Louise the Bride:
Having found our venue I knew that I wanted a dress that suited that; lightweight, comfortable and not at all princessey. Living in Paris, I wasn't short of options and when I came across Marie Laporte
I knew I had found the place I was going to buy my dress. It was such a wonderful experience going there, it was a beautiful studio where you felt instantly relaxed. I feel like I tried on most of their 2017 collection and loved them all, it took me a couple of days to decide which one was ‘the one’ but I’m so happy with my choice,. Paired with flat shoes (from White Ribbon
), I felt so at ease in it and didn’t want to take it off at the end of the night! I’ve since had it cut so I’m waiting for an opportunity to be able to wear it again!
Seb always had in mind that he wanted a grey, textured suit and as soon as we walked into Father&Sons
, he found it. He changed the buttons to brown and matched them with his belt and shoes. The groomsman all wore their own suits, and strangely enough they all turned up in dark blue so it felt like we had planned it.
As Seb and I met and now live in Paris, I always thought that we would get married in England, where I’m from. Seb was really keen on this but his one requirement was that we could dance our way into the early hours, as French weddings tend to go on until at least 5am. Struggling to find a venue in the UK that offered that, we decided to get into the swing of things by visiting Chateau de Séréville
in Burgundy. As soon as we stepped foot into the beautiful house and glimpsed the incredible grounds, we knew that it was where we were going to get married.
As we were focused on an outdoor wedding in the French countryside, we spent Sundays searching car boot sales for an array of mismatching pots, containers and vases and the day before the wedding the bridesmaids and I went to a local garden centre and bought a whole load of different colours and types of flowers and filled all our pots with these. Seb and his friends are an incredibly handy bunch and they built our photo-booth and designed all the signs we had around the venue. The day before we had so many wonderful people helping us set everything us, from my best friend standing for hours holding the ceremony arch whilst the boys figured out how to get it to stand up, to my sister and her friend carting the hundred or so chairs across the field in a rickety old cart, we were so very lucky to have their help and it helped make the wedding full of personal touches.
After the venue recommended a florist (Au Cyclamen) to us, I exchanged a few emails with them and sent them some pictures of the kind of flowers I wanted but after that, radio silence. The day before the wedding, I nervously went to see them to check everything was in order and couldn’t believe what they had created. They had made centrepieces that perfectly fitted our vases and the bouquets and buttonholes were so beautiful. On the day of the wedding they came and set everything up for us and charged us a mere 300€ for everything, they couldn’t have done a better job.
The Wedding Party
I loved looking for my bridesmaids dresses! I had seen some Adrianne Papell
dresses that I had fallen in love with but were way out of my budget. I was browsing the House of Fraser
website one day when I saw them in the sale and bought them straight way without even asking the bridesmaids what they thought (I think this was my only bridezilla moment!). Miraculously, they all fitted them perfectly. I wanted them to be quite etheral like my wedding dress and I matched them with gold hair clips in the shape of leaves, they looked gorgeous!
We officially got married a couple of days before, so our ceremony wasn’t a legal one. However, what we had was far more sentimental to us as we had two of our best friends, Georgia and Jon conduct it. We had no idea what they were going to say and were completely blown away by what they wrote for us As half the congregation was French and half English, Georgia spoke in English and Jon in French and we had readings in both languages. We wrote our own vows and originally, I was going to do mine in French and Seb do his in English, but when I told my sister this, she was so sad that she wouldn’t understand what I was saying that we did them twice each, once in each language.
My friends Sinead and Caroline made our canapés for us, which were sausage rolls and scones (bringing some English delicacies across the channel!) We had the most wonderful caterer (Abeille Royale) who was so relaxed about our menu, served the wine that we bought without corkage and were so amenable to all our requests and last minute changes.
We originally looked at French wedding photographers thinking that would be an easier option but we felt like their style didn’t quite suit our wedding so we went looking for an English one. I found Dan from Story and Colour
quite quickly and really liked how relaxed he was when I spoke to him. On the day, I barely saw him and still can’t understand how he managed to capture the intricacies and details of our day in such a beautiful, magical way (my sister said at one point during the ceremony she heard a rustling in the bushes and turned to see him hidden in the foliage). He was also very accommodating to the fact that French weddings definitely don’t keep to a schedule, and stayed for our first dance which was at about midnight.
Try to do as much of it yourself to bring your own personal touch to the day. We didn’t have a DJ, we just created a playlist ourselves and we’ve had so many compliments about it and it kept people dancing until 5am (Seb got his wish!). By doing things ourselves we involved many of our friends and family in our day, from writing the ceremony to building the photo-booth, and it meant that we had this wonderful group of people who all came together before the wedding which really contributed to the atmosphere on the day.