Elegance is learned, my friends, and this wedding can teach us all a few things. The beautiful couple chose to wed on the lawn of a French chateau overlooking Ashland’s hills and valleys, and kept it effortlessly chic with neutral colors and simple flowers. Get swept away by the beautiful details, captured by Alexandra Grace Photography with help from Nikita Lee Photography, right here.
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From the beautiful Bride… Our wedding took place on a warm August day. We were so blessed, Ashland had been covered in smoke from the latest forest fires and it cleared up for our big day, clearing the way to see the beautiful green valley below us. We said our vows on the lawn of a French chateau overlooking Ashland’s green valley, hills, and the vineyard. It was a dream! We were lucky to be able to celebrate with approximately 150 guests, plus our wedding party of 12.
For both the bridal party and the groomsmen we let them choose their own attire as long as they stayed within our guideline and style. I wanted the bridesmaid dresses to represent them and be something that they felt beautiful and comfortable in. I asked that they wear a dress below the knee and not too revealing, I wanted their dress to have a classy and elegant feel that went with the style of the venue and our taste. I also wanted simple and “effortless”, so I wanted colors that were in the tan department- and, taupe, light brown. I wanted them to blend but stand out individually and my girls hit the nail on the head! Everyone looked so beautifully elegant and surpassed my vision. The bridesmaids all wore nude heels.
The groomsmen had a little less wiggle room, but weren’t assigned a certain place to shop. We told them to go out and get tan slacks, brown suspenders, brown dress shoes, and a white button up. For a groomsman gift they were given mint bow ties with white polka dots that they wore on our big day (one of the few splashes of color). I was a little nervous to send out six guys and to see what they came up with but they looked great!
My groom wore a fitted light sand colored suit with a white button up and a blue skinny tie with mint polka dots. He looked so handsome! The fitted suit was tailored to him and the brown dress shoes pulled the look all together.
I wore a dress I found at David’s Bridal. I found it the first time I went dress shopping with my mom and grandma. I reluctantly went that day and the first dress I tried on I knew was the one! The white lace over the cream silk gave it timeless beauty. It showed just enough skin and hugged my curves to make me feel sexy, but I still felt modest and classy. Not only was it the look I was going for, but it made me feel beautiful and like a bride. That’s when I knew I had to get married in it! I chose to complement the dress with gold stilettos by Steve Madden and a dainty gold branch bracelet with pearls hanging from it that I picked up at a boutique.
Our bridal party got ready on location before the festivities began. On the side of the chateau was a two story, cylinder tower. The guys got ready on the bottom story, complete with a large living room and bathroom. The ladies were on the top floor with a kitchen, large living room, bathroom, and bedroom. They were beautiful rooms that made you feel at home and made it easy to get ready. The bridesmaids did their own hair and makeup. I asked that the ladies wore their hair styled up, again wanting their personalities and style to show. Each updo was beautiful and simple and complemented their dresses so well. I had two bridesmaids choose to have my hair stylist do theirs as well.
For my hair I want to continue with the effortlessly classy look I was going for. I chose to wear my hair down the middle with long loose curls. During the ceremony I wore a veil that met the middle of my back with a blusher I wore until I got to the end of the isle. For the reception, I greeted our guests wearing a beautiful and simple flower crown made out of baby’s breath, created by my florist. I was fortunate enough to have my dear friend Mattie Lee, co-owner of H&M Salon, style my hair and walk around with me before the ceremony, during pictures, and before the reception to make sure everything stayed styled.
For my makeup I wanted to be contoured and have defined eyes and lips, but not look like I was covered in makeup. I wanted a simple makeup but one that was different from my everyday look. I love bright lipstick but didn’t want it to be distracting that day, so we went with a slightly darker nude gloss I surprisingly loved. My makeup artist, Robin Rasmussen from NEST Salon, did an amazing job and I could not have been happier!
