Fleur de Sel’s French Destination Wedding

As one of our beloved SMP blogger brides, we’ve followed Lindsay of Fleur De Sel from “I will” to “I do.” Starting with initial planning to invitation etiquette to floral design, she walked us through the hurdles of designing a destination affair, and you better believe it paid off – BIG time. Joseba Sandoval photographed every beautifully built moment, and each image is like the cherry on top a perfect cake.

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From The Bride…I am at a complete and utter loss of how to put our wedding day into words. Although I was definitely not one of those brides who had planned my wedding from the time I was a little girl, I can truly say that our wedding felt like a dream come true.

Soon after Matt proposed in Paris, we decided that we both wanted an intimate, destination wedding with only our closest friends and family. I am a California girl through and through, with most of my friends and family on the west coast, and Matt is an Englishman, with friends and family all over the UK and Europe. When we stumbled upon a 18th century private estate outside of Versailles, France, with beautiful old bones but a modern interior design aesthetic and the most gorgeous French gardens, the decision was basically made for us.

We really wanted to focus on our guests, and to ensure that they had a fantastic time, especially as they were making the long journey to share our special day with us. We hosted a welcome reception the night before the wedding for all of our guests at Verjus in Paris, one of our favorite restaurants, and passed out welcome bags, complete with macarons from Pierre Herme and a French phrasebook.

The only real goal we had for the wedding itself was to make it feel less like a wedding, and more like a dinner party. The ceremony was non-traditional – Matt and I wrote our own vows, Matt’s father officiated, my father and uncle sang a song, and Matt’s mother recited an Irish blessing. Between all of it, everyone was in tears, including Matt and me. The ceremony was followed by a cocktail reception, complete with a Parisian jazz trio, oysters, cheese and charcuterie and champagne. Dinner was served al fresco on the terrace, on long white rectangular tables lined up end to end, with white Napoleon chairs running alongside and a gorgeous eucalyptus garland and vintage bronze candlesticks running down the middle. At one point during dinner, it even rained a bit, but somehow, in the candlelight, it just felt romantic.

After dinner, a dance party ensued, started by a first dance to Otis Redding’s “That’s How Strong My Love Is” and then a more raucous father-daughter dance to Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl”. The DJ was amazing, and got everyone, young and old and all of us in between out on the dance floor until 2 in the morning.

Deciding to engage Ophelie Tronchet from Alliance Par Fete was one of the best decisions we made, hands down. Not only is she an incredibly sweet person, she was so well organized and professional. She helped us source local vendors, finding us the perfect caterer, floral designer, DJ and hair and makeup artists. She also served as our day-of coordinator and seriously performed miracles. She kept us sane and allowed us to focus on the beauty of the day.

The other two best decisions we made were to engage Joseba and Mar Sandoval as our photographers and Duncan Wolfe as our videographer. I found both of these insanely talented artists through Style Me Pretty, and feel so tremendously lucky to have worked with both of them. They captured our wedding day in such a special, beautiful, memorable way. We will cherish the images they created forever.

I hate to sound like a broken record, but everything everyone says about a wedding is so true – it absolutely flies by. There will of course be issues – things you didn’t plan for, broken pipes, last minute changes, fear of rain. But the best part of it is the love. To look around the room and see our nearest and dearest, all gathered in one place to celebrate love – it truly humbled us, and made us feel so grateful. The word I would use to describe it, like the word I used to describe my first hug with my now husband – magic. I get goosebumps and a bit teary eyed even thinking about it now. And to have found the man that I always knew was out there, and to know I get to spend the rest of my life with him – there is no better feeling in this world.

Photography: Joseba Sandoval | Videographer: Duncan Wolfe | Event Design: Fleur De Sel | Event Planning: Alliance Par Fete | Floral Design: Olivier Gental | Wedding Dress: Temperley London | Invitations: Aerialist Press | Bride’s Shoes: Gucci | Catering: Gaulupeau | Makeup Artist: Sanni Sorma | Hair Stylist: Sonja Benhamou | DJ: Fabrice Deneuchatel | Band: Octave & Anatole | Groom’s Attire: Burberry | Groom’s Shoes: John Varvatos | Bride’s Earrings: Lulu Frost | Bridesmaid Dress (blush): BCBG | Bridesmaid Dress (champange): Amsale | Bridesmaid Dress (floral Print): Elizabeth & James | Mother Of The Bride Dress: Adrianna Papell | Private Estate: Villa Blanche | Vintage Candlesticks: Classic Vintage Rentals | Wedding Styling: Fleur De Sel

© Style Me Pretty, 2014. |
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