Inspiration

The delicate pastel colour scheme of this destination wedding, combined with the rustic decor and stunning French Chateau de Lartigolle as the backdrop make this one incredible outdoor wedding. I love the mis-match cool mint bridesmaid gowns from the highstreet teamed with blush pink blooms and eucalyptus, and I couldn't agree more with bride Jen when she says not to rule out any dresses, as the designs you think you won't like could in fact turn out to be the one! Just like Jen's breathtaking Jesús Peiró 3000 gown. Now just before you whiz off to book a traditional French countryside retreat (because believe me you'll want to), sit back relax and enjoy every last image from the super talented Petar Jurica.

Engagement

Jen The Bride: We got engaged in June 2015 in Paris over breakfast and presents during a surprise weekend trip for my birthday (or so I thought!). We celebrated with a fantastic Parisian food tour and perhaps it was then that the idea of a French wedding with great food was born.

Chateau de Lartigolle

Our families were all over the world (Sweden, France, Malta, Dubai…) so we were not tied to any particular location for our venue. After scouring the internet we found Chateau de Lartigolle and instantly we loved what we saw – there was only one option, a road trip to France! We took a quick trip to see my family in Morzine and then jumped in a tiny French rental car to cross over the Alps to visit the Chateau. We didn’t plan to look at any other venues, I think we both just had a feeling that this was going to be it and how right we were. Chateau de Lartigolle is a traditional French country house filled with charm, tasteful design and surrounded by the lovely countryside of Gers, Midi-Pyrenees.

Bride

When I started I really didn't know what type of dress I wanted. I went to lots of lovely London boutiques and initially I was drawn to close fitting gowns with lots of lace. However, I happened to see the beautiful Jesús Peiró 3000 dress on another girl when visiting Morgan Davies. It was the polar opposite of what I had been looking for but the design was so timeless.  As soon as I tried it on, it already felt like mine. I lowered the back slightly and added a very simple cathedral length tulle veil (also from Morgan Davies). My shoes were from Emmy London - beautiful hand embroidered shoes in the softest leather. Probably my most extravagant purchase but I love them! I did my own make up and my younger sister Melanie styled my hair. I felt amazing on my wedding day and to all those ladies who have ruled out a 'big' dress - don't! Just try one, it is so much fun!

Groom

Chris wore a blue three piece from New & Lingwood. We replaced the black buttons with brown, added a crisp white pocket square and ditched the tie for a more relaxed look. Given it was 34 degrees on the day, that turned out to be a very good decision!

Jewellery

Chris and I wore handmade Sami reindeer hide bracelets courtesy of Ask & Embla (brown for Chris and gold and ivory for me), one of many nods to my Swedish heritage. We had chosen rose gold wedding bands (to match my engagement ring) from 77 Diamonds. Clearly on the same page, I gave Chris some rose gold mother of pearl cufflinks from Tateossian London to complement his ring and Chris surprised me with a beautiful pair of rose gold earrings from Monica Vinader.

Bridesmaids

We wanted our bridesmaids’ dresses to reflect their own styles but with a common colour theme to tie them together and we found a variety of dresses in soft mint green from Ted Baker and Banana Republic that worked perfectly. The ushers wore navy three pieces from Alexandre of England. Our niece Ciara was flower girl with a pretty beaded ivory dress from Monsoon and our little nephew Olof wore a white shirt and grey waistcoat with an adorable checked bowtie.

Styling and design

Lartigolle is an enchanting place. From the moment you step through the gates, everything is just perfect: the natural beauty surrounding the chateau and its beautifully decorated rooms. We just wanted to compliment that natural beauty so we opted for gold details, lots of soft pale pink flowers and an abundance of eucalyptus.

We chose a crescent shaped seating arrangement for the ceremony with three long tables in the courtyard for dinner. The tables were dressed with trawling eucalyptus and lots of block candles which looked so gorgeous. Emma, one of the many talented owners of Lartigolle locally sourced and arranged our flowers with a lovely mix of astilbe, spray roses, jasmin, white scabies and sweet pea. She also prepared the lovely bouquets for the bridal party and Helen at Lartigolle prepared all of our stunning flower crowns, hair combs and boutonnieres. Anna Mill supplied our fingerprint guest book and my older sister Nicole designed our table plan, place settings and name tags. We sourced some local sunflower seeds which we kept inside little personalized packets from Notonthehighstreet.com for our wedding favours.

The Wedding Day

The ceremony was held in the pasture behind the chateau. It was a very hot day so guests were whisked down to the shade of the large trees sheltering the ceremony area with a summer welcome cocktail (and fans). Chris and I aren’t religious (and we got legally married in London a month or so before) so we had a humanist ceremony led by the lovely Claudia from Celebrants in France. This gave us free reign over the content of the ceremony. We struggled choosing specific readings so decided to have a number of guests deliver our favourite quotes from films, books and poems from their seats which worked very well. My sister Melanie also read a poem she wrote for us both (which got the tears flowing!).

Entertainment

Our band, the fantastic and chic XY Duo played us out and delivered a relaxed acoustic set for our reception before taking centre stage after dinner with an upbeat set that got everyone dancing on the rug dancefloor arranged under the lights of the courtyard - one of my favourite set-pieces of the day. After our first dance under those lights (magical) and dessert (heaven) we were all led down by lantern light to the cave under the chateau to dance the night away in Club de Lartigolle.

The Food & Drink

The food at Lartigolle was amazing. Words don’t do it justice – all cooked and served to perfection by Nick, Emma and the Lartigolle team (we said they were multi-talented). Our menu was very fitting for a French summer’s day – avocado mousse, pots of fresh prawns, exciting salads, crispy confit duck legs and a delightful vanilla and chocolate croque-en-bouche. All courses were designed as sharing platters in keeping with the relaxed and intimate feel of the day. We ordered bottles of Västkust Snaps to the chateau from Sweden so we could toast our speeches and enjoy a round (OK, two) of Swedish snaps songs with our guests. Lartigolle even ventured to their nearest IKEA to source our preferred snaps glasses!

Photography

Our wedding photographer was Petar Jurica, a lovely guy and so hugely talented. Chris and I both loved his approach of telling a story with his photos and we have to complement him also on his ability to seemingly be everywhere! We look at our photos a lot (nearly every day!) and they really do capture our wedding day so perfectly, we couldn’t be happier with them.

Written by Lorna Shaw

Dress Designer: Jesús Peiró | Bridal Boutique: Morgan Davies Bridal | Bridal Shoes: Emmy London | Bridesmaid Dresses: Ted Baker | Banna Republic | Flower Girl: Monsoon | Grooms Suit: New & Lingwod | Groomsmen: Alexander London | Venue: Chateau de Lartigolle | Fingerprint Guest Book: Anna Mill | Table Plan: Nicole Milla Ticker | Sunflower Seeds: Not On The High Street | Celebrant: Celebrants in France | Entertainment: XY Duo

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