WE’RE GETTING MARRIED NEXT WEEK! 

It’s the final week so I’m sure you can all imagine how busy we are! I’m managing to squeeze in a blog post though so I must be somewhat on top of it! 

 

When it came to preparing for our wedding, I always knew that I had another wedding beforehand so that always took priority. 3 weeks ago was the wedding of Halle & Bryn,.I am thrilled with how it turned out! The sun shone brightly for the cliff top ceremony, the day ran smoothly, the party kicked off! It was such a pleasure to see the bride and groom and their families so happy. Halle wore the most amazing Rue de Seine gown and her bouquet was to die for. Both Halle & Bryn are total babes so I can’t wait to see the photos from Yoris, their photographer.

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 It took a little while to rest and recover after that and then we realised there were just two weeks left until our own wedding which kicked us back into action! I’m not going to hide it, these last few days have been a bit manic, mainly running around getting everything where it needs to be. I think that no matter how well you have planned there’s always a bit of running around in the last few days because some things you can’t actually do until the last minute. 

 

WEDDING WEATHER!

 

We’ve been watching the weather forecast apps like hawks! Biarritz, where we live, is snuggled between the mountains and the ocean so it has a bit of a weird microclimate. The apps are never really that accurate around here, but it hasn’t stopped us checking and even buying add-ons so we can see further ahead! Silly us! 

 At the moment it looks good for next Friday but I just want to share this: Many of the venues I work with have told me that people always worry about what the weather is going to be like on their wedding day. Of course we all want abundant sunshine, not too hot, slightly breezy perfection. But, if you don’t get that, please don’t fret! There is no reason that bad weather should ruin your day. In fact, sometimes it can help bring people together for a more jovial atmosphere. If people have to huddle in under a tent, then so be it! they will get chatting and have new best buds in no time! On the flip side, too much sun can be uncomfortable, or it could mean that your guests spread out exploring the venue gardens, only to return and find out they missed the speeches. 

Worth noting too, that a bit of cloud cover can make better photographs as you don’t get odd reflections and squinting bridesmaids! So I’m vowing to not worry about the weather anymore! Anyway, what’s worrying about it going to do? 

 

LISTS and DELEGATION

 

I think that the best advice I can give at this time is LISTS and DELEGATION. I’ve been struggling a bit with the idea that it won’t actually be me doing the on the day set up and styling. That’s the bit I love and I want to be there to make sure my vision comes together as I imagined. The logistics of me being there just aren’t really possible though, especially as I don’t want to see Olivier the morning of the wedding. So I’ve delegated the final say to a creative friend that I trust. I’ll be opting instead for some morning yoga followed by ALL the pampering! 

 

It’s not easy to delegate but you do also have to put your trust in your friends and especially your suppliers. Generally you have chosen your suppliers because you love their work. So explain clearly what you want and then let them do their job. 

 LISTS, I’m not sure I would get through life generally without ‘to do’ lists! I find writing it down makes it all clearer and easier to manage. I even sleep better if I’ve written my ‘to do list!’ Having lists has helped with the delegation of tasks between Olivier and I and helped us to feel like we are making progress when we can tick things off. There are now just a few little things on the list to tackle before our friends and family start to arrive this weekend. Hopefully we’re organised enough that we can have a relatively calm week, relaxing with our guests before the big day! 

So this time next week I will be a married woman! I can’t wait for the day and to share it with you all after! 

Wish me luck! 

Lou x 

THE DAY IS APPROACHING!

72 Days to go! ….. Brides of 2018, I know you’ll feel me, I can’t decide if time seems to be getting slower or going faster!? I want our wedding day to come so much, but there are some finishing touches to get in place, so not too soon please! 

It’s been a little while since my last update, but I hope you enjoyed my Nordic woodland weddinginspiration shoot published last month? As the day is approaching, behind the scenes I’ve been getting on with wedding planning for my company French Bague-etteand also tackling wedding beauty and wedding traditions that I wanted to share with you….

WHY WEAR A GARTER?

 You may or may not know why brides traditionally wear garters on their wedding day. It  stems from old beliefs that it was good luck for wedding guests to keep a piece of the bride’s gown after the wedding. Sometimes this could even result in crazy guests ripping a piece of the gown off the bride! (I hope there are no guests like that at any of our weddings!) The garter was introduced so that the bride could willingly gift part of her wedding attire to a lucky guest. Some also believed that the removal of the garter was proof of the consummation of the marriage. Sometimes the garter is removed by the groom and tossed towards the unmarried men at the wedding, much like the bride’s bouquet toss, it is believed that the lucky bachelor to catch the garter will be the next to be married!  

