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Real Wedding | Mélissa + Alex

Tell us a little about yourselves!

I am French and Alex is English, we met in Summer 2017 in London while I was visiting some friends. Alex was the flatmate of one of my friends. We met on the Monday, got together on the Saturday and said I love you the following Saturday while on a date. It’s fair to say it was love at first sight! In 2018 we went to friend’s wedding in Edinburgh and I told Alex that when it will be time, I will be the one to propose. He was delighted! I asked him to marry me in Marseille in November 2019 while on a walk in the Calanques in Marseille. The most stressful part of the whole proposal thing was to find a ring! There is definitely a gap in the market for male minimalist engagement rings! I wanted something simple, thin, elegant and shiny in 18K rose gold. I decided to go for a woman’s wedding band that a jeweller made to measure for Alex. I can see sometimes people looking at his ring when he speaks and that always makes me smile.

Why did you decide to get married where you did?

We always wanted to get married between Marseille and Aix-en-Provence as this is where I grew up (Melissa). We researched a few wedding venues and planned a week in Provence in March 2019 to visit our top 5. Weirdly, Château la Beaumetane was not our top choice on paper, but as soon as we arrived, we knew this was the place! It’s not only beautiful but the drive to get there is stunning with the mountains on one side and the vineyards on the other.

Also the owners are a couple where the husband is English and the wife is French, which was not only cute but also turned out to be very handy when organising the wedding. They warned us about the different timings of French vs British weddings. For example, British weddings tend to go to dinner by 17:00 where southern French weddings do it at 23:00!

How many guests did you have?

We had a total of 96 guests.

What was your budget?

We spent £15k excluding the outfit costs for the wedding day, about £3000 for the outfits and £1500 for the brunch the day after the wedding in Melissa’s parents’ garden.

Tell us about your outfits.

Alex and I have similar tastes and we both love design so it was very easy to put a mood board together. We were also in lockdown so we had plenty of time to think about it! We spent months on Instagram and Pinterest, sending each other images of weddings and outfits. Alex had the idea of a pink suit. He wears a suit everyday for work so he wanted something that feels special. When he showed me the pink suit I was sold! I found the fabric for my coat a few months later. It was pink, red and orange and matched the suit perfectly. Weirdly it also matched the colours of the venue, so we knew we had a vision! Our biggest fashion inspirations were :

- The Ralph + Russo spring 2015 couture collection: lots of structure, coats over dresses, very regal and romantic.

- The Valentino spring 2019 Haute Couture collection: Lots of pink and red and ruffles.

- Jacquemus spring 2017 collection “les Santons de Provence“: the shapes the layers the ruffles. A love story to traditional Provençal outfits.

- Liberty floral fabrics

Our Wedding inspiration came from Mandy Moore’s pink wedding dress by Rodarte, Agyness Deyn’s wedding dress with blue Manolo Blahnik pumps and Cynthia Cervantes and Travis Gumbs’s wedding.

There was also a dress in the South Asia collection at the V&A that had a coat with a train in a paisley fabric.

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

All our vendors were female-run businesses! We made that decision very early on and that was not easy! We had to negotiate with the venue to let us bring our own vendor for the DJ as his list of approved vendors did not have a single woman on it. It was a case of you need to put your money where your mouth is!

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

We didn’t do follow many of the classic wedding traditions, but we did want to have some small nods to English and French culture, so for the reception we had a Champagne cocktail for the French and Pimm’s for the English.

We also did a joint bouquet toss, one for the bride and one for the groom. During the ceremony we wanted to make it as personal as possible, so Melissa’s dad and Alex’s sister officiated, one of our best friends Rodney sang a couple of songs for us and our friend Violette played the cello as the guests were arriving.

Any tips for couples getting married?

In terms of choosing vendors, go with your guts! It’s mostly about the vibe to be honest. Also in terms of vendors, less is more! It can be a bit overwhelming with all the different traditions and vendors, and a lot of venues will try to persuade you to have everything, so try to focus on what is most important to you as a couple. If you have the budget, we would definitely recommend having someone to coordinate the timings and logistics of everything on the day so you can enjoy yourself and spend more time with your guests.

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

We fell in love with all our vendors but here are our top 3:

Maélys Izzo our photographer: Maelys was just the best. It’s pretty rare that after the wedding people text you not only to compliment you on the photos but also to let you know how they found the photographer funny, smart and how lovely it was to meet her! We had a huge connection during our first zoom call, she recommended our florist Patricia of Atelier Un Brin Bohème and was always there for us when we needed advice for almost 2 years, as we had to push back the wedding due to the pandemic.

MC2 Mon Amour the wedding planner: we worked with Estelle and loved her straight away. Hiring a wedding planner was the only extravagant expense we made and we’re so glad we did! She was reviewing our contract with other vendors, gave extremely helpful advice on the order of the day, and on the day of the wedding she was there to deal with absolutely everything. She event sent one of her assistants to buy suede eraser for my wedding shoes 2 hours before the ceremony. I know that nobody would have noticed the little stain but she knew it would made me feel better. It’s the little things that make you feel seen and taken care of!

Atelier Un Brin Bohème, the Florist: Patricia was so attentive to our wishes in terms of décor. We wanted something very minimal with a mix of dried flowers and fresh flowers. Something that would complement the pink of our outfits but not be “too pink”. She did such a brilliant job! We had one bouquet each at the wedding, one for the Bride and one for the Groom. They were absolute perfection. Also a few months before the wedding I asked her to do a bouquet for my Grandmother’s birthday and she delivered it in person! My Grandmother dried it and it now lives in her kitchen. We also reused a lot of our wedding flowers for our home décor in London.

Photographer : Maélys Izzo @maelysizzo | Ceremony + Reception Location : Château la Beaumetane @chateaulabeaumetane | Celebrant : Father of the Bride (in French) and Sister of the Groom (in English) | Entertainment : DJ Ayizan from Nigeria + Singer Rodney Vubya @ayizandj @rodneyvubya | Styling : by the Bride | Planner : MC2 Mon Amour @mc2monamour | Flora : Atelier Un Brin Bohème @atelier_unbrinboheme | Makeup + Hair : by the Bride | Catering + Beverages : Aumer Traiteur @aumertraiteur | Stationery : Designed by the Bride printed by COPP Reprographie | Bride's Outfits : Jonathan Andrew Burniston with Liberty London fabric @jaburniston | Bride’s Reception Outfit : House of CB @houseofcb | Groom's Suit + Shirt: Reiss @reiss | Engagement Rings : Bradleys the Jewellers, York (Hers) @bradleysjewellersyork + Les trouvailles d’Elsa (His) @lestrouvaillesdelsa | Wedding Bands: Blue Angel Jewellers, Hatton Garden, London | Bride's Shoes : Manolo Blahnik @manoloblahnik + Saint Laurent @ysl from Vinted | Groom's Shoes : Magnanni at Selfridges @magnanni | Veil: Madame A Dit Oui @madame_a_dit_oui | Bag : La Palme d’Or | Bracelet: Morganne Bello @morgannebelloparis |


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