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Modern French Garden Affair in Burgundy

France will forever be the land of pure romance. From the streets of Paris, to a wildly gorgeous chateaux in Burgundy it’s a total destination dream. And this modern meets classic garden affair crafted by Fête In France with blooms by Sol y Flor and photography by Ian Holmes is proving just that. Romance, and a crazy good backdrop like Château de Varennes can all be found right here.

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Jennifer and Julien’s wedding took place over a weekend in June at a luxury château in Burgundy. With Jennifer’s family coming from North Carolina, and Julien’s from all over France, the celebration was truly a fairytale.

The theme of Burgundy wine ran throughout the wedding weekend – the couple and their guests spent the weekend visiting wineries, and all of the meals were accompanied by the region’s finest “crus”.

On the day of the wedding, the couple decided to have a “first look” before the ceremony. They were chauffeured to the ceremony area in Julien’s father’s classic Citroën Traction. The ceremony took place outside on the château grounds where guests watched the couple recite their vows under a beautiful trellis decorated with greenery and white roses. Family friends, who also happened to be priests, performed a touching ceremony. Jennifer and Julien brought a custom-made keepsake box to incorporate into their wedding. The two placed a bottle of wine and love letters to be opened on a later anniversary.

The cocktail took place on the patio outside the Orangerie where guests enjoyed signature cocktails based on the “kir royal”: champagne with a choice of the traditional cassis (blackcurrant) liqueur, peach liqueur, or coquelicot (poppy) liqueur. Musical entertainment was provided by the talented members of both sides of the family – a cousin of Jennifer’s played during the ceremony and cocktail, and a surprise performance by Julien’s twin brother and several of their friends rounded out the end of the cocktail. Afterwards, the party moved inside the Orangerie, where the decoration was inspired by the idea of a wild garden, with the colors of sage, pale pinks and peaches, and touches of beige and chestnut.

A traditional French dinner was followed by dancing and a dessert buffet complete with a traditional French croquembouche (accompanied by sparklers, of course!). We wish Jennifer and Julien the best as they start their new life together!

Photography: Ian Holmes Photography | Floral Design: Sol y Flor | Wedding Dress: Stephanie Allin | Invitations: Mister M Studio | Event Planning & Event Design: Fête In France | Makeup: Annette Thornton | Wedding Venue: Château de Varennes

Ian Holmes Photography and Fete in France are members of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
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Intimate Winter Wedding in Paris

Just sit with that title for a minute. An intimate winter wedding in Paris? I do believe that equals perfection. And from the looks of all the downright stunning images from One And Only Paris Photography, it most certainly does. Every image sitting in this gallery is frame-worthy to say the least, and you can get lost in the lovely right here.

From the Bride…I met Steve on my sixth day in the country, after I relocated from Melbourne, Australia to London in July 2012. It was the Olympic Opening ceremony night and it was my first night out with a few fellow Australian girls since arriving in London. We ended up at a dingy bar in East London, totally not my scene but I was embracing it! I remember going to walk past Steve where he was standing and he said hi (he claims that I said Hi first but I swear it was him that made the first move!), either way, there was an immediate attraction – his dark hair and bright light brown eyes and long eyelashes definitely caught my attention. From there we ended up chatting and laughing for over an hour and a half when it was time for his group of friends to move onto the next bar. We teased each other and chatted like we’d known each other for years. He asked me for my number but being so new in the country I only had an email address to offer… and that was that, we emailed until our first date the next Wednesday and therein after. He asked me to move in with him in November and then he proposed in March, before surprising me with a trip home to celebrate with my family!

After discussing many options for our wedding (big, small, Australia, Europe, eloping..) we decided that all we wanted was an intimate and relaxed ceremony where all of our family could attend. We wanted the day to be about us and the promise that we’re making to each other – rather than table arrangements and co-ordinated bridesmaid dresses! We wanted to make sure that at least our immediate families could attend so location wise, it needed to be near Steve’s father in London as he did not fly at the time. My parents were already planning to visit us in London for Christmas; my little brother Sam was due to also be in Europe travelling & my older brother James studying so it made sense to hold the wedding at the end of the year and bring both families together for the holiday period. When we decided this, we had originally planned to host the wedding in London. We wanted a small ceremony followed by dinner, but when we researched locations and venues none seemed ‘good enough’ to warrant us having out wedding there – we’d either dined at the restaurants before, visited areas with work and so on.