As with a lot of these old wedding traditions, these days, it’s totally up to you whether you want to have a garter toss or even wear a garter at all. Personally, we won’t have a garter toss but I’ve decided that I would like to wear one anyway just because I think I would quite enjoy it! 

 THE GARTER HUNT 

 Having made the decision to wear a garter, the hunt was on to find something that went with my wedding dress, that wasn’t crazy expensive, that looked comfortable enough... and it turns out that wasn’t that easy! It’s not something I had ever really thought about before, but you don’t very easily just walk into a shop and find a huge array of garters to choose from, especially not in our seaside town of Biarritz. After trawling Instagram, Etsy and Pinterest, I eventually came across Laura Beaumont Coutureand I fell in love with the simplicity of one of her bespoke garters.

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Laura custom makes each garter by hand so she can make any changes you want, like adding an antique pearl for your ‘something old’ or a blue bow for your ‘something blue.’ 

Laura was lovely to communicate with and I’m expecting my garter in the post today. Luckily Olivier’s away on his stag do this weekend so I’ll have a chance to try it on and prance around the house!  

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HAIR AND MAKE-UP TRIALS 

 I’ve had a bit of a mixed experience with the hair and make-up trials and now I know just how important they are! 

First was hair and it was a dream! I had gathered a few images of the sort of things I liked so I could show my stylist what I was thinking. It’s not always easy to work out if your hair is suitable for some of the super pretty images out there. I think I may have shown her something that would need an extra foot on the length of my hair! My super talented friend and wedding hair stylist, Whitney from Le Brushing, made it look as easy as pie! (which it definitely isn't!)  She understood what I wanted, explained what would work best in my hair and created the looks perfectly. Don’t forget to take your accessories and veil (If you’re wearing one) with you to your trial. 

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 WEDDING MAKE-UP TRIAL

 Next I had a make-up trial with a local beautician. Again, I took some images with me of the look I wanted and explained what I did and didn’t want. At the time, I thought it had gone quite well but after the experience, the more I thought about it I realised that it just wasn’t quite right. The lady, although she was lovely, hadn’t really followed my requests and she put on a much heavier look than I would want. I didn’t feel comfortable with the look created and although I’m sure it would have been totally perfect for some brides, I just didn’t feel like me. I was concerned about it but it wasn’t until a couple of weeks afterwards that I realized I should try a different make-up artist. At this point I was worried about budget and felt bad increasing the beauty budget so I found the decision hard. However it turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve made so far in the wedding planning process. After all, how you look and especially how you feel on the day is very, very important and really isn’t that what the trial is all for? 

 WEDDING MAKE-UP TRIAL TWO! 

 I was a little late for my appointment but as I ran towards the building there was a beautiful smiling face waving at me from the window and I instinctively felt more comfortable with this decision. Jenny Jane has recently moved from Paris to South West France and started her business Jenny Jane MUA. I am sure she will have great success as my whole experience was just lovely! Jenny looked at my inspiration images closely, she kept asking me how I felt about what she was doing and she made sure I was totally happy with the look created. She was professional and organised and just so good at it! I feel so much more relaxed and actually quite excited about my wedding day make-up! You can check out the experience in my highlighted stories on my French Bague-ette instagram

If your wedding is coming up and you still havent had your beauty trials, I suggest booking them in ASAP. Give yourself time to choose someone different if you feel like the first one is just not quite right. If you’re getting married in France I can’t recommend Le Brushingand Jenny Janeenough! They both speak English, are willing to travel and will make you look and feel fabulous! 

Until next time, I hope your weddings are coming together as you wanted. If you feel like chatting through anything, don’t hesitate to get in touch! 

 Lou x 

MY TOP 5 WEDDING IDEAS & TRENDS

I hope you have been checking out my 'real bride' monthly posts over on Rock My Wedding? I'm giving them updates on my story as a 'Wedding Planner, Planning Her Own Wedding.' This month I discussed my current Top 5 wedding ideas and trends. There is so much beautiful imagery out there, so much on instagram, so much on pinterest, so much all around us! Don't you find it can sometimes become overwhelming?! As soon as you think you have your wedding day styling sorted, some other beautiful idea pops up on your feed and your plan goes up in the air! Each wedding I plan, I set myself the challenge of choosing my Top 5 ideas and I can't tell you how much this helps! Head over to Rock my wedding to read the full article!... 

1. FLOWER INSTALLATIONS 

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Whether they are hanging above your heads, creeping up the walls or lining your wedding aisle, flower installations look stunning! 

2. COLOUR PALETTE

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Having a colour palette makes life easier! The wedding doesn't have to be entirely 'matchy matchy' but trust me having a colour palette helps to make decisions! Our palette came from our wedding invitations which was a pre made design on Papier. 

