I didn’t get a chance to post links last week, so some of these are probably a bit belated and you may have read them already, but in case not…

Harper's Bazaar Street Style Harper’s Bazaar Street Style

I mostly wear black. Black yoga pants to be exact. But my alter-ego wears this dress.

Hold on to summer a little longer with sea glass candy.

Jordan’s tips on how to find cheap airline tickets.

Rookie home decorating mistakes (great list!).

Can you tell I have a big crush on Stephen Colbert? I love his entire GQ interview, especially the last few paragraphs. What an amazing and inspiring way to think about life.

I will be making this frozen hot chocolate some time very soon.

Dear people who live in tiny houses.

I’ve been doing some research on logos and brand identity (for a super fun project I can’t wait to share!) and came across this branding which I love, and this hilarious “Hipster Logo Design Guide” poster.

Goat cheese ice cream with blackberry red wine swirl sounds like a yummy grown-up summer treat.

The gold leaf band on this hat is perfection.

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“I wish I had the gift of making rhymes, for methinks there is poetry in my head and heart since I have been in love with you.” – Nathaniel Hawthorne, in a letter to his wife

 

Artwork by Little Miss Press for Snippet & Ink. Some Words To Love By are available to purchase as prints in our Etsy shop!

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Grace and David wanted an intimate wedding, and they wanted to share Maui with their families, so they turned the celebration into a week-long family vacation! From the sudden downpour in the middle of the ceremony to the humpback whale sighting during their first dance, it was certainly a wedding to remember.

SEE THE GALLERY FOR MORE FROM THIS INTIMATE MAUI WEDDING BY WENDY LAUREL.

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What was the best advice you received as a bride?  Be present and soak up each moment during the day!

What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding?  Don’t sweat the small things! At the end of the day, you will be standing next to your new husband/wife and surrounded by your families, friends, and overwhelming love such that all of the details that you have tried to plan to perfection will just be in the
background. Embrace the unexpected and imperfections, and you will have a beautiful wedding day.

If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently?
I’m so glad we did everything the way we did…it was truly the family vacation of a lifetime for us!

 

Wendy Laurel | Snippet & Ink Wendy Laurel | Snippet & Ink

 

Why did you choose this location for your wedding?  Maui is a very special place for us. We visited together for the first time during our last year of medical school to celebrate our engagement, and we had such a wonderful and relaxing time exploring the island together and left with so many fond memories. When it came to time to start planning our wedding, we eventually decided to turn our celebration into a family vacation with a destination wedding tacked on right at the end! David and I are both extremely close to our families so it was our top priority that our wedding celebration was as much about our families having a great time as it was about celebrating our marriage. We immediately agreed that we wanted to share our memories of Maui with our families, and decided on Merriman’s Restaurant in Kapalua because of the breathtaking views of the beach and coastal cliffs, their delicious regional Hawaiian cuisine, and their ability to accommodate a small party in a private, relaxed and intimate setting.

 

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Wendy Laurel | Snippet & Ink Wendy Laurel | Snippet & Ink

 

The Ceremony

“Our ceremony was easily the most memorable part of our wedding. The forecast that day did not call for any rain and there was not a cloud in the sky at the start of our ceremony, but as David finished his vows, our entire party got soaked in a sudden unexpected torrential downpour! We all retreated indoors, and though everyone was soaked through their party clothes, we joked and laughed while our parents tried to convince us that the rain would bring us good luck. When it had cleared up a bit outdoors, we came back out and were greeted with applause and cheers from guests at the restaurant. The Merriman’s Events Team expertly created a makeshift ceremony site out of the private cabana where we were going to hold our reception and I was able to read my vows and finish the ceremony. The rain was clearly an unplanned part of our festivities and although to some, it may have been a perceived disaster, it brought hilarity and lightness to our celebration. David and I were so grateful for how easily our families took the rain in stride and realized how fortunate we both were to have them by our side.”

 

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Wendy Laurel | Snippet & Ink Wendy Laurel | Snippet & Ink

 

Your ceremony in three words.  Intimate, relaxed, non-traditional.

Who officiated your ceremony?  Our officiant was Pia Aluli. We chose Pia because his personal style resonated with us. We wanted a ceremony that was spiritual, unique, and reflective of the gravitas and joy of our wedding. We met Pia the week ahead of our wedding and knew that his sincerity and sense of humor would help put our families at ease. He was very flexible and amenable to us planning a simple non-denominational and personal ceremony.

What was your ceremony music?  We were very fortunate to have Marvin Tevaga perform at our wedding. He has an incredibly soulful voice that blew our families away. For our processional, he performed “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and for our recessional, he sang “Sunday Morning”.

