December 18, 2019
With its picturesque landscapes and undeniable charm, South of France has always been included in the lists of world’s top wedding destinations. There’s no doubt that Paris is the most popular location but through recent years, more and more couples are saying Je t’aime in the hidden jewels beyond the French capital. For instance, Provence and the south of France attract couples who want to experience an authentic celebration in exclusive venues. Besides, who could resist the heavenly smell of lavender fields in Gordes or the idyllic charm of French Riviera’s coastal scenes?
You’re dreaming of getting married in the South of France but don’t know where to start planning your wedding, this ultimate wedding planning guide is written for you. Without further ado, let’s get the discussion started!
If you want to get married in France, you must decide whether you want an American wedding in France or a French wedding in France.
This makes sense if both members of the couple are American and most of the planned guests are American. Also, it makes sense if you’ve always imagined your wedding including most of the components of a traditional American wedding. In these cases, do an American wedding in France.
If you think maybe you want a French wedding, even though everyone attending—including the bride and groom—will journey from the United States, you should consider a few of the key differences between French and American ceremonies and receptions and then decide what best suits your wedding vision.
My experience exposed the following main differences between typical French weddings and typical American weddings as I served both English speaking and french clients:
Now you know if your planning and “American wedding in France” or a typical french wedding.
More likely than not, there’s already a brief vision that plays out in your mind when you’re thinking about your dream destination wedding days. Nevertheless, dealing with the specifics of your wedding ceremony or wedding day can still be nerve-wracking!
Do you envision a small and intimate wedding surrounded by your close family and friends or a big wedding? You might be interested in a chateau wedding on the French Riviera, but what style of chateau do you want? Or perhaps, a bohemian elopement might be your thing, but what wedding venue concept would you choose? And the list of questions goes on and on and on.
Dealing with all the wed specifics can be chaotic if you’re planning alone but don’t worry. Start compiling your wedding inspirations in a folder. Here are some useful tips:
✓ Make a physical binder or folder of your wedding inspo. For the content, you can go through the pages of fashion, decoration, food, and wedding magazines.
✓ If carrying a physical binder is not your thing, consider having a digital compilation instead. For instance, Pinterest lets you browse through millions of amazing ideas and save your favourite pictures in your wedding boards.
✓ You could also maximize the power of Instagram by using the ‘Save to Collection button’. By swiping through the photos under popular wedding hashtags, you’ll certainly discover stunning ideas that you can keep in your hidden collection.
The most popular hashtag on Instagram that will help you to plan your wedding in the south of France :
Set some time and discuss with your fiancé how much you are willing to spend on your big day. Once you have decided on your final budget, try to determine if your budget suits your vision. Contact the venue and vendors to get a quote. When you know that a certain wedding choice is beyond your financial plan, remind yourself of the benefits of spending within your means.
This is a good question. It depends on the kind of wedding you want. In the South of France( French Riviera and Provence) you have different King of Wedding Venues. From Chateau, Bastide to Vineyard inland or in front of the sea. To determine a price, focus on venues and carter this is the biggest part of your budget. Here is a list of the south of France wedding venues ( French Riviera and Provence, inland or facing the sea) with price and accommodation. It might help! (Coming soon)
More is Less.
Invest in what matters for you. It is Guests, florals, your dress, your photographer, catering, your rings, your honeymoon ect? After all, your wedding shouldn’t be measured by its cost. What matters most is the beautiful memories that you’ll create on your big day!
France offers a plethora of venues and diving into the venue research without preparation can be overwhelming. After observing the patterns in your wedding inspiration folder, you can sort out the specifics by dealing with the following points:
✓Concept- What type of venue do you want? (e.g. chateau, resort, hotel, villa, bastide)
✓Style- How do you want your venue to look? (e.g. boho, romantic, vintage, modern, rustic,)
Once you’ve answered these questions, it would be easier for you to select your best venue for getting married in the South of France.
“I would love to plan my wedding in Provence, surround by olive trees in a romantic and modern bastide” or “I would like to get married in Southwest France in an authentic chateau in Bordeaux”.
indeed, all wedding places have different prices. If you want to get married in Monaco and you are out of budget, don’t be discouraged. Especially on the French Riviera, from one kilometre to another, from one city to another, the prices vary from simple to fivefold. Sometimes only 10 minutes by car separates these two same place. Also, keep in mind that two chateaux in Provence or south of France will not ask you the same price. So persevere.
