An elegant, white and green filled wedding in France is just what the doctor ordered for this miserable, rainy British day. Gemma and Spyros’ big day was planned to perfection by Marry Me In France, and every last detail is just gorgeous.
Images come from Darek Smietana, whose work has been featured many times here on RMW, if you’re planning a French wedding, he’s the one for you. We just love his natural yet considered style.
Our French Destination Wedding
Gemma the Bride: We had always dreamed of turning our wedding into a holiday, to steal away our friends and family for a few days of quality time so as soon as we got engaged we were on the hunt for our destination wedding location! Following a small ceremony at Chelsea Registry Office with our immediate family, we had a 3 day wedding party in a beautiful chateau between Bordeaux and Bergerac.
Obsessed with Rock My Wedding from the moment I got engaged, the blog was the first place I looked for a photographer. I knew Spyros would give me a limited amount of photo time on the day so I was on the hunt for someone who could capture the special moments of the day without too much organised posing! I fell in love with Darek Smietana’s beautiful natural shots & his amazing sparkler photos. We didn’t meet him until the day before the wedding but he had such a great energy he made us feel comfortable straight away.
For months we couldn’t decide whether to get a videographer but so glad we did. We didn’t want something too long, and I wasn’t a fan of the soppier videos, instead wanting something upbeat that captured the vibe of the day. Seb from MotionCraftCreative was amazing, and completely understood what we were looking for – he did us a teaser film which was filled with lots of shorter, fun shots and then a slightly longer, slower paced film which captured the speeches and the ceremony.
Blush By Suzanne Neville Wedding Dress
I didn’t think I would be the bride that falls in love with the first dress she saw but that’s exactly what happened. I wanted something timeless but unique and lace doesn’t really suit me, so when I saw Blush by Suzanne Neville I fell in love with its classic shape and beading. I got my veil from Helen Martin Veils via Suzanne Neville.
Because of all of the beautiful beading on my dress I wanted to wear very little jewellery. In the end I only wore earrings, a pair from Carat* London and a hair piece from ForeverNecklace via Etsy. After realising the original pair I had bought from ASOS didn’t work with the dress (1 week before the wedding!), I ended up getting some simple flats from French Sole that matched the colour of the dress perfectly.
Wedding Planner In France
With my dodgy French and desire to have a 3 day affair I knew I was going to need some help and after much googling I found the wedding planners, Marry Me In France (MMIF). From the first meeting I clicked with our planner and founder of MMIF Beth Stretton. We quickly became friends, and spent many an evening discussing how to turn my vision for the day into a reality. Seeing what Beth had pulled together on the day took my breath away – everything was so beautiful and I knew I didn’t need to worry about a thing. Beth was there from dawn organising everything, staying until she made sure the last guests were in their taxi home.
Our wedding planner sourced the florist to provide the flowers for the day. I wanted an abundance of greenery with a touch of white. We re-used the arrangements from the day throughout the weekend so we could save on cost and still achieve the look I wanted.
The Vineyard Villa Wedding Venue in France
After meeting with our wedding planner, she lined us up with a weekend of venue viewings around Bordeaux. The Vineyard Villa was the first venue we saw, and the only one we needed to see! Sitting on top of a hill overlooking the Dordogne the setup of the venue allows you to surprise your guests throughout the day – we had the ceremony on the front lawn, then took the guests through to the balcony with the stunning view of the river for the drinks reception. In the evening, we had the big reveal of the beautiful barn and the hidden bar!
The Decor & Styling
We had loads of beautiful props at the wedding from antique French furniture for the photo booth and chandeliers for the trees to the mirror for the table plan and the gin cart. All were soured from the prop rental & styling company Megan & Claude who drove a van full of the props all the way from the UK.
Our caterers and cake were sourced by our wedding planner. I am gluten and dairy free which is easy to cater for in the UK but I often struggle when I go away. Luckily our planner had a caterer who frequently deals with allergies, plus a baker who has food allergies herself. We had duck for main course, wine sourced from the vineyard next door, a 3 tiered cake with a carrot cake layer and a cheese tower which went down very well in the early hours.
The Wedding Party Fashion
With 6 beautiful but very different bridesmaids, I wanted something that they all felt comfortable in. I got their pale blue dresses from Warehouse. My sister, as the maid of honour wore a pale blue dress from Monsoon with beading that continued the theme of my own dress and my niece had a custom made dress from MillyWeddingshop on Etsy.
Spyros suit, tie and shirt were all from Hackett with Russell & Bromley shoes. The 6 groomsmen and my bridesman all had suits from Next, with bow ties that matched the colour of the bridesmaid dresses from Dickiebow via eBay.
Our wedding invites were from Kismet Weddings. We wanted the menus and order of service to match the style of the wedding invites which Beth sourced for us.
We wanted something a bit different for the ceremony and drinks reception and found the lovely Joel Grainger, a beat boxing violinist, busking on the streets of Bath. Due to our Greek background and Spyros’ love of dance music, we knew finding an evening band in France that would suit our musical needs would be difficult so in the end we decided upon a DJ, sourced by Beth who kept our guests on the d-floor until the early hours.