What were your vows like?  We wrote our own personal vows to each other! Getting the chance to share our vows in front of our families was very special to us.

 

Wendy Laurel | Snippet & Ink Wendy Laurel | Snippet & Ink
Wendy Laurel | Snippet & Ink Wendy Laurel | Snippet & Ink

 

What was your favorite part of the ceremony?  In addition to the unexpected downpour, we loved seeing each other for the first time as I walked down the aisle, seeing our families’ reactions, and reading our vows to each other.

 

Wendy Laurel | Snippet & Ink Wendy Laurel | Snippet & Ink

 

The Reception

“Our reception was a relaxed family dinner, held under a private cabana overlooking the ocean at Merriman’s.”

 

Wendy Laurel | Snippet & Ink Wendy Laurel | Snippet & Ink

 

Menu:
appetizers: Haleakala lamb spring roll with pineapple dipping sauce / sesame seared ahi tuna slider with pickled cucumber and wasabi mayo / baked brie with fruit and macadamia nuts / hummus with Molokai sweet potato chips and petite garden vegetables // starters: house-made cavatelli pasta / pan sautéed Maui Lehua taro cakes // salads: Merriman’s garden salad / upcountry organic kale and butter lettuce salad // entrees: pan roasted togarashi-spiced day boat mahi mahi / naturally raised lamb / five-spice pan roasted jidori chicken // Maui’s best tropical fruit plate / flourless chocolate cake / Maui gold pineapple and toasted macadamia nut brioche pain perdu / macadamia nut wedding cake with mango fruit filling and vanilla buttercream

Did you have a signature cocktail?  We didn’t have any signature cocktails, but we had a number of tropical cocktails and “mocktails”.

 

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Wendy Laurel | Snippet & Ink Wendy Laurel | Snippet & Ink

 

What was your first dance song?  Marvin Tevaga learned Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud” just for our first dance.

Please tell us about any other special details or moments from your reception. During our first dance, we were surprised by a family of humpback whales playing very close to the shoreline! It was an exciting and unexpected sighting!

 

Wendy Laurel | Snippet & Ink Wendy Laurel | Snippet & Ink
Wendy Laurel | Snippet & Ink Wendy Laurel | Snippet & Ink

 

Tell us about having such an intimate wedding.  Our families were the center of our wedding celebration. They are very private people, as are we, and so we wanted to have a small private family celebration. We couldn’t remember the last time when either one of us been on a family vacation so having a destination wedding/family vacation in Maui was extra special for all of us. We spent the week before the wedding exploring Maui and getting plenty of beach time; we had our rehearsal dinner at a luau (Feast at Lele); and having our wedding on the last day before our families flew back to the mainland was just the perfect cap to an unforgettable family trip.

What was your favorite moment or part of the reception?  Our siblings and parents all prepared toasts, and we loved them. While our siblings used their toasts as an opportunity to roast us, our parents’ toasts were sweet and heartfelt.

 

Wendy Laurel | Snippet & Ink Wendy Laurel | Snippet & Ink
Photography: Wendy Laurel / Venue, Catering, Cake: Merriman’s in Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii / Floral Design: Bella Bloom Maui / Dress: Galina /  Shoes: Gianni Bini / Suit, Shirt, Tie: Hugo Boss / Shoes: Cole Haan / Hair, Makeup: Salon 253 / Officiant: Pia Aluli / Ceremony Music: Marvin Tevaga

Wendy Laurel is a Snippet & Ink Select vendor. This post contains affiliate links.

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When you hear Charlotte describe her family’s home in Chalvron, France, you instantly understand why she and Pete decided to celebrate their wedding there: “The house was the village forge and was bought in need of a lot of love and restoration. My whole family went out there to dig floors, knock walls down, build them back up, install hot water, plaster, paint, etc. and the result is now a much loved home. It is very small, very rural, very French and very a close community, all really important to us as a family. We are now well entwined into the village and all the goings on of various fetes and soirées! Set within a National Park, the distinctly rural French setting, with lots of fields and woodlands, is very pretty, and provided the backdrop for our wedding.”

Also this couple wins the award for Best Wedding Day Transportation, hands down…

SEE THE GALLERY FOR LOTS MORE FROM THIS FRENCH COUNTRYSIDE WEDDING BY NORDICA PHOTOGRAPHY.

