Today's wedding is extra special as gorgeous Bride Rachel is one of our The List members. Her company Another Story Studio offer the most amazing selection of stylish props to hire for your own big day, so as you can imagine her rustic French wedding day is rather epic...just wait until you see the hand poured candle favours, magical ceremony cave and beautiful table styling (possibly my favourite place settings ever?!) Along with their friends and family, Rachel and Ollie took over the incredible Chateau de Lartigolle for a whole weekend, filling it with good food, good wine and lots of fun. This wedding captures the essence of a rustic feast, with a sprinkling of classic French elegance and a generous dose of Rachel's fabulous styling eye. Images come from Darek Smietana whose work I simply LOVE. He has the most amazing knack for capturing those moments you never even knew were happening...
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Rustic French Wedding // Greenery Inspired Wedding // Styling & Prop Hire Another Story Studio

Our Story

Rachel The Bride: We got engaged in November 2015 in front of a log fire in a little log cabin with Simon & Garfunkel records playing on an old vintage record player. We were also smashed and the details are hazy (!)...but the setting was a total dream! Ollie and I have been friends since we were 5, best mates first, so once he'd popped the question we knew we didn't want to have a long engagement, but we had no idea of the type of wedding we wanted. I work in the industry with my prop hire and styling company Another Story, I'm a supplier on The List from Rock My Wedding, and so I found it even harder to come to any kind of decision now the focus was on me. Total jitters.

The Rustic French Wedding Venue

I happened on a photograph of Chateau de Lartigolle in France, persuaded Ollie to go off on a little road trip to see one venue (nutters) and that was it, as simple as. I dare anyone to set foot through Lartigolle's gates without completely falling in love with the chateau, the owners Emma, Nick and Chris, or the food. We spent a lazy afternoon in their old French kitchen in front of their open fire being fed delicious treats from midday to midnight and there was just no doubt once we left that it was the place for us. Our wedding became known as Le Road to Wed Fest amongst our favourite peeps and it was a dream of an adventure from start to finish.

The Dress

The dress hunt was a tricky one for the not too bridal me, but the first place I went to, The Mews in Notting Hill, was just the most amazing chilled out experience with candles, bubbles to take the edge off and therefore zero anxiety at being in my pants with total strangers, that on the second visit I found my dress. (I also tried dresses at Halfpenny London and Churchgate Porter in Brighton, both amazing boutiques, would totally recommend). My wedding dress was the Genet dress by French designer Laure de Sagazan, her style is relaxed and quite bohemian and as soon as I tried it on I knew I'd found it. It felt as if it could be my grandmothers it felt so timeless. I chose flat, lace up ballet flats from Chloe to go with, (so I could prance all night!) and a lace trimmed veil, French vibes all round. I wore my grandmother's engagement ring as my something old and borrowed, Bluebell perfume from Jo Malone as my something blue and my dress was my something new.

The Wedding Party

Ollie and the ushers outfits were from Reiss and the accessories from T.M.Lewin. He wanted something a little bit different that he again felt really relaxed in and the tailoring in store was brilliant. Bridesmaids dresses, we found it so hard to find something that wasn't too classically bridesmaidy. In the end we found dresses in Mango surprisingly and we changed the backs on two of them so it suited each of them. They wore with tan flat sandals just from the high street. So simple but they all looked so beautiful. We bought them gold triangle bracelets from Triangle on Chatsworth Road as their wedding gift, a symbol of the big 3 and Ollie bought me the matching necklace as a surprise. Our niece and nephew were flower girl and page boy, Amelia's dress was from Monsoon (it was like a miniature version of mine) and Joseph's outfit was all M&S with his desert boots from Clarks.

The Decor

The venue was so naturally beautiful that the details spoke for themselves, with wild greenery the only chosen addition. Flowers were a combination of the most amazing scented bundles of gathered herbs, carefully hand woven rings of eucalyptus and loosely gathered bundles of olive and bay. Emma at the chateau did all of our flowers, and my bridesmaids and I made all of the individual bouquet garnis for our place settings on wedding eve. I brought with me a load of extras (couldn't help myself), courtesy of the most awesome mum and dad who drove them all to France in their motorhome. From antlers to an amazing collection of earthenware pots I'd found from a guy in a nearby village who spends his time foraging and had dug them up straight from the ground (true vintage), we also took vintage champagne saucers I'd collected, old rustic wooden boards and crates to make the bar, the most brilliant silver and wood handled vintage Dutch cutlery from the wonderful Helene Millot Furnishings, signage made by me printed on to canvas and my grandmother's cake knife to cut our wedding cake. The amazing Nicole at Alfie's Studio designed and made our save the date and wedding invitations which included amazing illustrations and all on the day order of service, feasting menu and name tags. I then hand poured candles for our guests as our wedding favours, which doubled up as our table plan on the day. They were a total hit and it's been so lovely seeing them in each of our mates homes since.

