A Gorgeous Alfresco Wedding in France That's 100% Vegan
July 26, 2017
Destination
Al FrescoEstate WeddingsSummer Weddings
Not only is this wedding just about the dreamiest of dreamy french chateau weddings we've ever come across but add to that beauty the fact that no animals were hurt in the making of this celebration. That's right. This alfresco dream day is 100% vegan planned by Matthew Oliver with florals by Chataigner Fleurs plus vegan deliciousness by Gentle Gourmet. Get lost in the beauty of Ben Yew's images plus a film by HD Moments below!
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From the Bride...Our relationship was nearly a decade in the making. We met studying abroad in the southwest corner of France, in a city surrounded by mountains and palm trees. An inevitable magic occurs while studying abroad, and though I cherished all of my new friendships, there was a certain je ne sais quoi about Pierre. In the years following, we visited each other and spoke on the phone, but mostly kept in touch through long e-mail exchanges. Then one day, Pierre sent me the most romantic e-mail that would forever change our lives. We were living in different countries at the time (he in Singapore, and I in New York City), so we decided to meet in Paris for New Year’s Eve to see if we could be more than friends, and it was there where we fell in love. With the instrumental role France had already played in our relationship, there was no question when we later got engaged that we wanted to be married there, too.

I am vegan, so I knew that any day that was all about our love also needed to reflect love and compassion for all beings. Given the notable reputation of French cuisine and the fact it is rich in meats, cheeses, and creams, versus vegan cuisine eschewing all animal products and being (incorrectly!) reputed as bland, light, or boring, finding a caterer who could defy these stereotypes and create food our guests would love was very important to us. We were over the moon when Gentle Gourmet of Paris agreed to cater our wedding. Their professionalism and the quality, beauty, and taste of everything they created had many guests who had never tried vegan food before asking for seconds and declaring themselves vegan! We also had the incredible luck of finding a local, vegan food truck, Les Petits Plats d’Anna, who provided late night snacks of crêpes, doughnuts, french fries, and popcorn while we danced the night away.

With so many personal touches that we wanted to include, we knew we could not plan this wedding alone. After reaching out to dozens of potential wedding planners, we found Matthew Oliver Weddings, whom we immediately connected with and knew we could trust to make our day everything we hoped it to be. Matthew’s incredible creativity, expertise, and charm made the entire planning process so much fun! He helped us find our dream venue, Château de la Beuvrière, our amazing photographer, Ben Yew, and brilliant videographer, HD Moments. What these three teams created for our wedding day was more beautiful than we could have imagined.

The château itself is not only stunning but the grounds are lovely as well, and it served as our greatest visual inspiration. The château sits beside a gorgeous lake with an island that is accessible by a small footbridge, and it was there on the island where we had the ceremony. Cocktail hour consisted of our signature cocktails and hors d'oeuvres being hand served, accompanied by an avant-garde jazz quartet playing musette waltz with accordion, à la the soundtrack from Amélie. A photo booth, outdoor games, and a bouncy castle were set up on the lawn for guests to enjoy. Dinner was served in the courtyard on long wooden tables draped with flower runners on top of lace, softly illuminated by soy candles. A large tent was set up next to the lake for dancing where the party went on until 6 a.m.!

With July being the height of lavender season in France, lavender played a strong role in our décor. We chose deep purple with pale pink and gold accents as our color palette. Sprigs of fresh lavender were placed on top of gold charger plates, and sachets of dried lavender were included in guests’ welcome bags.

The château itself already provided such a beautiful setting that we decided on natural, loose floral arrangements to enhance the relaxed and timeless feeling of the day. To incorporate our message of love for all beings, we named our tables after different animals. Our escort cards were attached to small golden figurines of the corresponding animal and signage that read, “The animals will show you the way.” Tiles found in an abandoned building nearby were hand painted with the name of each animal in both French and English and used as the table markers. In lieu of traditional wedding favors, a donation was made to the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals on behalf of each guest.

My bridal party’s look was that of modern, glamorous ballerinas. They wore custom tea length tulle tutus with tops and accessories of their choosing. Fashion makeup artist and vegan activist, Fanny Maurer, gave us a beautiful, cruelty-free glow. Our groomsmen embodied our laidback vibe by foregoing suits for suspenders and bow ties.

It is hard to pick one moment as our favorite, but the ceremony stands out as being so special as every part of it was a contribution from someone we love. My sister and brother-in-law performed all of the music for the ceremony, and our fathers performed a moving duet on guitar and violin. My nieces were our flower girl and flower baby, and my nephew was our ring bearer. Our mothers read our favorite readings, our pastor from NYC officiated, and our rescued dachshund, Lulu, served as my dog of honor.

We loved our wedding so incredibly much. From start to finish, the day felt as though we had been transported to another time and place with all of our favorite people. We were fortunate to have had an incredible team of vendors who made our dream wedding a reality. To everyone who attended and contributed to our wedding to make it all that it was, merci infiniment. Nous vous aimons.
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