Sunday, 30 October 2011

My Wedding in Provence - Part 4 - The Evening

Another day, another set of pictures from my wedding. The last ones! We hosted dinner for our guests outside on the terrace in front of the Chateau, but we were worried everyone would be too cold for dancing. So instead, we ventured indoors into the basement, where we'd created a nightclub, with a bar and dance floor, and our incredible DJ, Sophie Callis. The large white helium balloons were originally intended to float above each table at dinner, but there was a bit of a breeze, and everyone was worried that they'd knock over glasses, so our wedding planner, Kerry from Lavender & Rose Weddings,, found a different home for them. They looked great against the ultraviolet light! We chose a traditional French wedding cake called a croquembouche, which was as delicious as it was dramatic. For more info about my wedding, do check out the Before the Big Day Questionnaire, which I've filled in below the pics! Gorgeous photographs published with thanks to the amazing Chloé from Caught the Light.

The Before the Big Day Bridal Q&A 

Where and when did you get married?
On 28th May 2011 in a tiny French village called Puyricard, just outside Aix-en-Provence. We hired a private château for three days.

What was your thinking behind choosing the venue and the decoration of the reception?
We really wanted a garden wedding, where we spent most of the day outside. So a warm day was essential. I wanted the day to feel chic, but relaxed, with a touch of fun. Bunting and DIY'd tissue pompoms ensured the venue didn't feel too grand.

Did you have a theme, colour or motif in mind?
Yes! As a wedding blogger, I spent many days agonising over which theme to choose. In the end I chose a Secret Garden theme, and a colour palette of soft grey, dusky pink and sage green. We had a key motif which appeared on all the invitations, place markers, programmes and pashmina tags. My sister gave me a Tiffany key charm, which I sewed onto my bouquet, and The Boy had a vintage key tied into his buttonhole. 

Who made your wedding outfit, and how did you come to that decision?
My dress and veil were by Delphine Manivet, and I felt gorgeous. Shortly after buying the dress, I had huge buyer's remorse. I'd never intended to spend that much, but after trying on dozens of cheaper dresses, and even travelling to New York in my quest, I kept coming back to the 'Anatole'.  My shoes were Halston Heritage, a bargain buy from The Outnet.

And how about your bridesmaids’ outfits?
I was determined not to turn into bridezilla, and I couldn't afford to buy my 5 bridesmaids dresses, so instead I asked them to pick a dress of their choosing in soft grey. This was a fatal decision! None of their dresses were the same shade of grey, so it didn't turn out as well as I'd hoped. If I had my time again, I would have insisted on the same dress!

Did you have any favours? What were they? Was there any particular reason why you picked them?
Every person had a vintage key and a fortune teller at their table place. The fortune tellers contained fun facts about me and The Boy, and inside was the menu. Everyone also had an envelope containing an invitation to the drinks party the next day, and a fake stick-on moustache. The moustaches were a hilarious ice-breaker - we had everyone wearing them by the end of dinner. All the female guests were given grey pashminas at the start of dinner to ward off any chill.

Who was your florist, what flowers did you choose, and how did you come to that decision?
Our amazing wedding planner, Kerry Bracken, found our florist for us. His name is Stéphane Tévenin, and he's the local Puyricard florist. He's wasted there, we should ship him to London!

Who was your photographer and how did you choose them?
I can't even remember how I found Chloé from Caught the Light, but she was our best decision ever! It's scary when you book your wedding photographer, because it's often one of the first wedding things you do, and it's an expensive step. Chloé was worth every penny.

Did you enjoy planning your wedding?
Honestly? No, not all of the time. I got really stressed at times, and we had some very difficult times. The evil Icelandic ash cloud nearly ruined the wedding by stopping all flights out of London, but luckily stopped spouting ash just in time. Also we had problems with the owner of our venue. Make sure you get everything in writing when you book a venue, as things can go wrong, and you don't want to have to threaten to sue someone 3 days before your big day. That said, planning my wedding was also a fantastic experience. I discovered a creative side to myself which I didn't even know existed, and The Boy discovered he is very good at making pompoms!

Did you have any DIY projects?
Tonnes! We were on a budget, but I was determined to have as many wedding details as possible. The wedding stationery, the fortune teller menus, the white pompoms, the place cards, the programmes - everything! The Boy's brother made all our wooden signs, and our lovely wedding planner, Kerry, arranged the clouds of baby's breath for the chapel. My family and bridesmaids and their lovely boyfriends helped decorate the venue, and I'm eternally grateful for their pompom pouffing, candle placing and bunting hanging.

What advice do you have for brides planning their big day?
Read the wedding blogs! Scroll through tonnes and tonnes of real weddings and save pictures or make notes about your favourite wedding ideas and details. Then try to narrow them down to one unifying theme or colour palette. Then get creative! You'll be amazed at how much fun it is doing wedding DIY projects. Rope all your friends and family in to help you out, and try to stay organised. Finally, have a real think about how to make sure you enjoy our wedding day. You don't want to have a headache or a tummy-ache, or to be worrying about when the caterers are going to arrive, or to forget to eat. If necessary, hire someone to coordinate your wedding day. But make sure you enjoy yourself!

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