Today we have another classic wedding in the south of France at the Château de Laplanque. The bride looks stunning in her Calla Blanche dress and the day has been put perfectly together by the planner Mélanie.
No wedding is whole without a photographer of course. Valérie Baron did an amazing job capturing this beautiful day and is very keen to describe this beautiful wedding in great detail so we are happy to let her take the wheel.
In the Château, the room I was getting ready in gave me a great vantage point, as I could see down to where the ceremony and reception would be held. A good friend of mine, Kristin, spontaneously (and extraordinarily!!) acted as our wedding day coordinator. She had her 1-year old baby boy, Loïc strapped to her back the whole time, and I just loved watching her dole out instructions to vendors and helpers while simultaneously bouncing her beautiful son.
Walking down the aisle was hugely special. Michael was adamant that we not do a first look, as he really really wanted to have that moment. My sister and maid of honor, Carla, is essentially my best friend, sister, and mother all wrapped into one, so it was so meaningful to have her with me literally every step of the way. To Bon Iver’s Holocene, we came out of the trees and made our way to Michael and the guests.
At the beginning of our walk we were both fighting back tears then, all of a sudden, the air pushed my veil right up against my face making me feel like I was being suffocated with plastic wrap. Carla and I spent the remainder of the walk stifling giggles and trying to wrangle my veil. It was such a beautiful, hysterical, and memorable moment for both of us. And then, of course, coming around the guests to see Michael’s teary-eyed face – just magic!
Another amazing moment was the hand-fasting portion of our ceremony, as suggested by our amazing celebrant Piers. Michael and I were especially excited about this, but we didn’t know how well it would be received by our guests. Flower and ArtS on Etsy cut 50 pieces of 80 cm ribbon in a variety of shades of green and peach for each of our guests.
Once Piers invited guests to start, they each came up to Michael and me, tied their ribbon around our held hands, and shard a piece of advice and/or loving words. This act of physically tying the knot was so emotional, for us and our guests. It allowed us to share in an intimate moment with each person, something I don’t feel is always possible at weddings, and the photos of the handfasting are beautiful and filled with such raw emotion.
– Shamelessly, one of my favourite wedding details has to be my dress. When booking appointments with bridal boutiques in Montreal, I called Anne-Jean Michel first as I had a memory of being 19 years old looking at dresses when my sister, Carla, was getting married, and wishing that one day I would get to wear one. When I called they let me know that the owners were retiring and the boutique was closing.
They only had 20 dresses left, they were all on sale, and they had a cancellation for 5 pm that day. A friend and I sped down there, and when we arrived I noticed that all of the dresses were fairly princessy in style, nothing like what I had envisioned for myself, and I quickly wrote this experience off as purely sentimental.
While waiting for our attendant, I pulled out the first dress in the row and my friend and I both thought “huh, not me at all but really pretty”. It was the first dress I tried on and I instantly fell in love with it. I tried on others to make sure I wasn’t just falling for the first dress feels, but ultimately it fit me beautifully, and importantly it fit with the aesthetic of an outdoor, castle wedding. As my friend said, the dress was very castle-y! It all felt like kismet and I wouldn’t have done it any other way.
– Our flowers were another gorgeous detail! Organizing a wedding in France while in Canada involves a lot of trust and Véronique made it easy. She instantly understood the aesthetic we wanted, including wildflowers and berries in her designs. It was such a delight to finally meet her in person on the day and the flowers just blew my mind – especially my bouquet! A funny story, the bouquet had a ribbon with a big bow around the base and so I asked my friend and coordinator, Kristin if she could tell Véronique that I didn’t want the bow. Kristin, an anglophone, only really knew the French word “pas” to describe “no”.
So, when she went to Véronique saying “pas bow”, Véronique understood “pas beau”…as in not beautiful. Chaos quickly ensued as Véronique thought that I hated my bouquet, but thankfully a French speaker stepped in to clarify. I dried my bouquet and toted it around on our honeymoon in Italy to get it back to Canada because the bouquet was far from “pas beau”!
– Another favourite detail is our photos, not only because of the beautifully captured memories but also because of the moments Michael and I shared alone with our photographer, Valerie. Many moons ago I met Valerie after taking over an apartment lease from her. When meeting to sign over the lease, she supplied wine and cheese and we really hit it off and kept in touch over social media. It was awesome to see her grow from working in a team of photographers to starting her own business, so when she approached us after Michael and I got engaged it was an absolute no brainer to have her come to France with us!
On the wedding day, after being apart from one another, after experiencing all of the emotion from the ceremony, it felt really romantic and magical taking photos together in and around a beautiful 13th-century castle in the south of France. Valerie was also six months pregnant with her first child, making it feel all the more special!