Nordica Photography | Snippet & Ink Nordica Photography | Snippet & Ink
Nordica Photography | Snippet & Ink Nordica Photography | Snippet & Ink

 

Nordica Photography | Snippet & Ink Nordica Photography | Snippet & Ink
Nordica Photography | Snippet & Ink Nordica Photography | Snippet & Ink

 

Why did you choose this location for your ceremony?  Chalvron is a very small village in Burgundy and my family has a home here. We decided as a couple we wanted our wedding to be a representation of us both and our families. After sharing several very happy holidays at the house, soirees with neighbors and exploring the local area, we felt this was the perfect location for us.

 

Nordica Photography | Snippet & Ink Nordica Photography | Snippet & Ink
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“We are very lucky to have an incredibly supportive, pro-active and hands-on family,” says the bride. “Five parents, five siblings, godparents, Auntie, cousins and more. They all got involved with great imagination and enthusiasm. For much of the planning Pete was based in the US (where we now live), and I relied on the help and support of family and close friends, especially with planning a wedding in France as we had limited knowledge of the French legalities, customs, traditions and etiquette. Liaising with the maire (mayor), pastor, florist, etc. was difficult as we are not fluent in French – luckily several family members are!”

 

Nordica Photography | Snippet & Ink Nordica Photography | Snippet & Ink

 

Now that is a true boutonniere!

 

Nordica Photography | Snippet & Ink Nordica Photography | Snippet & Ink
Nordica Photography | Snippet & Ink Nordica Photography | Snippet & Ink

 

The Ceremony

“We planned the ceremony with the help of a wonderfully supportive friend in France, Lilly. By law, French weddings are civil ceremonies, and so have to take place in the local mayor’s office, so we married in our local mairie (city hall), with Maire Bruno Gardey de Soos. The local eglise, Saint-Aubin-des-Chaumes, is on the hill overlooking the village so we knew we wanted to have a blessing there as well. The church is not ‘active’, however with permission from the maire we were able to use it.”

 

Nordica Photography | Snippet & Ink Nordica Photography | Snippet & Ink
Nordica Photography | Snippet & Ink Nordica Photography | Snippet & Ink
Nordica Photography | Snippet & Ink Nordica Photography | Snippet & Ink

 

Your ceremony in three words.  British-French, rustic, relaxed.

Who officiated your ceremony?  Our friend Lilly assisted and found us two pastors to officiate the blessing, and they were very supportive and exceptionally helpful sharing knowledge on the ceremony and French traditions.

 

Nordica Photography | Snippet & Ink Nordica Photography | Snippet & Ink
Nordica Photography | Snippet & Ink Nordica Photography | Snippet & Ink
Nordica Photography | Snippet & Ink Nordica Photography | Snippet & Ink

 

What was your ceremony music?  For the civil ceremony, my Uncle Christopher, who is in the Coldstream Guards, played Trumpet Voluntary on his French horn. For the church ceremony my Uncle Alan played acoustic guitar.

What were your ceremony readings?  Mixing French and British traditions and language was important for us and our wedding. A personal reading for us inspired by grandparents, Desiderata, was read by my sister in French and Pete’s mother in English. A Bible reading, Philippians 2:1-4, was read in French by the pastor and in English by Pete’s brother. And a letter from my mother that she read in English, and read in French by my stepmother.

 

Nordica Photography | Snippet & Ink Nordica Photography | Snippet & Ink
Nordica Photography | Snippet & Ink Nordica Photography | Snippet & Ink

 

What were your vows like?  Pete’s were unbelievably thoughtful and very personal. Mine were a little more haphazard and frank – I finished writing them on the morning of the wedding!

 

Nordica Photography | Snippet & Ink Nordica Photography | Snippet & Ink

 

What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony?  Having no idea of what to expect! We are fortunately both quite relaxed and embraced the French eccentricities mixed with the British and just allowed the day to chart its own course. Rather than a rehearsal the night before, we spent the evening up in the church partaking in the French tradition that the bride and groom start ringing the church bell while family, friends, and the local community come by to wish the couple well. Together everyone keeps the bell ringing for as long as possible. A wonderful shared experience – at one point the bell collectively lifted me and my four siblings clear off the floor! We kept it ringing until past 11pm – a lot of fun and a very traditional French experience!

 

Nordica Photography | Snippet & Ink Nordica Photography | Snippet & Ink
Nordica Photography | Snippet & Ink Nordica Photography | Snippet & Ink
Nordica Photography | Snippet & Ink Nordica Photography | Snippet & Ink

 

Is there anything else that you’d like to share about your wedding ceremony?  The wedding transport is a family tradition, that was given a French uplift. I arrived at the ceremony on the back of my father’s vintage motorbike, with the bridesmaids following on Mobylettes (peddle and pop motored bicycles). After the blessing in the eglise, we took part in another French tradition and led a procession of approximately 20 vehicles around the local area, with everyone beeping their horns and waving, and locals joining in. My father spent seven years restoring a 1920 Bugatti, and as the father to four daughters and one son, he decided that his girls should drive their new husbands in the car, so this family tradition started with my sister’s wedding in 2013.

