• Oui! Like a French Bride

#FrenchBride n°17 - Sabina

The dazzling Sabina said "Oui!" to Axel in June 2018 in in the charming fishing village of Marseillan in the South of France. These joyful moments were captured with talent by Vanessa (Garance&Vanessa). Sabina tells us everything below!

Your story

We met at La Sorbonne University while studying in the same master. Axel was in second year and I had just started the first year. Big crush the first time I saw him when he introduced, in my class, an association that he had launched. A few weeks later, during the induction weekend for new students, after an indefinite number of shots of tequila, we found ourselves dancing salsa and kissing. The next three years were marked by months of long distance relationship as, first, he left for an academic exchange in Canada and, then, I left for mine in Istanbul.

In October 2014, Axel had the opportunity to take a job in New York. The American adventure started then! The city is extraordinary, harsh and cruel sometimes but also marvelous. Small obstacle on the road - Axel found himself without a sponsor for his visa between two positions. We decided to get married at the Town Hall to start the green card procedure. Exchanging our vows far from our loved ones, in a foreign country, with the pressure of the green card was a real whirlwind of emotion… We were really lucky to have a couple of friends going through the same thing at the same time! So we got married one after the other, they were our témoins, and we are theirs! And this same friend Noura officiated our "real marriage" a year and a half later.

The proposal

Six months later, while I was on a business trip in Paris, I met a friend who is also a photographer. He told me that he had a surprise, and took me to the banks of the Seine, on the Ile Saint Louis. He started adjusting the cameras, under the pretext of a surprise photo-shoot. I walked towards the Seine and realized that we were at the exact spot where our second date took place - my heart started racing. I turned around, and Axel was coming towards me! I burst into tears, he hugged me, told me that he wanted to surprise me by coming to see me from New York. We exchanged a few words, he then kneeled down and asked me to marry him. Honestly neither he nor I can remember the words we exchanged, just a big yes and a lot of kisses and tears of joy. The next two days, new emotions - he brought our respective families to Paris for a great lunch, then in the evening, a surprise party with all our friends.

Your dress and style

I bought my dress in New York, in the Leanne Marshall boutique and gleaned accessories on Etsy. I was lucky to be surrounded by a great hairdresser and a fantastic make-up artist.

The location

The difficulty was to organize the wedding from New York. We immediately chose to do the ceremony in the South of France, between Nîmes and Montpellier where we both grew up. So we did tons of research on the internet to find our wedding venue - with the help of Axel's mom who lives in the area. Once we had settled on 5 or 6 locations, we flew to France for a very short week to visit them all. Castles, historical farmhouses… Then we had a crush on the Maison Noilly Prat, in the small fishing village of Marseillan. We immediately got along with the wonderful manager of the place, super nice and professional.

Your inspiration

We both knew that a lot of DIY would be impossible given the long distance - so our strategy was to stake everything on a place that spoke for itself and didn't need a lot of ornaments. In terms of decoration, we did some Pinterest research for the flowers colors, the capital arch and basta! Two days before the D-Day, we stopped in a hardware store to buy chalkboards and I was able have a great time with calligraphy and little drawings that I love.

Rather than decoration, the “wow” budget was dedicated to the dinner. I work in charcuterie and cheese, and Axel loves wine - So we really enjoyed choosing our caterer and menus, with wonderful products, main dishes to share ... and no wedding cake but fruit tarts and seasonal homemade ice cream.

The most wonderful moment of the day

Hard to choose! The ceremony itself. We weren't obsessed with having everything under control during the wedding, but we both had a pretty clear picture of the tone and vibes we wanted (no filthy jokes or stories from the good old days in speeches!). We had given clear guidelines about the structure of the ceremony timeline but did not know the content of the speeches. For us, it was the perfect balance.

The ceremony, full of emotions, was just magical and so moving. We both felt so much love and kindness from our loved ones, it was a real bubble of happiness. We laughed, cried, we marveled at my brother's girlfriend (Opera singer!) who sang "La Vie en Rose". Another magical moment was after the ceremony itself - no timing, organization any more, just the love and joy of being with our loved ones and holding hands.

Your honeymoon

We left for a week in Italy the day after the wedding! A road trip between Umbria, Tuscany and Liguria in a convertible car - the dream.

Vendors & addresses

Venue: Maison Noilly Prat | Photographer: Vanessa (Garance&Vanessa)| Wedding dress: Leanne Marshall | Hairdressing: Céline Carles | Makeup: Miss Delph| Caterer: Cabiron | Florist: Jardin d’Arums| Music: Listen’Up| Stationery: Minted

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