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Updated on April 3, 2020

Greetings from confinement in France! I am riding out the lockdown in the countryside of Brittany, grateful to be in a house with a lawn as opposed to my Parisian apartment.

We’re going through a scary and uncertain time and there’s unfortunately very little we can control right now, but there is a lot of information we can gather to arm ourselves as best possible once the situation gets a bit clearer.

The news cycle is spinning so fast that it’s not easy to make heads or tails of what to do. At this point we’re looking at each of our upcoming weddings and evaluating on a case-by-case basis. We’re here providing support to all of our couples, collecting as much information as we can and updating as the situation changes.

If you’ve been planning your own wedding and have been in direct contact with your vendors, I wanted to share some advice on how we’ve gone about things:

1. Review your venue and vendor’s postponement and force majeure policy as stated in their contract. Review your wedding insurance policy (if you have one).

2. Reach out to your venue and vendors to understand what adjustments are being made to their policy in light of the COVID-19 emergency. If you have a wedding planner, they are here to help facilitate these discussions. Here at Fête in France, our standard contract has a penalty clause in the event of a change in date or venue, however given the extraordinary circumstances we are waiving any change fees.

Once you’ve collected the above information:

3. If your wedding is between now and May, you are likely in decision-making mode vs. wait-and-see mode. Time is of the essence, especially if any guests will be travelling, so you may choose to send out communication to your guests without yet having a date rescheduled. That said, if at all possible, have your new date set before communicating with guests – it will save you a step down the line and will be appreciated by any guests who need to rebook travel!

4. If your wedding is in June or later, we recommend waiting until mid-April to understand how the situation evolves and reassessing then. If you still feel strongly about postponing, the same advice applies: if possible have your new date set before communicating with guests.

We know this is a stressful moment and it can be difficult to keep emotions at bay. The people surrounding you – your fiancé(e), your wedding party, your family and your key wedding vendors – are here to support you and guide you, and can’t wait to be part of your wedding, whenever it may be.

You’re engaged! Amid the whirlwind of all of the wedding possibilities, the idea of a wedding in France pops up: an elegant Paris wedding, or a romantic château wedding, or a relaxed countryside wedding… Then you wonder if you can really make this dream work. And you take to the internet to start looking into how to plan a wedding in France.

The search often begins with French wedding venues – the where of it seems like a good place to start. When you’re doing a first dive into venue search, it’s easy to get swept away by visuals or submerged by the daunting task of sifting through different websites, but it’s hard to know the what to really look for .

And what if the best way to the where and an understanding of the what started with the who?

After an exasperating or frustrating start to their venue search our couples often are so excited to find us. And learn that we’re native (American!) English speakers. And that we’ve been wedding planning for a while now (more than 5 years… more than 10 years…) creating close to 350 weddings of every shape and size, including some very beautiful and logistically complex celebrations. This depth and breadth of experience helps us navigate you through the planning process with ease, and allows us to keep things cool, calm and on track.

We’d love to hear from you and help you figure out the what and the where of your wedding!

 

We’re delighted to have this wedding featured on Carats and Cake and it was just the push we needed to write the next chapter of this exceptional 4-day wedding weekend. It was easy to find inspiration for the rehearsal dinner when the groom is originally from the Lone Star state and the bride is a champion horserider and manages a ranch outside of Fort Worth. After Day One’s “White Nights” theme Welcome Party, we headed deep in the heart of Texas for a rehearsal dinner bbq on Day Two.

We knew we needed to build all of the reception spaces, and that there would be a main tent for the wedding and brunch, and another tent for the rehearsal dinner. We wanted to make sure the feel of the rehearsal dinner was different but still coherent with the rest of the structures that would be on the property. Tipi tents were a perfect solution for both the rehearsal dinner and tent village we built to host some of the wedding guests.

