Oh, how time flies…
Since I usually like to keep my private life rather private, sharing only some glimpses of it on here and on my Instastories, it’s taken me a whole year to decide whether I’m doing a wedding post or not! But due to various requests (and because I just love our wedding pictures by Dominique Bader so much), I’ve decided to share a teensy-tinsy bit of our wedding weekend with you for our first anniversary – whilst still respecting the privacy of our family and friends. These photos make us so happy every time we look at them, and we hope you’ll enjoy them, too.
Once we decided to get married in Provence (we first enjoyed our engagement a bit), we went all in with the planning. We wanted it to feel as authentic and provencal as possible, so we matched everything to the destination. Now that it’s been a whole year, I can safely say – I’ve lost my heart not only to my husband, but also to Provence. I literally feel homesick everytime I’m reminded of this little heaven on earth. It’s become our personal happy place. Looking back at these pictures makes me want to pack and go immediately – so, in case you’ll feel the same, be sure to put your credit card out of reach or you might just end up booking a flight as you’re reading this!
The Welcome Soirée
On day one, after everyone had arrived and settled in, we started off with a litle welcome evening at a local wine estate. It was a relaxed first evening, an easy-going get-together – no seated menu but, instead, local specialties served in mouth-sized portions paired with iced rosé wine. Everyone was so excited to see each other, it turned out to be a good decision to have a curfew that night!
The Wedding Day
The schedule of our wedding day was “European”, meaning we had the ceremony at noon, followed by lunch and champagne, and then a break to freshen up and change into black tie. In the morning, my bridesmaids and I had breakfast and some bubbly in the wedding suite – oh my, I’ve never been this nervous in my whole life! My dad literally had to stop me from shaking. But once we stepped out of those doors together, I was overwhelmed with happiness. I didn’t even care about the sweat dripping from my legs (it was way too hot for June, but hey, what can you do) – I was just too happy that we finally got to say our “I do’s” and celebrate with our closest family and friends!
The Wedding Reception
After some time to relax (or in our case, make use of that golden afternoon light and take some wedding portrait shots), the reception began. First, dinner under the dusky sky in the inner courtyard, featuring some heartfelt (and funny) speeches – and then we danced the night away…
The Hangover Brunch & Pool Party
Day three was probably everyone’s favorite day of the weekend. Sure, the wedding day is always going to be our favorite and it’s remembered for all the emotions, but day three was the most “fun”. After all those nerves had relaxed a bit and we were successfully and happily married, we all met again in more casual attire and enjoyed a hearty hangover brunch on the lawn. We had given our guests straw bags from Provence as a welcome gift, so everyone carried their swimwear and jumped in the pool right after brunch. And suddenly, we were literally on vacation with everyone we loved! You can imagine the rollicking vibes…
The Farewell “Vintage Circus” Evening
To say goodbye to everyone properly and to round up the weekend, we decided to do a theme party for our third and last evening. Boy, the time we spent handicrafting all those decorations for months and months! In the end, it was all worth it – the moment we stepped onto the front court, seeing it all come to life with our guests dressed in 30’s-40’s ensembles, it felt like we had traveled back in time!
And they lived happily ever after…
Our Tipps for Brides & Grooms…
Lots of people have asked us what tipps we have for others planning their wedding. And while there’s tons of learnings of course, we’ve tried to narrow it down a bit:
GO SOMEWHERE A LITTLE REMOTE
One thing we knew we both wanted for our wedding (we even talked about it before we got engaged) was to spend a long weekend away with our closest family and friends. Instead of doing one big bash with a larger group, we decided to invite a closer circle of people and have a destination wedding weekend with them. For us, this was the right choice because we could truly enjoy it and really didn’t feel like the day just flew by in an instant. Over the course of the weekend, we had the chance to spend time with everyone. Being away from everything in a more secluded location helped, too – when people can’t run some errands in between events, they stay and relax.
In the end, you have to find your happy place – whether that’s in a city, on a beach or in a garden. Start from there, and build the rest around it.
PLAN IN ADVANCE
We definitely recommend to plan every detail beforehand so you can relax on the day – and then hand over the day-of organization to your coordinators and/or the designated close circle. Put everything in writing and make sure you communicate to vendors clearly what you want – that way, you won’t have to answer questions in your wedding dress.
DON’T OUTSOURCE EVERYTHING
Even if you can afford having everything done for you, we urge you to consider not to. The wedding planning process can be such a fun project for the two of you, bringing you even closer together – so have fun doing the handicrafts. It will add a very personal note to your special celebration, much more than anyone else could. And again, you’ll save quite a few bucks doing so.
CONSIDER GOING DIGITAL-FREE
Another thing we personally loved was that our wedding was completely “unplugged”. We asked our guests to enjoy the moment and stow away phones and cameras – and let the professionals do their job. The result? People were actually talking to each other, and our wedding photos and video don’t feature a crowd of smartphones, but instead happy faces. It might not be for everyone and we understand that, but for us, it was the right decision.
MAKE YOUR GUESTS HAPPY – WHILE HAVING YOUR DREAM WEDDING
After getting married and going to other weddings after our own, we suddenly had even more appreciation for all of their efforts – kind of like seeing it all in more color, in more detail, once you know the effort that’s behind all of it. But even your unmarried guests will love when you take care of them. Put yourself in their shoes and imagine the course of the day flying by from their point of view. Think of when they’ll need a drink, a toilet, a car to take them to their hotel. If you keep their basic needs fulfilled, they’ll be happy and you’ll have a great day.
But don’t forget – you can never please everyone. Never. And don’t even try. Those who go to weddings criticizing things don’t deserve to be there. It’s your day, we as guests are here to celebrate you and your love.
AND LASTLY…ENJOY THE MOMENT
After spending months planning and imagining your wedding, it will always be over too quickly. So on the weekend, don’t stress yourself. Enjoy every second with your husband/wife and guests, trust that others have you covered, and don’t panic – some little thing will go wrong in every wedding. For us, it was the weather that was suddenly way hotter than anyone could have foreseen for June, and there was no time to organize more shade. Our location for the welcome evening tried to cancel a week before – we managed to convince them not to, but then the service wasn’t as great as expected. Some vendors were a bit late so it ran less smoothly than we’d hoped for. Some decorations (that took us weeks to handicraft and then carry to Provence) were suddenly nowhere to be found. And some other little things. But did that ruin the day? Certainly not. Most likely, the majority of your guests won’t even notice. And even if they do, if they’re good friends they’ll jump in and help. So enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime moment and have fun – it’s about love, after all!
Photo credit: Dominique Bader Photography