As a wedding planner, it’s pretty rare to get to work with the same couple twice.
But due to family circumstances, I started planning CL+D’s beautiful Bordeaux wedding in the autumn of 2014 – and then had the pleasure of being able to pick up again right where we left off a few seasons later. Only this time, with the very capable Hayley of Château Rigaud at the helm for coordination – and I got to focus strictly on the pretty bits! (lucky me!)
CL had chosen a soft palette of greens and whites and golds, and a fairly classic style, so the transition from spring wedding to autumn was an easy one. With flowers and paper goods as CL’s top priority, the first thing we designed were the ceremony programs – featuring our hand-painted watercolours based on the actual blooms their florist planned to use on the day.
Shall we take a look?
Paper goods and signage were super important to CL and way back in 2014 I had proposed to replace the château’s usual chalkboard signage with vintage mirrors in antique gilded frames to reflect her elegant, elevated style. But, at the time I was told this wasn’t allowed as it was “too bling” for the château’s brand. However, a few years on, they’d softened to the idea. And now they get requests for mirror signage all the time…
Funny that. (*wink)
One of the main design areas we wanted to focus on was the barn door – which would serve as the entrance to dinner for their guests. As you’ve seen above, October in Southwest France usually means gorgeous, sparkling warm days – but the evenings can get a bit cooler so we really wanted the barn door display to be warm and inviting, beckoning guests inside for a cozy autumnal evening.
We surrounded our hand-written mirrored table plan and menu with the rustic woods of wine barrels and vintage fruit crates. Lantern light, mercury glass and pillar candles created just the kind of glow CL was hoping for, and their florist provided us with 2 large arrangements, a garland for the table plan and lots of loose greenery and blooms for us to set up and style on the day. I’m certainly no florist (I *always* leave that to the experts!!!) but I do love to play with pretty flowers!!!
And then finally, to reflect the location of one of their very first dates, CL asked us to create a surprise pop-up bar for her groom in the style of Raffles Singapore.
If you’re familiar with the iconic Long Bar at Raffles, you’ll know that this was no small request!!! It’s a pretty high-end place with luxe interiors and the centrepiece of the original is an absolutely *massive* carved wooden bar (presumably where the name “long bar” came from?!?) And the mirrored shelves are adorned with the world-famous hotel’s logo.
( Not daunting at all!?!?!? )
Sooo, to echo the main bar unit we built a custom carved wooden top piece and a clockface to adorn Rigaud’s plain wood shelves, added antiqued mirror backing to the shelves and mirrored signage on side panels, brought in green bankers and billiards lamps, strung up oversized palm fans, brought in palm plants and rattan garden furniture, and of course had to recreate the famous hessian sacks of “monkey nuts” – complete with hand-drawn logos!
(Sidenote: We just *ADORE* the photo below of the moment the groom caught on to the surprise his bride had organized just for him! )
And just because I just can’t get enough of reading them, and it’s one of the kindest Thank You notes I’ve ever received from a couple, I’ll close with CL’s own words:
“I have no idea where to start with my gratitude for you – words seem inadequate to capture the magic you conjured. From the get-go I knew you were gifted at what you do, but your work on our wedding day truly took my breath away.Every aspect was so lovingly created, from our beautiful watercolour pieces to our incredible Raffles bar… every detail was mind-blowing. I still can’t believe you brought it all so vividly to life!
Most fairytale of all was your beautiful, bespoke barn display. I will forever treasure that moment of walking through a myriad of lanterns and flowers into the most heavenly glow…
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the endless creativity and hard work that made our wedding day a dream come true. And more than that, for your friendship in the process. It has been such a pleasure getting to know you.”
…Le Sigh. (I love my job.)