The tipi structure hit just the right note of rustic and the design we selected with Madame Artisan Fleuriste made it festive, pretty and inviting. Details like horseshoe escort cards (collected from the bride’s ranch, naturally), state of Texas shaped cookies and a University of Texas groom’s cake. And what would a Texas-themed rehearsal dinner be without barbecue? The team from Melt totally delivered on the true Texas bbq experience, hanging out by their custom made smoker under a popup tent to keep dry. The native Texan and Paris-based smokemaster wowed the crowd, many of whom said it was the best bbq they had ever eaten!

Florals: Madame Artisan Fleuriste | Tipi Tent: Eventipi | Rentals: Options & Vaisselle Vintage | Catering: Melt and Potel & Chabot | Photo: Joel Serrato | Video: Studio Artifice | Hair & Makeup: Harold James | Signage: Studio French Blue | Custom napkins: For Your Party | Cookies & Cake: Synie’s | Wedding Entertainment: Elan Artists | Design & Planning: Fête in France

Color
Blush, nude, and ivory will always have their place in wedding decor, but the 2019 wedding trend we’re most excited about is color! Inspired by runway set design as well as interior design, we’re seeing boldly-colored flowers work their way into wedding floral design and rich jewel tones into tableware and rentals.


Blue and white
A welcome change from the classic white or gold-rimmed tableware, the blue and white motifs we’re seeing are both a modern and romantic twist for your wedding tablescape.


Pampa Grass

Pampa grass and dried flowers are changing up the traditional textures we’ve seen in wedding floral design. These materials can quickly veer into a bohemian vibe, so if you’re planning a more sophisticated wedding, be sure to incorporate some rich and glamorous blooms such as roses and orchids.

The elegant wedding weekend in Burgundy started with a welcome party two days before the big day. The theme was “White Nights”, the famous (at least to the father of the bride) 80’s movie featuring Mikhail Baryshnikov and Gregory Hines. Guests were instructed to wear white, and the color palette for the decor was inspired by the colors of the summer night sky in Saint Petersburg.

As you probably know by now, the weather did not at all cooperate. The party, which was supposed to take place around the château’s beautiful pool, was moved inside the main tent. Despite the change of location, guests had a fantastic time and most importantly were warm and dry, with plenty of delicious food and drink.

Florals: Madame Artisan Fleuriste | Wedding Tent: Barnum Events | Rentals: Options & Vaisselle Vintage | Catering: Potel & Chabot | Photo: Joel Serrato | Video: Studio Artifice | Hair & Makeup: Harold James | Signage: Studio French Blue | Custom napkins: For Your Party | Wedding Entertainment: Elan Artists | Design & Planning: Fête in France

 

2018 gave us incredible summer weather – even in places that have a bit of a reputation for being rainy. So it was with great delight that for L&A’s Normandy summertime wedding we had an abosolutely perfect day.

Preparations took place at the chic seaside Grand Hotel in Cabourg and then guests were brought inland to a beautiful private garden tended by the indomitable Madame & Monsieur Noppe. Their gardens, a labor of love over the past +25 years, was the site of the ceremony. During the planning, we had spent hours one day searching out the perfect spot based on the amount of space needed, the position of the sun and the amount of shade!

Guests enjoyed another part of the gardens during the cocktail hour and were then led to the rustic-chic reception space, where beautiful tables set with Lily Paloma’s gorgeous centerpieces brought the garden feel inside. A gourmet meal was served including the Norman traditions of a trou normand (palette cleanser) of apple sorbet and apple brandy, and of course a delicious selection of cheeses. Given the couple’s backgrounds, American (on the bride’s side) and French (on the groom’s side), they had not one, but two wedding cakes: a tiered wedding cake, with sugarpaste decoration inspired by the floral motif on the bride’s dress; and a traditional French croquembouche, or tower of cream-puffs held together with caramelized sugar and always presented with sparklers and great fanfare!

The couple deeply wanted to encourage conversation between the two sides of the family, so to overcome the language barrier there were two interpreters present at the wedding to translate the speeches in real time and help facilitate conversation with the guests. The couple also had the wish to have dancing take place outside. Any open-air plan is sure to make a wedding planner nervous – even moreso in a region that’s known for being green and lush (=rainy!) Fortunately it was clear, sunny and warm in the days leading up and on the day, allowing the dancefloor and band to be set up under the stars.

