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Saturday Morning Movie: A Chateau Wedding Many Years in the Making

Married in a private ceremony six years ago, it was finally time to celebrate with their loved ones and when they did so, these two pulled out all the stops. The most stylish of all? The wedding dress, custom designed by the Bride herself (a new career is calling Mrs.; it’s GORGEOUS). But it’s just one magical moment of many from this film by Zen Film Works that captivated my attention and never let go – enjoy!


From the couple… If we had to tell you one thing about us, it would be that we are so thankful. Thankful that we’ve been brought together and that whatever obstacle that has been put in our way we have overcome together. As many of you know all too well, it’s been hard and difficult at times and we’d do it all over again if it brought us to this very moment. After six years of being married, we are so excited to finally have a wedding and to celebrate it with you all!

When Paul and I began to plan the wedding our first vision was France, history, Chateau Versailles and romance. So we planned a two week holiday traveling around France visiting various Chateaux all around the country – nine to be exact! We learned a lot in the process because we thought we wanted this pristine chateau just like Versailles, but the more chateaux we saw, the more we envisioned somewhere steeped in history. We wanted it to be in someone’s cherished home and not just a museum and we also wanted a local village to not feel so isolated with just having a chateau for our wedding. We felt that instantly when we saw Chateau de Saint-Loup in Saint-Loup-Lamaire. So much so that without even going into the actual chateau, Baharak began to cry because she just knew that this was where we were actually going to get married after all these years.

Now that our beautiful chateau was chosen we began to think about where we were having the ceremony and reception and this would play a huge part in the colour scheme and style of the wedding. We wanted the wedding to feel romantic, ethereal, simple and elegant on the general scheme. As we had a naturally beautiful Chateau with beautiful grounds and gardens to work with, it was easy to establish that theme throughout. We wanted to keep the colour palette light and airy, choosing mostly white, antique pinks and some speckled gold for the flowers and decor and into the night we wanted that romantic candlelight feeling as we were dining in the garden.
The most unique element to the wedding for us was that this really was a family wedding. Baharak wanted her family to play a huge part of our wedding as everyone lives so far apart and this was not only our wedding, but a huge family reunion for her. As her family had a broad range of skills, she asked many of her family to participate at her wedding. Her mother owns salons in the US with her two sisters, so her mother did her hair and her Aunt Barbod did her makeup. Baharak’s brother was her Man of Honour and her two cousins were standing beside her too. Her Uncle Patrick officiated the ceremony. Her mother and father walked her down the aisle and both gave her away. This was important because six years ago, only Baharak’s parents were present for our secret civil ceremony, nobody else. It meant a lot to them to give their daughter away amongst family and friends. During the reception Baharak’s other cousins belly danced and break danced for the guests.

Baharak and I included a lot of our own work and details into this wedding. The menus were created and made by us. All the signs at the wedding were handcrafted by Paul. The biggest handmade detail was that Baharak hand made both of her wedding dresses and her veil. She created both dresses in a month and half, and her veil was created the night before the wedding.

Another unique element, as we had nobody present at our civil ceremony, was that we wanted to have something showcased in our home always that reminded us of all the people that shared our big day. We therefore had a custom made wedding certificate hand painted with a picture of the Chateau and beautiful calligraphy, with space for every guest to sign it as witnesses of our marriage. This is now hanging proudly in our home.

My wedding gowns and veil were made by myself. I chose to make my dresses as I had tried on many gowns off-the-rack and had felt that these wouldn’t feel very special as someone else was wearing the same design! I wanted a one of a kind ‘Baharak Nekessa’ dress. I wanted the dress to be simple, elegant, timeless, but a little bit edgy. I did not want to put any embroidery, applique or anything that would deter from the draping on the dress, as that is my favourite thing to do. I decided I would highlight this with my veil which had unusual glittery speckled dots in ivory all over in tulle. My wedding dress was made in Silk Chiffon. A lot of people won’t have known that the entire top of the dress is one piece of fabric that carries on from the front, drapes to the back and comes back to the front and to the hem. The night before the wedding I sewed my veil together in half an hour. My second wedding dress, for the evening, was entirely sewn by hand! The beaded fabric was so delicate that on any machine the needle just kept breaking! I wanted to party so I designed a dress that was fun and sexy for the night.

My biggest piece of advice to a bride-to-be is not everything is going to go as you had planned. In the end it doesn’t really matter and only you will know when something isn’t right. Just have fun and enjoy the moment, because it really does go by so quickly!

