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Vintage Inspired South of France Dream Wedding

As a self-professed Francophile, I’ll be the first to admit that this sun-drenched South of France fête totally made my heart skip more than a beat or two. From the hand painted watercolor and calligraphy on the invitations from Signora e Mare, to the final departure of the Bride and Groom in their amazing getaway car, Lavender & Rose pulled out all the stops. Get lost in the entire dreamy gallery from Xavier Navarro here!

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Seasons
Summer
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ChurchVilla

From the beautiful Bride… François and I met at a (now closed) bar in Paris called Footsie. We had no friends in common; it was totally random. My girlfriend and I were planning to go to a bar down the street, but said “Hey there are some cuties in this one, let’s check it out…” François is from Paris and I was in Chantilly (a small town outside of Paris) for an internship at the time. It was December 2008.

We had a long (almost 3 year) engagement, and thus plenty of time to ponder all sorts of destination weddings. Maybe too much time for second guessing and Pinteresting… It came down to France or New Orleans, which is our favorite American city. I had contacted venues, photographers, etc in New Orleans when my mom asked me what I “REALLY, REALLY” wanted to do. Getting married in France just seemed like such a fairytale. I wasn’t sure we could pull it off… and I wasn’t sure anyone would come! But with the help of our great wedding planner, Kerry Bracken of Lavender and Rose, and all our great vendors, we did. We didn’t have any particular reason for choosing Grasse except that we found a venue we liked and we knew we were fairly likely to have good weather in late June in that part of the country. We also considered Bordeaux, as François’ mother is from there (and we are winos), but for the weather and proximity to Nice’s airport, we chose the Cote d’Azur.

I had a bachelorette night the Wednesday before the wedding. When else am I going to have a chance to go out with girlfriends in Cannes?! Friday night before the wedding we had a “Soirée Blanche” cocktail/ welcome party. Everyone wore white, we had copious amounts of rosé, oysters and beautiful food at a beachfront restaurant in Juan-les-Pins. It could not have been more perfect. The weather, the sunset, seeing our families meet for the first time, the jazzy voice of Lizzy Parks…I couldn’t believe just how fabulous it was!! It was great for the French and American guests to meet, laugh, and break the ice before the wedding day.

Saturday morning we took it easy with massages by the pool. My bridesmaids came over around lunchtime. We hung out, had champagne, lounged and just got ready slowly. The wedding was supposed to start at 6:30, but the vintage pink Cadillac I was arriving in broke down. It was hilarious and I’m so glad our fabulous photographer, Xavier Navaro, was riding along with my mother and I, so he was able to capture our emotions and laughter as we watched the locals try to get the car running. The timing worked out perfectly. The ceremony began right at 7pm and the church bells starting chiming as I walked in the church with my dad. Perfect! (I should mention that our gorgeous, simple, rustic church was built in the 12th century. I was adamant about being married in a church–and we were thrilled to find one that would perform a Protestant, multilingual, modern wedding ceremony.)

François and I put a lot of thought into our ceremony. While we didn’t write our own vows, we did say our vows in each other’s language– I said mine in French and he in English. We had meaningful readings done in both languages by friends and family, and chose songs from the Beach Boys, Fleetwood Mac, the Rolling Stones, Cat Stevens, Procol Harum and James Brown. Additionally, we had all of our groomsmen and bridesmaids sign our marriage certificate, which was a special moment. Our priest, Peter Madan, is British and perfectly bilingual, and made all our guests feel welcome by alternating between French and English.

A few more details that stand out would be that we had our guests greet each other with “bisous” and hugs–it made the atmosphere very warm. We also had flowers placed in the seats where François’ parents would have been seated (they are both deceased). And my bridesmaids were stunning. Each one had a unique look with different dress styles, fabrics and colors and each bouquet was especially made to complement each dress. I LOVED how it turned out. We kept the decor in the church simple and understated. Lots of white pillar and votive candles, along with huge urns full of olive branches.

Although we didn’t get married in New Orleans, we did incorporate my favorite NOLA tradition, the second line. Upon leaving the church, guests were given hankies to wave in the air as we marched behind a fabulous New Orleans-style jazz band to “When the Saints Go Marching In.” I doubt the town of Valbonne had seen such a sight…

Our reception started with a cocktail hour around the pool at Bastide de Valbonne. Guests enjoyed more spirited jazz music, French 75s, and passed appetizers. There was a beret wearing caricature artist making the rounds and a pétanque court for our more “sporty” guests.

We had a seated dinner, which also served as the time for toasts. The French give the BEST speeches at weddings–I am always impressed at the thought that is put into preparing and delivering very sentimental speeches. Our tables were named after the places we grew up and then places we have lived and traveled over the years. I couldn’t get over the tablescapes created by Wayne Riley, our florist. He totally “got” our vision and we were stunned at how beautiful the tables were–gray candles, lavender, bright peonies, wild arrangements and single buds in small vases. Our menus and table names were hand done by Katie Hyatt of Signor e Mare. She is a gem of a calligrapher, and also created our custom wedding invitation suite and crest.

