En Provence.

French Header

You may have noticed over the last couple of months that we’ve showcased a veritable display of French Weddings. From Cecile and Kevin’s chic Parisian soiree to Olivia and Marc’s dreamy provencal do, we’ve really been a little bit spoilt with all this loveliness.

Spoilt and inspired too…

Which is why this week’s inspiration post is inspired by the chic nation that is the French.

Rather than taking the luxurious route reminiscent of Versailles fashion, the moodboards below are suggestive of a simpler, more understated provincial charm.

Les Belle Dames

Lighthearted and bright, ‘Les Belle Dames’ is all about adding a modern twist to elegant classics. Simpler silhouettes are the watchwords here with the look less about the volume and more about finely crafted materials and tailoring.

French brides prefer freer flowing fabrics with silk and crepe being the most popular materials of choice. Add a touch of lace draped softly over the shoulders and down the back and the look is pure elegance.

Les Belle Dames

One or two key accessorises are all that’s needed to compliment the look. I particularly love a knotted veil, a string of small seed pearls knotted down the back or a delicate headpiece. Beauty looks are simpler too with a soft rosy hue and neutral eyes being the order of play.

Top off the look with a soft chignon or a loosely woven fishtail plait.

Campagne Chic

Campagne chic is all about looking as if you’ve spent a lazy Sunday afternoon at a Paris flea market and picked up a a few glorious finds in the process.

From forgotten watering cans to flaking washbowls and loved, worn tables, it’s all about finding understated charm in simple everyday objects. If this is your style then it’s so easy to integrate these props into your home decor after the big day is over too making them a real investment for your married future.

Props always help to really bring a theme to life; scrawl French phrases onto decadently shaped blackboards, prop up village bikes complete with baskets full of baguettes or opt for calligraphried invitations in a style similar to French script.

Campagne Chic

Channel Marie Aintoinette by creating salon styled seating areas for your guests using elaborate chairs, French cushions and sweet love seats. Finish the look like stringing reclaimed chandeliers from the ceiling or even from nearby trees.

I particularly love the idea of gifting padlocks to coupled up guests as wedding favours inscribed with their initials and finished with a ribbon flourish. Leave them a key so they can secure their love locks somewhere close to their hearts.

Les Jolie Fleurs

Did you know that it’s a French tradition to offer sprigs of lily-of-the-valley to your loved ones on May Day. Now that’s exactly the kind of tradition I adore so I couldn’t resist including a sweet posy of this flower as part of this moodboard.

If lily-of-the-valley doesn’t float your boat or if you’re looking to inject a bit of colour into your day then Lavender just screams French provencal charm. Try adding it to your table centrepieces to add both a visual punch as well as a beautiful scent to your surroundings. Alternatively why not place a few stems at each guest’s setting for them to take away as a keepsake of the day.

Les Jolies Fleurs

Try thinking outside the flowerbox when it comes to housing your beautiful blooms. Sourcing antique milk churns, bike baskets and old planters or even wrapping plant pots in brown paper and string are all fantastic ways of achieving this look. I particularly love the idea of a ‘flower table’ pictured in the moodboard above full to bursting with a myriad of different jugs, pots and vases. You can just smell those blooms from here can’t you.

Lastly, why not wrap the ends of your bouquet in antique French velvet ribbon as a subtle nod to your ‘something old’.

Sur La Table

This concoction of pretty was influenced by an image that I’ve been cultivating in my imagination for some time. You see for me, a French wedding revolves mostly around the culinary delights offered at the reception so I wanted to recreate a scene that I feel epitomises a perfect Gallic knees-up.

Think rustic chairs and tables scattered outside under the trees adorned with mismatched plates of cheese and wine. Candles or festoon lighting providing the perfect amount of illumination and the prettiest of napkins to lay on your lap.

Sur La Table

If you’re after a more luxurious feel opt for opulent chairs, exquisite tableware and lots and lots of flowers. Leaving gifts at guests’ settings adds to the luxe look too – squares of dark French chocolate, a exquisitely wrapped mini baguette or handmade soaps all work equally well.

More than anything it’s about creating an atmosphere rather than a specific look. If you’ve got the right ambience then nothing else really matters.

La Patisserie

If there’s a nation that raise cakey treats to an art form then it’s the French.

You name it, they’ve made it – macarons, fruit tartlets, gateaus and the piece de resistance – the croquembouche. There’s literally something for everyone.

Why not serve small portions of gateau for dessert or even small fruit tartlets with a pot of lavender infused cream and a rustic napkin. If you’re looking for something that pushes your feminine buttons then choosing a sweet cake stand piled with macarons in candy shades topped with a bow is a surefire way to tick that box.

Presentation is just as much a key to this look as the savoury delights of your treats so allocate a portion of your time to styling the look. Garnishing the cakes themselves as well as their surroundings with florals in keeping with your wider theme is one way to do this; sourcing antique French cake knives and slices is another.

La Patisserie

I love the idea of sourcing vintage cake knives for each of your tables, allowing guests to serve themselves whilst engendering that community feel at the same time.

So folks, what do you think?

Does the Gallic way of doing things float your boat?

Interestingly, I read an article not so long back written by the BBC which discussed how the French were looking to the Brits for inspiration for their big day. Apparently they like the fun and light-hearted elements that British brides incorporate into their nuptials and are beginning to emulate it themselves.

Who knew? If the beeb says it’s true then who are we to disagree…

All my love Lolly xxxx

28 thoughts on “En Provence.

  1. Ooh la la Lolly. J’adoring!

    My friend had a French theme for her wedding, it was beautiful and most importantly, I ate my my body weight in macaroons. I do love this theme. Enjoying the cake knives too, I found a beautiful antique cake knife on a trip to the Peak District for our day but maybe I just need to buy LOADS.

