In France you have an obligation to get legally married in the town hall before doing a religious or secular ceremony.
As I did not want my husband-to-be to see me in my big white dress anywhere else than in the church, we decided to get legally married the day before the religious wedding.
After spending some time around London to find nice places to get married (our favourites were the Kew Gardens and the Gherkin!), we decided in the end, without regrets, that it would be easier and more “us” to do it back in Corsica, where I am from.
Corsica is a small island in south of France, which meant that all our family and friends had to spend money on the travel arrangements, so we both thought that we absolutely needed to make it memorable and fun for our guests.
As a consequence, we created a triptych wedding trip:
- Day 1 “Civil Ceremony” in the mountain
- Day 2 “Religious Ceremony” on the beach
- Day 3 “Brunch by the pool so you can show off your swimsuit and have a swim Ceremony”.
The whole day of the Civil Ceremony was thought only after we decided on what we were going to do on the “main ceremony” (Day 2), which was to be a party on the beach, with seafood and light tastes (mango, passion fruits, prawns, Mint…) so we decided to show a more traditional side of Corsica for the day before, as we were to get married in the mountain. A bit of a “between land and sea” feeling.
So we present you Day 1: The Land.
When I say we are from the mountain I meant green, vast and authentic. This is what the civil wedding needed to be.
We thought our wedding a bit like a brand to try and be as coherent as possible. That was to keep a frame that we would follow. This was especially needed for me, as I love so many different deco style, that I needed to focus on one.
The main elements were : White / Grey / Greenery.
With the Succulent Plant as a thread running.
So, our Wedding even had a logo, designed by one of our friends that also did the save the date and invitation.
We were so pleased to work with him, not only because he did that for free, but because he understood where we wanted to go and managed to recreate the universe we had in mind.
We used the logo to do flags to indicate the house, to create stickers to personalise the guests present, or to seal the small pouches for the lavender (instead of the painful rice that kills birds apparently).
For the flowers, we decided to go for Baby’s Breath, Gypsophilia. They are elegant yet a bit rustic (in a way that it is not pompous).
Those flowers were associated with the Blue Mason Jar Heritage Collection from Ball.
We’ve added some beautiful, giant white, round balloons filled with helium to decorate the ramp of the house.
Those did not really had the effect I had in mind, but they mainly helped to identify the house, for the guests. In Corsica, you don’t have proper address such as 21 Jump Street. The indication would be more like “village“.
I also ended up using one balloon for some bride shots, where you will also notice that I am wearing Gypsophilia myself (Crown created by my local flower shop to whom we sent a DIY video to make sure they knew what we wanted.)
Also, for your information, my dress comes from Etsy, and the wonderful dresses of Nuichan.
On the deco part, as previously stated, we went for White and Grey, and so we used mum’s old bedsheet, and I bought some grey oilcloth to decorate the table We also bought some disposable Grey napkins. Everything had to be mat to keep the natural style. For the drinks, I did not want to spend money on catering as the day was a present from our parents, so we went for White or Grey matt paper cup decorated with washi tape bought on Etsy.
We obviously also bought those gorgeous little useless straws made out of paper that get soaked after using them for 1 minute.
I bought a few jars, that we filled with the best popcorn in the world : Joe And Sephs PopCorn that I used to buy at Selfridges when I was working in Saint Christopher Place. We also used some jars with some local biscuits called Canistrelli.
We were lucky enough to have one of our guest cooking Corsican Donoughts called Frappes (strikes) that we presented in a large stainless stell fish dish.
For the Religious ceremony and Brunch, we hired a wedding planner that never had planned a wedding before but who use to work for a french homedecor company that I liked. We signed her first contract, and had no regrets about this.
She helped us a lot with the triptych wedding, but was not involved much for this day, except for providing the flowers (crown included), the waitresses that also helped us put in place the balloons and flowers.
But the important part she did for this day was to create some “centerpieces” that I had flashed on Pinterest. Originally it was to be wooden boxes, aged to get a greyish look, filled with white rocks and small Succulent plants. She transformed the idea to use Aged Wine Boxes that looked gorgeous.
My parents contacted amazing local artisans that provided us with Corsican Charcuterie and some breathtaking Cheese. Two essential meal in the Corsican Cuisine.
There is no point in describing the quality of local cuisine, just look at it. This is a big advice here, you can try to add fanciness with your Selfridges Pop Corn, but don’t forget to get some authentic local dish as well, as nothing can replace the quality of local food.
As a presents for the guests, I always wanted to give them something local and create a souvenir they could carry away with them long after the wedding. I have the chance to have an excellent beekeeper amongst my friend from the village, and I ordered 200 little pot of honey. I kid you not; his honey is the best honey you can find. I was very very proud to share this taste with our guests.
A year after, We still have friends that keep that last spoon in the bottom of the pot as they liked it so much, they don’t it to be finished.
We spent quite a lot of time decorating the backyards with lights (you know how important lights are for me) where people enjoyed their drinks during the afternoon and were to spend some time in the evening. But in the end, because we had a big DAY 2 for the Wedding, everyone were quite reasonable, and by the time we switched on everything, people were already gone.
To be continued……