For those of you in UK, Canada and Australia Happy Boxing Day – and for those who don’t celebrate this happy post Christmas Day! Did everyone have a wonderful Christmas Day? I hope lots of time spent enjoying friends and family, plenty of laughter and memories made.
My husband and I are actually hosting Christmas Day mark 2 for a different side of the family today, but if you are already having wedding withdrawals, not to fear as I have a wonderful rustic blue teal and white wedding from Bretagne France that is full of DIY details.
Julien and Stephanie met in Seattle, WA through a mutual friend, briefly introducing them as they were leaving a party. Three months later, they met again through the same friend at a club while he was attending a birthday party and she was having a girls night out. After talking until the bar closed down, Julien put Stephanie in a cab with one of her girlfriends, but not before asking for a date on Sunday.
French Wedding Style – Photography © Sophie Delaveau Photography
Stephanie: “Our first date was a homemade picnic (made by him that morning) in the beautiful Discovery Park, with a view of the Puget Sound, where we talked about everything from family to politics to religion. From there we went to a adorable little restaurant called Betty’s on Queen Anne hill for oysters and white wine. The connection was instant and within 2 weeks we were an item. Four months later Julien got a job in San Francisco and asked me to move with him, but not before flying to Paris to meet his family. Two years later we were married in front of our immediate family members at San Francisco City Hall, and 9 months later we celebrated our marriage in France.
We choose Chateau de Kergurione as our wedding locations because it was close to Julien’s parent’s home in Locmariaquer, and it was reasonably priced with the right amount of space for our guests. And of course because the location is absolutely beautiful!
We wanted our wedding to be all about family and friends and to incorporate traditions from both our cultures. We wrote our ceremony ourselves and asked a family friend to officiate in both French and English. We provided translations of the full ceremony so our guests could follow along, and made all of the decorations ourselves from the hand stamped invitations to the menus and dinner napkins. We choose shades of blue and an anchor theme because we love water and spend a lot of time at the beach. These moments were perfectly captured by Nemus Photography.
When it came time to chose the suppliers, for the florist Julien’s mom, Florence, saw the shop in the village and recommend her. She was fabulous! I sent her a few pictures from Pinterest and everything was exactly what I had in mind. The caterer and the rentals were chosen based on their menu, selections, availability and proximity to the venue. We selected our photographer, Sophie Delaveau, based on her work and because she was local. Sophie did a great job and we highly recommend her.
For the grooms outfit, Julien wanted a classic navy suit so he had a custom suit and shirt made by a bespoke tailor in San Francisco. I made his bow tie and we found his anchor cufflinks on Etsy. For my dress I wanted a classic look in ivory. I found my dress at a trunk show at Bridal Galleria in San Francisco and fell in love with the lace and the sweetheart neckline, and the beaded belted added a little something extra special.
Our wedding day was wonderful! The morning was a bit hectic with setting up everything and arranging the flowers, but we had lots of help from my sisters and my girl friends. In typical Bretange fashion the weather was cloudy and overcast all day, then just before the guests started to arrive the clouds broke and the sun came out.
We walked down the isle to some of our favorite songs and had a very simple, custom ceremony in French and English. The speeches were funny and heartfelt, and it was a pleasure to visit and spend time with all of our guests, most of whom traveled quite far to celebrate with us. Dinner was traditional French with a cheese course and then dessert, and the cake cutting was traditional American. Once the dancing started the children were put to sleep and we danced until the early morning hours. It was a perfect day which celebrated our love, our French and American cultures, and our wonderful family and friends.
Our biggest issue with planning our wedding in France was the time difference and not being close to the venue and vendors. Julien and his parents took the lead on finding and choosing vendors and managed most of the communication leading up to the wedding. Since Julien’s parents live in Paris, they had to make a few trips to Bretagne to visit the venue and do a tasting with the caterer, but otherwise the wedding was planned from afar. With my very basic French it was difficult for me to research online, but Julien was very involved and even posted a couple of etiquette questions on a French wedding message board for me.
Looking back, I would have hired a wedding coordinator who knew the area, traditions, and could help with coordination. It would have been more relaxing to have someone onsite the day of to help coordinate the vendors, but we were lucky to have Julien’s parents involved in the planning, and to have my sisters and best girl friends there to help set up on the day of.
For our honeymoon we borrowed a friend’s VW van and spent two weeks along the West coast of France and Spain with a detour to Pamplona for the running of the bulls. We stopped at nearly every good surf spot, did a lot of van camping, rented an apartment at the beach outside of San Sebastian, and splurged on one night at Chateau de Brindos. It was a great experience for me to see the places Julien visited growing up, and to meet up with friends and family along the way.”
Have a wonderful Festival day all!
Venue – Chateau de Kergurione
Florist – A Fleur D’eau in La Trinité sur Mer
Photographer – Sophie Delaveau
Catering – Ouest Receptions
Rentals – Tout Se loue Reception
Decorations and paper goods – custom made by the bride and groom
Wedding dress – Romona Keveza dress and Lazaro sash purchased from Bridal Galleria in San Francisco
Brides shoes – Kate Spade
Veil – Nina
Grooms attire – custom made suit and shirt from Seymour’s Fashions in San Francisco
Grooms shoes & belt – Allen Edmonds