Photography by Christina McNeill.
From bride Melanie’s stunning backless sheath (channelling style icon Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy is always a great move!) to florals in ivory, peach and deep red, to sweet vintage touches including a watering can feature wall, this wedding is just dripping with romance! If that weren’t enough, handsome groom Will is French, and the couple chose to celebrate his heritage in all the best ways – a bilingual ceremony, al fresco dining under twinkle lights, and plenty of red wine (and be sure to read on to find all about the cute wine gift Will’s Dad arranged for this sweet couple!)
Your ceremony in three words. Rustic, romantic, French-inspired.
Why did you choose this location for your ceremony? We wanted an intimate feel.
What was your ceremony music?
Procession of Officiant, Groom, Groomsmen, Parents, Grandparents, Bridesmaids, Flower Girl
and Ring Bearer – Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring (Bach)
Bridal Walk – Pachelbel’s Canon in D
Bridal Exit – Wedding March (Mendelssohn)
Did you include any traditions in your ceremony? My dad walking me down the aisle.
How did you go about planning your ceremony? We had a lot of help from Barndiva, which was amazing! Lukka at Barndiva was our officiant. We wanted my husband’s family to feel part of the ceremony, and Lukka made our wish come true. He spoke French beautifully, translating a few parts in his passage. He chose such heartfelt readings—I couldn’t have imagined a more touching ceremony.
What were your vows like? We wrote our own vows and surprised each other with them at our ceremony.
What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? Our second cousin and flower girl, Lina, giggling as she ran down the aisle and tossed all her petals at once, my dad waking me down the aisle and my husband’s sweet vows.
What were your ceremony readings?
T.S. Eliot’s “Little Gidding”, verse V.
Ring Ceremony: “This is the point when people often talk about the wedding bands being a perfect circle, having no beginning and no end. But we all know that these rings have a beginning. Rock is dug up from the earth. Metals are liquefied in a furnace at a thousand degrees. The hot metal is forged, cooled, and then painstakingly polished. Something beautiful is created from raw elements.”
Melanie looked absolutely dazzling in her Olia Zavozina number!
What was the best advice you received as a bride? Savor every moment.
What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? Communicate when you need help! And remember the goal—to celebrate your love.
How would you describe your reception?
Intimate, minimalistic, romantic.
Are there any DIY details you’d like to tell us about?
– Wood signage: French cities we’ve visited to mark tables at dinner, “meilleur ensemble” (“better together” in French) for our chairs, and—my favorite—”champagne is always the answer.” They’re now hanging throughout our house, making me smile each time I walk by! This is my budget advice, too – be sure to embrace DIY for certain elements. In my case, I was quoted quite a lot to make the wood signs I envisioned.
– Selfie station, complete with props
– My grandma’s boyfriend made a corn hole game for our reception
– My mother-in-law made her delicious strawberry jam for our guests to take home—I’m still getting comments from guests about how amazing it is!
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? Barndiva is super quaint and unique, so I tried to take a minimalist approach to decorations. We stuck to lots of greenery, white flowers, potted plants and candles.
Please tell us about any other special details or moments from your reception. My father-in-law stored away amazing 1990 reds (both my and my husband’s birth year) that were served at dinner—a really sentimental addition. He also made punch using a secret family recipe—a tasty, potent mix that got everyone up dancing.
Did you include any other traditions in your wedding? We toasted with crystal glasses from the Lorraine region in France (where my husband’s family is from).
What type of cake or dessert did you serve? Vanilla Genoise with Orange Liqueur, Vanilla Cream and French Buttercream
What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? Taking a celebratory shot at the bar with my mom probably tops the list! And my grandpa swooping me up for a surprise dance, exclaiming, “They didn’t think I’d do it!”
What was your first dance song? Father/daughter or mother/son dance?
First dance: Crazy Love by Van Morrison
Father/daughter: Unforgettable by Natalie and Nat King Cole
Mother/son: You’ll Be in My Heart by Phil Collins