Are you ready for a day FULL of one lovely wedding after another? How about TWO days full of one lovely wedding after another? Bananas, right? We have so many fabulous soirees in our vaults, we simply couldn’t resist. You know the drill…little snippets of tons of amazing weddings = you picking and choosing what wedding you want to see more of by clicking right on the good ol’ gallery.
Let’s get started with what can only be described as DIY Heaven in the French Countryside. The recipe is simple. First you find one crazy cute couple, then add a romantic venue in the South of France (not so hard to find I’m sure), sprinkle in tons of fun DIY projects plus absolutely amazing photography by Emma Case and the result is la, la lovely to say the least. Click here to see even more from this fabulous day.
From the Bride…Dave and I met at university and have been together for over 11 years. We have never really done anything by the book so I don’t think our wedding was ever going to be ‘regular’. Nothing about the planning felt calculated; every idea that popped into our heads was basically what we went with. It’s not that we couldn’t be bothered, rather that we know what we like and most of what we like we can either do ourselves or we know someone who can. For all these reasons we ended up with a really personal, informal and homemade wedding which on the face of it was just a glorifed BBQ! Exactly what we wanted, with only 4 people that we didn’t know (wait staff hired from the local catering college). My father has lived in France for years, and specifically the Var region in Provence for over 20. As a child I holidayed there every summer and it was the first place Dave and I went on holiday together, when he first met my papa! We continue to visit at least 3 times a year, often taking friends who immediately fall in love with the pine filled air, off the beaten track setting and the abundance of cheap but delicious rosé. Dad owns a building company and against his better judgment sold the beautiful stone house he’d built for himself just outside the hilltop village of Seillans. Fortunately he has remained friends with the new owners and Dave and I put it to fate that if they agreed to rent the place out to us, we would get married in France. They did and so we did! In France, you have to get married at the local mayor’s office, the mairie. We were extremely fortunate to be allowed to do this being non-residents, another benefit of having dad live there for so long.
So the wedding became a day of two halves – a morning ceremony at the mairie de Seillans for close friends and family followed by a Champagne reception around the village fountain and then a late afternoon blessing at the house followed by dinner and dancing. Convincing your friends and family to travel to France for a holiday and, basically, a huge party is not as difficult as we initially feared! We managed to fill Seillans and beyond with guests and having rented and filled our house we also got hold of the villa next door and by the Friday we had over 20 mates within metres of the venue to help us ‘build’ the wedding. Even on the actual day, those who didn’t come to the mairie stayed to decorate the evening venue in over 100 degree heat. Still not quite sure how we managed to swing that one! The rural areas of France are not geared to big old weddings and this is probably why we favoured it more than a British wedding, where your every whim is catered for and ideas (and budgets!) get wildly out of control. There must be a handful of companies set up for big events in Provence and these are mostly affiliated with specific venues. By having our wedding in the back garden of a private villa we certainly made life difficult for ourselves (having to buy most of what we wanted rather than rent as well as orchestrate and set up EVERYTHING from buying a freezer specifically for ice to dealing with the rubbish and recycling the next day) but on the flipside we could pick and choose every single detail for the day.
We were so lucky to find our wedding photographer. You’ve no idea how hard it is to find the relaxed, shoot-into-the-sun style of which US-based brides seem spoilt for choice. Emma Case, based in the UK, has been shooting for an unbelievably short time but her natural talent, incredible eye and overall vintage-y gorgeousness (her and her pictures!) were perfect for us. Not only did she agree to come to France but she drove down, made a few days holiday of it and together with her boyfriend, Pete, became one of the gang.
Photography: Emma Case Photography / Flowers: Bride’s Mum / Event Design and Planning: Bride and Groom / Ceremony Location: mairie de Seillans / Reception Location: Hotel des deux Rocs / Invitations: Designed by Bride and Groom / Shoes: First pair custom made in Hong Kong. Second pair Jimmy Choo / Dress: First – Vintage, bought at a Vintage fair. Second – custom made in India / Catering: Restaurant Karoo / Tableware: Aktuel