[section title=”The Planning”]
[field title=”Wedding Colors”]Black & white[/field]
[field title=”Design / Vibe / Vision”]Years before we were even engaged we had dreamed up a fairytale wedding in the South of France together. It was a fantasy we always dreamed about, but I’m not sure either of us thought would be a reality. We kept that dream alive for just short of five years before the wedding took place. In the years that passed we kept an eye on the wedding industry in the area, looking at everything from venues to photographers. At some point we stumbled upon a video of Château de la Napoule that captured us and we both knew it was THE venue.
Despite our persistence, we got engaged during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic and our French wedding seemed a distant dream. A venue trip was planned and we agreed if we could pull a venue visit off without any pain, we would proceed. However Nate then came down with COVID, canceling our trip. We kept our distance and rescheduled our trip, but as luck would have it, I came down with COVID 20 days later, canceling our second trip. At this point, my brother was proclaiming our wedding Franceled, his funny way of saying that our France wedding was canceled. I lost hope of a wedding in France and resigned myself to a wedding in Boston. Nate on the other hand never lost faith. Without his determination, France never would have become a reality.
Two months after our originally scheduled trip, we were finally on a flight to France to see some venues! We had our hearts set on Château de la Napoule, but we did see two other venues while in France to be sure. Our criteria included a water view, a venue that was beautiful standalone without too much decor and ~30 minutes from the Nice airport. All three venues we saw were amazing, and Nate and I actually came away loving different venues. In the end Château de la Napoule did win out. The venue delivered on all of our criteria and brought with it a whole host of history.
Château de la Napoule is an art foundation that allows for private events. This meant we had to bring in everything from sound equipment to lighting. While a massive undertaking, the blank canvas of the venue allowed us to make it exactly what we had always dreamed of – a modern, yet timeless, elegant vibe. We live in a house of neutrals and we knew black and white would be the perfect color palette. We set out to maximize time alongside the water, emphasized the gardens through the château, added twinkle lights and more candles than we could count. Aurélie brought our vision to life and it was truly remarkable! The end result was a dreamy, romantic setting that was perfection down to the smallest details – it was everything we had dreamt of, and so much more. [/field]
[field title=”Proposal Story”]We got engaged on a weekend getaway in Kennebunkport, ME in October 2021. Before my mom passed away, she had always wanted to see the fall folliage in Maine. Unfortunately she never had the chance, but being a lover of Fall and the changing leaves myself, her desire remained a goal of mine. We had planned the whole weekend, but COVID had derailed our trip in 2020 and then again earlier in 2021. On the third attempt, we finally made it!
Given the trip had already been resceduled twice in two separate years, there weren’t any major alarm bells indicating it would be our engagement weekend. We had tag teamed a several month search and the diamond was purchased, but Nate was working on the setting design solo. I knew he was nearing the end of the ring process, so I did have a fleeting thought that he might ask, but it passed quickly. Offhandledly he had mentioned an upcoming bank holiday disrupted his final payment, a statement I now realize was a white lie to make me think the ring was not yet in his possession!
We arrived in Kennebunkport on Friday afternoon and Nate decided we were going for a walk to see the Bush compound, a spot I was not familiar with. I genuinely thought we were taking a walk to see some beautiful bush foliage and I didn’t question it. We walked for quite a while that night. It turns out Nate was scoping out the spot he planned to pop the question the next day and he didn’t like it! When we had checked into our hotel for the weekend – The White Barn Inn – they had given us a pamphlet with some hot spots circled. After returning to our room to freshen up for dinner, Nate looked at the pamphlet, found & Googled Goose Rocks Beach and then alerted our photographer of his new plan.
We spent Saturday eating cinnamon buns and drinking coffee, admiring the fall folliage on another walk and playing chess at The White Barn Inn. Midday Nate decided we should go to the beach to read during sunset, which seemed like a perfect plan for the bookworms we are. I packed a backpack with blankets and books, something Nate kept telling me was unneccessary, but I couldn’t quite grasp. We headed over to Goose Rocks Beach where we ordered sides and espresso martinis before hitting the beach. Little did I know, our photographer was across the bar watching us and apparently Nate checked his backpack to ensure the ring was there a time or two.
