#FrenchBride n°4 - Anne-Laure
The pretty Anne-Laure said "Oui!" to Romain in September 2018 in the middle of the vineyards. A charming and authentic wedding that took place in Charente with a pretty reception in a medieval castle. She tells you everything below, with beautiful pictures by James K Photographer.
Romain and I met in the course of our studies in Paris. We were in the same master's program. We started spending time, studying and dinning together, as friends at first before getting together a few months later. We quickly moved in together and since that day we have not left each other and have shared many trips and projects.
At this time, we were renovating the apartment we had just bought together and it was as well very close to our anniversary. As we were driving home after yet another visit to the apartment under construction, Romain headed towards the highway! I realized that we weren't heading home... He had planned a weekend in a castle by a lake which I am fond of. That night he proposed to me on the balcony of our room facing the lake.
A French bride for you is…
The French bride is known for her uncompromising and discreet elegance. She only wears what fits her personality, even though fashion trends are evolving.
She wants the whole wedding to be in her image down to the smallest detail, from the reception hall to the rose petal in the centrepiece, from the wedding dress to the bridesmaids' bows. No one can tell her how to do it, it's her day! But the French bride is also very attached to French traditions and is keen to respect certain customs.
Your dress and style
I was looking for a dress that was both chic and bucolic, I imagined it with lace and a slash back. I found my dress at Cymbeline, a French boutique that gathers dresses from several designers. I found the dress I was looking for: the lace top with an indented back and the tulle bottom not too puffy. I had small sleeves added to cover the shoulders and I reduced the neckline by adding lace.
To fit the country atmosphere, I wanted a simple hairstyle and natural make-up. So I opted for loose, slightly wavy hair with a floral comb, custom made by a French shop "Les herbes hautes" in dried and stabilized flowers in the tones of our wedding: peach and navy blue.
On the shoes side, I wore powdered pink pumps with buckle bought on Sarenza and then golden openwork Minelli ballerinas for the dancing part. We purchased our wedding rings in a boutique in the 15th arrondissement of Paris (La compagnie des Gemmes), where my engagement ring also comes from.
We live in Paris but we wanted to get married in Charente where I come from. I wanted to get married in the church in the village where I grew up and have the reception in the countryside, in the middle of the vineyards, in a pretty reception hall with exposed beams and stones.
We found the ideal location, which matched what we were looking for: an old barn converted into a reception hall and a cocktail area overlooking the vines. To make things even better, it was adjoining a medieval castle overlooking the valley.
We got married at the Château de la Tranchade near Angoulême after having done the ceremony at the Eglise Saint Léger in Cognac. A simple and authentic place in our image.
We wanted a simple, authentic wedding that was both chic and countryside-inspired. We had found the perfect venue, now we had to decorate it in a way that would suit us. We chose peach and navy blue as the color theme. We did a lot of DIY decoration starting with our wedding invitation card that I designed on photoshop.
I also created a liberty pattern, thanks to illustrator, from the flowers used on the invitation card. I printed it on cotton to make napkin rings that guests could keep as bracelets as well as pretty belts for the little bridesmaids and bow ties for the little groomsmen and our témoins.
For room decoration, we made a wooden arch with threads and clothespins to lay out the table plan. The centerpiece of each table was made with a wooden slices where we set up 3 small bouquets of flowers (blue and coral) and 2 homemade candles with recycled pots (yoghurt, mayonnaise, milk, ...).
We also created recyclable beer cups with a wreath of flowers that recalled our invitation cards and our mass booklet. These cups could then be taken home by our guests as souvenir gifts. We also had a photobooth which our guests had fun with!
The most wonderful moment of the day
We were told that the wedding day flies at an incredible speed - well it’s true, you find it hard to understand it until you have experienced it... it was really an elusive moment, completely out of time... surrounded by all the people we love. We would give anything to go back!
If I had to choose one moment, it could be when we entered the barn for the dinner and everyone was dancing and spinning their napkins as we walked between the tables! Or maybe the first dance to one of our favorite songs. Or again the surprise flashmob that all the guests did at the beginning of the second part of the evening. So many good memories of this day … hard to choose one!
Right after the wedding, we stayed two days in Cognac to debrief with my parents these exciting moments. We then came back to Paris to pack and the next day we took off for Nairobi, Kenya. Neither of us had been on a safari in our lives and we wanted to discover this together.
We started with ten days of safari across the country in various landscapes (lake, valley, desert, hills...) and some more unusual activities. The best of them being without hesitation the hot air balloon flight over the Masai Mara in the early morning, when the savannah is awakening - a unique moment!
We ended our trip with four days on a paradise island, Zanzibar: snorkeling, a day on the boat, fishing and barbecue on the beach.
Vendors & addresses
Venue: Château de la Tranchade | Photographer: James K Photographer | Wedding dress: Cymbeline | Hair accessories: Les herbes hautes | Hairdressing: Carré d’artistes | Make up: Espace beauté Gabrielle | Florist: La Fleur des anges | Caterer: Piaud & Taillac | Music: Philip de Rivière (My So Chic DJ)