After dinner we cut our macaron tower, and it was time for dancing. Our first dance was to “Beast of Burden.” Not traditional, but I am obsessed with Mick Jagger and we love the song. Sappy isn’t for us, and this worked. We went for a DJ because we wanted a dance party with no breaks and only our favorite tunes. For added lubrication, we had an absinthe bar, which was a big hit. Much to François’ chagrin, I also had jager bombs reminiscent of my college days. The party went until 4 or 5 in the morning, and true to form, we were the last ones on the dance floor.

Sunday we had a very casual farewell brunch in the afternoon. A great bluegrass band played and guests dined on delicious burgers from a local food truck, Camion de Sophie. We had Bloody Mary’s and margaritas (my mom’s favorite) and enjoyed recounting the previous night’s antics.

Our family friend and well-known Birmingham artist Bob Moody created a custom watercolor painting of the church where we got married. I had the idea to use it as an envelope liner, giving guests a preview for how the wedding would look and feel. It was just gorgeous and now the original painting hangs in our bedroom.

I loved the idea of having a custom crest and Signora e Mare created one for us to use on all of our paper products. It incorporated a frog (for the Frenchie), an elephant for me (the Alabama fan), lavender (for the wedding location), and cotton (for the South). I picked out vintage postage stamps to represent the France/US relationship/alliance. There were stamps with Grace Kelly, Lafayette, Thomas Jefferson, Ernest Hemingway, Nina Simone and Bartholdi, the sculptor of the Statue of Liberty. Also, each invite was in English, but included a vellum overlay of the invite in French. I wanted every aspect of the wedding to be a “mélange” of French and American culture. At times I felt I was getting way too into the weeds on these details, but I’m glad I did.

Americans, and especially Southerners, want to make sure wedding guests feel special, welcomed, and taken care of throughout the weekend. We put together welcome bags for our guests that included a bottle of rosé, local olive tapenade and crackers, water bottles, a burlap bag with our crest monogrammed, a custom map of the wedding weekend events, a very detailed welcome note from our wedding planner with all logistics, recommendations, etc and a hand written note from me. We also included a unique vintage postcard from the Cote d’Azur in each bag and asked guests to write their wedding advice/wishes on it and leave it at the reception. I happened to find the postcards at a junk/antiques store in Birmingham. I bought every postcard from the South of France from about 1910-1930. We plan to make these postcards into a guest book of sorts…

The inspiration for the absinthe bar came from the fact that François and I drank absinthe together the night we met…and we continue to toast the anniversary of our meeting with absinthe :) We wanted to recognize our family members who are no longer with us and include them in our wedding. I had my grandfather’s wedding band tied onto my bouquet with a handkerchief that belonged to my brother-in-law’s grandmother, who was a kind of mentor to me. Our wedding programs included a favorite love poem of my grandmother, who loved poetry.

Photography: Xavier Navarro | Event Planning: Lavender & Rose | Floral Design: Wayne Riley Flowers | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Bridesmaids Dresses: Amsale | Catering: Parfums & Saveurs | Makeup: Sophie Killian | Hair: Gerard Coiffeur Cannes | Lighting: Riviera Organisation | Transportation: French Riviera Car | Calligraphy On Black Boards: Nice Plume | Music: Jazz Alpes Orchestra | Stationery & Calligraphy: Signora E Mare

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Intimate Wedding Inspiration in the South of France

Every so often I come across a bit of inspiration that really, truly speaks to me. Where every detail makes me want to create something beautiful myself, and I leave the post feeling full. Today, Clayton Austin is delivering exactly that. Intimate yet elegant in the stunning South of France, I honestly couldn’t love this gallery more if I tried.

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Summer
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Hotel
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Elegant

From Clayton AustinThe South of France is an absolutely gorgeous and Hameau Des Baux located in Provence is a stunning backdrop for any wedding. With same sex weddings on the rise being legal in 36 states and the Supreme Court set to make a historic ruling this summer I wanted to create an inspiration board for two brides looking to seal their love with rich romantic colors and a classic, timeless feel. Rag ‘n Bone provided the most amazing pants suit reminiscent of a classic tuxedo for one bride while the second bride wore an elegant Maggie Sottero gown. With accents of black taper candles and a bouquet of roses and red berries it was my goal to create a simple yet elegant feel to inspire any couple!