After we finished our drinks we headed over to the beach to read. I was insistent on setting up our blanket, but Nate told me to put the backpack down so we could walk by the water first. As we started walking he wrapped me into a big hug and started his proposal speech. It’s rare that Nate uses my full name, so once he dropped that I immediately knew what was happening. Nate likes to joke that I made the actual proposal quite hard on him – being way too giddy to listen and awkward with the amount of emtions he was sharing. I blacked it all out, but remembered to say yes! Nate had planned a weekend with all of my favorite things and found a way to bring my mom into the weekend, even though she could not be there physically. Everything about it was perfect![/field]
[board_carousel title=”Getting Ready”]
[board_carousel title=”Bridal Portraits”]
[board_carousel title=”Flat Lays”]
[board_carousel title=”First Look”]
[section title=”The Fashion”]
[field title=”Wedding Gown”]I went into the wedding dress process knowing I wanted a dress with texture, but not knowing much else, not even if I wanted the dress to be white. My brother and Nate’s mom accompanied me to three trials and while the dresses were gorgeous, none were IT. I felt as though I liked a dress 80%, but wanted to change the other 20% to make it perfect.
Cue Bre, my amazing custon dress designer! My brother told me he knew I would work with Bre from the second we got to her studio – I lit up differently than I had at any other bridal boutiques. Bre’s sample dresses were airy and whimsical and everything I wanted. I had trust in her from day one, so much so that I put all my eggs in one basket and had her design all three of my dresses – welcome, wedding and dancing dresses.
Pretty quickly after trying on Bre’s samples my main dress vision fell into place. I landed on an A-line dress which felt perfect for our venue. I wanted texture and ended up leaning in heavily on pearls, incorporating them head to toe – pearls in my hair, on earrings, my bodice and my shoes.
I knew I wanted my dancing dress to be fun and a little flashy and Bre helped me strike a perfect balance between sophisticated and party. We used a lightly glittered tulle and added beads and appliqué to really make it pop.
Bre was incredible. She was able to take my inspiration photos and my nonsensical thoughts and somehow turn them into the dresses of my dreams. Bre and I went on a real journey together throughout the near year-long process and I couldn’t have asked for anything better – she was patient and honest and beyond talented. My cousin’s veil – my something borrowed – rounded out my wedding wardrobe. I felt like a princess and I’m looking for any excuse to wear my welcome and dancing dress again – it’s just a matter of time![/field]
[field title=”Bridesmaid Dresses”]My biggest concern for my bridesmaids was that they felt beautiful! With this in mind, they were all asked to pick their own black dress. The onyl requirement was that they felt great in it and were excited to wear it! Shoes, accessories, hair and makeup were all up to them as well. Without coordinating, the girls ended up picking some really gorgeous dresses, all of which had some texture that tied together perfctly and they all looked amazing together. [/field]
[field title=”Groomsman Attire”]In keeping with the elegant vibe, we went with a simple black and white tuxedo for the groomsmen. Nate opted to modernize the look by pairing it with a black loafer, a personal favorite.[/field]
[board_carousel title=”Cocktail Hour”]
[section title=”The Details”]
[field title=”Food & Drink”]One of the first things Nate and I connected on during our first date was our mutual desire to have a slow-paced, multi-course meal, often with wine pairings. When planning the wedding we knew almost immediately that we wanted to approach our wedding the same. Since guests would be traveling a long way, we also knew we wanted to immerse them in the culture and really show them what we love about France, the food being a big piece of that.
Our cocktail hour consisted of a variety of passed canapés, an oyster bar, a risotto display and a shrimp and scallop station. When Aurélie suggested a five course meal, inclusive of a cheese course, for the reception, we knew she understood our food goals! We capped it off with our version of late night McDonalds burgers and fries which we had served to us on the dancefloor to keep the party going strong.
