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Traditional French Wedding

I’ll let you in on a little secret: I cried while watching this film from SalShan Photo & Cinema.  Like, totally bawled my eyes out.  Because if ever there was a film that will touch your heart and soul in every way possible, it’s this cinematic masterpiece that is all about true, true love and one seriously stunning wedding.  Oh, and the bride’s amazing vows?  Breathtaking.  Push play for all of the pretty.

From SalShan Photo & Cinema… The region of Champagne is best known for the sparkling white wine that bears its name. After viewing the beautiful wedding of Antoine and Mikki, it’s obvious that this historic province should be known for so much more.

This stylish Filipino-French couple took their vision for their perfect day, filled it with a gathering of their loved ones and created a Champagne memory all of their own.  It was a pleasure to be sandwiched between the talented Aziz from Muse, and Randall of MangoRed (Philippines)

This was a great example of an effective slimmed down production: two shooters, two cameras, a small bag of lenses and audio gear. Throw in a fun crowd with a classy bride and groom – and you have the essential ingredients for a memorable wedding film!

Photography: MangoRed | Cinematography: SalShan Photo & Cinema | Gown: Monique Lhuillier | Accessories: Richie Ortega-Torres | Venue: Chateau De Pierry

Monique Lhuillier is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here.

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Romantic Wedding in Provence, South of France

A wedding day inspired by a drop dead gorgeous pair of Valentino shoes in the South of France? I feel like I’ve died and gone to wedding-loving heaven. This is such a dream wedding. It beautifully infuses tradition with gorgeous style – so don’t be surprised when every image captured by One and Only Paris Photography sitting in this gallery leaves you completely speechless.

From One and Only Paris PhotographyProvence is a magical part of France with stunning landscapes and amazing light. It is the perfect backdrop for a wedding. Christina and Paul came all the way from the US to get married here surrounded by friends and family. Music was a huge part of their day and everybody partied late into the night under the stars.

Christina is half American, half French and Paul is Canadian. They both love art and it is thus quite naturally that they decided to seal their union in Aix en Provence, the city of the talented Paul Cézanne. The day before, a rehearsal dinner was held at an amazing venue dedicated to painting. It was as beautiful as the wedding.

 Each detail of this wedding was important; from the Provencal cooking to the decoration. Christina knew exactly what style she wanted for her wedding decoration. She wanted something elegant with a touch of Provence. As color scheme, she chose coral to match her Valentino shoes and bridesmaids dresses.

The ceremony was held in front of the ancient church of the chateau. The cocktail took place poolside amidst the ancient stone ruins. Following the cocktail hour, guests made their way into the marquee for dinner, collecting their escort card from drawers filled of dry lavender.

This romantic wedding in France was a soft day under the warm light of Provence. A lot of this wedding was about sharing Provence lifestyle with their friends and family coming from all around the world.

Photography: One and Only Paris Photography | Photography: Le Secret D'Audrey | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Wedding Dress: Elie Saab For Pronovias | Florist: Digitale Fleursite | Invitations: Designed By The Bride | Shoes: Valentino | Caterer: L'Eveil des Papilles | Planner: Elegance in France | Calligraphy: Alissa Mazzenga Of Feast Calligraphy | DJ: Wedding Smashers | Band: Spyglass | Crest: Happy Menocal | Printer: Boxcar Press | Rehearsal Dinner Venue: Carrière De Lumières In Les Baux De Provence | Venue: Chateau de Grimaldi

Monique Lhuillier is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here.
Romantic French Chateau Wedding

When Erich McVey steps behind a camera, prettiness always ensues. But pretty doesn’t even begin to describe what is happening in the images below. Oh no. These are stunning, beautiful, hold-the-phone-gorgeous works of art that paint an unbelievable picture of what ultimately was an unbelievable day celebrating love in the French countryside. Trust me, this gallery is simply beyond

From the Bride…We first met at university in Cambridge, in the UK. I met Paddy on my first day as a ‘fresher’ (first year student) and I remember it so clearly. He was hippy-ish, with long hair and flared jeans, wearing his Dad’s 70s suede jacket, and he regaled me with tales of his trips to South America. 10 years on from our first meeting and the rest is history!

I am petite in stature, with simple tastes, and I just didn’t feel comfortable in the latest, designer, ‘meringue’-like dresses that shop assistants would insist I should try on. I was adamant that I would not spend a vast sum of money on a dress that I would wear only once. I wanted a dress I could be relaxed in, and have fun in. My first solution was a hurried $50 purchase in a local charity shop. But when I tried the dress on and saw the expression on my mother’s face, I knew the wedding dress hunt was not over – and I was determined to find another, better bargain. After much searching, I bought a French, Henrietta de Praag sample sale dress ($400). Simple and fitted at the waist, with a sweet heart neckline and an A-line skirt, I felt like ‘me’ in it – and I found a good tailor to shrink it the 6 sizes necessary for it to fit me. To add interest, I bought a second hand Sassi Holford lace bolero on ebay (my ‘something old’). At the end of the night, there were wine stains all over my dress – but I didn’t care, I had had the time of my life.

I am not the kind of girl that has dreamt about my wedding since I was a little girl. In fact, the idea of dressing up in a ‘princess dress’, with all those eyes on me, made me nervous. I always thought I would elope, on a beach far away, sand in between my toes, with just my husband by my side. But when it came down to it, I realized that all too infrequently do we take the time to celebrate. I started to see my wedding as a chance to celebrate ‘us’, everything that we had achieved together, our amazing families and our great friends. And for all that, I was ready to celebrate. And so the vision of our wedding grew. One day, would not be enough. To really celebrate, we needed 3 days and a beautiful chateau 500 miles away from London, in the Dordogne region of France.

