Romantic French Riviera Elopement in Antibes
The French Riviera is synonymous with all things chic, and this elopement in Antibes—with coral charm peonies, a lace wedding dress and yacht portrait session—is synonymous with all things beautif...
The French Riviera is synonymous with all things chic, and this elopement in Antibes is synonymous with all things beautiful and romantic. Wearing heirloom jewelry and carrying a handmade bouquet of coral charm peonies, this beautiful bride walked down the aisle to her handsome groom, waiting in a bow tie and fun socks, underneath Jaume Plensa's modern masterpieceAnd that's just the beginning of this perfect couple's perfect day, captured by En Route Photography. Lust after it all here.
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From En Route Photography... Two Californian lovebirds escaped the hustle and bustle of wedding planning to elope in the South of France (Antibes). Just a handful of their family joined them on the big day, which was full of that je-ne-sais-quoie Franch charm... and yeah.... so much beauty....!!!! Kianne and Shane are both insanely good looking and they make such a drop dead gorgeous couple... wouldn't you say...?

From the beautiful Bride... We met at a gym in San Diego. I walked in and was immediately infatuated and Shane looked at me and said “mine.” I was finishing law school and starting to study for the California bar exam, and Shane took pity on me so he cooked for me all summer. About a month after dating, Shane and I went to a French restaurant and Shane revealed he had a house in the south of France that he had not been to in years. I replied, in my typical straightforward manner, “Why wouldn’t you be in France right now?” Shane had no answer, and we immediately booked a trip to Antibes, France where we fell in love; not only with each other, but with traveling together. Since then, Shane and I have traveled the world and nothing makes us happier than exploring a new place, but Antibes, France is special and we travel back each year to celebrate.

Shane proposed at Point Reyes in the Cypress Tree Tunnel in Northern California with McKenna Holnagel (my sister) as the photographer, driver, and ring-hider. Afterwards, the three of us enjoyed a picnic (my favorite pastime) looking over the gorgeous northern California Coast Line. Without cell phone service, and truly able to enjoy the bliss of the engagement moment without a flurry of calls and social media, we decided not to announce our engagement or wedding date in order to stay connected and present during the [short] engagement time, without showers or parties.

Our vision for the wedding was elopement, elopement, elopement. We didn’t plan a scheme/style/color. I, the practical one, wanted THE white dress but knew that silk or a train wouldn’t travel to France well. Instead, I opted for a French lace dress with long sleeves that I knew I could move around the cobble stones streets in. We repeatedly told our families (our 8 guests), including the sole bridesmaid and groomsman, to wear whatever they wanted. The style conscious Shane, asked the men to wear both bow ties and “fun socks.” He loves socks.

The look of the wedding was to be whatever the south of France terrain offered that day. Rain, sun, shade, it couldn’t be decided until the day before, so the planning was limited and with the belief that all would come together perfectly (and it did!).

The location wasn’t selected until the night before the wedding. We choose La Grande Nomade d’Antibes by Catalan artist Jaume Plensa. The way the ½ open statue enveloped the small wedding party was effortlessly intimate and the blanket of letters made the event simply surreal. One candid pre-wedding picture of us inside the statue was all it took.

It was mother’s day, so we hand-delivered cards and fresh croissants from the local boulangerie to each of the 3 mothers. Shane wore cufflinks gifted by me, one of which had a map of Point Reyes, and the other, a map of Antibes.

Invitations were the Book “The Mediterranean Summer” (set in Antibes), which we wrapped in lavender tissue paper and personally stamped with everyone’s initials.

Right before I walked up to the ceremony, I looked down and saw pollen all over my dress from my (handmade) bouquet. Also, my veil ripped out of my hair right as I walked up to my fiancé. I laughed at both and found ironic humor in a little destruction on a “perfect day.” The entire ceremony was written by the us. We handpicked each part and read them out loud together to make sure it actually sounded like us. “The Orange” is a poem I sent to Shane on our first Valentine’s day. My sister McKenna Holnagel read it.

From start to finish, we had fun. Notably, and thanks to their our flexible and fun-loving photographer, we were walking to take pictures and a yacht owner invited us aboard. We didn’t think twice about ditching our wedding shoes and climbing aboard (with a veil on) and taking pictures. The owner and staff poured Prosecco as a toast and we stayed aboard nearly an hour.

The entire event was super personal, intimate and nontraditional. From the book invitation, to the Picnic and Petanque “rehearsal,” to all the families’ participation in picking out flowers and merging for meals. All we truly wanted was to be married and have a trip; and by not worrying about having perfect details (or worrying about the details at all e.g. location, rehearsing the ceremony, dress code, showers), the day was effortlessly perfect.

Every person at the wedding either made a speech or participated in the wedding. Shane’s step mom was the officiant.

We bought the flowers from a rolling flower cart that we bumped into at 10:00 pm the night before the wedding. I just wanted something local, bright and not tailored or professional looking.

I don’t wear a lot of jewelry day to day so it didn’t look like me to wear it to my wedding. I wore the pearl earrings I’ve worn every day for the last 12 years, my great grandmother’s ring, my new grandmother in law’s ring, and my other (recently passed) grandmother in law’s handkerchief. While tradition was not important to me, it was important for me to have each family involved.

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