It is the first real wedding after the new FWS brand relaunch and it is a super one, as we head off to Champagne for a French wedding with an oriental twist. Charlotte and Reda met in London 7 years ago, but quickly moved to the island of Malta. Charlotte is French with an Algerian grand-father and Reda is Algerian with a French grand-mother, and suited their Mediterranean blood better.
Bride Charlotte tells us of their wedding story: “Reda and I started talking about getting married in the first year, but it wasn’t until the 12/12/12 that we finally got engaged, in Eurodisney! Don’t be fooled by the kitschy location or symbolic date: as we were driving on holidays close to Paris, I suddenly got extremely impatient and decided it was now or never, as I had desperately been waiting for a romantic declaration in the past months/years.
Half exasperated, half excited, Reda changed direction and headed to the first jewellery shop to choose the ring together, a blue topaze. Then we decided to go to Disneyland to make it fun. Looking back, I love it because it’s totally not how I had dreamt it as a little girl and it make an original story, but now when I think of it, I wonder why I simply didn’t make that long-awaited declaration myself!
A couple of month later, we had a very emotional engagement celebration – where both our loving families met for the first time, in the traditions of Kabylie (region of Algeria) with typical costumes, food and dances, and the Henna ritual. It felt like an intimate wedding before the big one.
We wanted our wedding to take place in Reims, where most members of our family live, and being only one hour away from Paris, it was a convenient location for our guests from afar. Since we reside in Malta, we had to plan everything from abroad, which revealed a bit difficult to choose the various suppliers.
We chose the venue on pictures, all the rest was very hard to book online, but we appreciated being far away from any pressure. It was just the two of us, deciding what we really wanted and as we had never been to any wedding except for two in Malta and one Brazilian/Congo in France, we had no idea about conventions (and felt better this way!).
I absolutely loved the wedding preparations which involved long discussions between Reda and me, and we were very impressed and excited to realise how great a team our couple was transforming into, ready for this big step and many next to come.
We wanted a fun and festive wedding, with personal touches reflecting us and our families, and wanted everyone to mingle and enjoy the mix of cultures (15 different nationalities in total!) as well as discover this beautiful region of France. We were extremely lucky to have brought the weather of sunny Malta with us, on both the wedding day and the day after, as we held a brunch to appreciate the company of all our friends and families a little longer, in a relaxed afternoon in the back garden.
For the D-day, we had booked a London Bus and were thrilled to take all families with us to the town hall, a big surprise for our guests waiting for us there. They welcomed us with plenty “ohhh!!” and “ahhhh!!!”, laughs and tears and although we were late for the ceremony at 2pm, nothing could have stopped us from hugging this bunch of over hundred loving people…
The cocktail, diner and brunch took place in Le Domaine Miltat, a charming cellar (big enough to host both our families while guests were accommodated in a hotel nearby), in the middle of the vines producing the Champagne we served all weekend long!
While the food was typical French cuisine, we had chosen a DJ specialised in multi-cultural weddings, and he indeed made sure no one was outside the dance floor until the end of the night! The reception was an incredible moment of shared happiness thanks to him: we offered guests “darbukas”, tambourines and oriental sequin belts and he entertained everyone into some choreographed dancing and playing music together.
For the diner, I changed my wedding dress for a colourful pink and green “Karakou” from Alger, capital of Algeria, which I had rented from a boutique in Paris. Guests loved how we combined both cultures, and many said it was the most beautiful and happy wedding they had ever been to (but wouldn’t all your loved ones tell you this?!).
Our pièce-montée was a special present for Reda, who was dreaming about the choux by Popelini, reputed amongst the best in France, and they were indeed amazingly tasty and beautiful. Later on during the night, we served fresh mint tea and traditional oriental pastries, which his sisters had prepared all week long before the wedding. Oh, and with all this dancing before and during diner, our first dance almost forgotten and only happened at 3am! La Vie en Rose, in English, by Louis Amstrong, LA touche romantique…
Our wedding still feels like a mountain of emotion to process, but our fabulous photographer Angela Mazur, a talented friend I had made when we used to live in London, made sure all of it is now fixed for life. We could not speak higher of her amazing job, creativity and energy.
She ran after every detail from Saturday morning until early Sunday morning and we are extremely grateful for how beautiful she represented our magic day. Along with all our helpful families, supportive friends and fantastic suppliers, everyone contributed into making this day unforgettable, deeply happy and full of love.”
Photography: Angela Mazur | Venue : Le Domaine Miltat | Caterer : Champagne Traiteur | Wedding cake : Pièce montée with choux made by Popelini | Dj Farid from Weddanimanimation | British Bus by BHEvent | Flowers by Yzza Fleuriste Reims | Stationery: Designed by Maja Fjallstom