Woodland inspired home wedding in France

Penned on November 26, 2014 in Real Weddings
Photography by Kim Martin

home wedding in France

There are many reasons why hiring a wedding planner is advisable for your wedding in France, but when you are planning a woodland inspired home wedding in France, such as Georgina and Henry did, you can see the amazing benefits.

The newly purchased family home in Penne, Tarn in the Midi Pyrenees on the South West of France, was to be the beautiful setting for their woodland inspired wedding.  As the house had stood empty for many years (it was almost a ruin and still had outside toilets), the family approached Hannah at Noble Nuptials to see if this could be turned into their dream wedding setting.

Hannah from Noble Nuptials takes us through their big day: “When Georgina came to meet me for the first time, she was very clear on what she wanted; a very natural green and white look that was inspired by the woodland surrounding the beautiful old hunting lodge her family had just bought in the Tarn, SW France.

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As soon as I saw the intended venue, I knew why Georgina and Henry wanted to have their wedding there; it was magical. With the builders, who were just about to start work, saying they would have the grounds and barn – which we wanted to use for the evening’s festivities –  ready in time for the wedding, we decided to go for it.

But what I didn’t know at the time was that there would be unforeseeable delays with the building work (sadly, the foreman fell seriously ill) which resulted in trenches, piles of mud and rubble still being around the property within 2 weeks of the big day.

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Worse still, the concrete for the floor of the barn, where 130 guests were due to be seated for dinner, didn’t go down until 3 days before! But, with an amazing team on site and some super suppliers, we worked all hours and, thankfully, managed to pull off the perfect wedding.

It was a fabulous day, which started with a fairytale ceremony in the local church of Saint Corneille, in Puycelsi. Georgina in a ‘Phillipa Lepley’ dress, wearing her mother’s wedding shoes, a tiara lent to her by jewellers ‘Bourbon Hanby’ and a veil from Henry’s family, dating back to 1834, looked stunning.

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After a moving ceremony – where Georgina’s sister Charlotte sang accompanied by a baby grand piano – and some photographs with the family, the happy couple jumped into a white 2CV and headed down to greet their guests who were sipping champagne in the sun, waiting for their arrival.

For the reception, local florist and land artist, Lya Marino, had decorated the courtyard so that it would be in keeping with the flower displays she had created for the pews in the church. There was a large corne d’abondance dripping with white roses on the steps in front of the pigeonnier and enormous wooden ball-shaped sculptures made from clematis she had found in the surrounding woodland.

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And on the tables in the courtyard, rosemary, lavender and thyme in handmade pots that had been woven from the same natural materials used for the displays in the church.

After speeches, much laughter and the cutting of the cake with a sword provided by Henry’s family, it was time to open the curtains to the barn and seat everyone for dinner. 

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The woodland theme continued through to the decoration of the tables, with hand-woven tree roots that twisted up around the candelabra. With green and white as the theme, the flowers were kept to these colours, with the addition of green tinged ears of wheat in the displays as well and on the napkins. The tables were named after precious stones and depicted on small pieces of bark that sat at eye height amongst the ivy that wound its way around each candelabra.

Thanks to talented local chef Charlotte Clement and her daughter, Flora at Table de Touron, the married couple and their guests enjoyed a starter of foie gras with figs and an sauterne of iced wine; boned quail on a nest of crispy leeks with Summer vegetables; a granité of basil, served with a wafer of tete de moine cheese, accompanied by melon with Thai basil jelly;  and to finish -from local patisserie ‘Cardonnel’ in Septfonds – a piece montée served with jugs of hot chocolate sauce. 

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With the courtyard filled with candles and lanterns, it was time for the first dance. When not dancing, the married couple and their guests sat on hay bales covered in white cotton or mingled around the grazing table, where there was plenty of wedding cake and local fruit and cheese to keep them fuelled until the wee small hours.

The following day saw everyone back at the lodge – but this time with a new red and white theme – for a post-wedding brunch in the marquee that had been used for the previous evening’s festivities. With a superb buffet from Table Touron and a bbq of Toulouse sausage and local lamb, it was the perfect end to what had been a sublime, sun-filled weekend, that according to Georgina and Henry, had ‘exceeded all expectations’…. which is exactly as I was hoping for!”

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Wedding Suppliers:

PhotographerKim Martin | TiaraBourbon Hanby | FlowersLya Marino | Catering – Charlotte Clement ‘Table de Touron’ | Wedding DressPhillipa Lepley | Wedding Planner – Hannah Nicolet of of Noble Nuptials