Hey lovelies – I have a dreamy real wedding to share with you today. This is a destination wedding from France, with delicately pretty styling touches and light and airy photography by our lovely friend Hannah K Photography. Francine is breathtaking in a gorgeous lace dress from Love Bridal London; Jamie her perfect match in Marc Darcy tailoring. As our regular readers will know, we tend to stay in the UK for our features, so this trip to the Loire Valley for a destination wedding is an absolute (albeit virtual) treat! I hope you love it too.
Wedding photographer’s website
How did you choose your photographer?
Lots of Instagram research! We wanted a light, natural style that would capture our day and our guests in a joyful, real way. We found photographers that we liked on Instagram, and clicked through who they followed until we found Hannah!
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer? Do tell… we love a brilliant review!
Hannah was amazing! Right from the beginning, she was friendly, helpful and enthusiastic. She was quick to respond, and gave us all the tips and guidance we needed to get the most from our engagement and wedding photos. On the day, Hannah and her husband Joel were wonderful. They were super organised and thoughtful, got along well with our friends and family so you almost didn’t realise they were there, and brought a calming but fun presence to the day. The photos we got from both our engagement and wedding shoots were all we could have asked for and more. Bright, natural, and capturing the joy and love of the day. Hannah does an amazing job making you feel comfortable in front of the camera so our photos looked relaxed, happy and so beautiful!
Tell us about your venue – what made this place special for you?
We got married at Chateau de Jalesnes in the Loire Valley. What a venue!! Francine is 1/4 French and her parents live in France, so we looked at wedding venues near their new home. Francine’s family would be travelling over from New Zealand, Australia and the USA, so although it was ‘abroad’, the UK guests actually had it easy!
The venue is so beautiful. It is an old château with a long and varied history, and has recently been renovated to be a 5-star hotel and wedding venue. The decorations are stunning, and we made great use of all the different spaces. The front lawn for the ceremony, back lawn for drinks reception, dining room for dinner, and the old chapel for dancing. We were also able to hire it for the whole weekend, so had a really special few days with everyone who had traveled to celebrate with us. It really was the dream venue, with fantastic and helpful owners to top it off.
Did you love wearing your outfits? How was the dress / suit shopping experience?
Francine’s dress was from Love Bridal London. She knew she would find her dream dress there, but visited one more with her bridesmaids first. The dress was a final ‘why not’ try on, and it was perfect! Her mum was unable to be there due to appendicitis, but the girls covertly FaceTimed her in so she could be part of the experience. It was a lovely day, with lots of smiles, tears and some champagne over a delicious brunch together. Francine felt so beautiful and romantic on the day, and felt like the dress had been made just for her.
Jamie bought his suit from Marc Darcy online. He felt very smart and sharp, and Francine thought he looked incredibly handsome. The shopping process was fairly painless and quick!
Did you hire a florist? Tell us about any floral amazingness
We used a lovely local florist, who did an absolutely incredible job on the bouquets and button holes. Francine gave her a Pinterest image and she recreated it perfectly at a really reasonable price. We were also lucky that Aston Martin had hired out the Château the weekend before for Le Mans, and left behind all of their floral arrangements throughout the venue. They also just so happened to be peonies, roses and lilies to fit perfectly with our theme!
As cake lovers here at English Wedding we’d LOVE to know who made your cake, and how delicious it was?
Our family friend Annie made our cake and it was delicious!! She is a management consultant by day, and creative cake maker extraordinaire in her spare time. We had lemon layers and Ferrero rocher layers, covered in beautiful decoration that was meaningful to us.
Tell us about any special personal touches, or creative projects you made yourselves
We made all of our table centrepieces from a blog we found! Francine’s dad was chief crafter, and the bridesmaids and cousins spent the morning before the wedding arranging them with greenery from the garden. The tables were named after places we visited in South America on a 3-month sabbatical, and our top table was the Colombian beach Jamie proposed on.
Other creative projects included the confetti that Francine’s mum made with dried roses from her own garden, and the travel cases that Jamie’s mum crafted to act as card and present holders.
Did you personalise your vows or have any wedding readings? What were they?
We wrote our own vows, working together to make sure we didn’t repeat anything.
The readings were from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (Jamie’s mum Denise), Everything I Know About Love (two friends, Katie and Luke), and a personalised blessing from Francine’s mum Sue
What was your first dance song? Why did you choose it?
You Make It Real by James Morrison
Favourite wedding suppliers
Piano party music: https://adamsayermusic.com/
Photo booth: http://www.photoboothsfrance.com/
Catering: Eric Bichon from L’Orée Des Bois