Lauren the Bride: When I began searching for my wedding dress I knew I wanted something with a boho style but still a little bit different to something I would wear on a usual basis. I always said the look I was trying to channel was 'elvish princess chic.' I found the designer Daalarna after lots of Pinterest and Instagram searching and travelled down to the White Room in Mullingar in the South of Ireland to try on the dress I thought I wanted. When I arrived however there was a dress in the window which immediately caught my attention and after trying both on, I realised that it was the one. I knew because I couldn't stop smiling when I put it on! My shoes were beautiful handmade greek leather sandals from Dimitras Workshop on Etsy.
Jonny knew that he didnt want very formal attire, partly due to the warmer climate in France and partly due to the fact that he's a pretty laidback guy! He ended up choosing a stylish waistcoat and chinos from Suitor Bros based in Belfast and he wore shoes from Ted Baker. The groomsmen wore matching outfits, and we purchased them beautiful blue cufflinks as gifts, along with engraved whiskey glasses that read, “Friendship is a lot like whiskey, the older the better.” Can't beat a shot of whiskey at 11am!
I found the bridesmaids dress online, from a brand called Show me your Mumu. They had the perfect laidback, boho style that I was looking for. The bridesmaids each wore a different style of dress and these were paired with sandals from Dune and a random assortment of gold bangles.
My makeup artist was Virginie'e Maquilleuse. She has such a beautiful soul and was completely professional at her job. Her makeup really enhanced everyone's natural beauty and we were all over the moon. I was also blessed to have the amazing Ally from Vintage Me hairstyling as one of my guests on the day. Initially I had planned that we would all do our own hairstyling, but I'm so glad that I decided to give the job to Ally. She really is amazing at what she does and managed to turn us all into boho beauties!!
We always knew that we wanted a destination wedding. We love our adventures, so our wedding seemed like the perfect excuse to have one big fun filled adventure in the sunshine surrounded by our closest family and friends. We also happen to really enjoy our wine and cheese so perhaps that was another major factor in helping us decide to have our party in France.. Initially, finding a venue was quite a daunting prospect. We came across Chateau le Tour after months of internet searching and decided to fly over and visit. I'm so glad we did this because it made the decision so easy. We immediately fell in love with the place, the owners Ed and Ineke who are originally from Holland were the most warm, friendly people and made us feel like the Chateau was our second home. The chateau was nestled amongst trees, the gardens overlooked a beautiful valley with breathtaking views and was home to the horses from the riding school next door. It was simply magical and from then on our decision was easy.
Colour Scheme/ Décor / Florist
We wanted to keep things rustic and let nature be the focus, so I guess green was the colour scheme. I think you don't really need a theme when you have such beautiful surroundings and we hoped to have the entire thing outdoors if the weather allowed it. I designed and painted the wedding invites myself and for the stationery on the day we kept it very simple and just had simple calligraphy name places with sprigs of fresh rosemary from Ineke's herb garden. Louise my aunt painted the seating plan for me and I painted the welcome sign. I searched for English speaking florists as to me the flowers are one of the most important aspects and I wanted to be able to communicate well. I wanted the flowers to be the main accessory for the bridal party and knew that I wanted everyone in the bridal party to wear flowers in their hair. I honestly couldn't have been more lucky to have found Le Coeur Sauvage. Her style was perfect and she just totally got what I wanted plus she was a fellow Irishwoman so that's probably what sealed the deal. I remember being nervous to see what they would look like on the morning of the wedding but I shouldn't have been because they were absolute perfection. They also put together the beautiful floral arch which was the main backdrop for the ceremony and went over and above their duty helping my family and friends with the set up on the morning of the wedding. We hired all our props from Oui Mon Coeur. She had a beautiful range of items to offer and was very helpful in sourcing items that I wanted like the beautiful rugs to line the wedding aisle and even my over the top request to have a Tip!! Her styling was on point and really made the day picture perfect. For our table decoration the lighting was definitely the main focus. We used natural eucalyptus runners with candles, glass bottles filled with fairy lights and brass candlesticks. Above everything was a beautiful string of edison bulbs and festoons. Next to our tipi tent we had a smore bar and a fire pit for our guests to enjoy after the main meal. One of the most memorable props was an old bathtub that we were able to lift down from the attic of the chateau, this thing had probably been up there for 50 years! We cleaned it thoroughly, filled it with ice and used it as the bar to store all of our chilled bottles...my Dad even decided he would hop in to cool down in at the end the night! A memory that will last forever!!
The ceremony was definitely the most special part of the day. I walked down the isle to the intro of 'The Sky and the Dawn and the Sun' by Celtic woman' which honestly was the most magical surreal moment and we laughed our way back down the isle to a trumpet version of 'Africa' by Toto. We had a Christian ceremony reflecting our faith and beliefs as this was very important to us. Our close friend Mark carried out the service and we switched up the vows a bit to make them more meaningful. Jonny choked up a little during his vows and got a bit teary eyed as did most of the guests! We had asked one of our favourite folk bands Cup 'O' Joe to come out and play for our wedding, and during the service they performed a beautiful version of Amazing Grace. Two of our uncles and a close friend then did readings for us and at the close of the service Mark gave us each a wooden cross, made from an olive tree in Bethlehem. After the ceremony there was a champagne drinks reception and tapas. We also had kilner jars set up with bride and grooms recommended cocktail, dark 'n' stormy and a strawberry gin smash, these lasted around 5 seconds!
As previously mentioned we were incredibly lucky to have Cup 'O' Joe fly out from Ireland for our wedding. They are an amazingly talented bluegrass and jazz band and they performed for a few hours after the main meal. The party was the main event and only started at about 12am. We set the dance floor up on the porch of the chateau which was surrounded by fairy lights. We didn't have a DJ but rented a sound system and blasted our own playlist until very late.. Jonny's highlight was managing to peer pressure 30 guests into having a shot of whiskey! My highlight was definitely recreating the dirty dancing scene and flying through the air to be caught by all my girls!!
Ed and Ineke, the owners of the chateau flew in their friend Jelle from Holland. Jelle is a top chef and owns his own restaurant. He put together a fabulous menu for us. Together with Ed, Ineke and their friends the service was impeccable. It was finished with a selection of desserts and a smelly stack of french cheeses sourced locally which we opted for instead of a cake.. just how we like it!
We first met our amazing photographers Adam and Grace at a friends wedding back in Ireland, Jonny and I weren't engaged at this point so we joked about having them shoot our wedding when the time came! We got in touch with them a few years later and they just happened to be in France the same week photographing a wedding 30 mins away from our chateau! It was fate. They made us feel so comfortable from the offset and were perfect for our relaxed style effortlessly mingling with our guests and capturing all of those special moments!
A wedding video was always a must for us and we have no regrets. We were friends with Andrew from years ago and together with Wilson they made a great team! We have always loved the video style of Head and Heart Films as they have a special way of capturing the day so naturally, sometimes we even completely forgot they were there! We hope you enjoy the video as much as we do.