 

Nordica Photography | Snippet & Ink Nordica Photography | Snippet & Ink
Nordica Photography | Snippet & Ink Nordica Photography | Snippet & Ink

 

The Reception

“Our reception was held at my parents’ house in the village. I’d describe it as rustic French, with a vin d’honneur (Champagne reception) followed by a traditional French soiree.”

 

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Nordica Photography | Snippet & Ink Nordica Photography | Snippet & Ink

 

Why did you choose this location for your reception?  The house is typically French and typical of my family – something Pete has fully embraced and is a part of, very much part of.

What inspired you when you were planning your wedding?  A visit to Grace Cathedral in San Francisco – Anne Patterson’s installation Graced With Light was the inspiration for the ribbon strung in the tent. We were also inspired by our family – their collective effort was a continuous source of inspiration, and was why we wanted the event to be so inclusive and relaxed.

 

Nordica Photography | Snippet & Ink Nordica Photography | Snippet & Ink

 

What was your wedding menu?  Authentic rustic French. My father made a smoker for the salmon, and led by Lilly, the house transformed in to a hive of activity with flans, salads, fruit, bread, canapés, aperitifs – the enthusiasm of the French to contribute their local dishes and specialities was wonderful.

Did you have a signature cocktail?  No. However being in Burgundy it was important to have some wine we loved. My sister and mother visited local vineyards and brought a selection with them to our engagement dinner, where the entire family chose the Crémant de Bourgogne to be served at the vin d’honneur.

 

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Nordica Photography | Snippet & Ink Nordica Photography | Snippet & Ink

 

Are there any DIY details you’d like to tell us about?  Most of the wedding was DIY – we are very fortunate to have such a creative and hands-on family. We all arrived in France two weeks prior to the wedding and got to work: rebuilding a crumbling wall, clearing a path to link the vin d’honneur and main reception areas, setting up tents, tables made from wood from the local saw mill, sunflowers arranged in vessels collected by all, scarecrows made to represent the bride and groom (a French tradition), ribbon hand tied to the ceiling of the tent… our wedding was a collective effort of so many, bringing their talents and enthusiasm to create a very memorable and special experience.

 

Nordica Photography | Snippet & Ink Nordica Photography | Snippet & Ink

 

What was your favorite moment or part of the reception?  The speeches – Pete’s brothers did a very amusing true or false questionnaire with Pete, trawling up some of his endeavors for the amusement of the audience. My father spoke in French, for what he lacks in French speaking he makes up for in gestures and support from our middle sister to translate back into English – they made a very entertaining duo!

Please tell us about any other special details or moments from your reception.  There was an impromptu sing along by the French friends ending in a toast to us.

 

Nordica Photography | Snippet & Ink Nordica Photography | Snippet & Ink
Nordica Photography | Snippet & Ink Nordica Photography | Snippet & Ink

 

What type of cake or dessert did you serve?  Burgundy tradition is that the cake is in the shape of something that represents you as individuals. (Our friend Lilly and her husband had a chicken and a tree for their wedding cake.) In talking about it, we mentioned Kilimanjaro (we climbed it together in 2011), and decided that cats and monkeys would symbolize us (I love cats and Pete’s father used to call his three boys his three little monkeys). From that brief conversation we had no idea what to expect, but we were thrilled when the baker arrived with his masterpiece. It was supplemented by flans and cakes made by some of the women in the village.

 

Nordica Photography | Snippet & Ink Nordica Photography | Snippet & Ink
Nordica Photography | Snippet & Ink Nordica Photography | Snippet & Ink

 

What was the best advice you received as a bride?  To accept help.

If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently?  Not really. There were some unexpected twists and turns along the way, however this all made it our day and part of a wonderful, happy and memorable experience.

Is there anything else that helps tell the story of your wedding?  While the wedding is the ‘big day’ in the week running up to it as we created the venue, there is no question it was hard work however with so much support from family and the local friends was a wonderful and extended wedding experience shared together. Throughout the week, in true French style, we always stopped for a lunch all together, and as the evening arrived we shared aperitifs and dinner.

 

Nordica Photography | Snippet & Ink Nordica Photography | Snippet & Ink
Photography: Nordica Photography / Second Shooter: Nisha Ravji / Venue: Family Home in Burgundy, France / Dress, Veil: Pronovias / Shoes: LK Bennett / Suit: Royal Air Force Uniform
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