I’ve always particularly loved those weddings which take place in the childhood home of one of the couple getting married; in fact it was an idea I toyed with myself when I was planning my big day back in 2012. So when I saw the beautiful destination wedding of Anne-Laure and Quentin which took place last year in Quentin’s parents’ house in France I was blown away.
For a start it really is the most exquisite building but when you combine the picturesque riverside location and all the love and attention that has been bestowed on the place, it warms you from the inside out.
I’m biased when I say that no-one does gourmet cuisine quite like the French but I’ve yet to see a more elegant evening menu than oysters and cocktails topped off with dancing until dawn.
And Anne-Laure’s bouquet?
Anne-Laure The Bride:Quentin’s parents bought the venue in which we were married house thirty years ago. It was roofless and quite in a bad shape. They spent all their family holidays repairing it to make it homey for the whole family. It was Quentin’s mother’s favourite place and she dreamed of one of her children getting married there. When we decided to get married, there was no question about where.
At first we thought about renting a tent for the reception in the garden but one day, Quentin’s father came to us with an idea… what about transforming the barn into a reception room. Nine months later the idea became reality and we hope to be hosting other people’s weddings soon.
I took the time before the wedding to take care of myself more than I would do normally by having my nails and eyebrows done every month. I loved the preparation part on the big day. We went to the hairdresser near my bridesmaid’s house and we spent the morning between girls with my mother and my sister. It felt good to have the family around.
My dress was by Rosa Clara. I’d booked three separate bridal appointments for the same day and it was the best boutique I walked in with lots of choice and in front of the Elysée. I had some ideas about what I wanted but the more I tried on the more I realized that those styles were not for me. At the end, the lady in Rosa Clara had me try some dresses I would not have selected and bingo, I found the one!
For the accessories I wanted something vintage; a veil and green shoes. And looking over the internet I realized that with Etsy having something designed by me and hand made was not more expensive that something that was pre-made. For the veil I chose Ellen on etsy and within a month I had my featherish veil in my mailbox.
For the shoes I also found “Dessine moi un soulier” on etsy but I went to their boutique on Paris 8th to try them out and place my order.
We had each two groomsmen and two bridesmaids mixing family and friends. We asked the bridesmaids to wear a green dress and the groomsmen to sport a blue suit with a green tie as marine blue and green were the two main colours in our wedding theme.
We wanted the theme to be about what we like. The colours embodied the sea, the wineyard and the house – marine blue like the sea, light green like the grape leaves and rose like the flowers; the garden is full of roses and they are my favourites. We also used wine as a theme because the house used to be a winery and we also used our collection of cameras because we love photography.
We bought 600 roses from a local producer and we had a lady for half a day arranging bouquets for the ceremony, the houses and the table centres.
The idea of the wedding was to last the whole weekend, it is one of the pleasures of doing it “at home”. So we organized a barbecue of the Friday night for people that wanted to come so that families and friends could get to know each other before the wedding.
The wedding was at noon on Saturday, then we had a cocktail and a seated lunch. After lunch, guests rested in the park and along the riverside (some even had a swim!) and dinner was a garden party style with a buffet where we danced until dawn.
Food is important to us so we chose our caterer and our wines with extreme care. Our caterer provided a mixture of quail filet with panned foie gras, a grilled cheese course and café gourmand for lunch. We ramped it up in the evening with cocktails and an oyster and foie gras buffet.
We made a table plan which mixed both families and friends taking their interests into account. It was a success creating groups we would have never imagined. Our tables were named after our camera collection. We created the table plan on Indesign and printed it using a printer service.
The best photographer ever is Anna Hardy, she is the best at catching moments than we did not see. Investing in a good photographer for our wedding was the best investment we’ve made in years.
We wanted our wedding to be and feel like us – original, creative, relax, homey, vintage and fun! I think we managed to have the wedding that we wanted taking the time to design and share with our families what we wanted.