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Photography: Claire Morris | Cinematography: Zen Film Works | Event Planning: Tiphaine Plumard de Rieux | Floral Design: French Flower Style | Wedding Dress: Baharak Nekessa (bride) | Cake: Stephanie Guerin | Invitations: The Dandelion Patch | Bride's Shoes: Christian Louboutin | Catering: Le petite France | Make up: Tanaz Salon | Hair: Tanaz Salon | Groom's Suit: Reiss | Venue: Chateau de Saint-Loup | Music: DJ Toma Toma

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
#SMPWedding101 – Engagement Shoot Style Advice

You get engaged and the questions start coming; it’s easy to lose yourself in the flurry of it all. But we can’t say it enough: savor this special time and make any opportunity a fun one, including your engagement pics! It’s the perfect time to practice those picture perfect smiles and show off your own style. But it can also be a bit daunting when deciding what to don so we checked in with Allison Koehler of AOK Style + Planning to get her advice – and don’t miss the special discount she’s offering right now!

Couples almost always ask their wedding photographers what they should wear for their engagement shoot. It makes sense; for your wedding, there is more or less a formula to the clothing you’ll be wearing. But for the engagement shoot, the possibilities are endless, which can be intimidating.

So, why should you work with a stylist for your engagement shoot?

Save Time

I constantly hear from clients that they’ve been scouring the web looking for that perfect coat, dress, what have you, and can’t find it anywhere. When we work together, you’ll leave the searching to me. I’ll do the scouring, and present you and your partner with 30-40 pieces that are uniquely you.

Save Money

For each session, we work within a budget, the goal being to come under that budget by purchasing pieces you love, and working with what you already own. If you have a pair of jeans that are perfect for you, wear them for the shoot! The goal is to capture you and your partner as you are, and using pieces you already own helps set the tone for an authentic shoot. When we have an in-home fitting, we’ll see which pieces work, and how to combine old and new pieces for the perfect look.

Treat Yourself

Trust me when I say, hiring a vendor who takes some stress away from wedding planning is worth it. If you love clothes but hate shopping, treat yourself to a unique experience so you can reap the reward of incredible photos. You’ll thank yourself!

** From now until Valentine’s Day, I’m offering a discount on my services to couples who were engaged over the holidays! I would absolutely love to work with you! **

Winter Engagement Outfit Inspiration
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Winter Engagement Outfit Inspiration
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Allure Bridals
Williams Sonoma
Ada Diamonds

We’re excited to share that Shine invitations is currently offering FREE SHIPPING on orders over $500 (US orders only) as well as a free sample kit featuring the invitation of your choice, color charts, paper samples, and an example Save the Date! Don’t miss out!


For our California Brides… Discount from The Ranch at Laguna Beach

For our New England Brides.. Discount from Long’s Jewelers

For our Tri-state Brides… Discount from Femina Photo + Design, and giveaways from NST PicturesOLLI STUDIO and Sole East Resort!

For our Southeast Brides… Discount from The Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village

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Style Advice : AOK Style + Planning

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
Cheers to the Romance of Winter – Wind + Rain Are No Match to Champagne

Winter has a special place in the hearts of these two. They met in those chilliest of months, started dating, and even said “I do” at that time of year. So it was only fitting that they toast to three years of marriage in the same season! Designed and styled by Chloe+Mint and with a gorgeous calligraphed champagne bottle courtesy of Seniman Calligraphy, these two kissed and sipped and smiled – and Tenth & Grace captured it all. Cheers to the romance of winter and many more years of love for these two!

From Tenth & GraceNicole and Austin celebrated their third wedding anniversary with a romantic anniversary shoot at the Sutro Baths in San Francisco. Designed by Chloe+Mint, the session featured a gorgeous winter-inspired bouquet by The Bloomery Co. and a personalized champagne bottle by Seniman Calligraphy. The wind and rain added to the romantic feel!

From Nicole… All of our major anniversaries fall within a one month period. We met, started officially dating, and got married in the winter months.

We kept our wedding very simple, and eloped on a secluded portion of the California coast. One of my very favorite parts of our day was feeling like a princess in the most beautiful dress, and getting to celebrate with my love. For our three year wedding/five years together anniversary, we wanted to have a shoot that felt a lot like the best parts of our wedding, so we could remember all our feelings so many years ago, and the commitment we made to each other. In that time, we’ve changed so much, but in a way, so much has stayed the same. This shoot was the perfect embodiment of that.

Tanya was able to bring the most romantic, elegant vision to life – one that even rivaled our wedding day. The vendors were unbelievable. I was spoiled with the most beautiful bouquet, a dress that was so delicate and perfect in every way, all wrapped up with the sweetest, personalized details, like champagne to toast our love on the rocky coast of the San Francisco Sutro Baths. It was like we were married all over again, I couldn’t have asked for a better anniversary.

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Photography: Tenth & Grace | Event Design + Styling: Chloe+Mint | Floral Design: The Bloomery Co | Dress: Tatyana Merenyuk | Jewelry: Susie Saltzman | Makeup: Jessica Fernandez | Calligraphy: Seniman Calligraphy

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here