• Oui! Like a French Bride

#FrenchBride n°12 - Marie

The dazzling Marie said "Oui!" to Nicolas in September 2019 on the îIe de Ré, a little paradise in the Bay of Biscay. These beautiful and joyful moments were captured with talent by Nicolas Grout (Studio Mémories for Life). Marie tells us everything below!

Your story

The bride: Marie, coming from the îIe de Ré, an island off the west coast of France near La Rochelle.

The groom: Nicolas (he prefers to be called Nico), coming from the Lyon region - like the bride’s father.

We met in London on May 23rd, 2015, on the occasion of the surprise birthday party of one of my friends (with whom I lived in Paris). Nicolas lived in London, sharing a flat like most young professionals. We met during the party and we immediately matched! I was staying for the weekend in London, so we spent time together and decided to give it a shot!

He asked me "are you a little crazy?” I said "yes" and three weeks later he gave me Eurostar tickets as a gift to spend the weekend in London with him. We had a great time and therefore decided to try a long-distance relationship. We lived between two countries for a little bit more than a year and on July 1st, 2016 I landed in London. We settled in the Notting Hill neighborhood, surrounded by close friends, good restaurants and good pubs! I found a job quickly and tried to get used to living together.

We left London on May 31st, 2020 to move to Abu Dhabi. Nico had a great opportunity and we wanted a new challenge. We couldn’t celebrate as we wanted our departure from this city that we loved so much but we will come back! (because of the covid-19 lockdown, we are now in France, with my parents on the Ile de Ré)

The proposal

May 5th, 2018 - South Africa. After almost fifteen days of journeys, walking safaris and visits, we ended our stay in a magical place, the Madikwe reserve. After spotting a Black Rhino (which is very rare!), our guide took us to see the sunset in a beautiful place. After setting up the aperitif, he moved away a little. At this moment, Nico took me in his arms and asked me again "If I am crazy enough to continue my life with him!" I could not speak for the whole evening, I was happy but totally speechless and without appetite!

A French bride for you is…

I would say “Keep it simple, stay yourself and be happy”.

Your dress and style

I didn't really have specific ideas in mind when I started looking at wedding dresses. I searched mainly on the internet, on blogs mostly, to find inspiration. I wanted to be comfortable to dance and hug my loved ones! Living in London, I also looked at British designers but I found nothing that I liked. Their creations were often over the top. I therefore organized two weekends to try on dresses in Paris: the first one with some of my témoins and the second one with my mum.

I found my dress during the second one, at Victoire Vermeulen's showroom. While browsing her website, I fell in love with her creations. I find that her dresses are elegant, delicate, refined but simple and above all made with beautiful materials. After talking with Eugenie, she suggested a dress (not at all what I had in mind and totally different from my previous fittings), I put it on and it was THE dress. I felt beautiful, I didn’t see my imperfections, it was comfortable to wear and fluid. My mom was very touched and also found it perfect. The dress was in two parts, a long dress with thin straps and an open back, covered by a separate lace top. I tried several ones to choose the lace I preferred, but they were all sublime!!!

The location

We got married on the île de Ré. It was really important for me to do it where I grew up. Before finding our venue, we had to estimate the number of guests, which limited our options. A friend of my parents offered us to use her magnificent plot of land located in the town of Portes en Ré (at the very end of the îIe de Ré) with an access to the beach. When we visited it, we fell under its spell. However we still had to organize everything!

Your inspiration

We wanted to keep the atmosphere of the place, with a sleek decoration, a lot of second-hand items as well as pastel hues. Since we had a blank venue, we had to find a tent. It was not easy to find what we had dreamt of but, thanks to friends of Nico's parents, we finally found it! They came to see the plot of land and offered us a quote taking into account all the constraints we had. The result was MAGNIFICENT. They are real professionals, kind and available - thanks to them for their work.

My parents helped us a lot to make the numerous DYI decorations. All the vases and candlesticks were old jars / pots collected in my family. My mum prepared a lot of dried grass compositions that we used to liven up certain places. All the bouquets were made by family and friends the day before the wedding. It was important for me to have cheerful and bucolic bouquets (even if I don't really like this word). We also wanted to offer our guests a small souvenir of the île de Ré: it was a salt pouch, wrapped in a small bag embroidered with our initials by a friend of my parents. She made 280 bags because we didn't know exactly how many guests were expected when she prepared them - a big thank you!

The invitation cards / mass booklets / menus / tables ... were made by Nico's cousin with watercolors flowers drawn by Nico's mum. It was important for us to have our family involved in our preparation.

The most wonderful moment of the day

The day was full of magical moments! Despite the fact that we had a lot of guests, we were able to enjoy moments together and these are very important. The two wonderful moments that I think the most about are the following: at the end of the cocktail reception, we went to the beach to take some pictures with the photographer. It was calm, the light was gorgeous and we both felt good! The second moment was at the end of the dinner when we escaped a few minutes to repeat our "first dance". A large part of the "stressful" moments was behind us and we were about to overcome the last one. We hid, we danced just the two of us and it was amazing.

Your honeymoon

Good question! We wanted to honeymoon this winter but as we were supposed to move to Abu Dhabi, it was complex for us to manage. We hope to do so as soon as we have more visibility regarding our move. Originally we wanted to go to the Philippines but we are also thinking about the Fiji Islands… To be continued!

Vendors & addresses

Tents: Bero | Photographer: Nicolas Grout – Studio Memories for Life | Wedding dress: Victoire Vermeulen | Hair accessories: Bleuet Blanc | Shoes: Patricia Blanchet | Hairdressing: Barn's | Makeup: My aunt | Caterer: La Petite France | Florist: Bleuet Blanc and local producer | Music: Julien Gauthier | Stationery: Nico's cousin

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