We met with Jess & Andy in Winchester long before their wedding day to find out about their plans. It was clear that they were very excited about their wedding day & that Jess was enjoying the planning so far!
Jess & Andy had described the extensive gardens and romantic ruins at Nymans Garden in West Sussex and the many photo opportunities there. I can see why Jess & Andy fell in love with Nymans Garden; It is so varied and colourful and the flowers were in full bloom for their wedding day!
Jess & Andy married in the beautiful Loggia with guests seated in front, it was a beautiful setting. Champagne was served following the ceremony before guests made their way through the gardens to a hill top meadow, where their marquee reception was held.
Jess & Andy wanted their day to be lots of fun & I think you can see from the photos that the sun came out in full, everyone was beaming and the Ceilidh band played late into the night; so much fun was had!
We packed our bags and photography kit in preparation for Marion & Sam's two day wedding celebrations in the Rhône-Alpes region, East France not far from the borders of Switzerland & France. Scott & I planned a road trip around France, stopping in various gîtes, farmhouses & hotels along the way! We explored the Prealps, Lake Bourg, the city of Lyon & the rural countryside near Verdonne.
Marion & Sam had a registry office ceremony in the village of Saint-Siméon-de-Bressieux. We stayed with Marion & the amazing videographer Renaud the night before their wedding in a lovely rustic farmhouse in the middle of the French countryside.
Marion wore a lace wedding dress with pearl buttons at the back, capped sleeves & a beautiful cap veil to match! She accompanied her dress with silver sandals & pearl earrings. On both mornings the couple had a ‘First Look’ before the ceremony, a private moment to see each other all dressed up before they take their vows. Following the ceremony everyone headed to a local restaurant, where a delicious three course meal was served. The food tasted as good as it looked!
Everyone then made their way to Château de Bressieux, Castle ruins on a hilltop, which overlooks the village of Saint Siméon de Bressieux. Marion & Sam climbed to the top of the tower to throw Marion’s bouquet. We then went to a nearby forest & found some beautiful light! Guests went back to Marion's parents house for an evening meal and Marion walked in golden wheat fields with her friends & family as the sun set.
The second day of celebrations took place at Rhône-Alpes France, a gothic style Castle in Chabons in the valley of Bourbre. Marion & Sam got ready at Marion's family home, her family had decorated the garden with paper chains and flowers, which is traditional in Saint-Siméon-de-Bressieux & I was told that each village has it's own tradition! Marion wore a delicate sequin & beaded wedding dress, which looked oriental, her hair was braided in an up do & she wore a long cathedral length veil.
Marion & Sam's commitment ceremony took place outside in the grounds of the castle, beside woodland and a lake, surrounded by mountains. The setting was idyllic and both Sam's Moroccan culture & Marion's French culture were combined perfectly! Marion & Sam read their vows to each other, carried out a traditional Moroccan ceremony & then enjoyed cocktails & canapés in the gardens before their sit down meal. Marion had arranged an alternative to throwing her bouquet; many ribbons were tied to her flowers and friends gathered around each taking a ribbon and circled Marion as she cut a piece of ribbon with her eyes closed one by one, until the last ribbon, which was held by the winner, who won the bouquet! It was good fun and great entertainment for the other guests!
Marion & Sam made their entrance to everyone holding sparklers before their wedding breakfast, which was followed by an array of beautiful tarts & Croquembouche! A friend of the couple was the DJ for their evening disco. During the evening there was a surprise Moroccan wedding ceremony, where the couple both wore traditional Moroccan dress. Sweet Moroccan mint tea & biscuits were served and more dancing followed!
Here are a few words from Marion describing their wedding planning, the celebrations and how she felt on the wedding days, with a translation below for her friends & family!:
Our wedding was a long time coming & much anticipated after all the years we have spent together. I had already made plans in my head long before Sam proposed, so once we were engaged, I had 9 months to make those plans come to life. And I think I did, as the images I had in my head then are the same beautiful and romantic images I have in my head now (completed by the photographs from Lisa & Scott!)
We decided early on to have an intimate wedding over two days, to enjoy the presence of our guests and witnesses who came from abroad. We had less than 20 for our civil ceremony and 58 the next day for our commitment ceremony. Only our closest and dearest friends & family, which was perfect! All the more I was meeting Sam’s family from Morocco, for the first time, on the wedding day! Talk about emotional!
In terms of priorities, we wanted to book a venue that was stunning and historic, serve good food to our guests and work with great photographers and a videographer (to have memories to last a life time!). I struggled a bit to do so because we got married at the most popular time of the year (the last weekend in June – a date booked 18 months in advance). We ended up getting married on a Thursday and Friday, which worked out well for us and all the vendors we wanted to work with were available.
