WOW, what can I say, this is just the most gorgeous destination wedding, with the most adorable couple, at the truly picturesque Chateau de Robernier in Provence. The rustic styling and decor by Mademoiselle C has to be seen to be believed it's so immense. There's wooden crates, screens with hanging picture frames, personalised plaques and fabulous hanging milk bottles. All decorated with beautiful red & pink blooms. And don't even get me started on the festoons stung up at the outdoor reception. Helen Cawe Photography has shot on a mixture of digital and film portraits soaking up all the details and every inch of that amazing light. Just. Stunning.
Our StoryMena the Bride: Before we did any planning, we took the advice of a friend and enjoyed being engaged for a while. During that time we talked about how we wanted our wedding to feel - our key words were: fun, laughter, holiday, friends & family, relaxed, rustic. I had a really strong image in my mind of guests sitting round tables, the sun rising with a stunning view of hills, the dry hot earth smell you get on the Continent, food & drink on tap, people laughing and dancing with shoes off. We wanted it to be super relaxed and everyone (including ourselves) to feel looked after. So that meant we needed to be somewhere hot, where you could party till sunrise with abandon :). France was an obvious choice - good food, good wine, good weather, stunning scenery and good transport links.
Colour Scheme & DecorWe'd originally been driven by the lavender fields (only to discover it would be out of season at the end of August - oops), but we loved the colours so stuck with them. Sage green, navy blue, lighter blue/grey with a popping colour (poppy red / burgundy). Helen, our photographer, was instrumental in us choosing the navy bridesmaid dresses.
Unique/DIY elements…We did quite a lot ourselves, which was at times rather stressful, but in hindsight I'm so proud of what we created :). Ian is an adorable geek who gets excited by all new gadgets. Around the time of our wedding his office had just acquired a laser cutting machine so we ended up making wooden invites with magnets on the back (our friends still have them up) and our order of services. Our good friend Lucy is an amazing artist - she did the drawing of the chateau which was a theme we used for our website and stationery. For our bridal party, we gave them an engraved box with our wedding wine.
Favourite Moment….The dinner - it was great to feel the buzz of everyone enjoying themselves as we had imagined all those months earlier and the food was sensational! In addition, for me, my Mum's speech was a highlight. She was a comic genius although I have to admit I was quite worried when 20mins in I was still only 3 years old. Thank goodness everyone was enjoying it :).
FlowersMy favourite element of the decor was the floral arch. The flowers took my breath away. Our decorator & florist did an amazing job at bringing to life what we had pictured.
The VenueOur venue was Chateau de Robernier owned by Cecile and her husband. Cecile was incredible over the 8 months in the run up to the wedding, she answered every question, accommodated multiple visits, and kept us all calm on the day. She's wonderful to work with and will help your dream wedding come true.
CaterersOur caterers Roland Paix were exceptional. We tried over 6 in the region (including some that have done royal banquets) and found the food from Roland 1Paix to be by far the best. Not only was the food outstanding, their staff were fabulous and the brothers are super helpful.
PhotographyHelen was truly wonderful. She is more than just a photographer – for me – she felt like my fifth bridesmaid ☺. In the months preceding the wedding we often spoke on skype. Helen was both a source of inspiration and advice. On the actual day, she felt part of the bridal party and captured all those special unplanned moments beautifully. 15months on, we still email ☺ and I have recommended her to multiple friends.
VideographerImagin Motion & Still team did a beautiful job of our wedding video. Huw and Helen got on like a house on fire and it made the day effortless. They seamlessly integrated with our guests and caught the unobserved moments that captured the essence of our wedding.
Decor & FlowersMarjorie from Mademoiselle C was recommended to us by Roland Paix. Majorie and her florist came onboard during the last 6 weeks and did an incredible job of bringing to life all the pinterest boards I had been collating! The archway of flowers and the courtyard blew my breath away. They truly created something magical that I will cherish forever. It was truly stunning.
Hair & Make-upNatalie was recommended to us by Marjorie. She was wonderful. In hindsight, I would have had a second pair of hands on the day to help with timing, but Natalie managed to make us all look & feel wonderful.
The Dress2 weeks before my wedding, I had to get a new and completely different dress. It was so traumatic. I loved my original dress and had been dreaming about it for months, but it was didn't come right during the fittings and was left with no option but to get a new one. Deborah at Swoon Bridal was recommended to us and in the course of 1 day she found me a dress, veil, tiara and Ning - an amazing fitter. The dress was quite plain so I accessorised it with a belt from August Jones (N90) bought from White Mischief Bridal; Andrea & Sandra were amazing - going above and beyond to get it to me in time.
Grooms AttireIan got a bespoke suit from Hardy Amies on Saville Row. His shoes were from GJ Cleverly who were superb.
BridesmaidsThe bridesmaids dresses were ordered from the states via a discount website called bridesmaids.com. Everything arrived on time, as ordered, to 3 different countries across the world.
RingsIan designed the engagement ring and had it made by Ming. Ming also did our wedding bands. She was incredible and worked really well with Ian to bring to life a twist of modern to a traditional art deco design. Ian's cuff links of the frogs are because my nickname is Froggie. He got them for our 30th from Duchamp. I bought him the shoes and watch as a wedding gift. My ear-rings and necklace were from Ian as a gift. I think he bought them from Gray's Antiques...
MusicWe found our DJ Thomas through a wedding blog. He is an absolute blast with such positive energy - we skyped first to get to know him and had so much fun sharing music back and forth. For the ceremony and reception we had a string quartet. Iryna and her fellow musicians were fab.
DrinksMarjorie recommended to us Simplement Vin. We went along and had a tasting and the wine was fantastic. Julien worked with us to find unusual wines that matched our palette and courses! The wine was on sale or return but we ended up bringing it all back - much too good and reasonably priced to leave behind!
AdviceHave a 3 day celebration - one day just isn't long enough! It's a lot of work and you want to be able to share your moments with your family and friends without feeling rushed.
Dress Designer: Sottero and Midgley | Dress Bridal Boutique: Swoon Wedding Gowns | Belt: Augusta Jones | Belt Bridal Boutique: White Mischief Bridal | Bridal Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Tiara: Swoon | Bridesmaids: Bridesmaids.com | Grooms Suit: Hardy Amies | Grooms Shoes: GJ Cleverly | Rings: Ming Jewellery | Venue: Chateau de Robernier | Caterer: Roland Paix Traiteur | Flowers: Mademoiselle C | Entertainment: Thomas Dusseune | Videographer: Imagin Motion Still