Lenora Gown Wtoo By Watters
Belle & Alex:
I chose my dress after visiting only one boutique. This was not my original intention as it put quite a bit of pressure on me to make a decision, but I just didn't realise how long it would take to make a wedding dress! From engagement to wedding day was only 7 months so when I went shopping for the dress 6 months prior to the date, it was actually my last opportunity to order a dress. Thankfully the dress I found was perfect and 100% the one for me!
Having to make a choice so quickly was not easy as I didn't really know what I wanted; I just knew what I didn't want! I'm sure this made me a tricky customer to the lovely team in Lace and Grace
, Keynsham, Bristol. But alongside my mum and bridesmaid I found the gorgeous Lenora gown from Wtoo By Watters
. It really was exquisite. The authentic lace, capped sleeves, subtle pearlised beads, exposed back made this dress the perfect lightweight, floaty, feminine dress that I knew would work beautifully in our Southern French Chateau setting.
I also wore a beautiful veil, which was also made by the team at Lace and Grace
. They took some of the same lace of my dress and added it to the trim; it was beautiful. Shame I only got to wear it for 3 steps down the aisle before my toddler son ripped it from my hair!
My hair and makeup I did myself, being a bridal makeup artist
and working in the cosmetics industry for the last 14 years it seemed only natural! (and not to mention a big money saver!)
The ties were actually the biggest nightmare of the whole wedding! I genuinely believe that more time was spent looking at, picking out and ordering ties than anything else I organised. I think over the course of about a month, nearly 50 ties came and went from our house as we tried to find the right colour. The colour I wanted didn't seem to exist! Something that caused my husband to not only tease me mercilessly but almost break off the engagement. I wanted what I described as a “soft pewter gold, with not too much yellow and not metallic looking” true to form; I knew what I didn't want! Eventually and thankfully, if not slightly irritatingly, Alex ended up finding the ties himself when he went to pick up his suit from having it tailored at Hugo Boss
. By that point I was at the end of my tether, and frankly could not face looking at another tie (and not to mention time had run out to keep looking!) so regardless of cost Alex was instructed to purchase immediately for himself and the groomsmen.
Destination Wedding In France
When Alex proposed we were on holiday in Portugal with our best friends. As this included my bridesmaid we naturally spent the rest of the week talking weddings! It may have been our location while talking weddings, it may have been the copious amounts of wine, but we (my bridesmaid and I!) decided Southern France would be the perfect venue!
The actual venue itself I found during the many hours spent scrolling through anything wedding related on Instagram. Chateau de Redon
was the first possible venue that I loved that made my list. The beautiful old chateau is in the Dordogne region of Southern France, and is a venue that can be hired out for parties, holidays events etc. I could see enough from the pictures to know that this place was worth taking a look. When we visited it was a dreary wet and windy, grey November day, but even with the overcast weather and dull skies, the potential of this place was undeniable and we knew instantly that we wanted to get married there. It was the perfect location for our intimate wedding party of our nearest and dearest!
Anita, the owner of the venue can also be hired as your wedding planner, and seeing neither my hubby to be or myself could speak a huge amount of French we definitely thought this would make it easier to liaise with suppliers! Anita did a fair amount of sourcing and arranging our requirements and provided us with a good selection of suppliers to choose from. Anita was completely charming and helped us enormously to create our vision and we are eternally grateful to her for making everything so wonderful and going above and beyond expectations.
Naturally Beautiful Wedding
One of the main reasons why we were so drawn to having our wedding in France was that it was really important to us to do everything outside. This is one of the many reasons why we fell in love with Chateau de Redon as the extensive gardens and the view of the valley were simply breath taking. Being such a beautiful venue set overlooking the valley of lush green country side, it simply felt to me that it didn't need much decorating! And when it came to choosing flowers and decorations I actually wanted to keep it really simple. I felt that fussy flower arrangements would've been lost and just wasn't needed with all the natural beauty of the place. I simply wanted to reflect all the nature and for that to flow into the table decorations and bouquets.
We had the ceremony and drink reception under the shade of the trees of the orchard facing out over the stunning view of the valley. The chairs we hired were in a soft pale wood which complimented the cool tones of the stonework in the building, Faith decorated these chairs with foliage. We later moved to the other side of the chateau to where the wedding breakfast was set up under the larger more majestic trees in the gardens of the chateau. We had two long banquet tables set up which fitted our small party of 33 perfectly.
After the feast the party flowed to a small courtyard in front of the converted barns. For the evening-do this area was decorated with hanging festoon bulb lighting, little candle lights in the trees, and large barrels that were used as bar tables.
We last minute asked the band to set up outside in front of the big barn doors, under the bulb lighting. This was one of our best spontaneous decisions we made as this really made the party so special for us. We had concerns that our small party would look a bit lost in the large party space of the barn, so the change of plan meant our guests were all in the small place and we were able to enjoy the great outdoors some more! It really was very magical dancing under the stars!