We served champagne pre-ceremony and had an open bar from cocktail hour until the party ended at 3AM. Our bartenders were incredible and kept the energy going all night long! They were great with our guests, slinging drinks with ease, serving up shots, mixing in a few tricks and even letting our guests help out. We had six signature drinks, but our two favorites were the Giannobile & Tonic and the Espresso Lambertini. Lastly, our specialty coffee bar gave us and our people enough fuel to keep the dancefloor going until 3AM! [/field]
[field title=”Florals & Decor”]Florals were a piece of the puzzle that we had a lot of ideas swirling around, but not a lot of conviction other than wanting texture throughout the blooms. We were so thrilled when we really got to know Élise and Sébastien with Lettre à Elise Events. We had a few calls with them, but we really fell in love when they met us for our venue runthrough nine months before the wedding. Their energy and passion was palpabale and their creativity invaluable – Élise and Sébastien offered unique ideas ranging from florals to candles to setuo floorplans. After that initial in-person meeting we mutually agreed that Élise and Sébastien had our full trust and could do as they pleased in coordination with Aurélie. From the welcome reception to the wedding, they completely blew us away! They were such an essential piece of our wedding planning – we truly could not have done it without them![/field]
[field title=”Wedding Cake”]As a couple who simply cannot leave a restaurant without perusing the dessert menu, we knew dessert would hold a special place at our wedding. Years before we were even engaged Nate was planning the short & sweet speech he would give at the wedding, strategically timed to be right after the cheese course wrapped up. His main goal, aside from thanking our guests for making the trek, was to ensure everyone took a moment for dessert. We’re a couple that firmly believes in a second stomach for dessert, but funnily enough, neither of us really enjoys cake. We opted for a sweets table showcasing some of our personal favorites, as well as tapping into the local loved options – mini crème brûlée, chocolate covered strawberries, macarons and croustillant au chocolat. Paired with our coffeebar, it was the dessert display of our dreams![/field]
[field title=”Readings, Ceremony Music, Reception Songs”]Wedding Party Entrance: Wildest Dreams by Taylor Swift (string quartet version)
Bride Entrance: Love Me Like You Do by Ellie Goulding(string quartet version)
Recessional: I Like Me Better by Lauv (string quartet version)
Couple Entrance: Verge by Owl City
First Dance: Iris by Goo Goo Dolls (piano version)[/field]
[field title=”Special Detail #1″]Nate and I did a pretty even 50/50 split on the planning – we were both invovled in every step of the process, but we did take bigger roles in various pieces of the puzzle to cater to our biggest interests. Since Nate surprised me with the proposal itself, I knew I wanted to surprise him with something during the wedding. Fireworks were the first thing that came to mind! Aurélie and I very quickly got to work on the surprise, covering everything inclusive of the soundtrack to accompany the display.
Somewhere along the way Nate actually had the grand idea himself, but Aurélie and I were already equipped with a sotry – the château did not allow fireworks, not to mention they were out of budget. Nate bought it, but did mention his disappointment on the topic a few times.
Fast forward to the wedding, Nate thought we were going outside to take a few sparkler photos before heading to the dancefloor. Imagine his surprise when the fireworks began! Laurent, our cinematographer, captured the moment – audio and visuals – perfectly. Nate and our guests were blown away and it was truly a magical fireworks display. [/field]
[field title=”Special Detail #2″]We knew we wanted to do something to remember my mom, an obvious void, on our wedding day. But we also knew we didn’t want to do this in a way that was subtle, known to us, but not everyone. We decided to save a seat for my mom in the front row as a symbol of her presence. Élise and Sébastien came up with a poetic idea to make the chair “taken by nature”, with flowers growing on it. We opted to add yellow flowers, both mine and my mom’s favorite color. I also had a piece of my mom’s wedding dress sewn into my custom wedding dress. Both were great reminders that while my mom wasn’t there with us physically, she was certainly there in spirit. [/field]
[field title=”Special Detail #3″]Pretty early in our planning process Nate decided we would have a wedding monogram / logo. Crème de Papier did an incredible job bringing a unique twist to the standard wedding logos you routinely see – we loved it! So much so that we did our best to incorporate the monogram in as many places as possible, with the most unqiue place being a spotlight version of the monogram on the château’s tower. When it finally grew dark, it was amazing to see our string lights and plethora of candles joined by the monogram. It really elevated the courtyard and created anothe ‘wow’ moment for us and our guests. [/field]
[board_carousel title=”Couple Portraits”]
[board_carousel title=”Wedding Weekend Events”]
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Photography: Sylvain Colandrea | Videography: Studio 80 | Event Planning: Love & Provence | Floral Design: Lettre à Elise Events | Wedding Dress: Bremelia Custom Bridal | Stationery: Crème De Papier | Reception Venue: Chateau De La Napoule | Catering: Giry Traiteur | String quartet: Botticellis | Bartending: DNA Bartending | Bridal HMUA: Ylva Langenskiold | Bridesmaids HMUA: Amandine Poisson | Bridesmaids HMUA: Amandine Baron | Live band: Brightlights | Production: D&X Events