Andrea and Christophe had a pretty pastel and gold hued, laid back, DIY wedding in a little French village. Watch out for freshly picked wildflowers popped into gold dipped mason jars, lace edged table numbers in frames, gilded sequinned linens, pastel bunting and a fabulous photo wall.
Andrea wore a custom made Etsy wedding gown made from layer upon layer of delicate lace, a romantic cap veil hand made from vintage lace by the groom's aunt, a leafy gold, bohemian headband and an antique -can't take my eyes off it-statement necklace. She looked absolutely stunning!
While her groom, Christophe, was dapper in a grey suit and black tie combo teamed with a feather boutonniere and accompanied by stylish groomsmen in suspenders & striped ties.
Annie of MADfotos captured all the beauty of their day perfectly.
From The Bride…
As soon as we got engaged, we began making plans. Being a Franco-American couple, there were a lot of decisions to make in terms of which traditions to include from our respective cultures, and how to make sure that a diverse group of people who do not speak the same language could feel included and have a good time. Ultimately, we knew that we wanted to have a casual, laid-back wedding in a beautiful setting with great food. Our goal was to plan a big party that would be fun for the guests and allow friends and family who had come from all over the world to interact and get to know one another better. We had attended weddings before where you were stuck at one table the entire night and we knew that a more formal reception just wasn't our style.
Decor & Details
We DIYed a lot of the wedding due to our tight budget and our desire to have the wedding look and feel like “us.” The weeks and months before the wedding were spent carefully gathering craft materials together in a palette of mint green, pinks, greys and gold and collecting vintage-inspired touches to match the beauty of the house and garden. The bride and bridesmaids made the bunting, collected and painted old jars and vessels for the candle holders and vases, made signage and collected milk glass and mercury glass candle holders and vases to use as centrepieces. The poor groom spent many nights cutting the corks that would eventually become the place card holders. The Matron of Honor and her mother painted the cake topper and collected the fabric to be made into table runners.
Our mothers, grandparents and various aunts and uncles helped to collect old family photos to display at the front of the tent, and although it took some convincing to have them part with treasured family souvenirs, it definitely paid off! The photo wall was very popular with guests and allowed both sides of the family and our friends to have a topic of conversation, even though not everyone spoke the same language. Our good friend JB, fiancé of my bridesmaid, used his amazing pastry skills to come up with a custom recipe for our cake that was reminiscent of one of our favorite desserts-the tarte au citron.
Luckily for us, the groom's aunt and uncle graciously offered up their property for us to use for the reception without us even asking! Located outside of a tiny village in Brittany, the property and buildings had once been part of an old farm. We knew right away that this would be a perfect location that would allow us to have a weekend-long celebration for our guests and to have complete control over the look and feel of the day.
Bride: Seeing Christophe for the first time as my father walked me down the aisle, and seeing everyone take to the dance floor when our friends did a live cover of Chuck Berry's “Teenage Wedding”
Groom: Seeing Andrea for the first time in the Mairie.
Our ‘DJ' was an iTunes playlist that we made. Christophe is a musician, and having his friends and bandmates play during the cocktail hour and after dinner definitely brought everyone together on the dance floor, which was fun to see and really helped transition to the awesome dance party we had until the wee hours of the morning.
The coming together of friends and family from near and far was one of the most unexpected touching aspects of the wedding, and produced memories that we will treasure forever! We really strove to keep our wedding about the important things – love, laughter and the joining of our two families, and we couldn't be happier with the result.
Advice for Other Couples
Make a list of must-haves and then forget about everything else! You can drive yourself crazy worrying about making every little detail perfect, and in the end it just won't matter. We concentrated on having great photography, good food made from local ingredients and a nice marquee in case of rain in Brittany's infamously unpredictable weather (although we lucked out and enjoyed the first warm summer day of the year). Then, we relied on the beauty of the location to help with the decor and the help of family and friends for everything else. We also gave our bridal party loose instructions for their attire (basically just a color scheme) and let them choose something to their taste and budget.
It is amazing how fast the day goes by, and in the end the fact that you forgot to make the favor bags or that the cocktails were late arriving to the table won't matter in the least. Also, if you are having a cocktail hour, make sure you have someone save you some food to sample! You'll be so busy you won't think to eat. You paid for it, you should enjoy it!
Congratulations Andrea and Christophe!
I have to say a special thank you to Annie of MADfotos and Andrea and Christophe for their patience and understanding, as I've been too ill these past few days to put together this real wedding feature which was scheduled for earlier in the week.
(Thankfully I'm over the worst of it and am hoping to actually leave my hotel room today and explore Bermuda a little!)