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Introducing the newest Belle Bride: Cassie Leedham!

I have a delightful treat for you this mid week day, meeting our newest Belle Bride and member of the team Cassie Leedham! I am always on the look out for real life brides planning their weddings in France, so when Kate star of the Springtime couple shoot in Paris by sponsor Anneli Marinovich, tweeted that her friend , stationery designer and bride to be was planning a DIY wedding in France – I knew it would be an fun planning adventure!

Delighted to introduce Cassie: “Coming up with the perfect wedding is not going to be easy for my fiance and I. For starters, we’re both middle children. This means we like to be different; we don’t like to do things how everyone else does! Secondly, having been married before (I married young!) this is the second time around for me, meaning my wedding fund has been well and truly depleted and so this wedding has to be a budget pleasing affair.

belle bride cassie leedham

Thirdly, I design wedding stationery and accessories www.inklove.co.uk for a living, so I do feel the pressure to do something amazing. Put all these things together and you can see how difficult a task this is!

Edward and I met five years ago and he proposed on Christmas day 2012. We’re so excited at the idea of planning a big day with all our family and friends. It has always been our plan to marry outside and we loved the idea of a woodland wedding. Having spent a frustrating few months trying to find the perfect outdoor wedding venue in the UK, I saw some photos on Facebook of an old school friend getting married at a French chateau and it looked beautiful.

belle bride inspiration board

So sunny! So green! I mentioned it to Ed and we both loved the idea. At first it seemed crazy, as we assumed it would cost way too much, but after a good few hours with a spreadsheet, it started to look doable and, if we did a lot of it ourselves, maybe even cheaper than a UK one-day-in-a-country-house type wedding.

Our grand plan is this: hire a chateau for a week, get as many friends and family there as possible, have a giant picnic and a BBQ, dance and be merry. Seems reasonable, non? We’ve found a place that seems up for it – they can house 21 people and will allow camping in the grounds for extras.

real life bride

We will be getting officially married in the UK, then having our own ceremony at the chateau, probably performed by a friend! If the weather is good, which I am very hopeful for, we would have the ceremony and the picnic outside in the grounds, though there is a huge barn that we can use for dancing and such. We would love to find some crazy French folk band to plan, accordions and all.

As for the styling, “pique-nique au forêt” is the picture I currently have in my head. We want it to be fun, informal, quirky, full of nature, with some traditionally French touches and a little bit of woodland thrown in! Think wild flowers, natural wood accessories, picnic baskets and handmade boutonniers.  

I’m having my dress designed and made by a fashion student, as her final university project, which has kept costs down and also means I will have an amazing, one-of-a-kind dress, made just for me, which I am so excited about. I can’t give too much away of course, but it will be quite natural and pretty – I guess it’s quite traditional, but with an edge!

real life wedding

( Follow Cassie with her French Wedding board on Pinterest )

I’m interested in statement headpieces but not sure how far to go with it, as I still want to look like a bride and not like a fashion editorial! The dress and accessories are being designed with ferny leaves in mind – so it won’t be very flowery.

Edward is currently a bit torn between something fun and fashionable and something more traditional. He likes the look of the informal, slightly folksy style – think tweed and waistcoats – but he’s not sure if it will look a bit much, so he is yet to decide!

The thing we are most concerned about is the guests – will they be able to afford it? Will they hate us for making them travel so far? But having spoken to a few friends and family members, everyone has been so positive about it and are really excited.

Alors, allons-y en France! “

I am so excited to follow the wedding planning journeys of Cassie, Sophie and longest current Belle Bride Hollydawn who only has a couple of posts left before her big day!

Monique xx