Elegance awaits at this south of France Wedding. Wanderlust Wedding planned a fairytale day filled with a green and white color palette and flowers as far as the eye can see. From the ceremony that seemed as if you’d stumbled upon a secret garden to the reception covered in hanging booms, Sisters & Blush Floral Design brought the couple’s wedding vision to life in the most enchanting of ways. All the Monaco magic was artfully captured in the imagery by David Bastianoni, head to the full gallery for a closer look at all the lovely.
From Wanderlust Wedding… Gabrielle & Rex contacted us in May 2021, they were looking for a planner to plan their wedding in the South of France, especially in Monaco. Having been brought up in Monaco, I know the are quite well. They were looking to have a wedding incorporating the glitz and glam of Monaco, but did not want anything too ostentatious. When they were able to come over and we met in person, we immediately clicked, we knew our relationship client / planner was meant to be! The wedding ended up being a 5 day event, with an intimate welcome cocktail on Gabrielle’s grandmother’s terrace, which is an important place dear to her heart, a welcome party at the Monaco Yacht club overlooking the harbor, a civil wedding in Monaco followed by a rehearsal dinner at Yannick Alleno’s restaurant in the Hotel Hermitage Monaco, the wedding ceremony and reception the next day at the Bastide du Roy in Antibes, and a farewell brunch on a beach club in Monaco. Guests got to experience the real Monaco / French Riviera life! Being already in a glamorous environment, Gabrielle and Rex wanted their wedding day to feel more organic and natural, a lot of work was put into the decor but we wanted it to look as it was part of the Bastide. The ceremony took place in the circular musical garden of the Bastide which used to welcome classical music concerts for Jeanne Lanvin when she used to own the property. The lush gardens of the Bastide were the scenery of the cocktail hour. Dinner was made of Mediterranean dishes, which was something very important for Gabrielle and Rex, they wanted to represent the Mediterranean gastronomy at it’s fullest that we all experience daily in Monaco and on the Riviera! Florals were meant to look elegant, timeless yet very natural and nothing too other the top.
From the bride… Rex and I have grown up together since we were 7 or 8 years old. His older sister is one of my oldest best friends and because of this I had always known him as the nerdy little brother. It wasn’t until one Thanksgiving at a local bar some 15 years after we first met, a little older and a little taller, that we realized there was a spark. Rex and I dated for about 6 1/2 years before he finally popped the question. It was December 2020 and it was still the peak of the pandemic. Rex’s entire family, along with my 93 year old grandmother, my mom, my sister, and my dad had driven from every corner of the country to spend the holidays with us in Connecticut. It was a snowy white December day, and it was a complete surprise in front of the Christmas Tree. We were so happy to be able to celebrate with those closest to us. Rex and I knew that we wanted a summer wedding in a location that was meaningful to the both of us. We’ve traveled all over the world from Japan to Guatemala and everywhere in between, but the one place we always returned to was Monaco. I am Monegasque and American so we would visit my family every summer to spend a few weeks in Monaco. It became a place that we as a couple associated with so many amazing memories, and we knew we wanted to be able to share the same experience with all our loved ones. So off we went to plan a wedding in Monaco!
We knew the South of France wasn’t necessarily the easiest destination for guests to reach from the U. S. So we wanted to make the wedding weekend worth the trip for all our guests. Four days of activities were planned in Monaco, including the Welcome Party, Civil Ceremony and Rehearsal Dinner, with the actual Wedding Day taking place at the Bastide du Roy in Antibes, France. We wanted to offer guests a taste of the glitz and glam of Monaco with the views of the Casino and the Mediterranean Sea, while also introduce them to the warm, provencal countryside of the South of France. That’s why it was a no-brainer when we went to our site visit at the Bastide du Roy. It was the perfect balance to the rest of the weekend in the more-urban setting of Monaco. It embodied the beauty that is the Provence region and the South of France with four beautiful gardens, a view of the Alps and the medieval town of Biot. Not to mention it is completely surrounded by 365 olive trees (one for every day of the year) and offers views of the Mediterranean as well.
