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Real Wedding | Elle + Zach

Tell us a little about yourselves!

I’m a writer and poet from Cardiff, Wales, and Zac is a songwriter, musician and worship pastor from Eastbourne, England. We met at a creative awards night in June 2022 and fell quickly in love. Ours is a story that truly took us by surprise. Shortly after we started dating, I moved to Provence, France for a work opportunity which meant we’d spend nearly a year living apart. During this time, we took turns flying out to visit one another and spent countless hours talking over FaceTime – often into the early hours of the morning. 

Why did you decide to get married where you did?

In March 2023, Zac proposed at my apartment in Aix-en-Provence over a candlelit dinner (with a beautiful antique sapphire-stone ring). This inspired our decision to host our wedding in the south of France later that year in November, in the nearby city of Nîmes, Occitanie. 


We chose a Provençal chateau, Domaines Les Jardins de Campagne, set in the rolling countryside – nestled between a vineyard and a bamboo forest. Bursting with historic character, the house belonged to a lady named Carole, who told us that the property had been within her family tree for generations. Rustic yet simultaneously modern, this venue took our breath away and surpassed all expectations.


Besides its obvious charm, one of the reasons we settled on this venue was the deep red hexagon tiling found in many of the bedrooms (which resembled my old apartment in Aix, where a large part of our love story took place). It’s these fine little details that made the venue so special to us. 

Our ceremony took place at the property’s pool house which was set beside a bamboo forest. Our original hope was to host the ceremony outside in the garden, but due to the weather, we made a last-minute decision on the morning of the wedding to move the ceremony indoors, which was equally – if not even more –magical. Here, we lit the fire, set out the wooden Saint Rémy chairs, decorated the space with as many candles as we could find, and laid out two rows of white gypsophilia to line the aisle. We also hung a flowing fabric sign in the centre which read, ‘Love above all’. The ceremony was simple, authentic and absolutely perfect for us.

How many guests did you have?

We kept our wedding cosy and close-knit with 40 of our nearest and dearest!

Tell us about your outfits.

Zac wore a stone-coloured Hugo Boss suit with a white shirt, brown leather shoes and a belt to match. His outfit co-ordinated with the groomsmen along with his dad, Chris, and the father of the bride, Nick. Natural, sophisticated, and fresh, the suit couldn’t have been more perfect for an autumn wedding in the south of France.


Meanwhile, I fell in love with my dress as soon as I saw it! I was drawn in by the dramatic puffed sleeves, Vellan Charmeuse fabric and plunging V-shaped front and back. I chose a long cathedral veil to compliment the sleek and simple 1930s style of the gown. I adored every detail, and still do.

What was the most important aspect for you, in terms of planning your wedding?

From the beginning of the planning process, we both dreamed of a small, intimate wedding – ideally in a setting where we could enjoy a few days away feasting and celebrating with the ones we love most. 


We both felt it was important to plan a wedding that was true to who we are as individuals and as a couple – a wedding centred around family and faith.

Were there any elements that were important for you to incorporate? 

For us, nothing could come close to the importance of the ceremony. This was by far the most valuable aspect of our day. With the log fire burning, phones switched off and gentle streams of sunlight pouring through the window (after a morning of intermittent rain) we both felt completely present and full of joy.


We loved having our parents and friends pray for us. We also had Bible readings, music, and a short talk by one of our dear friends who reminded us all that ‘as it takes a village to raise a child, it also takes a village to build a marriage.’  And gosh, do we love our village. 


Another stand-out moment was when we slipped away at sunrise (accompanied by photographer, Matt of Good Day Dwyer), before the rest of the guests woke up to walk, pray and exchange gifts and letters on the steps of the chateau. This offered a chance for Zac and I to step back, breathe and take in the wonder of what was about to take place. We love all the photos Matt took throughout the wedding, and these shots are certainly up there with our favourites!

Any tips for couples getting married?

Enjoy the journey.


Naturally, when it comes to planning a wedding – no matter how big or small – there’s a great sense of anticipation growing with every day. But our advice would be to soak up every moment of both the planning and the day itself. Be present. Don’t wish anything away. 


This particular chapter of our lives will always live in our memories, so it’s brilliant when you can have as much fun as possible and let go of any pressure where you can. If stress creeps in, remember that a wedding isn’t supposed to be ‘perfect’. It also isn’t supposed to be or look like anyone else’s. And above all, it’s all about love, joy, devotion, and celebration. Everything else is simply secondary.

Are there any vendors that you would like to tell us a little more about?

Yes, we can’t stop singing the praises of Good Day Dwyer (aka the superbly talented duo that is Matt and Laura Dwyer). 


Our photographer, Matt of Good Day Dwyer, travelled all the way from Australia to shoot our wedding, and he truly went the extra mile to make the experience so incredibly special for us – bringing art, creativity, and joy to our big day. The photos he took encapsulated our story in a deeper, richer, and more meaningful way than we ever could’ve hoped.


With creative vision and connection at heart, he captured the beauty of the people, the place and the sweet, sacred moments that made the weekend everything that it was.

Photographer: Good Day Dwyer @gooddaydwyer  | Ceremony + Reception Location: Domaines Les Jardins de Campagne, Nîmes, France @domainejardinsdecampagne | Celebrant: Reverend Mark Simpson | Entertainment: Jesse and Layla Fraser | Styling: The Install Co | Planning: by the couple | Hire: Tables from Loca Vaisselle, Nîmes. The rest of the furniture belonged to the venue| Ceremony Space: The Install Co | Flora: Marlies Fleurs @marlies_fleurs  + Carrément Fleurs @carrementfleurs | Hair + Makeup: by the Bride | Catering: A la Fourchette des Arènes @traiteur_fda | Beverages: from local supermarkets | Stationery: Self designed and printed with @printedcom |  Wedding Dress: Willowby Watters ‘Clara’ @willowbywatters | Suit: Hugo Boss @boss | Engagement Ring: Antique Gold Arts, Eastbourne @goldartsuk | Wedding Rings: The Jewellery Studio, Pontcanna, Wales @rwjewellerystudio | Pearl Necklace: Lily & Roo @lilyandrooldn | Watch: Hugo Boss @boss


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