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
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.
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