Happy Hump Day! It is a pleasure today to introduce real destination bride Tracey, one of our new Belle Brides who is planning her 2017 wedding in France. You can catch up on all the real brides wedding planning journey’s here.
But for now, I am delighted to introduce Tracey: “Monique doesn’t realise what a romantic she has choosen, especially since I met Thomas. Be prepared for lengthier-than-need-be love stories, so apologies in advance for that! I’ll try to keep them wrapped up and try to focus on bringing you content that hopefully will be helpful, while you plan your own celebration of a love story.
So, since Monique gave me the free reign, I have to start with our story:
It was 2am in the morning, and I couldn’t sleep. In only a few hours I would be on my way to the airport, off to France for the first time in my life, to make it my new home for the following year. A million thoughts ran through my head and I remembered the school director in France gave me names of student volunteers to reach out to. “It would be nice to have someone meet my classmates and I at the train station…” I thought. I got up, opened my laptop and sent the emails out. I explained that I didn’t have an apartment yet in Vichy, but a couple of classmates and I would arrive soon and hoped to check into a hotel prior to making some calls.
Thomas replied, “I am ok with you, you are a bit late for your apartment, hahaha! But don’t worry, even if it takes time, we will find a solution, we won’t leave you and your classmates sleeping in the train station.”
Fly, fly, fly, walk, take bus, walk, take train and finally the train slowed and the loudspeaker rang a woman’s voice: “Vi-chy…Ici…Vi-chy”. I quickly took my things and exited onto the platform. And then, just like in a romantic movie, through the rays of light shining through the open air platform, I saw Thomas standing between his two classmates. I instantly fell in love with his humble, sincere, and adorable smile!
I first tried to show off the French that I had crammed into my brain the past month. “Comment allez-vous?” I asked. All of his responses to my efforts were “Whattt??? Whaaattt??”
A night later, we were at a party at one of our new French friend’s apartment. Jet-lagged and tired, I spoke across everyone in the room, “Thomas, will you walk me home?” He beamed and said yes. As we walked to my door, I asked him, “Aren’t you going to kiss me?” I expected the French cheek-to-cheek, but we ended up in a much deeper kiss. And thus our romance began.
Thomas and I were so incredibly fortunate that we were never forced into long separation due to dreadful visa issues. Two years later we’re in the drive-through of Las Vegas’s Little White Wedding Chapel, two witnesses in the backseat of our Kia rental.
We’ve been married for more than 4 years now. A traditional wedding that involves the whole family has been put off year after year because we couldn’t afford it. Now, we still feel like we can’t afford it, but we’re tired of putting it off and are determined to make it happen!
There are three things that are most important to Thomas and I for our wedding:
1: Family – That everyone on both sides of our family are drinking champagne abound, having a great time, and enjoying each other.
2: Food – That our guests are stuffed, therefore happy.
3: Traditional – That we get married traditionally in a Catholic church. Most important to Thomas who considers Catholicism a big part of his heritage, even though he doesn’t practice. I’d say he’s like most Europeans in that aspect.
If my family can make it to France – it will be the first time they see the ocean, therefore their first time ever crossing the sea! Thus, our wedding is centered around mind-blowing experiences for our family.
Another idea that I am set on, is having des enfants d’honneur instead of bridesmaids. I love the idea of having children surrounding us dressed all cute in bowties and tiny dresses, it adds something really special. The American tradition of having bridesmaids evolves from the Roman tradition of having the bridal party (bridesmaids and groomsmen) dress the same to confuse vengeful or jealous spirits. The French tradition of having des enfants d’honneur symbolizes youth, purity, fertility. And it’s just plain adorable! The challenge will be finding kids that are old enough to walk…
For the style of the wedding: I imagine it to be very soft, romantic and with shades of steel blues, greys and touches of gold. I keep thinking about the gorgeous colors inside the Basilica Notre-Dame de Fourvière in Lyon. I also want to aim for simplicity and encourage delegation, so this is a fun event and not a stressful one. We’re lucky to have a lot of creative and talented relatives and friends in France and the USA that we would like to take advantage of if they’ll let us.
Color palette: Created using COLOURlovers
In less than two weeks now, we’ll be in Vichy! It will be a busy couple of weeks, in addition to catching up with friends and family, we have appointments to look at wedding venues and will even have our very first professional photography session! I’m really looking forward to sharing with you and hope that you will enjoy following us on this adventure! A bientôt!”