Apologies for the lack of musings yesterday, Zee and I have been in Ethiopia celebrating a friend’s wedding this past week (I can’t wait to share it with you all!) and let’s just say the wifi connection was not on my side. At all.

But this pretty post is coming to you from our latest destination, sunny Dubai – land of tall buildings and reliable wifi so let’s get back to the wedding loveliness shall we?

It doesn’t get much lovelier than an intimate, destination wedding in a fairytale French chateau photographed by Dasha Caffrey Photography.

Lianne and Neale said their ‘I dos’ amidst the beautiful surroundings of Chateau Lagorce in Bordeaux.

Lianne looked stunning in her flowing, delicately sparkly Jenny Packham wedding dress while Neale and the boys looked suitably dapper in their bespoke grey check suits.

There’s heart chalkboard signs, delicious French cuisine, lace wrapped mason jars filled with pastel blooms, the scent of lavender in the air and some of the most beautiful, light filled portraits I’ve ever featured!

French Chateau Wedding

The Suits

Neale, his best man and my dad got their suits made in a little shop in reading called Basilica which Neale has been going to for years, they did a fab job and the boys looked very handsome!

The Dress

I was determined to wear something comfortable and wanted our outfits to tie in with the setting so I went for a slightly vintage, loose dress by Jenny Packham. I didn’t want to wear a veil so got a little vintagey head band and although I’d wanted some fancy shoes I couldn’t find any that I liked so just wore a grey pair that I already had.

I didn’t think I wanted bridesmaids as I didn’t want the wedding to become to big, however about 3 weeks before the wedding I asked my oldest friend if she would do me the honour. I bought the dress that she had wanted to wear to the wedding for her and over a glass of wine admitted I needed her help!

The Photography

I had seen that Dasha had photographed a wedding at Chateau Lagorce before and instantly fell in love with her pictures. Being a photographer myself I knew that I would just get a feeling about a photographer and I sure did about Dasha. I literally got in touch with her and booked her straight away and Im’ so pleased I did, we’re so happy with the photos.

The Flowers

The only instructions I gave the florist was to use flowers that were in season, pastel colours and to make them a bit messy.

The boy’s button holes were Scottish thistles which was a bit random, but having lots of Scottish friends its something that I’d always liked at their weddings and the colours went nicely with the boy’s ties.

My dad wanted all of the men to have buttonholes, which I thought was a bit unnecessary but having seen it on the day I must admit it did look super smart.

The Videography

The videography was a bit of a last minute decision, I hadn’t thought I’d be bothered about a film but when I saw my friends movie clip type video of their big day I became desperate to book someone, I found LM Visual by chance and after doing some research I loved their work, them as people and everything they are about so booked them.

The Refreshments

During the wedding planning I’d seen mason jars with pastel coloured juice in so was keen to have them for the service as I knew it would be hot, as it turned out the celebrant was late so they went down very well.

Being a destination wedding meant we were unable to do a food tasting session so we had to rely on recommendations by Anna, the wedding co-ordinator at Chateau Lagorce , the food was amazing so no problem there.

My mum also organised for a family friend to make me a wedding cake as a surprise, he did a fab job of adding his own twist to a traditional design – and it was chocolate which is my fav, we had that alongside a traditional french Croquembouche.

Décor & Details

The venue is so naturally beautiful that I didn’t feel it need to much decoration. As our friends and family were joining us at the chateau for 3 days we decided to opt for welcome bags with goodies in rather than favours on the day of the wedding.

Our place cards were beautiful vintage looking luggage tags with different french designs on the reverse of each card. I hand stamped each guests name on the front (it literally took me hours) but they looked so pretty I’m glad I made the effort.

I wanted a piece of lavender on each place setting as I thought it would smell lovely on a hot summers day outside, so my mum and her friends went out the morning of the wedding and picked 60 pieces of fresh lavender.

The vases for the centre pieces were jars collected by family and friends for months, myself and my friends decorated them with lace and ribbon the day before the wedding.

The table plan and various other blackboards around the venue were hand written by my very talented bridesmaid. And of course there were flip flops to ensure no one had an excuse to stop dancing!

I’d seen a lot of South African weddings with a wheel barrow of beers, and knowing our male guests, we knew this would go down very well during the champagne and canapés which is certainly did.

The Wedding Music

Neale and I have had a favourite song for years – ‘First day of my life’ by Bright Eyes so it was easy when choosing a first dance.

I have a best friend who being a guy couldn’t really be involved in the wedding too much. (I would have loved him to be a second bridesmaid but he wasn’t having it!) So Neale and I thought it would be nice if he played the guitar as I walked down the aisle – he’d only been playing for 2 months when we asked him but after some intensive lessons he did an amazing job and we’re both so happy he could be involved in the wedding day.

He also played ‘I’m yours’ by Jason Moraz for the recessional walk – mostly because that’s the only other song he was good at!

What Made Your Wedding Just So ‘You’?

It was relaxed – I hate pressure so I didn’t want to have any on our big day – that was our main reason for having a small wedding, for not having hair dressers or make up artists and for having a comfortable dress. By making all of those decisions it meant the day was pretty much stress free (minus the best man forgetting the rings haha).

Because we live abroad it was so important to spend quality time with our amazing friends and family and I felt we did that by all staying together for 3 days – having bbq’s and going on a wine tour. By the time the wedding day came around everyone knew each other and were best friends. Our day was literally all about us and our favourite people!

Advice For Other Couples

Pinterest – you can waste away hours looking and pinning but it definitely helps bring all of your ideas together

Try to look back at your original ideas as staying true to them gives you the day you wanted rather than getting caught up in a typical wedding day.

Delegate…nicely. I found it really difficult to ask people to help me, especially with the creative stuff as I guess I enjoyed it and also knew exactly what I had in mind. But when I did ask people to help me get little things they absolutely leapt at the chance to help. Living abroad and also not in the country that the wedding took place meant it was super important to get lots of help.

Congratulations Neale and Lianne! Thank you for sharing your special day with us. Thanks also to Dasha Caffrey Photography for sharing these beautiful photos!

Um…ok so can we talk about how totally and utterly gorgeous Lianne looks? And isn’t Neale’s suit perfect?! What a stylish pair!

Click for lots more gorgeous real weddings on Bridal Musings

Photographer: Dasha Caffrey Photography / Videography: LMVisual / Venue and Catering: Chateau Lagorce / Groom and Groomsmen's Suits: Basilica / Bride’s Dress: Jenny Packham 'Parma Opal' / Bridesmaid Dresses: Oasis / Wedding Planner/Coordinator: Anna Holmes / Luggage Labels: Greens End Craft on Etsy / Invitations: Made by the bride / Bride’s Veil/Hair Accessories: Lo Boheme