I can’t quite remember how I found out about Jean-Luc’s own wedding to the beautiful Liza, but I was delighted to see they’d chosen Geoff Reardon to be their wedding photographer.
Jean-Luc and Liza have written their wedding report to share with you, and the images of their wedding day are breathtaking – so I’ll leave you in their capable hands to enjoy today’s wedding blog.
Cambridge College wedding blog: Liza and Jean-Luc Benazet
Liza had two beautiful dresses for the distinct parts of the wedding day. In the morning she wore this Monsoon Fusion summer dress with Irregular Choice shoes from Schuh. For the afternoon blessing & reception she wore Victoria Jane by Ronald Joyce (Sable 17014 ivory) bought from Karen Forte in Bassingbourn with shoes from Monsoon, a bracelet and hair accessories from Accessorize and necklace from Ernest Jones.
Jean-Luc wore a Cerruti black suit, ivory waistcoat and cravat, Ted Baker shoes, plain white shirt bought from Savoy Taylors – and Arsenal cuff links!
The day began at 10AM with a small civil ceremony at Cambridge register office with immediate family and close friends. We had spent the previous night apart, Liza at the hotel and JL at home, we arrived with our respective families and Liza was given away by her Dad, we purposefully kept this ceremony small & simple which turned out to be very special.
We then went our separate ways to get ready for the blessing to be held at St Benet’s church in Cambridge at 2PM. Liza back to Hotel du Vin, Cambridge with the bridesmaids and JL to his family’s hotel. The French contingent (22 people) had taken over a whole B&B: Warkworth house in Cambridge.
The second part of the day was very different from the first part. With over 80 guests, the ceremony itself was quite short but exactly what we wanted. We entered the church the same way as it is done in France: First JL with his Mum, followed by the two flower girls, followed by Liza and her Dad, followed by the bridesmaids. We had three readings as well as our favourite hymn, Jerusalem. It was packed with emotional moments that we will remember forever. At the end of the blessing we had organised bell ringing, which helped to send us off in style.
Everything was perfect, the weather, the venue, the music, the champagne cocktails (Hedgerow Fizz), the canapés, and above all having all our friends and family in one place. We felt very special that people had travelled so far to spend our big day with us.
As our vintage Rover 10 car came to pick us up, we decided to walk around the corner in the sunshine (in the middle of a busy Saturday in Cambridge city centre, surprised by the number of passers by who stopped to wish us good luck) to the college where the reception was to take place: Corpus Christi college.
We were greeted at the gate by our master of ceremony who then led us to the Master’s Garden, we felt very privileged to be able to host our drink reception there as we were not associated with the college.
At about 5PM, we were then called into the magnificent dining hall for the wedding breakfast, which looked out of this world, with an amazing arrangement of vintage flowers. Although we did not have a particular theme for the day, we tried to incorporate both French and English elements, with a slight vintage glamour touch.
Jean-Luc and Liza’s most memorable wedding moments
* Greeting most of our French and British guests the evening before in a pub (The Old Spring, Cambridge), and observing how some of them used hands to communicate… Not understanding a word they were saying to each other!
* JL not being able to utter his vows, after becoming emotional as he saw his bride arrive.
* Liza walking in the ceremony room with her dad, nerves disappearing when she saw her husband to be.
* Coming out of the Register office… married! Even before everything else got started!
* The atmosphere in the hotel room, as (the blessing) preparations unfolded…
* Liza and her Dad being totally surprised when they arrived at the church in the car, being cheered by the whole crowd in the street, and people hanging out of the pub windows opposite (The Eagle).
* A friend included a reference to our cat in her reading of The Owl and The Pussycat, which brought much laughter.
* Having our organ player adapt then play one of our favourite songs as we left the church: La Ritournelle by Sebastien Tellier.
* Enjoying spending some time alone whilst having photos done and pinching ourselves that we are now married.
Wedding day advice
* Don’t beat yourself up about not spending loads of time with everybody. If you work it out, 80 guests = no more than 5 minutes per person!
* Enjoy every minute as the day goes very quickly.
* Have a back up CD of the songs needed for your ceremony as the registrar snapped ours in half minutes before Liza was due to make her entrance!
* Don’t be afraid to plan the day as you want. In the week leading up to the wedding, we suddenly worried that having two parts to the day would mean that things would not flow as well as they would have if everything had happened in one place. In fact, doing it that way made it even more special for us!
The meal itself was perfect as commented by all our guests, but the “crème de la crème” had to be our traditional French wedding cake: a Croquembouche!
The party continued into the evening, with extra guests arriving and a live band playing our favourite tunes, including “Feeling Good” by Muse for our first dance. Our photographer set up a photo booth in one of the rooms which was a hit with our guests.
Recommended wedding suppliers
* Photographers: Geoff Reardon – www.geoffreardon.com and assistant photographer Charlie – Very professional & friendly. Geoff came up with great ideas. We were very happy with the final images, and so were our guests. www.facebook.com/GeoffReardonPhoto
* Florist: The Flower Boutique – www.theflowerboutique.co.uk – Very happy with Leen flexibility and her vintage style theme.
* Cake: Michelle Gillot @ Chocoshells – http://chocolateshells1.com – Michelle can create any cake from scratch, just ask her!
* Pianist: Ben Cork – www.youtube.com/BenedictMusic – Ben was very pro and amicable, great at playing and singing. Book him!
* Band: Happy Daze – www.functioncentral.co.uk/acts/happy_daze
* Venue: Corpus Christi College, Cambridge – www.corpus.cam.ac.uk
* Make-Up & Hair: Ashley Kay Gifford – www.primppowderpout.com – Great make-up, she was very flexible and brought assistants with her, to be able to look after the bride, bridesmaids, flower girls, and some family members.
* Car: Brooks Vintage Car Hire – www.brooksvintagecarhire.co.uk