SUBMIT WEDDING
Wild White Horses + Gorgeous Gowns Are Making Our Dreams Come True

It’s no secret that the South of France holds a special place in SMP’s heart (one mention of lavender fields and we’re all aflutter) but it just rose to a whole new status with this styled shoot by Larissa Cleveland. Inspired by the beauty of the wild Camargue horses, this gallery is a fairytale brought to life and we can’t get enough. Get ready to love Provence even more than you thought you already did – right this way!

From Larissa Cleveland… This was my first time in the South of France. I’d been to Paris, but always dreamed of visiting the small towns and beautiful landscape of Provence. When I began my research for the trip, I stumbled across the unique history of the Camargue Horses. They are all white, and roam the salt marshes and flat territories along the coast. Not far from the beautiful cities of Saint Remy and Les Baux, where I’d be staying and photographing on my trip. The horses are a celebrated fixture of Provence history, and equally mysterious, as it is not known exactly how they came to be there.

I wanted to avoid the classic Provence stereotypes for this shoot, so I did not focus on the lavender fields or Grand Chateau’s in the countryside. Instead my inspiration would be the beautiful white Camargue horses, and old stone walls and alley-ways of the ancient towns. The soft greys and creams of the old stone, and the wild flowing mane of the Camargue horse perfectly complemented the pale pink, flowy J.Mendel dress provided by Jin Wang in San Francisco. The stunning white stone staircase inside the Hotel De Tourrel in Saint Remy made for a beautiful location, as well as the ancient alleyways outside. Then for sunset, we trekked to the top of the Ancient Ruins of Les Baux in the hills.

For the table inspiration, I chose pale pink hues and stone to mimic the rest of the shoot. Romantic, and a bit wild. Yonder Design made beautiful custom equestrian invites and I purchased the most beautiful petrified wood chargers from Terrain.

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Photography: Larissa Cleveland Photography | Floral Design: Larissa Cleveland Photography | Wedding Dress: J. Mendel | Hair + Makeup: Ylva Langenskiold | Venue: Les Baux De Provence | Venue: Hotel De Tourrel | Bridal Boutique: jinwang | Film Processing: Richard Photo Lab | Floral Source: Aux Bouquets de Jules | Horse Figurine: Vintage | Models: Francesca and Laurent | Paper Goods: Yonder Design | Ribbon + Cloth: Silk & Willow | Tabletop: Terrain at Styers | Tabletop: Crate And Barrel | Wedding Ring: vintage

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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!

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Seasons
Summer
Settings
Chateau
Styles
Romantic

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: Chateaux Avenue | 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

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The French Countryside is Always a Good Idea

It is safe to say that most people’s idea of a dream wedding includes a chateau in the French countryside. The scenery, the romance, the food… it’s the kind of destination that lends itself perfectly to a gorgeous celebration of love. And gorgeous is the key word. Think blooms upon blooms crafted by Lily Paloma, an intimate yet incredibly romantic designed by Fete in France and then there’s all the imagery by 2 Brides Photography. All in all, it’s a francophile or lover of travel’s dream.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Chateau

From Fete in France… College sweethearts, Ven and Adrian, knew they wanted a beautiful location in the French countryside that would be able to bring together the romance of France, their passion for gastronomy yet still be accessible for their international guests coming to their intimate destination wedding. With the help of Fête in France they were able to find the peaceful and bucolic Château de Bouelles. This chic retreat is surrounded by fields and cows, but also has a maze, a rose garden, a hunter’s cottage, and such creature comforts as a heated pool, sauna, fitness room and tennis courts. The weekend started with a rustic rehearsal dinner under the arches of 100-year-old trees on the property. Women were wearing flower-crowns and they ate a delicious local spit-roast suckling pig as the sunset and the candlelit flickered. The wedding day featured an outdoor ceremony under a floral arch full of unique rituals. One example is a vase filled with water by the bride and groom, then each guest adding a rose to make their special bouquet. Cocktails were then served in the formal gardens and dinner in the château. French touches included vintage candlesticks, porcelain and a beautiful table runner full of fresh greenery and flowers. We could describe this enchanting wedding in a million ways; talking about all details; flowers, gardens, ceremony, the table set-up, or even the gorgeous custom-made wedding dress by the bride’s mother, etc… but it is better to hear it directly from the bride. 

From the Bride…  A destination wedding was the best option for us as we had family and friends travelling from all over the globe. We chose the French countryside for the beautiful scenery, outdoor atmosphere, and access to exceptional food. Chateau de Bouelles was a perfect fit for us because we were truly able to enjoy the wedding weekend with our family and friends. The exquisite gardens won us over, as early on we easily envisioned incredible outdoor festivities. The setting and location of the chateau allowed our guests time to explore the region in between wedding events. We had a very dependable planner that understood our vision. Our wedding was absolutely stress free and enjoyable in every way imaginable, we couldn’t have executed it without her.

I had tried on many beautiful dresses, several which felt alright but none that were quite spot on. It needed to be classic but not stuffy. I wanted it fuss free and a dress I could move around in and not need help while walking. After months searching and not finding quite the dress, my mother offered to make my dress. It took lots of phone calls and several flights but it was a beautiful way to include her in both the plans and on the wedding day.

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Photography: 2 Brides Photography | Event Planning: Fete in France | Floral Design: Lily Paloma | Wedding Dress: Mother of the bride | Stationery: The bride | Reception Venue: Chateau De Bouelles | Shoes: Manolo Blahnik | Bridesmaids' Dresses: J.Crew | Entertainment: Jazz Around Midnight | Groom's Attire: Hugo Boss | Groom's ring : Harry Winston | Groom's shoes: Georgio Armani | Hair & Make-up artist: Trine Juel | Rentals: Options | Rentals: Vaisselle Vintage | Ring box: The Mrs Box | Stationery printing : Sesame Letterpress | Veil : Twigs & Honey | Wine: Madame Wine

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