Mr TUQ and I have been together for 8 years and never really considered ourselves ‘wedding’ people. We knew we wanted to get married but we both weren’t sure of the actual ‘wedding’ part. I didn’t want a fluffy dress and we both didn’t want anything too big or elaborate. I looked at a wedding gown collection in a nearby shop and found some lovely dresses. We had always spoken about eloping with maybe a friend or two.
After we got back from Australia, I remember sitting on the tube and we were talking about whether we wanted to have a wedding. I said to Damien, “Well I don’t think I’d ever forgive myself if I didn’t let my Dad walk me down the aisle”. He responded with, “Right, well lets do it then!”. And then the rest they say is history…
So here are a few happy snaps of the wedding. Obviously our poor friends shouldn’t have to suffer just because we are happy to broadcast our pictures to the world, so they are mainly of us. Get ready for the mooshy overload!
We originally wanted a wedding in Italy. It’s the place we got engaged, we love the food, the people and the landscape. We had pictured getting married in Tuscany, a place we love for the crazy good food and the beautiful rolling hills… Oh and the wine isn’t so bad either 🙂
When I started asking around for a location for 30-40 people, planners were writing back asking me if I meant 300 people? #IDon’tEvenKnow300people. Also, since we’d left it so late, many of the venues available weren’t really what we were after and didn’t have a big, fun house that we could all hang out with for a few days after the wedding.
Our friends had the most magical wedding in Bordeaux in 2014 so we decided to start looking there instead. After searching what felt like every inch of the internet, we stumbled across a wonderful Chateau in the Dordogne Region (just 1.5 hrs north of Bordeaux). In a race against the clock, we had a quick chat with their planner and then locked it in Eddy! People were actually astounded we booked a wedding without seeing the venue and reflecting on it, it might not have been the smartest idea #CrazyBride.
We did end up visiting the venue in July (just two months out from the weddng – eep!). The castle existed (hooray!) and was even more magical in real life! The owners, Lise & Paul are just so lovely and do an incredible job at keeping this large and gorgeous chateau in tip top shape. It is literally just like a fairytale with its turret, lush gardens and gorgeous balconies with french doors.
The week before
Fast forward 6 months to W-day and it was pandemonium. We had found out we were coming back to Australia and so in amongst organising an overseas wedding we were also packing up our home. To say it was stressful is a ridiculous understatement! DO NOT try this people! It may break you. I don’t think I’ve ever felt quite so stressed in my whole entire life!
What did save us was meeting up with our friends a week before the wedding. We hired a huge house and got to chill out with everyone in Bordeaux. We booked in some fantastic restaurants, stopped in at some incredible vineyards and had a bundle of laughs.It was the perfect way to kick off the week and wind down a bit from the previous craziness!
Then we went and met everyone else up at the Chateau. The night before the wedding we went up to a gorgeous hilltop village called Aubeterre. We only had 33 guests which meant everyone got to mingle and meet the night before which felt really nice. So many friendships had already started forming the night before which was really heart warming. All our friends kept telling us how nice our friends were which made us laugh. Of course you’re nice! That’s why you’re here sillies!
Then the next day it was Le Marriage!!!
Caught up in everything before the wedding, I hadn’t finished off my speech#WorstBrideEver. So I was writing it up to 1pm and the wedding was at 3pm. Nothing like leaving everything to the last minute – ay yai yai! Luckily I had my gorgeous friend Hayley there to do my hair, organise me and everyone else. Thank goodness for this lady otherwise I think I’d still be faffing around!
That first photo on the left is my mum telling me I wasn’t going to fit into my dress… I shouldn’t have been laughing – I blame the cheese and wine consumption in Bordeaux!
The rest of the day was a bit of a blur as I’m sure anyone that’s been married before can relate to…
We had the ceremony out the front of the chateau. Our cute little flower girls twirled down the aisle, my amazing Dad was there by my side and there were tears, laughter and more tears throughout the ceremony.
Afterwards we had champagne, aperol spirtzes (a little Italy still followed us to the wedding) and canapes on the lawn. Mr TUQ and I snuck off for a few photos with our photographer, Brian, who managed captured the romance of this place to perfection!
(Can we just take a moment to have a look at that bouquet? David Austen roses, big silver dollar eucalyptus, olive branches and ferns – Jenny the florist totally nailed all the flowers AND she was such a dream to work with!).
Then it was time for dinner!