One day Steve stumbled across Weddings in Paris blog, forwarded it to me and we were sold! Whilst Paris wasn’t particularly momentous to either of us then, the beauty of the city and that it is foreign feels ‘special’. It is a 2hr train ride from our home in London, the backdrops are just stunning for photography and as everyone says – it’s the city of love! Once we had made the decision that the wedding was to be in Paris, our smaller guest list was secured and we knew exactly the ‘type’ of wedding we were going to have. We never really thought to enlist the services of a wedding planner; with a degree in Event Management, wedding planning is something that I always wanted to do before I fell into Marketing, so myself and Steve set out to pull it all together in 8 months. We started by deciding what key elements we wanted in our day, and looked to real wedding blogs of marriages in Paris to get inspiration for locations and vendors. Then it was all about late nights spent on Google researching no end! We had a spreadsheet of all the elements that needed to be confirmed with a rough budget and just worked through that one by one by order of urgency. Some details were more difficult with no local knowledge of Paris & without speaking French but we persisted and at times enlisted the help of Parisian & French-speaking colleagues and friends to make key phone calls, but on the whole it was quite an easy process.

I was addicted to wedding blogs (SMP being a favourite!) and was glued to Pinterest for 2012. We loved reading about other people’s weddings in Paris, mainly elopements actually, and that’s how we fell in love with the idea of an intimate wedding. One & Only’s photography was also a constant source of inspiration. I loved the whole day! But if I had to pick just one moment then mine would be finally walking into the beautiful chapel and seeing Steve. It was such an exciting time knowing that the day we had planned for so long was finally starting, as well as our lives together. We had had so many last minute dramas in the week leading up to the wedding and they really didn’t stop until I arrived at the chapel (45 minutes late!); but from that point on the day was perfect and ran so smoothly; and as soon as I arrived to him I knew it would as nothing else really mattered anymore.

Advice to future brides planning a wedding in Paris: It takes a lot of time and planning; if you are not able to be there physically, or speak the language then it can be frustrating at times – but it is doable! If you’re not up for the challenge the enlist the help of Wedding Planner early on to make the most of their service (I suggest Fete in France; we didn’t use them but Nancy was very kind to suggest another venue for our evening drinks when our bar closed without notice a week before our wedding!). A lot of vendors will not be flexible so be very clear with your briefs (pictures help!) so that there is no confusion; and be prepared to take matters into your own hands if all else fails, for example – our wedding car hire company did not offer simple white ribbon decoration (just fake flowers which we didn’t want), so I brought my own & had my dad affix it to the car when it arrived!

Photography: Le Secret D'Audrey | Ceremony: Chapelle Expiatoire | Shoes: Valentino | Make Up: Sanni Sorma | Bride's Dress: Grace Of Westcott | Diner: La Tour D'Argent

Sanni Sorma Makeup & Hair is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
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Parisian Montmartre Proposal

Every “Will you marry me?” moment is beautiful in its own right, but when it’s set in a Montmartre cafe and captured by the amazing Greg Finck…let’s just say we’re a wee bit jealous. Filled with tears and joy (and some seriously stylish moments to boot!) there’s no reason to miss the gallery of goodies all snapped to perfection. Get started here!


From Greg Finck… Tess comes from California and has been living in Paris for some years now. She met Sebastien, a pure Parisian, through the work. Tess and Sebastien just decided that they would quit their job and leave for a for 12-months trip around the world just before moving to the US.

Just before that, they contacted me to realize a couple session and capture some of the moments they lived, as a couple, in Paris. They really wanted to have that session in Montmartre, as this is the area where they had been living for the past year. I couldn’t really say otherwise as Montmartre is the place where I’ve been living in Paris for some years now, and I know the area pretty well. We met in a café around a glass of Chablis, and we took a date for that shoot.

However, some days before the shoot, Sebastien called me to announce me he had decided to propose to Tess during the shoot. He wanted to start by casual couple portraits in Montmartre, and would then take Tess to Café Francoeur, their favorite place in the area, and propose to her. He admitted he was kind of stressed by the idea to propose with a photographer around but I promised I would be very discreet. Tess didn’t have a clue about it.

We started the session a typical couple session, enjoying the nice view from Montmartre even though it was a cold winter day. We then went to Café Francoeur, where Sebastien had all planned. A waiter then brought Tess a gift. It was an antique book of Winnie the Pooh, Tess’ favorite. On the first pages of the book there were some private words, hand-written by Sebastien, which immediately led to Tess’ tears. I can only imagine the words of love that were written here. Then Sebastien put some earphones on Tess’ ears, playing a song special to them. I was sitting at a table nearby, and they were so much into emotion that they couldn’t even feel my presence. After the song, Tess’ eyes were full of tears, and that’s when Sebastien decided to propose. An intense proposal, where he took the ring he had hidden in his pocket. I think images speak for themselves.

This is honestly one of the most intense session I had the opportunity to shoot, and a very special moment to share with these two.

Photography: Greg Finck | Film Scans: Richard Photo Lab

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