Jessica & Lawrence
This bride wore Caroline Castigliano to her French chateau wedding in the summer
PHOTOGRAPHY BY Matthew Weinreb,
Having known each other since their school days, Jessica and Lawrence dated for five years before tying the knot, and the bride was beginning to think marriage might be a distant dream. “It wasn’t something we’d talked about much, but the one time we did Lawrence made it clear that we wouldn’t get married any time soon. I was really surprised… but little did I know, he was actually just throwing me off the scent, because the next week in Mykonos he proposed!
Initially, I’d tried to keep costs down when looking for my dress – I didn’t want to pay a premium for a gown I’d only wear for a few hours.”
“50 dresses and countless London boutiques later, I was still looking.”
“That’s when I decided to reconsider the budget and headed to Caroline Castigliano’s flagship store in Knightsbridge.”
Jessica chose the ‘Antibes’ silk organza dress in ivory with a mocha underlay, lace and lightly beaded bodice. “It was super light and flowed beautifully – perfect for a summer wedding at a chateau in the South of France! I was breathless, I felt so special.”
Keeping things simple, the bride added a subtle diamond necklace from Monica Vinader, alongside vintage diamond horseshoe stud earrings that belonged to her grandmother. The maid of honour’s mother created the mid-length veil, and ‘Ivette’ sparkly, champagne Jimmy Choo heels completed her look.
“Lawrence wore a beautiful deep blue, tailored suit from Reiss with Russell & Bromley ‘Oxford’ shoes.”
“I gifted Lawrence an IWC Portofino watch, engraved with our chateau wedding date and a little message, on the big day.”
Six bridesmaids joined Jessica’s bridal party, wearing pale green, chiffon dresses from Ted Baker. “The dresses could be wrapped in different ways, so the girls could choose a style they suited and were comfortable with. I couldn’t have asked for a better bridal team!”
With their wedding taking place in France, the bride decided to do her own makeup to prevent anything getting lost in translation. “I had a day-long lesson with makeup artist Mel Kinsman, including a trip to stock up my makeup bag with essential products from MAC and NARS. We then had a group session for my bridesmaids a few weeks later to work out their looks.
Even though we’d officially been married back in the UK the week before the wedding, I was a bundle of nerves on the big day. I couldn’t stop the happy tears! Our celebrant was fantastic, leading a really heartfelt ceremony for us.” Jessica walked down the aisle with her father to Beatles tunes, played by a two-piece band. “Lawrence’s dad also read an adapted version of ‘Falling In Love Is Like Owning A Dog’ for us, in a nod to how much we love our French bulldog Harold.”
“At the end of our chateau wedding ceremony, the celebrant gifted us a bottle of red wine in a wooden box. We will open it in five years time, when we celebrate our wood anniversary.”
Marrying in the beautiful setting of the chateau, which boasted a courtyard full of flowers, the couple added pastel green, pink and cream details to enhance the space. Beth from Marry Me in France was their expert planner and coordinator. “Because I don’t speak French and wouldn’t have been able to keep in touch with suppliers often enough, a planner was a must for us. Beth was great at meeting our needs, as well as managing our expectations when it came to the budget.”
Vintage clocks, a chic card box and hand-painted signs from Megan and Claude, affiliated to Marry Me in France, decorated the venue, with flickering tea lights adding a romantic atmosphere.
“The Wedding Ideas Instagram as well as the magazine were brilliant for inspiration.”
“I was really keen on having big, flowing flowers for our bouquets and table centres. Florist Jenny Moss, who had worked with our planner before, was brilliant in fulfilling our wishes. She used peonies, roses, eucalyptus, sage and ivy for the bouquets, adding hydrangeas to bulk out the table displays. Two huge urns made the ceremony even more beautiful too.”
Their planner also sourced the couple’s traditional French wedding cake, a croquembouche, filled with delicious vanilla and chocolate cream.
The two-piece band played during the drinks reception, creating a laid-back vibe with French lounge music. Over dinner, the couple chose a playlist of music before a former BBC Radio 2 DJ kept the party going into the small hours.
“We shared our first dance to ‘You & Me’ by Penny and Quarters. It was unique and hadn’t been overdone for weddings.”
The moment of the dance was also magical, which took place outside under the trees, while guests surrounded the couple with sparklers.
“If you’re getting married in remote areas, think about how guests will get back to their hotels. There were no big taxi companies where we were, so we hired coaches to help our guests. And if you’re tying the knot abroad, make a weekend of it so guests can really relax.”
VENUE Chateau de Lartigolle, France
DRESS Caroline Castigliano, Knightsbridge
BRIDESMAID DRESSES Ted Baker
GROOM Reiss, Russell & Bromley, IWC
ACCESSORIES Monica Vinader, Jimmy Choo
PLANNER Marry Me in France
CELEBRANT Celebrants in France
DÉCOR Megan and Claude
STATIONERY Freestyle Print, Cerulean Press
FLOWERS Jenny Moss