We chose to use green and peach as our wedding colours. This decision was inspired by the large amount of greenery and nature at the wedding venue; we ultimately wanted to keep things quite natural overall. Also, green and peach are my all-time favourite colours!
Baby by Helena Deland. Michael and I had only been dating for about a week and this was the first song he ever sent me. The first summer we were together we went on a lot of road trips, and we would loudly sing along to this song while I would lazily have my feet dangle out the car window. It’s always been our song.
Michael and I have a real meet cute of a story. I was nearing the end of my first year as a Ph.D. student in experimental psychology, with a focus on the consequences of perceptions we make in a first impression, and I had also just ended a five-year relationship about a year prior.
Given how wrong I had felt about love in the past, I had started studying the perceptions we make during a first date and how that predicts romantic interest and relationship development. As part of this line of research, I would hold speed-dating events at a bar at McGill University. Amidst my ambivalence towards love at this point, and to be honest these speed-dating events, a male research participant walked in.
I would learn later that Michael had circled the outside of the bar a few times, convincing himself to go in – it was a paid university event, who cares what happens? Michael sat at the back, and while he spent the following two hours making his way from table to table we couldn’t keep our eyes off each other. There was a constant play of eyes, a smile, blush, and repeat.
It was complete and utter recognition to the point that I even texted a friend to say that I was in love, and it really is as close to love at first sight as I can imagine. To my surprise, after the event ended Michael just left, but about a week later he emailed my lab asking for my contact information – apparently he had questions about the study. I emailed back only to learn that out of all of the interactions he’d had that night ours was the shortest but far the most memorable and he wanted to date me instead. After a funny conversation with my research supervisor and him dropping out of the study…that was it!
After a few weeks of dating, Michael and I were coming home from a local bar and we stopped by the park directly across from my apartment. It was a warm spring evening and somehow we ended up in the beautifully lit fountain, and that’s where we said “I love you” for the first time.
A little over a year later, on a Friday summer evening, we were walking back after having drinks by the Lachine Canal and Michael played to my sentimentality and suggested we take a photo in the fountain for memories’ sake.
After we jumped in, he got down on his knee in the water and proposed. I have never been more surprised in my life (which is honestly pretty hard to do!). It was beautiful and so so sentimental, and a stranger snapped photos of us that we’re so lucky to have. After, we went back to our apartment where I was surprised by some of my close friends, champagne, and desserts.
We had the most phenomenal experience working with Valerie from Studio Baron Photo, from our engagement shoot to our weekend wedding in France. Leading up to the wedding, Valerie was able to provide a lot of useful advice in terms of how we should structure our day. Michael and I aren’t the most comfortable in front of the camera, but Valerie was incredibly constructive, managing to put us at ease for our solo portraits. The moments we spent together were so intimate and magical, that we both feel they are some of our favourite from the wedding.
Valerie caught candid emotion, from us and our guests, and honestly Michael and I have never looked better!! Valerie has such skill as a photographer, with the ability to capture the soul of the event, and her work ethic (she would get down on the ground, pregnant belly and all, to get the perfect shot!), and warm, positive attitude were such a dream to be around!
Reception venue: We were incredibly lucky when my childhood friend Lisa and her husband Guillaume, offered their home, the 13th Century castle, Château de Laplanque, in the south of France, to us for our wedding venue. It is a classic French castle that has been in the Roques Rogery family for 800 years.
The 1,000-acre estate is used as a hunting camp, France Safaris, offering a variety of stags and other animals. The château is rich with history, as it was also used by the Allies as a supply drop zone in World War II. We chose to have our ceremony under an ancient tree on the property, which houses an equally ancient statue of the Virgin Mary at the base of the branches. Unfortunately, at this time, the venue is not open to weddings, but guests may stay there to enjoy the incredible hunting and safari experience.
My wedding dress was bought at the now-closed boutique, Anne-Jean Michel, in Montreal. The dress itself is from the Canadian company Calla Blanche’s L’amour line. Even before going to the boutique I really loved the designs from Calla Blanche. Their dresses are unique and romantic! The dress itself was beautifully made and very easy to alter to fit me perfectly. Highly recommend this brand.
Classical wedding at Château de Laplanque Snapshot
Photographer: Valérie Baron | Florist: Véronique Tartarin | Venue: Château de Laplanque | Celebrant: Pier Lane | Brides Dress: Calla Blanche | Entertainment: Beki and Andy | Planner: Mélanie | Accessories: Luxury Loos France | Flowers: Poésie d’un Jour