The Night Before...

The evening before the wedding we had a welcome gathering at Lartigolle's new venue Ferme de Labarthe. We were totally privileged to be the very first to use the farm and a handful of our mates also stayed there. I spent an afternoon literally in my own wedding heaven, foraging for wild flowers in the fields with my bridesmaids to dress the outdoor space for the evening and using props from their own prop store to set up for the evening's feast. We had an incredible rotisserie chicken van and we ate on hay bales with festoon lights strung in the trees. If it had ended there it would already have been perfect.

The Wedding Day

Wedding morning arrived and sandwiched between days and days of blue skies and baking August heat, we had pouring rain. Typical! But it honestly was like it was meant to be to get us down into the magical cave. Instead of getting married in the field at the back of the chateau we ended up having our ceremony in the cave underneath the chateau, it was filled with herbs and lit with candles and the atmosphere for the ceremony and then the meal was totally electric. We had the most brilliant folk band who played me down the aisle to an acoustic version of Here Comes the Sun (ironic given the rain, but this also played as Ollie presented me with my engagement ring) and they played us out to Shelter From the Storm by Bob Dylan. We had a humanist hand fasting ceremony*, hand fasting means to strike a bargain by joining hands and we loved that concept. The binding is made with ribbons with each coloured ribbon symbolising a quality or promise to each other. (*We did the legal bit at Islington Town Hall with just our parents and siblings and then went to The Drapers Arms pub for a pint!) The folk band, Tildon Krautz then played throughout our reception drinks and again they were brilliant. Ollie's sister Louisa and my best friend Lucy did our readings on the day. We asked them both to pick but not tell us. We felt it would be really special to hear their reading for the very first time during the ceremony and it totally was, really special. We walked back into the wedding feast to Signed, Sealed, Delivered and our master of ceremonies had got the entire wedding crew, chanting, singing and dancing along to it and that was honestly one of the best moments! Totally mad.

The Food & Drink

We took East London gin over with us as a nod to where we first got together and dated for our first year and as tequila with an apple juice chaser (try it, it works) was a bit of a feature from the night we got together, Ollie organised this as a surprise, with little jars of both given to each of our guests to toast with following his speech. Our food was slow cooked and rustic and all served on sharing boards to get everyone mixed in together. Baked camembert with potted big fresh prawns and slow roast jamboneau, slow roast lamb finished on the BBQ and then towers of Lartigolle Eton Mess. Did I mention that owner Nick and Emma also double up as the chefs for everything? They are amazing and should bring out a cook book, best food we have ever eaten.

The Photography & Videography

Our videographer Lea Ascencio from Less is More Films produced an absolutely brilliant and quirky edit of our day and our wedding photographer was the truly brilliant Darek Smietana who we christened the ninja over the course of the weekend as he managed to get everywhere without anyone noticing him! Hugely recommend to anyone looking for a photographer in France, he is the loveliest man and completely made the experience (for two people who hate having their photo taken) amazing. Our first dance was Ooo La La by The Faces, finished off with a signature move from my chief bridesmaid who landed a leap frog over me as a finale! My first dance with my dad was Call Me All (if you be my bodyguard, I will be your long lost pal) and it was a moment I'll never forget. His face. Incredible.

Special Details

Instead of presents Ollie and I had a book shelf at our wedding and our invites asked each of our guests to give us their favourite book, with a message or memory to us written on the inside cover. A little library that reflected all of our family and best mates forever in our homes. On the Sunday of wed fest we had bloody marys for everyone on arrival and a duck BBQ in the courtyard at Lartigolle (duck on a BBQ is literally the best thing we have ever eaten) and we danced all day and night to a local reggae band called Kwes. Talk about ending on a high! Then the following day we rattled off on our honeymoon to Cap Ferret in our old vintage citroen 2CV and flinstoned our way to the coast. VISIT THE LIST
Fern Godfrey

Written by Fern Godfrey

Styling & Prop Hire: Another Story | Venue: Chateau De Lartigolle | Bride: Laure De Sagazan | Boutique: The Mews | Shoes: Chloe | Groom & Groomsmen: Reiss | Bridesmaids: Mango | Page Boy: M&S | Flower Girl: Monsoon | Cutlery : Helene Millot | Illustrations & Stationery Design: Alfies Studio | Band: Tildon Krautz | Videography: Less Is More Films | Hair & Make Up: Makeup by Jodie

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