French Riviera Garden Wedding
August 1, 2014
RomanticOutdoor WeddingsGarden Weddings
If there's one lesson we can take away from this wedding, it's that marrying in the French Riviera is ALWAYS a good idea. From the quiet ceremony nestled in an olive grove to the al fresco reception where good food and wine flowed a'plenty, it's basically every bride's dream brought to life, and Katy Lunsford captured every moment to utter perfection. Happy swooning, lovelies!
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From the Bride... We met on a little island in the Caribbean whilst both working on different private yachts. He was the dashing Swedish captain and I was the wild and precocious American stewardess and it was love at first date. My original inspiration for the wedding was 1960’s America meets 1920’s France. I wanted to re-create that luxurious lust for entertainment and aesthetic from the twenties and marry it with the grounded natural beauty and community experience that I like to think of the sixties embodying.

After choosing a date, we had to pick a country. I am American, Oskar is Swedish, we met in the Caribbean, and we had chosen to buy our first home in the South of France where many of our friends live. In the end, we picked France, mostly due to it being where the least amount of people were required to fly in long distance. Having the venue sorted so late meant scrambling to plan everything else, and doing this in a new language in a country didn’t make it easier. Plus, I decided early on that I wanted everything unique, everything DIY, no professional help other than catering, AND I wanted it to be very calm and relaxed on the days leading up to the big event. (Anyone reading this who has been married, feel free to laugh loudly and knowingly.)

Needless to say, it was a wild and crazy ride the last week before the wedding. With the help of our amazing officiant we finalized the ceremony two days before, we wrote our vows late at night the night before (but we slept apart!), the venue was still being pieced together until just before the ceremony, the DJ canceled on our way to the wedding, it threatened rain (I had NO rain provision whatsoever as I thought it would ruin the vintage vibe), there wasn’t nearly enough time for photos, half the much laboured over projects never made it out of crates, so many things were missed, so many things were lost…and yet it was the most wonderful, perfect, fabulous, unique, love-filled love fest I could have ever imagined and I wouldn’t change a thing. I married the most incredible man in the world that day and every time I think about it I still get butterflies. 

The venue was so full of natural beauty and color that I knew we could keep flowers fairly minimal. I wanted mostly neutrals, whites, and olive green, but no pink. One incredible bridesmaid is a florist extraordinaire and she so kindly did every arrangement and bouquet for the event and they turned out so beautiful! The table was kept fairly simple, with glass chargers, white plates, white napkins, white table cloths and a natural sand colour linen runner which ran the length of all 115 settings! The floral arrangements were set far apart in order to accommodate food, and my love of all things gold was accomplished with a bag of rough chopped gold foil confetti. I also took ordinary white and wooden candle holders and using spray paint and gold glitter, made them a little more interesting. The day of I never actually had time to put it all together as planned but my bridal party took the lead and did an incredible job making my vision come to life, with no direction from me.

Advice: Keep it simple or get help. I was so set on doing everything myself that it ended up making so much more work for the people around me. Had a hired a weekend of coordinator and made even just a few really comprehensive and easy to follow lists, I could have eased the burden on my friends and family and had even more of the vision executed. Also, not every single that has to be complicated. I love all those complicated tiny little details that nobody else probably notices, but if you are more concerned with enjoying the days before hand and the day of, trust me that in the end they aren’t as essential as you think. And in the end, nothing other than looking into your husbands eyes and saying the biggest, most important, most exciting “YES” of your life will matter. Our day was so fun, so beautiful, so happy, so eventful, and my favourite part is still those moments of holding hands and saying our vows.