3. TASSLES

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Im totally obsessed with tassels at the moment and not afraid of a bit of DIY to get them exactly how I want them! They are much easier to make than you might think!  

4. GYPSOPHELIA CROWNS 

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There is debate over whether Reem Acra or Rodarte refuelled this trend’s second coming, but there’s no doubt it’s back with even bigger gyp crowns than before! This time around, use heaps of this little white flower and pile it up on the head like the queen you are!

5. CELESTIAL

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Stars, moon crescents, galaxies are all the prettiest things to me at the moment. I totally love the ethereal bridal accessories from Tilly Thomas or Luna Bea. Have you seen this moon crescent shaped alter from The 12 Events!

There you have it! My current Top 5 wedding ideas and trends! Have you worked yours out yet?! 

A WEDDING PLANNER’S ENGAGEMENT PARTY

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Call me greedy but Olivier and I had two engagement parties! The casual BBQ that I told you all about in my last post, and this more formal affair. It made sense to combine the first time our parents met with the engagement party so we waited until my parents were in Biarritz visiting. We also wanted to celebrate earlier than that with our friends, hence the need for two!

Sylvie and Patrick, my future parents-in-law, were kind enough to offer us their beautiful garden as our engagement party venue. Patrick and the boys put up a sail in case of showers (one always needs a contingency plan and I’m so glad we had ours because it actually rained twice during dinner!) Friends and family came in from out of town, everyone dressed up and looked fabulous, we worked out a seating plan and menu, and speeches were written. The whole evening felt like a mini wedding! Most ‘weddingy’ of all for me was taking the time to pamper and get ready for the evening. I loved having my hair and make-up professionally done and having a photographer there to capture everything…

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HAIR & MAKE-UP

Whitney, my hair and make-up artist, from @lebrushing64 was fantastic! We went for gold and iridescent colours to match my dusty-pink, sparkly dress. My hair was half–up and tousled with rose gold clips. I was so happy with the look! Whitney has the most beautifully infectious laugh and makes you enjoy yourself from the moment she walks in the room. If you’re planning a destination wedding in France and need a hair and make-up artist, then get in touch with Whitney, she’s the best!

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PHOTOGRAPHER

The photographer was Rupert from @editorialists_wedding. Rupert captured the mood of the evening perfectly and was so much fun to work with! That picture of us kissing with our friends in the background expresses exactly what the evening was about - it’s getting framed immediately! That’s precisely how you should feel about your wedding/engagement photos, so make sure you take your time to choose a photographer you trust and who’s work you totally love.

THE DRESS

I ordered my dress in from an Australian company, Runway Scout. I loved the shape and cut out details on the back. The only thing is that, as I’m such a shorty, I literally had to take the scissors to it and cut off a good 15cm! It meant I lost the gorgeous scalloped edge the dress normally has, but at least I didn’t fall over it and end up a heap on the floor with my champagne all over me!

FLOWERS & STYLING

I wanted to create a stylish but still very relaxed atmosphere and I couldn’t really spend a huge amount on flowers and styling, so Sylvie and I both pulled from our supply cupboards. For the table, I went for lots of greenery with a touch of blush and copper and loads of candles. Sylvie sacrificed some of her bright blue hydrangeas growing in the garden. I should have felt guilty chopping down my future mother in laws’ home-grown glories, but then these are one of my favorite flowers, so I quickly got over it! I also spent the morning clipping down greenery for the tables and pampas grasses from the wild hedge rows. I’m not even sure if that’s legal so please don’t go telling the gendarmerie!

The only thing I bought were my 1940’s pink champagne glasses, I saw those in a brocante (French flea market) and just had to have them! I made place names by using gold pen on leaves and a sprig of golden wheat on each serviette. 

We added festoon lighting, trestle tables and benches to complete the set up.

MENU

We wanted to make the most of the local Basque delicacies so we had local cured ham, grilled pimentos and brebis (Sheep’s cheese) My brother and some of the other lads tended to the delicious mixed grill BBQ of duck, cote des boeuf and marinated chicken (We all know that the boys enjoy bonding over the BBQ) All this mixed with our fanciest salad recipes. To finish we had Gateaux Basque, a black cherry or cream filled butter pastry tart. We also took the opportunity to test some potential wedding wines – that’s the wedding planner in me!

THE PARENTS MEETING

Mum and Dad and Sylvie and Patrick got on well… Phewf! We all worked together to get things ready for the evening and they casually exchanged stories of us misbehaving when we were kids. Olivier and I both welled up when my Dad and Sylvie made their speeches and it gave us a taste of how emotional the wedding day itself will be. (Mental note to make sure I get waterproof mascara!) 