The wedding day was just one of three days of celebrations organized for the couple and their guests. To kick things off, a welcome dinner was planned at a Michelin-starred restaurant in the charming town of Beuvron. And to cap off the festivities a next-day brunch took place in the elegant ballroom of the Grand Hotel. All in all a perfect wedding weekend for this lovely Franco-American couple!

Florals: Lily Paloma | Rentals: Options | Photo: Ian Holmes | Video: BKT Films | Hair & Makeup: Sanni Sorma | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Celebrant: Love Gracefully | Invitations: 5×7 Designs | Wedding menus & Calligraphy: Studio French Blue | Cake: Synie’s | Wedding Entertainment: Jazz Around Midnight | Design & Planning: Fête in France

   

We’re always curious as to how our couples find us – sometimes it’s through a simple google search, or via a wedding blog feature – more and more it’s through Instagram. But we’re always the most excited when they come to us on recommendation from venues or vendors we’ve worked with, or from former clients. And so it was that Constance and Nick contacted us for their chateau wedding in Burgundy.

We’re starting off with a post about the wedding day, which was on the third of a spectacular four-day wedding weekend. By this time, guests had gotten to know each other and were used to the less-than-ideal meteorological conditions. As with the previous days, back-up plans had to be called on (yes, the gorgeous ceremony setting was a plan B!)  But as with the previous days, the sunny disposition of the bride & groom and the warmth of their families and friends more than made up for a bit of rain.

For more of the story, check out our feature on Style Me Pretty and stay tuned for future blog posts!

Florals: Madame Artisan Fleuriste | Wedding Tent: Barnum Events | Rentals: Options & Vaisselle Vintage | Catering: Potel & Chabot | Photo: Joel Serrato | Video: Studio Artifice | Hair & Makeup: Harold James | Wedding Dress: Pronovias Atelier | Celebrant: Love Gracefully | Invitations & Calligraphy: Studio French Blue | Cake: Synie’s | Wedding Entertainment: Elan Artists | Design & Planning: Fête in France

 

Clare and Richard celebrated their marriage with a fall wedding in Paris surrounded by nearly 300 guests. The October weather cooperated for the most part – the evening of their welcome dinner was rainy but there was lovely autumn weather for the wedding day.

Both the bride and groom have an international background: families from Hong Kong and China, childhoods in France/England and Canada, studies at Cambridge and Oxford, professional lives that had them work in different world capitals. And it was thanks to a mutual friend that they were brought together, fell in love, and decided to get married in Paris.

The weekend was full of festivities, starting the day before the wedding with a Chinese tea ceremony for the bride’s and groom’s families, and a welcome dinner at a stylish Paris restaurant. The couple started the wedding day with breakfast and traditional Chinese door games for the immediate family and wedding party. Then it was time for wedding prep to start: the bride wore a beautiful customized Oscar de la Renta bridal gown and the groom in a morning coat and vest.

The wedding ceremony took place at the historic American Cathedral in Paris and featured a full choir to sing the hymns selected by the bride and groom. After a petal toss at the end of the ceremony, the couple escaped for some photos around Paris and guests were transferred to the Cercle de l’Union Interalliée for the wedding reception.

The wedding was full of personal touches from the couple: welcome bags included nostalgic treats from the bride’s childhood in Paris and a custom city guide with favorite sights and restaurants; paintings of birds by a friend served as table names; a tropical themed photocall with a neon sign inspired by one of the couples favorite artists, Tracey Emin. The couple kicked off the dance party with a choreographed routine to “Hallelujah I Love Her So” by Ray Charles and then the stage curtains were drawn back to reveal a full live band that kept guests dancing into the wee hours.

Photo: Ian Holmes Photography | Video: BKT Films | Florals: Sol Y Flor | Hair & Makeup: Sanni Sorma | Calligraphy: Studio French Blue | Letterpress menus: Studio Pression | Wedding Band: Inspiration Music