English Gemma and French Pascal met in London through a mutual friend. Six years (and a move to France!) later, Pascal popped the question in an intimate tree-house in the Pyrenees. The wedding took place 8 months after the engagement and features an iconic car from my childhood Herbie The Love Bug!
The wedding has a mix of traditional with modern accents, culminating in the dramatic reception at the magnificent Chateau du Mauriac all captured by Lisa Allen Photography.
Lisa takes us through the day: “The wedding day started with a religious ceremony in church of the picturesque village, Villemur-sur-tarn, were Pascal grew up.
The groom arrived in a Maserati, along with his friends and family, as is French tradition. Two page boys, supported by the groom’s Father and Brother, followed by Pascal and his mother started off the bridal procession to the sound of Pachelbel’s cannon. The bride arrived on foot, surrounded by her five bridesmaids, mother and father. Her two flower girls met her at the entrance of the church and lead in the girls!
After a bilingual ceremony full of readings from the bridals party’s nearest and dearest, along with a beautiful version of Ave Maria, sung by a fellow B2B, the couple waited for the congregation to leave the church before exiting, to cheers from the crowd, as Mari et femme!
The reception was held in the 700 year old chateau du Mauriac, located in the middle of the vineyards of Gaillac. The guests drove in procession from the church to the Chateau, tailgated by the couple’s surprise ‘voiture de balai’ (sweeper car) – a French tradition where an old car is decorated in honour of the bride and groom!
After the vin d’honeur in the gardens of the chateau where guests nibbled on hors oeuvres and listened to light music from a local, mixed culture band ‘Pop’, guests moved to the interior courtyard where tables were white tables and satin chair covers gave the old chateau a crisp modern contrast.
The bride and groom prepared grand table centres, far removed from tradition, and created guest name labels using white pebbles customized depending on gender. The white and silver colour scheme was taken through not only to the Usher’s waistcoats, bridesmaids shoes and belts, but also to the 3 tier traditional English fruit cake, by Sandra Gibson, flanked by two bride-made supports holding modern cupcakes with tiny iced lilies.
After a five course wedding breakfast broken up by 4 speeches from the bride and groom’s Fathers and of course an emotional (and funny due to translation errors) discourse from Pascal himself, the Ushers surprised the couple with their personalized rendition of ‘Je t’aime a mourir’.
This emotional performance was followed by two Father-daughter waltzes and finally the first dance as Mr and Mrs, after which the band did a phenomenal job of keeping the guests entertained until the early hours.
Friends were used in all areas of the wedding to help the day run smoothly, but thanks to Emanuel – the master of ceremonies included in Chateau du Mauriac’s day – ambience lighting and attention to detail made the day more perfect than ever imagined. Bride Gemma says: “The ‘cerise sur le gateau’ was upon return from our honeymoon when we saw that the photographs, by Lisa Allen Photography, truly captured the ambience of the day in a way that makes me re-live the best day of my life over and over and over……..”
If you are planning a wedding in France, what traditions are you going to be incorporating into your wedding?
Wedding Photography: Lisa Allen Photography
Wedding Venue: Chateau du Mauriac
Wedding Cake: Sandra Gibson