The reception dinner was perfection! Despite being the end of September, it was a lovely Indian-Summer night and we got to eat under the stars and hundreds of sparkly lights and lanterns. We had everyone around one humungous table and indulged ourselves in some seriously delicious French food and wine. My parents sung us a song (#heartmelting) and we had speeches which brought on more tears and laughter. It was such an emotional rollercoaster!
Then we had a congo line dance us to the barn dancefloor and our wheel of cheese ‘cake’ (you can’t have a French wedding without cheese)!
The DF got serious and we were still on our feet until 3am (the beauty of having your own venue). Luckily one of Mr TUQ’s sister was still amongst the hanger-onners and cooked us all croque monsieurs at 3am – #lifesavour!!! I’ll love her forever for that fried sandwich! Sitting in a kitchen in your wedding dress drinking (more) champagne and eating croque monsiuers – what more could a girl ask for?
The next day
The best thing after the wedding was when we all finally arose the next day, we got to spend a day chilling out together. We all lounged by the pool, played a little Mölkky and Petanque and got through another 10kg of cheese and wine.
Then two of our friends who are a) well versed in all things wine and) known for their ability to make you wet your pants, got dressed up in berets and neck ties and put on the funniest French imitation wine tasting & quiz session. I’m sure any French person would’ve cringed at the whole situation but our friends thought it was the best wine tasting/ quiz they’d ever been too. Perhaps not surprising but this set everyone off again and we almost had a bigger night than the wedding night. There were dirty dancing lifts involved and we polished off everyone single bottle of wine in the house (or chateau!).
People who have been married say it’s one of the best days of their life. I use to screw my nose up and think ‘but it’s only one day?’ and you’re literally hemorrhaging money for less than 24 hours of fun!
In hindsight I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
I got to marry the man who for the past 8 years has been my rock and is the person I want by by my side experiencing all that life has to offer. And I couldn’t have wished for a better bunch of people there to help us celebrate. Each and every one of them has played such a big part in our lives and I couldn’t have been more grateful they all travelled to be there with us.
Okay, mushy mushy over! Santé to you all! Hope you’re having a lovely Christmas break!
Post Wedding Tips & Regrets
- Everyone said it and I still didn’t really listen them… You will have ZERO time to do anything once you’re with family and friends. Just get it all done beforehand or you’ll miss out on spending time with everyone.
- Don’t move countries and plan a wedding overseas at the same time! Derr!
- Be specific with your requests to suppliers. Send tonnes of Pinterest pictures and examples so you’re both on the same page!
- If you have someone helping you with the planning then don’t be afraid to ask to bring in your own suppliers, photographers etc.
- Being very picky with your musical talent is ok! Its your special day! My friend recommend I find a bunch of top talent at websites like Headliner.io they have a great range of Wedding Music Bands.
- Make sure you look around before buying your wedding rings. If I had bought the first ring I saw I would have been gutted. There are so many different types of rings out there, some I had never even heard of! Take a look at wood inlay wedding rings for example! They are so unique and beautiful. Consider all your options. You are going to be wearing it for life.
- Some great advice from friends was to find a time in the day where you two can just be together and soak it all in – no friends, photographers, whatever. Just 5 minutes to have a champagne and be present in the moment!
- On the day give yourself plenty of time to get ready… (which includes writing your speech more than two hours before the wedding starts)!
- No matter how much you plan, shiz will go wrong. Smile and move on… in the scheme of things it really does not matter and I’m not saying that lightly because I really don’t like it when things don’t go to plan. In the end, I wouldn’t have changed a thing!
- The ONLY thing I regret is not having a videographer. It’s our fault, we left it too late to get a decent videographer to film the day. I watch people’s wedding videos and they make me feel all warm inside so I wish we had one too!
Photographer: Brian from French Grey Photography. Brian was honestly a dream. Incredibly patient and fun too! So happy he was part of our special day!
Planning: Marry Me in France
His & Her Details:
- Dress: Jenny Packham
- Sash: Custom made by Blue Lily Magnolia
- Hair: Hayley Robertson Hair
- Bouquet: Jenny Moss (my bouquet came delivered in a wine box… it doesn’t get much better than that!!)
- Ring Box: The Mrs Box (I had my eye on this from the moment we were engaged!)
- Confetti Packet Stickers: Designed by me, printed by Moo!
- Freeze Dried Petal Confetti: Real petals that won’t wilt or get crushed by little flower girls hands! Confetti Cone Company
- Canopy: Jenny Moss
Reception table details:
- Stationery: All designed by me TUQ and printed by Moo. I’d be more than happy to share it – if you’re interested let me know and I’ll publish the raw files!
- Silk Ribbon:Pom Pom Blossom
- Table Runner Garland: Jenny Moss