Stunning Nuptials in FranceWords by Sydney Bowen
Photos courtesy of Erin H Photography
Alan and Marie call Utah home, but when it came time to exchange vows, a destination wedding in France was an easy to decision to make. The bride, who is originally from France, still has many friends and family who call France home.
“Since the wedding day for any bride is traditionally supposed to be her big day, we wanted to do everything to make that happen,” says Alan. A traditional French wedding in France filled with friends, family and French culture was ideal for all parties involved.
When it was time to tell loved ones about their plan for a wedding in France, everybody was thrilled. “Honestly, I don’t recall anyone voicing a single note of displeasure at the thought of having to travel to the west coast of France for our wedding,” says Alan.
Many of the groom’s family and friends had yet to visit France, so Alan and Marie’s wedding was the perfect excuse to see the beauty of France.
The reception and ceremony were both held in the Brittany region of France, where Marie is originally from. The church that Alan and Marie exchanged vows in is the same church Marie attended growing up.
Overall, the entire planning experience was very worthwhile for both Alan and Marie. “It was of course stressful at times, but I don’t imagine it was any more so than what your traditional non-destination wedding would be.”
The experience was also very educational for both the bride and groom. “It’s amazing how much one can learn about another country’s cultures and traditions by how they marry each other,” says Alan.
To keep organized during planning, Alan and Marie kept a notebook dedicated to all aspects of their wedding, including details, guest information and travel arrangements. Using various sites on the Internet was extremely beneficial for the couple as well.
Marie utilized Pinterest for decoration ideas, color schemes, table settings and other fun aspects of the wedding, including a candy bar.
“Another website that proved to be instrumental in helping us plan our wedding in France was mariages.net,” says Alan. “Here we were able to research catering companies, locations to hold the reception and even source our how to acquire a photo booth, which isn’t as widely available yet in France as it is in the United States.”
The entire wedding was a do-it-yourself project for Alan and Marie. Dinner menus, decorations in the reception hall, table decorations and settings were all designed and created by the bride and groom, with help from friends and family.
“There really wasn’t much about this wedding that we didn’t take on our ourselves,” says Alan. “ We even designed, set up and supplied our own unique cocktail bar as well as the candy bar.”
Alan admits they may have taken on a little much, but the end result was just the way he and Marie wanted.
In the year and a half before the date of their wedding, Alan and Marie took three trips to France to meet with vendors, caterers and tying up the odds and ends of their planning. The rest of the communication when they weren’t in France was done via email.
When it came time to travel to France for the big day, coordination among guests was relatively easy. Alan and Marie set up a website organizing the easiest ways for each guest to get to France.
Upon arrival, Alan and Marie and their loved ones were ready for an unforgettable event. “I think our wedding had we not had it in France would’ve felt simply ordinary otherwise,” says Alan. “For all of us, especially those who visited from outside of France, it was an amazing experience and truly unique.”
If they could do anything differently, the couple says they would have had a wedding planner, just for the weekend of the wedding. “We simply would’ve been able to appreciate better the whole experience had we been able to relax and concentrate on family, friends and each other rather than little details that needed to be done prior to the wedding,” says Alan.
For those who are in the process of planning their own destination wedding, Alan and Marie have a few pieces of advice. “Have a budget and stick to it,” says Alan. “However, if you really want something for your special day, do what you have to do to make it happen.”
Vendors: Photographer: Erin H. Photography, Reception Site: Manoir de Trouzilit, Florist: Un Bouquet d'idee, Gown Designer: Allure Bridal, Groom's Clothing: Beckett & Robb.
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