    Gorgeous images as per, and getting me excited for our honeymoon in the South of France! Bon. xx

  2. Erm, I am now looking for an excuse to wear a skirt with a striped bussle…I accept that this may be tough…I don’t think a bussle is required for tonight’s exciting task of laundry and catching up with “The Following” on SkyPlus while eating a curly wurly…I do have date night with the girls on Saturday but I am unsure Stockton Heath in Warrington is ready for a bussle…Warrington isn’t ready for most things…

    I would also literally die if I found my seat at a wedding and someone had wrapped up for me my own individual French stick…in fact, next time I have a dinner party – well, really the first time I have a dinner party seeing as I cannot cook – I am going to do this. I think you’re ok to serve up Spaghetti hoops if you are giving me an individually wrapped French stick?

    And, as for that spotted table cloth – I think every bride should have one.


  3. A post that sings to my heart as a blogger dedicated to French weddings. I love the gold Louis style chairs adding that opulant touch and French style weddings are suited to eclectic shappy chic themes decorated with thrift and flea market purchases. J’adore! xx

  4. So so pretty! I think we may have borrowed quite a few of these elements for our wedding without even probably realising it!

    I also think ‘Eat more Cake’ may be my new life motto! I blame you Lolly when I can’t fit through doors anymore 😛


  5. Get me some of that tart right now…sorry…baby want what baby wants.

    Also, Becky wants what Becky wants. And she wants the face of the girl with the coral earrings.

    Bloody gorgeous.

  6. @pamela – I think it is perfectly acceptable to serve spaghetti hoops, especially if you also provide grated cheese.

    @Becky – I want the earrings!!!

    @Monique – I did think of you when Lolly was putting this post together 🙂

    Charlotte xxx

  7. @Pamela @Charlotte – I served alphabetti spaghetti on Valentines Night. Our ‘special romantic dinner’ is always chicken nuggets, smiley faces and spaghetti shapes served with dandelion & burdock and thick buttered sliced white bread. It’s literally the best treat ever. Now I know how to improve it… the individually wrapped french stick.

    We’re so common. xx

  8. @Karen – Last night James cooked me a breaded chicken breast with a poached egg on top. At first I wasn’t sure but now I’m a convert. I too had thick white bread with salted lurpack on…. so healthy.


    Charlotte x

  9. Loving all the images used in this Lolly. I think I’ve already repinned them to death over on Pinterest.

    I’m not even engaged… but one thing I already know, macarons will be involved in as many aspects of my wedding as possible. I adoooore them… Maybe avoid having them on a dress though…

    @Karen that romantic dinner sounds like the best thing ever. It’s also very close to one of the first meals Danny ever cooked me… I’ll leave it to you to ask him about that though!

  10. @Charlotte – seriously, grated cheese…unless I buy the pre-grated stuff it won’t be happening at my place…I don’t own a grater…is that what they are called? Those darlek looking kitchen implements? I could do you a Laughing Cow Light triangle though…

    @Becky and @Charlotte – Accessorize have some very very very similar coral earrings in at the moment…I know because I donned a pair in London this weekend. They are the purse pleasing price of £5.99…or maybe even £4.99…but what’s in a quid!


  11. @Karen – Smiley Faces – well northern. My sixth form boyfriend never understood why Smiley Faces and Waffles were basically the same good group and used to serve them up on the same plate with beans. Obviously I was a big fatty when I was going out with him!

  12. @Sophie never mind macaroons, I want to see photos of the heart shaped scones you and your Nan made today!

    @Pamela – Lee was convinced that Laughing Cow cheese was called Naughty Cow cheese so that’s now what we call it in our house.

  13. @Sophie – A heart shaped scone? I beg your pardon? Two questions – Are you coming to the Pop Up Shops and are you going to bring us some?!!!

    I love scones with cream and jam more than wine.

  14. @Charlotte hahaha
    1 – of course I am coming to the Pop Up Shop, try and keep me away.
    2 – Scones can definitely be arranged….
    3 – We may be bringing RMW a present along anyway!

    I’m with you though, I could eat scones with jam and cream all day long.

  15. Good grief this post has turned into a veritable food fest! But I LIKE it.

    Is this the wrong time to say that I absolutely hate eggs. With a passion.

    @Karen you know my mantra is more is always more so go right ahead and buy a cartload of cake knives – you know you want to. Also in a totally unrelated case my smallest sister fed my cat Dairylea sandwiches when she was supposed to be cat-sitting. Not surprisingly, the cat was sick. A lot. And I was not a happy bunny.

    @Sophie pin away sweetheart, pin away! And I want a heart-shaped scone!

    @Pamela glad to see you’re back sweetheart – we’ve missed you.

  16. @pamela Now I want to buy the earrings…but I don’t feel I can rock a dangly with the cropped do. Makes me ears look humongous. Maybe they would balance out with my belly these days though. Definitely worth a try methinks…esp for that bargainous price!

  17. OH Lolly you’ve made me all hungry!!!
    I just want to go home & gorge on bread cheese & wine now :-/

    Fabulous pics as always! Loving the cake with the lavender & leaves adorning it. Am wondering if I can achieve a similar effect with my tower of cheese! 🙂

  18. Beautiful, beautiful post. Especially love the cake decorated with lavender. I look forward to coming home to my daily dose of pretty every day! By the way Lolly, I was looking through my uni awards ceremony book today, and saw your name! x

  19. What is it about the French way of life that most brits would accept in a heartbeat? Their food is traditional without stealing from other cultures. Their clothes are elegant while being understated. They even love their tax inspectors! What a nation

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