like myself, and originally I had them in the same dresses. However, my sister found out she was pregnant and it encouraged me to change tact and get them all wearing something different, but still keeping with the white theme. I’m so glad we did this because they all wore something that suited their very different personalities and they each got to wear what they wanted. Dan wanted his ushers to be as comfortable as possible but really wanted them in jackets despite the heat. He found some great light blue linen ones from M&S, where he also sourced the rest of their outfits.
Dan’s brother was our celebrant as we opted not to have a religious ceremony. We wrote the whole ceremony ourselves. We had two very close friends do readings. Sophie, one of my bridesmaids, read a poem by Bob Marley – “He’s Not Perfect” and David read a quote from Meet Joe Black. My dad then sang the Leonard Cohen song, Suzanne with a friend, Ryan Gibb, supporting him on guitar. My middle name is Suzanne because it is one of dad’s favourite songs. We wrote our own vows too, which made it completely personal to us.
We had a selection of canapés throughout the reception drinks. For the wedding breakfast there was a terrine de campagne for starter, followed by a sharing platter of surf and turf (steak and king prawns). Dessert was meant to be a Pièce Montée of choux buns / profiteroles but unfortunately the heat melted it so we cut the cheese tower instead and had the choux buns served individually as dessert.
Oliver is an old friend of Dan’s and he also photographed my sister’s wedding last September. His photos were spectacular and we’ve been following his work on social media. He always captures the fun of the weddings he photographs, which is exactly what we wanted. Generally speaking I don’t like photos of myself or like being photographed but Oliver made me feel so relaxed. He was also happy that we didn’t want to do many staged photos as this gave him free reign to capture us naturally. It was great having him there late into the evening, and the following day as well because this enabled him to get in amongst it all, the product of which is brilliant!
We originally hadn’t planned to have a videographer. However, a mixture of being convinced by other married friends and also stumbling across Sebastian’s videos on his website quickly changed that decision. We are so pleased we did it because not only are we thrilled with the videos and how they perfectly capture our day but Sebastian was fantastic to work with. He is a cool character and just got amongst it without us really realising.
Keep it about you and not about other people. It is your day and you must remember that you’ll never be able to please everyone. From location to guest list you have to do what is right for you. On the day just relax and let it be the best day of your lives (it will be!!!) and make sure you spend some time alone together to soak it all in. Also, over order on the booze if you’re supplying your own, you can never have enough booze!