Photography: Clayton Austin | Floral Design: Clayton Austin | Wedding Dress: Maggie Sottero | Venue: Hameau Des Baux | Black Suit: Rag 'n Bone | Veil: Clayton Austin

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Abby Capalbo

Design, Styling, Parties
Rustic + Elegant Provencal Wedding Inspiration

If I were saying my I-do’s in the Provencal countryside, you bet I’d be calling up La Fabrique à Rêves in a heartbeat. Everything they touch turns to wedding gold, or in this case, a seamless blend of rustic elegance served with a side of irresistible florals from L’Art Qui Pousse. Head to the full gallery from L’artisan Photographe for more and catch the film from MG Image below!

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Fall
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Al Fresco

From La Fabrique à RêvesThe talented Raphael from L’Artisan Photographe contacted us in September as was completely amazed by an olive grove full of perennial trees he had discovered. All inspired by the beauty of this outdoors, the quintessence of Provence, we designed something and decided to create a styled shoot.

The Sarah Seven gown gracefully provided by Olympe, was the perfect mix of elegance and romance. Blandine Fabre did her magic with the makeup which matched the amazing hairstyle by Carole from Les Mariés du Salon. Virginie Sellem – L’Art qui Pousse – took our breath away with the most amazing floral design. She used old roses, astilbe, dahlias, hydrangeas, grapes and figs. Phôs company who’s got a great variety of chandeliers and lanterns gave us the beautiful silver candlesticks that we used on the tables and some beautiful crystal balls hanging in the trees. For the art de la table provided by Côté Bastide in Aix-en-Provence, we chose a simple provencal style, chic and authentic for our long banquet table. DV Traiteur created several dishes, and we were blown away by the beauty and deliciousness of his creations.

We’ve had a great time planning everything and making this happen, not to mention the amazing vendors working with us, thinking of Toxan with his groom suit and our beautiful couple Alexandra & Arnaud. Very special thanks and acknowledgment go to L’Artisan Photographe for his remarkable talent capturing moments and to Gabriel Menassier from mg-image for his incredible video.

Photography: L'artisan Photographe | Cinematography: Mg-image | Event Planning: La Fabrique à Rêves | Floral Design: L'Art Qui Pousse | Wedding Dress: Sarah Seven | Stationery: La Fabrique à Rêves | Catering: DV Traiteur | Makeup: Blandine | Hair: Carole From Les Mariés Du Salon | Groom's Attire: Toxan | Art De La Table: Côté Bastide | Chandeliers: Phôs

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Elegant Wedding in France at Chateau La Durantie

This wedding is a dream. Honestly, every image Peaches & Mint sent over is so beautiful I could get lost in this gallery for days. And I might do just that. Because, in my opinion, it doesn’t get prettier than a classic yet chic French countryside affair in a picture perfect chateau, and I’ll think you’ll agree when you join me in gushing over all the pretty here.

Anna, who’s Russian & Vladan, who is Serbian individually moved to Vienna as children, coincidentally both at the age of seven. Although they had similar circles of friends and for a while even went to school in the same street, life had some time on the road for them planned, before they should finally meet. So Anna went to work in New York after finishing her studies and Vladan was living in London when they both came home to Vienna for a visit to see family & friends. They met aged 24 at a cocktail party of a mutual friend (who later of course became one of her stunning bridesmaids) and made the long distance work until they decided to move back to Vienna and tie the knot. For their weekend long wedding celebration they invited friends and family to join them at La Durantie, a magical french chateau that has been refurbished and maintained with a tremendous love for details. Original pieces & varying decor in every room, it allowed the couple & their guests to be taken in by the French atmosphere & scenery at once! Details: The Location: Chateau La Durantie is a true gem, since it has been refurbished and maintained with such care. It is a dream come true wedding location a few hours away from Paris and sold out years ahead. Vodka & Rakia on the tables: With Anna being from Moskow and Vladan from Belgrad they thought it was a nice idea to put both national drinks on the table for shots. The Flower girls & boys: Are all nieces and nephews of Anna, who came all the way from Russia. Flower girls head wreaths: Stunning head wreaths for all the girls, made such a nice pop of color! Flowers: Florals were done by Lisa Gatenby (French Flower Style), originally from England but moved to France and works her magic with flowers there now The Family Picture: Anna & Vladan planned time during their day to do family formals in the location. Anna changed her dress for this occasion, so the family pictures wouldn’t just reflect their wedding as an event, but their families uniting. The Stationery from Herz & Co (www.herzundco.com): Stunning and bespoke designed letterpress stationery, with printed fans, coasters (for wine bottle giveaways) and invitations with a bespoke design for their french wedding affair. (It’s a bit my weak spot, but I could photograph them again by end of next week and style it nicer – unfortunately there was no stylist at the wedding and I just lacked the time.. But the letterpress company is here in Vienna and I know they would happily give me the pieces again to shoot them!) Giveaways for bridesmaids: Tiffany bracelets Her Headpiece: “Something borrowed” from one of the bridesmaids. Originally purchased at a small accessory store in Vienna. Dower: He got a Montblanc pen and she got a ring from Cartier The groom: Wore an antique Patek Philipp watch, which was a gift from Anna’s father, cufflinks from Lanvin and a suit from Dolce&Gabanna. His bow tie was from Brioni. Rehearsal Dinner: Beautifully set in front of the castle, with Catering by La Durantie. (Sending you another link for that & a few more pictures you might find useful: Wedding Music: An accordonist & an acoustic band took care of french atmosphere!

