RSVPs are in and it’s a Small Wedding in France!

planning small wedding in France

Bonjour, bonjour! I hope you are all well despite the changeable weather we have been having. Thinking of the summer and our time to be spent in France is definitely helping me get by, despite panicking about how quick the wedding date is approaching and how little preparation I have been achieving for it late…

Possibly my fault since I have been undergoing training to become a Florist these last four weeks! It has been amazing, but being intensive, everything else, including the wedding planning, has been pushed to one side! But back on track now! Today, I talk about the reality of having a small wedding, but still providing your guests with an amazing day!

Barry and I always imagined having a wedding on the small side. Mainly our close friends and family, having good food, being merry and dancing the night away. When we started drafting our guest list, I think it came to between 60 and 70 guests, and we were happy with that.

rural areas to visit in France

Knowing early on that we wished to get married in France, we set about sorting out the venue as soon as we could. The minute it was booked, we sent out Save The Dates over a year in advance.

The wedding is now 3 months away (or 101 days… enter *aaaaaaaah*) and so our guest list is looking pretty much finalised. And it stands at *just* over 30 guests. I remain slightly paranoid that more of our guests are going to announce that they are not coming after all… But I think most have now made travel arrangements so hopefully we’re all set to go.

places to visit in France

We always knew that it was a lot to ask our guests to travel over to France for our wedding, which meant there might be a risk that some would not be able to make it. We are also at an age where many of our friends are buying a house/having babies/following exciting career moves abroad or simply having all of their friends and family getting married in the same year! We have personally been unable to attend weddings because of these reasons, so we fully understand.

But it is always sad and upsetting when people cannot make it. Especially when it turns out to be half your guestlist.

I am not going to lie, initially, I was panicking slightly over the figures. I was worried that if there was only a handful of us, it might not feel like a “proper” wedding (whatever that may be!). I worried whether we would fill up the room enough… Would our guests have enough fun?

visiting France

But then, as is often the case, I simply forgot about it for a while and then came back to the situation feeling more positive.

Having less guests would mean that we might actually get a chance to spend time with all of them, and enjoy ourselves on the day. Additionally, as our guests will be staying near the venue between 3 days and 2 weeks, we are very excited at the idea of spending time with them before the wedding on days out or just at my parents by the pool.

I really wish to show our guests that we are extremely thankful and grateful towards them being there with us on our wedding day, and also that we feel truly blessed to have them in our lives.

I have always liked the idea of the welcome bags you can make for wedding guests Welcome Bags. I would therefore love to make some of our guests. The main thing really for us, is keeping in mind that people will mostly be travelling via low cost airlines, and therefore will not be able to bring back loads of things with them.

wedding guest welcome kit

As usual, Pinterest my trusted friend is bursting with inspiration as to what we could include in them. Barry and I are really keen to show off the Region and local products, as it is where I grew up and we love the food it has to offer. We do not want to spoil anything for our guests and the contents of the bag may depend on what is available when we arrive in France. But the following are my current favourite items:

  • Personalised bag to include:
  • A bottle of a local drink… I grew up near the Vercors and La Chartreuse, which is famous for it’s bright green drink Chartreuse. However this has proved rather unpopular with friends over the years, so perhaps we’ll stick to something sweeter such as a vin de noix (Walnut liqueur).
  • Bread & Cheese… My parents now live close to St Marcellin, well known for its amazing soft gooey cheese of the same name. I also did some temping for a cheese factory after uni so I know where I can buy whole trays of it! And of course, we would need some lovely crusty bread to go with it.
  • A list of things to do in the area… following our summer holiday last year, we found out loads of fun activities and days out. If we can point people in the right direction, they can truly get to make the most of the region.
  • Mini phrasebook… although I expect that the vast majority of our guests will already have planned to bring one, clever organised bunch that they are!
  • Something to symbolise Barry and I, perhaps a pack of flower seeds?
  • Fans! I really want to find some beautiful fans to help our guests keep cool.
  • And then perhaps some more casual ones such as instructions on how to play Pétanque,or what words not to say (did you know that the word preservatif in French is condom in English? One of our non-French family friends found that out when asking his baker whether he used them in his bread… still makes me laugh now!)
  • Finally, a mini recovery kit for the day after the wedding to help cure the potential headaches.

wedding guest welcome bag

I am very excited about putting these together!

Apart from that, we are slowly getting the Dossier de Marriage together. I’ll be so glad to get that completed!

Barry has his whole outfit sorted and it looks amazing! He has yet to find his ring though, really need to get him to finalise that.

I also now know exactly what sort of flowers I’d like thanks to my floristry training so need to speak to the florist.

I also very much wish to speak to the DJ about our choice of music, as French music can be rather different to English music. Although I do want to make sure that we have some Cloclo throughout the night…. Here’s the video as the dance moves make it even better! Make sure you have a look, it is classic French cheese!

A bientot!

Fiona xx

Fiona’s Wedding Suppliers so far:

Venue:  Le Couvent des Carmes
Photographer: Anne-Claire Brun.

If you are looking for ideas and inspiration on planning your wedding in France, don’t forget you can catch up with Belle Bride Fiona  and fellow bride Hollie C and you can find all the Belle Brides past and present here.

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1 Comment

  • I LOVE the welcome bag idea and what a great way to show off so much local produce and make the whole event really personal and special!