What made the wedding special and unique?
We really wanted a destination wedding. I was in love with all things French – I had lived there in the past, we both spoke the language, he proposed and so it was easy, South of France it would be. I googled ‘wedding planners in the South of France’ and came across Lavender and Rose. Even from the first glance of their website, I knew they would be the right choice. Thankfully, Jennifer said they would be available to plan our wedding for late September and off we went. Jennifer was excellent. Her vision, style, professionalism and attention to detail was impeccable and at all stages of the planning process, she kept me calm and assured. I knew she had it under control (even when I didn’t) and most importantly, she understood my vision for the day. That’s key.
After a lot of issues with finding the right church, with the help of some family friends, we secured a beautiful church in Bar-sur-Loup, a tiny village just north of Mougins/Cannes. The church itself was perfect but the views were spectacular, in the mountains and overlooking a large impasse. It definitely had that wow factor. Our church ceremony music was performed by Hitched Wedding Music. Their voices are simply breathtaking and even during rehearsals, they amazed our bridal party.
What were some touches added to make it personal?
We had welcome bags hand delivered by Jennifer and her team. They included a tiny bottle of champagne, locally made soap and jam from Grasse and heel protectors (as the Chateau had stony paths). They also had all the details for pick up times, locations etc so everyone knew exactly where they had to be and when. Catering was by Parfum et Saveurs – the food was simply delicious, served to guests under silver lids to keep the food warm as there was quite a walk from the kitchen to marquee.
We had a live acoustic walking band, the Gypsy Queens, who played in between courses and speeches – they went to our guests tables and asked them for their requests. They really got everyone in the party mood. It was such a good idea to have them play in between courses as I often felt at previous weddings, that part can sometimes drag. After the cake cutting (our cake was by Wedding Cakes by Pamela) and dessert, the band led us up to another staged area with a grand piano and festoon lights where Jon serenaded me – a complete surprise. It was so romantic and a moment I will treasure. Jon and I had our first dance to a live performance of the song My Cherie Amour (classic) with all our guests waving sparklers. The Gypsy Queens led everyone to the inside dance area for the final part of the day, the dancing. Our DJ was Yannick Le Roux who was excellent. I think Jennifer had to literally move people off the dance floor at 3am! Yannick really listened to what we wanted and I would strongly recommend him. Another great idea was to have the Photo Booth by Alban Pichon in the same area as the dancing so that when people got a bit tired from dancing, they could act silly with French themed props and take away their pictures.
What was the most memorable part of the day?
Jon and I travelled in style to our reception in a vintage Aston Martin Lagonda. It was so vintage we had a wind up roof! I squeezed me and my dress into the car and there was just enough room for my new hubby! The guests followed behind in organised transport beeping their horns!
Our reception was held at the dreamy Franco-Italian Chateau Diter located just outside of Grasse. Filled with statues, fountains, ponds, flowers and the most spectacular renovated chateau, it was the perfect location for us. We had two large marquees set up (just in case) and boy were we glad of that. For what seemed like a lifetime (I was told later it was 20mins), we had a torrential downpour, just as we arrived at the venue. Jennifer dealt with it in true professional style and ushered everyone to champagne and canapés under the marquee. We had stunning music again from Hitched Wedding Music during the cocktail with Rob playing on a grand white piano and Rosie singing 1950s classics to jazz favourites. The French caricaturists and live cooking stations by caterer Parfum et Saveurs kept guests entertained.
The rain was worth it – after the clouds parted, we had this heavenly ethereal light, something I have never witnessed before. It was magical and made for some amazing photographs from our photographer, Marianne Taylor and videographer Clark and Palmer Wedding Films (both UK based) . They captured the detail, the light, the mood and all the tiny details which whizz past you on the day.
Tell us how you met and became engaged.
I met Jonathan at a friend’s birthday party in a steak house in East London. He wasn’t my usual type I have to say but I was intrigued when he ordered the largest meat platter I had ever seen. He has now admitted it was all an attempt to get my attention but I just remember asking myself ‘Who is that hungry Chinese guy and how on earth will he finish all that meat?’ Well it worked – the following weeks were full of old school romance, fun filled dates like ping pong, swing dancing and restaurant hopping. It was the most fun I’d had in a long time! After a year and a half, he got down on one knee in true romantic fashion at a beautiful Chateau in a small village outside of Lyon. And so the French story began.
Vendors: Photography: Marianne Taylor Photography // Videographer: Clark and Palmer Wedding Films // Event Planning: Lavender And Rose // Florist: Miss Rose by Perrine // Wedding Gown: Sassi Holford // Stationery: Louise Richardson // Caterer: Parfum et Saveurs // Singer: Gypsy Queens and Hitched Wedding Music // Wedding venue: Chateau Diter