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…



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!



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.


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!


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.


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!


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


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



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!



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


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