I was lucky to have (mostly!) supportive friends and family that got very involved in the wedding planning. My sisters spent days and days over the design and DIY of the stationery. My dad created or thrifted most of the items we used for the decoration.
Planning this bi-cultural, two-day wedding was intense, to say the least. When it finally came up, I was ready to greet our guests and enjoy the moment with them. A wave of emotions took over me when I saw them arriving at the Château. It is an indescribable feeling to realise that friends and family have gathered to celebrate with us our love and commitment. It made me cry, and I cried some more during the commitment ceremony (a “first” for our guests and for us!). We had the beautiful, intimate, heartfelt wedding we had dreamt of. And the best is yet to come in our marriage!
Après toutes ces années passées ensemble, notre mariage était très attendu. J’avais commencé à faire des plans, des rêves et des projets dans ma tête bien avant la demande en mariage, si bien qu’une fois fiancés, j’avais 9 mois devant moi pour que mes rêves deviennent réalité. Et je crois que j’ai réussi, puisque la vision que j’avais correspond bien aux souvenirs que j’ai aujourd’hui en tête! (complétés par les belles photos de Lisa & Scott!)
Nous avons décidé dès le début d’organiser un mariage intime sur deux jours, pour pouvoir profiter de la présence de nos invités et de nos témoins qui venaient de l’étranger. Nous étions moins de 20 à la mairie et 58 le lendemain, pour la cérémonie d’engagement. Uniquement les personnes les plus proches de nous, ce qui était parfait... d’autant que je rencontrais le jour J, et pour la première fois, la famille de Sam, venue tout droit du Maroc pour l’occasion ! Niveau émotion, j’étais servie !
Concernant l’organisation, nous souhaitions donner la priorité à un bel endroit historique, offrir un bon repas à nos invités et collaborer avec de très bons photographes et vidéaste (pour des souvenirs durables !). J’ai eu un peu de mal à réserver nos prestataires parce que l’on s’est mariés à la période la plus demandée de l’année (le dernier week-end de juin – une date réservée 1 an 1⁄2 à l’avance).
Nous nous sommes mariés un jeudi et vendredi, ce qui était bien pour nous comme pour les disponibilités des prestataires sélectionnés.
J’ai eu la chance que mes amis et membres de la famille soient (majoritairement !) enthousiastes, et qu’ils s’impliquent dans les préparatifs du mariage. Mes sœurs ont passés de nombreux jours à dessiner et faire des ateliers DIY pour toute la papeterie. Mon père a créé lui-même ou chiné la plupart des éléments de déco du mariage.
Organiser ce mariage bi-cuturel sur deux jours fut vraiment intense. Quand le jour J est arrivé, j’étais prête à accueillir nos invités et célébrer ce moment avec eux. Une vague d’émotion est montée en moi quand je les ai vu arriver au Château. C’était un sentiment incroyable de réaliser que nos amis et membres de la famille étaient réunis pour célébrer avec nous notre engagement et notre amour. Ça m’a fait pleurer, et j’ai pleuré de nouveau pendant la cérémonie d’engagement (une première pour nos invités comme pour nous !). Nous avons eu le beau mariage intime et émouvant que nous rêvions d’avoir. Le meilleur reste à venir dans notre union!
We would like to thank Marion & Sam, their friends & families for making us feel very welcome. A special thanks to Marion's parents for cooking us delicious meals, it was unexpected and a real treat!
Charlie & Andy love all things magical and wanted an Autumnal feel for their engagement session. Charlie & Andy also love animals, so with New Forest ponies wandering around the New Forest seemed like the perfect setting.
Charlie made a beautiful Autumnal bouquet with seasonal flowers and handmade her floral crown and they even hired a 1940's vintage bicycle for the day.
Charlie & Andy donned their wooly jumpers and boots and braved the cold air, whilst we found some pretty spots in the woods. The sun was perfect that day, shining through the pine trees and golden bracken.
We are very much looking forward to Charlie & Andy's whimsical woodland wedding at Kingston Country Courtyard in May.
We are delighted that Jess & Andy's beautiful outdoor wedding at Nymans Garden in West Sussex is featured in the December/January Issue of Wedding Magazine. Go take a peek!
Golsa & Chaz's fun packed outdoor wedding at The Larmer Tree Gardens was featured on Rock My Wedding. Read more about Golsa & Chaz's intimate temple wedding in Wiltshire and their wedding day filled with balloons and lots of surprises!