When planning a wedding, there are so many temptations to up-grade – “because I’ll only get married once….” – so it is really important to decide early on where you want to spend your money; for example, we chose copious amounts of French cheese and special wine over a wedding cake. And I always had my eye out for a bargain. My favourite bargain item were the bridesmaid dresses. The perennial problem with bridesmaid dresses is finding one dress that suits different shapes and tastes. I was very taken by the Two Birds dress – a one-size-fits-all dress that you can wrap 15 different ways – but at $400 each and five bridesmaids in tow, it was out of my budget. I am a great bargain hunter, and managed to find the dresses on an ‘end of line’ discount website for half the price. They were my first wedding purchase and possibly my best bargain. And my bridesmaids looked really beautiful, as did the ‘little angels’, dressed in simple white dresses, with wings and a wand.

We really wanted our wedding to be fun and happy, so we used the flowers to inject some colour. We chose lively pink, purple and blue flowers with a natural and ‘wild’ country feel and tied with brown string. The warm colours of the bouquets were a perfect contrast to the green bridesmaid dresses and, in lieu of a veil, flowers lined my hair (my ‘something blue’) for a simpler look. In the evening, rather than one center-piece of flowers, they were arranged informally in different sized vases spread out across the tables. When I walked into the candle-lit marque, I couldn’t believe how beautiful it looked; I really had not expected the flowers to be quite as lovely as they were.

It is important too, to have little indulgences. Our first extravagance, was a convertible Cadillac to travel in style to and from the church, and an American school bus for our guests. Perhaps ill-advised to have one’s hair done, only to ride to the church with the car roof down – but it was a euphoric feeling, driving away from the church with my new husband, and two VIPs sitting in the front seat (the best man Tom and my sister Victoria), wind in our hair and singing our hearts out to music.

Our second treat, was our photographer, all the way from Oregon in the US. We love his style – clean, artistic photographs that capture simple moments. Paddy didn’t make many wedding-related decisions, but perusing through Erich’s website, Paddy knew straight away that Erich would be the perfect photographer for us.

It is really important to plan a wedding that reflects ‘you’. There are so many conventions around weddings, that it is natural to think that there is a ‘right’ way to do it. But see your wedding as an expression of you, as you start our new life together. By imprinting yourself on the wedding, sometimes in exuberant ways and others more understated, it will put you at ease and make the wedding feel comfortable and right. One subtle example from my wedding: I’m a spirited character and so when I starting taking those steps down the aisle, it felt more natural to engage with family and friends who were beaming at me with huge smiles. I got to an old school friend, Antonia, and I ‘high-fived’ her (inside I was shouting “wooohooo”); when I saw my granny it felt natural to stop to cuddle her; and at the end of the aisle I gave my Dad the biggest hug; I made it clear when our congregation were not singing the hymns loud enough; I gave them a thumbs up when we were pronounced ‘husband and wife’. For me, it set the tone for how I would ‘be’ throughout the day – relaxed and happy. It really does fly by so quickly, that it’s so important to be ‘you’ and enjoy it right from the start. And most of all, have fun, it is a celebration!

There were so many memorable moments of our wedding; getting ready with my mum and my bridesmaids; hugging my dad at the end of the aisle, saying our vows; Paddy’s dad acting as our priest and his 6 year old nephew saying the prayers; and quiet moments in the garden for photographs. The speeches were particularly special; my amazing father, my humorous husband (at least in my eyes!) and his eloquent best friend, Tom. And the impromptu speech by my Canadian Uncle Jack, offering advice to Paddy on marrying into the family – the advice involved earplugs and eye mask…. The impromptu speech set a precedent: the microphone was anybody’s. As we took to the dance floor, the microphone followed, and friends (in their worst karaoke singing) serenaded us with the best of boy band hits, Dolly Parton tunes and 90s rap. My most memorable moment was taking “the stage”, singing “Boom Boom Shake the Room” (I know all the lyrics…) to a crowded dance floor singing back at me, with my No 1 fan (Paddy) dancing away on the “front row”.

A great advantage of a foreign wedding is that guests are essentially on a weekend ‘mini break’ and the care free, holiday feeling is palpable. With 30 of our closest family and friends staying in the chateau with us, there was a real sense of build-up and we had great fun chatting by the pool during the days and dancing on the steps of the chateau by night. The wedding evening itself was certainly the highlight and, as I looked around at 3am, at the guests who were still in the marque dancing I felt so much warmth, energy and a real joie de vivre.

Photographer: Erich McVey | Cinematography: Amy McVey | Wedding Dress: Henrietta De Praag | Florist: French Flower Style | Shoes: Marks And Spencers | Jewelry: Pascal At Harrods | Bridesmaids Dresses: Two Birds | Caterer: La Table D'Aline | Coordinator: Chateau La Durantie | Hair: Kerrie Langfield | Entertainment: Chris Southgate Music | Groom's Attire: Ted Baker | Chateau: Chateau La Durantie | Church: St Thomas Church In Excideuil | Lace Bolero: Sassi Holford | Makeup: Bobbi Brown | Stack Of Cheeses In Lieu Of Cake: Denis Provent

Erich McVey Photography is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
Erich McVey Photography