For our invitations, we wanted to get guests excited to visit Monaco, and we were inspired by vintage travel posters to the South of France and the vintage Monaco Grand Prix posters. My grandmother (my Mom’s mother) has a spectacular terrace in Monaco with sweeping views of the Place du Casino. We wanted to make sure this was captured in our invitations as well. We worked with Christelle from Creme de papier to bring our designs to reality. The invitations looked like a vintage postcard and featured the exact view from the terrace. Guests kept the invites on their fridges even after the wedding! For the Wedding itself, Rex and I loved the idea of a dreamy, organic vibe that still had notes of clean luxury and understated glamour throughout. For the ceremony, we wanted to lean into the beauty of the lush green gardens at the Bastide, and enhance the setting with delicate lighting, accented flowers and organic modern decor. Our Planners at Wanderlust Wedding and the floral team at Sisters & Blush Floral Design truly understood our vision. For the Reception, we wanted to create a fairytale environment with leafy pergolas, hanging cherry blossoms and string lights simulating a roof above the dance floor. Rex and I always connected over music, and for this reason it was so important that we kept guests entertained throughout the wedding. Our band, Sounds of Riviera, kicked off the wedding by playing every special request we had for the Ceremony and kept guests dancing throughout dinner. We loved them so much, they came back for the Beach Brunch the next day! Our DJ Ben Spencer understood our music tastes ranged from Led Zeppelin to Daft Punk, and he played the hits all night long. We also wanted to add a live music element to the DJ after the band left, which is why we hired saxophonist Peter Baran to play alongside the DJ. He amplified the dance floor. Guests were so surprised and couldn’t stop dancing with him. For Food we knew we wanted guests to enjoy all the flavors of the Mediterranean. Growing up in Monaco, you always ate a blend of French and Italian food. We loved that our caterers Lovisolo Ricevimenti embodied that culture in everything they created. Petits Farcis (stuffed vegetables), tuna crudo, stuffed anchovies, and Prosciutto and Burrata bar. Everything they made they got everything right. Not to mention, DNA Bartending made delicious cocktails with ingredients like hibiscus, bergamot, and thyme.
Knowing we were having a completely outdoor wedding in the South of France, we wanted our outfits to connect with the venue, the luxury of Monaco and the beauty of the region. Guests were dressed to the nines in black tie. I asked my bridesmaids to wear silk dresses similar to shades of the sunset. Their dresses ranged from rose to bronzes, and the ladies (along with the dresses) looked incredible against the forest-green backdrop. For my bridal look, I wanted a classically elegant dress with a dramatic veil. I chose the Pronovias gown because I loved the silhouette, and the attention to detail with the buttons in the back leading down to the end of the train. For the veil, I loved the idea of a long flowing veil, similar to a Spanish Mantilla. I selected the veil from Christie Lauren because it was the perfect dramatic accompaniment to the delicate dress. For my shoes, I wanted something comfortable, yet classy. I loved the vintage-style look of the Jimmy Choo Sacaria Block Heel Sandals, and the pearl at the tip of the shoe. For my after party dress, I wanted a fun, flared alternative to the dress. I decided on a Bronx and Banco One-Shoulder Mini Dress with feathers on the sleeve. It was great to dance in and I loved the 70s style design of the dress. For Jewelry, I wore two Robert Coin bracelets. One given to me by my Dad and the other by Rex. My mom gave her mother “Mamilous” vintage diamond earrings to wear with my dress so I could keep a piece of her with me throughout the whole wedding. Unfortunately, my “Mamilou” was unable to attend as she was in the hospital. This component was so special to me as she ended up passing away two days after our wedding. For the Groom, Rex wore a White Ludlow Slim Fit Tuxedo from J. Crew and black Ostrich leather belgian loafers from Belgian Shoes in NYC. His Groomsmen looked dapper as ever in black tuxedos with peak lapels.
Family is invaluable to the both of us and we wanted to make sure there were moments to highlight them throughout the wedding. My grandma, my dad’s mom, at 95 years old made the trip to Monaco all the way from Indianapolis, Indiana for our wedding. She’s in incredible shape, looks not a day over 70, and has the sass of a 17 year old. We knew we wanted to incorporate her in the wedding somehow, and we decided to surprise guests with having her be our flower girl. She got ready with all the bridesmaids on the day, and looked as glamorous as ever! She had practiced doing leg-strengthening exercises for weeks in preparation for being a flower girl, and she walked down the aisle with my mom. It was so powerful to have the two most important matriarchs in my family together down the aisle. It was also important for Rex and I to find ways to include our father figures. We decided to have Rex’s Step-Dad as our officiant, and have a first-look with my Dad prior to the wedding, in addition to him walking me down the aisle. My Dadis truly one of my best friends and as the youngest daughter in our family, I know he has been looking forward to this moment since the engagement. When he saw me in my dress for the first time, he started to cry, and actually quoted a line from our father daughter dance song by James Taylor “Whenever I see your smiling face, I have to smile right back because I love you.” We both teared up. It was one of my favorite moments from the wedding. We were so happy as our photographer, Alessia from David Bastianoni, and our videographer, Gione Silva, were incredible at remaining subtly behind the scenes, and still being around to capture these most special, intimate moments.
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Photography: David Bastianoni | Cinematography: Gione Da Silva | Event Planning: Wanderlust Wedding | Floral Design: Sisters & Blush Floral Design | Wedding Dress: Pronovias | Invitations: Crème De Papier | Reception Venue: Bastide du Roy | Catering: Lovisolo Ricevimenti | DJ: HSMD | Band: Sounds of Riviera | Bartending: D.N.A Bartending | Beauty: Amandine Baron | Flatlays: Crème De Papier | Rehearsal Dinner Venue: Hotel Hermitage Monaco | Rehearsal dinner Catering: Yannick Alleno | Rehearsal dinner flowers: Gastaldi Fleurs | Rentals: Be Lounge | Rentals: Options | Saxophonist: Peter Baran