I have a France destination wedding of dreams to treat you to today WWWers. The lovely Marisa and Joel were hitched on the 25th May 2019 at Domaine Du Beyssac, Cintegabelle, France. Being from Canada and living in the UK brought it’s challenges with the planning, but I am sure you will agree their destination wedding in beautiful France looked utterly exquisite. They described their celebrations to me as being “relaxed, intimate, romantic, loving, fun, party” which was all captured so perfectly by The Shannons Photography and Lukas & Laura Films. Thanks so much guys for sharing these incredible photos and film with us.
So just what do I love about their day aside from the sun drenched portraits and film? The attire was so on trend, there was pampas grass all round, not to mention gorgeous styling in the barns and a live band come evening. A really beautiful destination wedding, filled with inspirational and stylish wedding ideas. Oh yes!
Joel contacted my schools principal and organized me leaving work early on a Friday. He said he would be in the area for lunch so I came outside to meet him and he was in the car with all my bags packed for the weekend! He convinced me this was for our Anniversary but kept the location a surprise. I’d mentioned wanting to go to the Cotswolds and so Joel organized a beautiful and cozy cottage for the weekend. The next morning we’d organized a walk, but we were told it would take an hour so we packed all our snacks and wellies and set off! We were meant to walk for awhile and get to the top of a beautiful look out. To Joel’s surprise it only took 15 minutes! I was pretty content to sit at the top with my coffee and take the views in but Joel wanted to keep walking. My stubbornness prevailed and we sat down together. It was then that Joel got down on one knee with the view in the background and asked me to marry him. I was completely shocked and speechless. It was the most incredible moment and we spent the next two hours just taking it all in. I had so many questions and it was really special having that time just the two of us before we called anyone.
Initially, I envisioned a garden wedding in the UK or a mountain wedding in Canada. Being from Canada and living in the UK brought some challenges but I knew that we both wanted an outdoor wedding. We wanted to bring our families and close friends together and to have a big party!
The Planning Process
The first few months we really just enjoyed being engaged! We knew we would likely have a longer engagement so we took our time before looking at venues. Once we started researching venues it began to take shape. We looked in Canada, UK, and then decided on France! (Why not!?) Joel’s family has a house in northern France so that’s where we originally got the idea and then we saw some venues and fell in love. Once we booked our venue the rest seemed to fall into place. I have to say that getting married abroad can have its challenges with language barriers and not being able to visit the location as often but all in all it was pretty smooth and enjoyable.
Domaine Du Beyssac, Cintegabelle France
This was the first venue we saw and we fell in love as soon as we saw it in person. It has such character and the domaine and grounds are simply stunning. It had everything we wanted, pool, barn, house for friends and family and set in a rural and idyllic setting.
Your Outfits & Accessories
Marisa – I ended up buying my dress in Vancouver from Everly Bridal. It was important to me that I had my Mom and girlfriends involved and it worked well going home for the summer. My dress was from Oui the label, an Australian brand.
As soon as I started trying on dresses it became clear the style I wanted. Initially, I thought lace was what I would end up with but with the French country chic vibe of our venue made me end up loving the sleek, and simple style of my dress. When I put it on it was so comfortable and I loved the way it felt. I knew I would be dancing all night so this was important! The deep V back was elegant and sexy but not too much! To glam it up I surprised myself with how much I loved the long, lace veil. It brought everything together. I went really minimalist on jewelry with simple pearl and diamond earrings that were a gift from a friend and no bracelets or necklace.
Because my dress was a bit shorter than expected upon arrival, I had to wear flat shoes. I decided to go as comfortable as possible and I’m so glad I did. I went to H and M and got some strappy gold sandals that I knew would last me the day/night.
Joel – Joel got his suit from suit supply. He decided the color and kept it a secret from me! I trusted his judgement so was a nice little surprise walking down the aisle and seeing him in his suit for the first time.
My hair and makeup artist was Ariana Rose. I found her through an agency and she did a lot of destination weddings. I’m not fond of wearing a ton of makeup because I usually end up looking a lot worse! Ariana went for a natural dewy look that I absolutely loved!
I was torn about how to do my hair, and didn’t really decide until the morning of! I always wear my hair down and wanted soft waves, but I also knew that I would eventually want my hair up so we went for a soft low bun with a few wispy bits curled in the front.
The Readings & Music
We had Joel’s sister chose a reading for our wedding and she read the beautiful poem the Way of Love – Corinthians 13. My friend Paige read These Hands.
We had a live band fly over from the UK and we knew they would be brilliant! We had them for the whole day so during our ceremony and cocktails they played acoustic songs and then during the dance they got the party started! They were incredible and so talented!
Band – Truly Medley Deeply
I knew I wanted soft hues for the wedding and nothing too colourful. I love the simple white/green look with some hints of blush and I knew it had to be soft to match the girls’ bridesmaid dresses. It fit perfectly with the French farmhouse vibe we were going for.
The Details & Décor
Our details and décor were a mixture of DIY and a little help from our planner. We opted to go with a day of planner to ensure that nothing went wrong, however a lot of planning and preparation was done beforehand. I knew I wanted the reception to be beautiful, but minimalist so I went for lots of candles, lights and small bouquets as the center pieces. I knew that I didn’t want it to be whitewashed with white linen and white chairs so the addition of the grey linen was perfect. We had fireball favors with little thank you tags which was a little touch of my homeland, Canada. We also went for a greenery theme on all of our stationery which included a ceremony program, menu, and drinks menu. I got all of these from etsy and printed them at a local shop. I brought over all of our candles that I bought online, the votives were from our planner, and my mom brought over the bottle lights from Canada.
All of the groomsmen chose their own outfits and blazers according to the colours Joel asked for. They nailed it!
The bridesmaid dresses were from Park and Fifth, a boutique dress shop in Vancouver, Canada.
My amazing friend, Samantha baked our cake! It was lemon and elderflower!
Our photographers were absolutely incredible! They made us feel so comfortable from the get go and there were times we didn’t even know they were there! One of our highlights was sneaking away during golden hour and taking some couples shots with them during dinner.
Lukas & Laura
Another couple duo! We loved their style and their use of the drone. We knew it would look amazing with our venue. Having a video to remember the day was important to us and we’re so happy we did it! It captures those moments that you may not necessarily see and watching it back just allows you to relive the best day of your life again and again.
We went to our favorite country in the world – Italy for our honeymoon! We flew into Bari and spent two weeks roading tripping through Puglia. It was amazing and we loved every second of it.
There are so many memorable moments but a few that stick out are, the first look with my Dad and family. This was way more emotional than I thought it would be! Not ideal after getting your makeup done. The best part of the day had to be walking down the aisle and seeing Joel turn around. Don’t think there was a dry eye in the house and his face was priceless! I also loved our first dance, it was a special song to us and the band played it live. We just went with it and it eventually led to a dirty dancing move and a very near nip slip but it was so much fun.
Advice For Other Couples
Steal some time away with you and your other half to stand back and take it all in. The day goes by so quickly and it’s pretty incredible to enjoy a few moments just the two of you. It’s also pretty special taking a step back and watching all your favorite people together mingling and celebrating.
Credit Where Credit Is Due
The Shannons Photography
Lukas & Laura Films
Hair & Makeup
Marisa and Joel, thank you both so so much for sharing your divine wedding story with us xo Lou