There were so many highlights to our wedding it is hard to chose.
We got married in the South of France, in Nice. I am french and my husband is from South Africa, but most of our friends felt like having a holiday in the south of France and my whole family is there so we thought why not!
We were so lucky that over 50 people came from South Africa and all over the world, all together we were 100 people. It was so heart warming to see everyone you love in the same city just for you.
An other amazing highlight was that my sister was our marriage officer. We got officially married in South Africa a week before we left, so Diane could officiate our ceremony. We wanted someone who knew us maybe better than ourselves, who has been there from the start of our relationship. We wanted it to be true, loving, fun, and she delivered on all of that and more. It was a privilege having her do that for us.
The venue was also a highlight, getting married in one of the oldest palace on the riviera was something we will forever remember and treasure.
The live singing from the most amazing due, my mom singing la vie en rose and the french national anthem just before the venue closed, all acapella, bare foot, could also be up there... anyway, all of it was the best I have every experienced!
Lionel surprised me and took me to Praslin in the Seychelles.
We went a month after our wedding, for a week. What a magnificent place!
Everyone asked me: What is your wedding theme?
That startled me a little. I didn't have a theme, the venue where we got married at needed no adding to, so that we didn't have to organise anything from South Africa.
The only theme I couldn't think we went with was floral (my bridesmaids were my bouquet really).
My mom did my make-up, she always did it for me growing up and I wanted that feeling one last time. Plus I feel she knows what looks good on me the most.
My hair was in a big sleek bun with with a rose gold brooch that one of my bridesmaid got me.
The dress I chose was a Plisa from Pronovia, that I picked with all my bridesmaids and my mom during my say yes to the dress, they had organised little signs and this one got the tears and yeses all around. It was simple and elegant (I feel).
My shoes were diamante silver sandals with a very small heel to dance all night (which I did).
I didn't do the standard something borrowed... I wore jewellery that my mom bought me for my 30th birthday, a pearl bracelet, dangly diamond and gold earnings (discrete but so lovely) and a gold bracelet my cousin bought me that says "PAL" which is how I call Lionel and the whole "theme of our wedding as pour hashtag was #palswedding2017.
We technically had a three day wedding celebration. The night before we hosted all our friends and family at my dad's house. We wanted everyone to know each other as everyone travelled so far for us and not everyone knew each other. We had charcuterie, champagne and wine, and Morgane beers my dad important from his home town in Brittany :) It was a great ice breaker for the next day.
Our wedding day was held at the Negresco hotel in Nice on the promenade. It is a landmark in the city of Nice, one of the oldest hotel dating from 1913, the owner has her personal art collection all around the hotel.
We did the ceremony in the Salon de Versailles, and the reception was held in the Salon Masséna which was perfect for the amount of guests we had.
The day after was also held at my dad's for a pool and paella day :)
Around 6 weeks before the big day, I took collagen capsule for my skin, which I think helped.
I also gymmed everyday with Lionel, to get fit and bound with him, it was fun to go together. We were also going for dancing lessons about 3 days a week, which we felt was a great bounding time, the classes were late and it made us have dates before or after the classes and then go home and practice to music we loved.
I loved the part of picking the flowers. Imagine, a tiny french man, in love with flowers at a flower market on the Cours Saleya. We went to see him in March to see if he would be able to help us on our wedding day and we only saw him again on the Tuesday before to pick what we liked. The calla lily ended up what we chose for the bouquets, mine was white, bridesmaid pink and my maid of honour wanted hers black (it looked lovely, I promise). We had the calla on the boutonnieres and on the chairs at the ceremony too. Pintrest was a great help for this.
I now love this flower and have it all over my house, it reminds me of our dream day everyday.
The most impressive part of it all was the venue, it did the wow effect all on its own.
The groomsmen looked so good! Lionel got them black suits from Fabianni and they had floral bow ties and pocket squares which we got from my bro tie.
Lionel always looks amazing in a suit, but this time he blew me away in a black tuxedo from Taylor me, he had a french style waste coat, a beautiful white shirt with black button, a satin bow tie and a white pocket square. Looking at him as I walked down the isle and the whole evening, I fell in love with him all over again.
The bridesmaids were so beautiful, the dresses were made from a friend and we had a few disasters with them on the day, sawing, cutting... all done with a smile :) They were floral long dresses, I wanted them to feel sexy, so there was a high slit. I don't believe in all the girls having the same shape dress as they all have their own unique shape, so each dress was suited for each shape. They all had their hair in the style they wanted, with brooches or pretty pins. Pintrest played a big role on how they looked too.
I am so proud to say that my sister was my marriage officer. She has been there from the beginning of Lionel and I's relationship over 6 years ago, she loves him like a brother and there is nothing she doesn't know. Her ceremony was true, beautiful, loving (just writing this I feel emotional all over again). This truly was a big highlight of our wedding.
Our photographers were a very unassuming couple I had found on the net. What attracted us to them was the first contact. As they were in France and us in SA, we couldn't meet in person. Their first email to us was so friendly and we loved them from the very beginning. Most photographers spoke of budget and calendars, too much of a business feel for us. We skyped them, they were so lovely, tried their best in english for Lionel to understand. We met them in March and they were just as lovely in person. We never did an engagement shoot, so we needed photographers that would put us as ease, we are not very good in front of the camera, so it needed to all be very natural.
On the day we barely saw them and the photos are breath taking.
We will forever be grateful to Carole and Matthieu at canephotographie.com
My dad took on the role of a planner. He lives in Nice, and the excitement at the announcement of our engagement was so big that he went to see different venues, booked them, organised the day before and after events and put us in contact with various people. The rest was a massive help from 2 ladies at the Negresco which pretty much did the best job at organising everything for us.
This isn't very galm... but we just ubered to the venue.
Everything was done by the venue, they have a two michelin star chef that heads up the kitchens.
What a culinary experience!
Our cake was a pièce montée, or croque en bouche, also made by the venue chefs.
I must say, probably the best I have ever tasted.
It came at midnight with sparklers all around.
All our stationary was made by my best friend Roxanne (aka Roxen) her and I were at design school together.
She did an amazing job!
We did take dancing lessons, 10 of them in fact at dance cafe in Rivonia.
We danced a rumba on Rihanna "Love of the brain". We had so much fun dancing it that we high fived at the end of it.
We were recommended a DJ by the venue, and it was the best money we ever spent. They did live acts in between tables during the dinner, sang all our favourite songs, there was a saxophonist that played la vie en rose as I walked down the aisle, the sax even live played Patapata for us! It was incredible. the singers were a couple with the best energy I have ever seen http://www.scshowmusic.com/