For my flowers I wanted clean and simple, but elegant. I chose to do all white flowers with greenery, and with the help of my florist and mother, we came up with the combination of baby’s breath, gardenias, and green and white hydrangeas. My bridesmaids carried bouquets of baby’s breath and gardenias, while my maid of honor and I carried bouquets of baby’s breath, hydrangeas, and gardenias. The groomsmen wore simple boutonnieres of baby’s breath and my groom, a white gardenia. Our centerpieces were made up with the same flowers along with birch logs we drilled holes into to make tea light candle holders.
As our guests entered we had three Polaroid cameras for guests to use to take pictures with and put in our guest book. We wanted to see the day through their eyes and liked the idea of a picture of them next to their advice and love for us. Littered around were little succulents, our initials, and random birch logs. The chateau was already so rich with architecture and flowers there was no need to add an overload of decor. For guest favors, we filled mini jars with mint colored and flavored M&Ms, and tied it all together with a tag saying “Merci”.
When we all were ready I met my fiancé down on a path in the shade of some trees for our first look. It was quiet and intimate, making it feel even more romantic than it already was. After our first look and some individuals, our bridal party came down and we did all of our shots except ones with family, who hadn’t arrived yet. The bridesmaids and I then headed to the top floor of the chateau where guests weren’t allowed to go. We had an amazing library with a balcony overlooking where the ceremony and reception would take place, along with the green hills and valleys of Ashland. It was an absolute dream and was the perfect place to relax and prepare for everything that was about to come. The groomsmen and my groom relaxed in a closed off circular room right below ours. It was filled with antiques, elegant paintings, and beautiful furniture. Minutes before the ceremony started, we both separately had our bridal party and pastor pray over us.
When the ceremony started, the groomsmen and bridesmaids walked two by two, following my groom, down two sets of marble staircases as all guest eyes were on them. Followed by a ring bearer, two flower girls, and me. I have never felt more like a princess walking down those elegant staircases. We were married under a birch wood arch, made by my father, covered in flowers designed by my florist. Not only was it absolutely beautiful and exactly what I had pictured, it meant so much to us that my father had created it. The pastor that married us is a good friend and mentor of ours. We worked under him as high school ministry leaders (how we met) and he was the one that sparked the idea in our heads to date. It was only fitting to have him marry us and meant so much. We had a Christian ceremony with traditional vows. Before he pronounced us man and wife, we took communion as our good friend sang and play the acoustic guitar. While taking communion we nailed shut our wine box. Our wine box is filled with a bottle of wine from the winery we got married at and unread love notes we wrote to each other the morning of the wedding describing how we fell in love with one another and our excitement for the day. Now we won’t open the box until our five year anniversary, or a time before that if we need to be reminded of the vows we said to each other and the love felt that day.
Immediately following the ceremony we signed our marriage certificate in the upstairs library and took quick family photos. Our reception was at the same location as the ceremony. I’m so grateful for the staff that was working at Belle Fiore Winery that day and made the smooth transition. As guests were in the chateau’s wine tasting room, where the guests were sitting before was being turned into the dance floor with tables surrounding it. The pathway above, in the middle of the two staircases, now had tables for guests as well as our sweetheart table in the center so we could look at everything.
Our reception was filled with toasts from loved ones, the traditional bouquet and garter toss, wine, great finger foods and hors d’oeuvres, and a lot of dancing. Our DJ did a great job of keeping the celebration going and giving our guests a good time.
We exited right after sundown to our friends and family lined up on both sides holding large sparklers! It was so fun to run through them and to be seen off with my new husband. We drove away that night to start our honeymoon at Callahan’s Lodge in Ashland, a log cabin type room in the woods.
Photography: Alexandra Grace Photography | Coordination: Belle Fiore Estate & Winery | Floral Design: Judy's Grants Pass Florist | Wedding Dress: David's Bridal | Cake: Sugar Rush | Invitations: Paper Source | Bride's Shoes: Steve Madden | Catering: Sunrise Cafe | Makeup : NEST Salon- Robin Rasmussen | Hair: H&M Salon- Mattie Lee | DJ: V.I.P. Entertainment | Groom's Attire: 3 Day Suit Broker | Wedding Venue: Belle Fiore Estate & Winery | Exit Sparklers: The Original Sparkler Company | Photography - Assistance: Nikita Lee Photography