Think about asking local Florist about venues. Follow South of France wedding photographer on Instagram network with them. Indeed, Photographer shoot in different locations. You can ask them if there enjoy the venues ect.. but the most important thing is, to be honest. If you’re not considering hiring them be transparent. Network with them. Can you ask a wedding planner about a wedding venue without hiring her? No this is not a good idea.
Out of all the aspects of an event, food is one of the top things that guests remember most. Want a more casual approach, you might want to consider having a buffet. If you’re interested in adding a bit of luxury to your reception, a served menu can be your better option. If a festive and bohemian vibe is your jam, you might want to incorporate a grazing table. The options are endless.
Another important thing to consider is the food preferences of your invitees. Someone in your guest list might be vegan, lactose intolerant, or gluten-sensitive so don’t forget to ask everyone! Aside from ensuring that your guests will enjoy their meals, enquiring about their food choices is a thoughtful action that they’ll surely appreciate.
Once you’re done with the concept-theming of your wedding reception, you may then decide on how you want your Cake to look. There are numerous options for traditional US wedding cakes or traditional French Crocenbouche. Perhaps would you prefer some unique alternatives such as doughnut towers, cake pops, or even Fromage cakes? A beautiful and good Wedding cake is anywhere between 600 and 1500 euros. Price may vary according to the number of guests and the cake designer renown.
Freeze your beautiful moments in the best possible way by hiring a professional photographer that can cater to your particular needs. When choosing your wedding photographer, you should create a goal checklist of your preferences. Here are the questions that you need to answer to do your checklist:
✓ What are your priorities for your wedding images? (e.g. aesthetics, stories, candid emotions, film photography)
✓ What is concept wedding shoot do you want? (e.g. refined wedding photography, editorial photography, candid photography, photojournalistic)
✓ What angles and colours do you prefer?( timeless angle, special effect angle, ultra-wide-angle, moody dark, light-filled)
✓ Aside from shooting skills, what characters should I look for in my wedding photographer? (e.g. adventurer, humouristic, proactive, passive, invisible patient, calm, do you want her/him to let you know your double chin is showing up?)
Looking for a wedding photographer in Provence or South of France. Know more about what I can do for you as a wedding photographer in south of france
Your venue adornment should be in accordance with the concept, style, and season of your wedding. Dream about a garden wedding? The lavenders sourced from the fields of Provence can create a stunning contrast in the greens of a landscape. If an island celebration is your thing, you can take advantage of the surplus of local flowers such as bougainvillaea and Yasmin. A friend of mine has done that. She was getting married in Corsica she takes advantage of the surplus of local floral and decorated her Arch with. And surprisingly the arch turns stunning.
If you’re dreaming of a winter wedding, you can decorate your big day with seasonal goods such as pinecones, pomegranates, and poinsettia!
Think about hiring a wedding planner or a wedding designer for your decoration especially if you have specific ideas. Trust me, your photos will turn into masterpieces. Floral artists also do decoration and floral design. Think about it when choosing your floral artist. If you need some recommendations, send me a note here.
S & F wedding decoration in Tuscany- Sienna- Italy
A&S pre-wedding party in Monaco – Hôtel de Paris- Empire Ballroom
Set the right mood for your event is by choosing the best music for your celebration. For a dynamic dance floor, you might want to hire an energetic DJ to keep the party going. If you’d like an authentic and beyond then expected live experience, you must incorporate an amazing live band. My favourite is VOGUE LIVE BAND on the French Riviera.
With proper knowledge and suitable strategies, planning your wedding in the South of France will be a feasible task. If you want to tick one of the boxes in your checklist, you can contact me to discuss your wedding photography goals! As a professional wedding photographer in Provence, I’d like to listen to your vision and be a part of turning your dream wedding into a wonderful reality.
Thought the years, I build a strong relationship with amazing vendors in South of France from Provence to French Riviera. Just ask we’re to help.
Gabriella is a wedding, portrait and editorial photographer based on the French Riviera serving Stylish Brides & Grooms in France. She specialises in South of France Weddings. She uses both film and digital, for an intense, bright and soft editorial Fine-art style.
Gabriella finds most of her inspiration from travel, interior design, fashion, architecture and beauty around her.
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