Photography: Peaches & Mint By Pia Clodi | Floral Design: French Flower Style | Wedding Dress: Pronovias | Ceremony Venue: Chateau La Durantie | Rings: Cartier | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Mango | Groom's Attire: Dolce & Gabbana | Accordeonist / Musician: Grégroy Chauchat | Band / Musicians: Ma Family Trio | Bow Tie & Cummerbund: Brioni | Bridal Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaid Giveaways: Tiffany & Co. | Groom's Watch: Patek Philippe | Hair & Make-Up: Kerrie Langfield | Headpiece: Dudaa Store | Letterpress Stationery: Herz&Co | Sweet Table & Wedding Cake: Trudy Hasker / Chateau La Durantie

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Lush, Organic Destination Wedding in Provence

Greg Finck wedding never disappoints, but when you add the floral talents of Laetitia C. to the equation? You, my dear, have got Provence nuptial perfection right at your fingertips. Designed with a natural, beautifully organic aesthetic, it’s a day that plays off its South of France setting and the results are a destination wedding done so, so right.

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Summer
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Villa

From Greg Finck PhotographyLe Mas de la Rose is a hidden gem in the heart of Provence, surrounded by olive groves and lavender fields. That is in that elegant though intimate typical Provence venue that Fabienne and Carlo had decided to tie the knot. Fabienne is from Switzerland and Carlo from the US, but they had decided to organize a destination wedding by themselves in the South of France. To delight their guests and enjoy the Provence easy lifestyle.

Stationery had been designed by the groom’s brother, and were in a variation of green and grey, which has been the color palette during the whole day. Laetitia C., who is now a friend, has once more done her magic on floral design. Fantastic flowers arrangements were everywhere, from the ceremony to the reception, and were all beautifully designed in a soft green color palette. The bouquets were elegant but not too strict, to reflect the organic and natural side of the region.

The ceremony has probably been one of the most emotional I’ve had the occasion to live this year. The officiant was one of the groom’s best friend and it was difficult not to drop a tear when Fabienne and Carlo exchanged their vows, in the presence of Max, Carlo’s son.

The cocktail was yummy with typical Provence food, including ‘tapenade’ (black olive paste) and regional vegetables, as Le Mas de la Rose grows its own vegetables in the garden. Dinner was similar with amazing organic Provence food and fine wine. The party last until the end of the night, when the bride and groom surprised their guests with an ice cream cart.

Photography: Greg Finck Photography | Floral Design: Laetitia C. | Stationary: Groom's Brother | Bride's Shoes: Lelepyp | Private Villa: Mas De La Rose

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Organic Elegant Paris Wedding Inspiration

For far too long Paris has lived on my ‘wanderlist’, and today I’ve gone off the deep end with this utterly romantic shoot from Le Secret D’Audrey and Wedding Paris. The organic arrangements from Lily Paloma complement the Inbal Dror dress, while the dreamy white setting, with it’s lengthy drapes, candlelight and herringbone floors encompass elegance galore. Join me in the gallery for more.

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Seasons
Summer
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Elegant

From Wedding Paris… When I proposed Audrey about organizing a styled shoot, I did not have a precise idea of which side of the parisian wedding I wanted to show. But when she gave the idea of shooting in a typical Parisian apartment all white with mouldings, it became an evidence that we wanted the result to be “simple” but oh so elegant and romantic!

Because Paris IS elegance. Because Paris is Romance. Getting married in Paris does not need too many artifices because this city brings you straightforward to the point that it is enough for itself. That was exactly the point of the shoot.

Lovers having dinner in a Parisian architectural apartment with a delightful fireplace like we can only find in France, tones of silver and white and an amazing light captivated by Audrey.

For the flowers, we wanted something organic and fresh with light tones surrounded by the heat of candlelights. Lily Paloma used wonderful buttercups, anemones and roses. Not to mention the amazing Inbal Dror dress all embroidered of white and silver that fitted so nicely in the atmosphere. The silver bolded stationeries seemed to be the continuity of the crockery.

Photography: Le Secret D'Audrey | Event Styling: Wedding Paris | Event Planning: Wedding Paris | Floral Design: Lily Paloma | Wedding Dress: Inbal Dror | Cake: Paris Luxury Cakes | Stationery: Ever After Press | Hair And Makeup: Harold James | Venue: Private Residence | Bridal Boutique: Metal Flaque

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