Overall, it was a fantastic night that went exactly how I planned it. I felt that I achieved the look and relaxed atmosphere that I was going for and we enjoyed every minute!

The next step for us is invitations and a wedding website. As our wedding will be a ‘destination wedding’ for all my side coming from the UK, we have quite a lot of info to give to people and so we think a website is best. We’re thinking of using the website builder and app called ‘Appy Couple.’ We’ve heard both good and bad things about it so if anyone has had any experience with them, or any other suggestions, we would love to hear them! Please add your thoughts and comments below!

As I finish writing my post, I’m literally just heading out the door to catch a flight to London for my friend Katy’s wedding. I’ll be trying on some wedding dresses whilst I’m there so I’ll let you all know how that goes…

Lou x

Photography by Rupert from @editorialists_wedding

Hair & Make-up by Whitney from @Lebrushing64

A WEDDING PLANNER’S OWN WEDDING!

To some, a “French Bague-ette” is a deliciously irresistible and moreish warm breadstick, fresh and fluffy from the oven. To me, it’s my engagement ring and the name of my destination wedding planning company. (“Bague” being French for ring) Olivier chose perfectly. From the rose cut ‘salt and pepper’ diamond to the trillion shape and the chevron engravings, I’m a little obsessed with it! To be fair, he did have some guidance in the words ‘Absolutely anything by these guys’ @digbyandiona

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There’s a bit of a story behind the ring which has already travelled from the jeweller’s studio in New York to Paris, back to New York, to Switzerland and back into France before it finally found its place on my finger. I won’t go into details, but let’s just say that if you’re buying a ring from another country, make sure you check out the tax rules first!

Whilst my ring was travelling the world, I was back in France believing that Olivier just wasn’t ready to make that commitment yet (We had recently been on holiday to Morocco and I had hoped he would ask me to marry him in the romantic blue town of Chefchouen) When he didn’t, I just concluded that we weren’t on the same page and I continued with my everyday life in my job planning other people’s weddings. So, when it did eventually happen, I was caught completely off guard!

THE PROPOSAL

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We live in a little Basque village called Bidart, it’s 10 minutes outside of the seaside town of Biarritz in the South West of France. We are nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Pyrenees mountains with views onto Spain. Surrounded by rolling green hills, Basque villages, sandy beaches and treated to tangerine glowing sunsets most evenings. The skies had been calm and blue all day… that is until about 30 minutes before Olivier had planned to propose. Being on the sea the weather can change dramatically and this day was a fine example!

At the end of our road there is a leafy foot path that leads up to a cliff edge. Olivier and I often walk up there in the evenings once he gets back from work and, as I work from home, it does me good to get some fresh sea air after a day at my desk. When he suggested we go for a walk that evening, I looked out the window and quite frankly thought he was mad! The wind was howling, the grey clouds were rolling in and rain looked imminent! He managed to persuade me though and when he pulled out the bottle of champagne on ice that he had previously hidden in the bushes up there, it all started to make sense! His words, the familiarity of our cliff side spot, the ring and everything else about it was perfect - the blustery weather just makes it part of our story in the end, and to be fair to him, it never actually rained! Although a little camera shy we both loved going back up there to do the proposal shoot with our friend and superb wedding photographer Will Hartl from @thisdayforward_weddings

THE FIRST STEPS TO PLANNING A WEDDING

You would think that as a wedding planner I would at least have my venue earmarked, maybe a couple of dresses I would like to try on, some styling ideas I’ve been saving for myself!? Well no, not really! Olivier and I met on an app called “Once” in January 2016. “Once” sends you one match every day and Olivier was actually the first person they sent me! Before that I had never truly imagined myself getting married and had sort of decided I probably wouldn’t ever do it. (Sorry to all previous boyfriends, but it just never felt quite right!) So, I hadn’t been saving up imagery or really been thinking about what I want for my own wedding any longer than before I fell in love with him. 

 My Home Office! 

My Home Office! 

On a day to day basis I see so much wedding imagery, I scroll through feeds and watch for trends, plus I am talking to brides about their desires so it’s almost too much to filter through and pick just a few of the best ideas. What I do know though is that I will be taking the same approach I do with all the weddings I’m planning. I’m looking to create something a bit more unique. Festival vibes, boho vibes, stylish but relaxed. My first task is to find a venue where the views will wow the guests. If you’re interested in following my wedding planning progress, I’ve just started a new Instagram account @french_bague_ette where you can follow me on my journey, as a wedding planner planning her own wedding, I’ll share tips, ideas and what I learn along the way. You can also discover some more about my company.

Image Credits: Will Hartl - @thisdayforward_weddings

www.thisdayforward.com.au