Bridal Style Tips, Real Brides

Real Bride: Chic In A French Chateau

Television Art Director Jo tied the knot with her husband Dan this summer and when we received her wedding photos we just knew we had to share! Her bespoke ‘Moss’ dress by Parisian designer Caroline Tavorian was a match made in heaven for her French Chateau setting. With a colour palette inspired by ‘wine, cognac and sunsets’, this was a wedding with so much romance that the guests are sure to never forget. Jo shares with Le Journal just how they curated the wedding day of their dreams and how she encourages future brides to ‘embrace the ridiculousness’ on their wedding day! 

Photograph by Sylvana Ruggeri RU2G

How did you meet your Groom?

We met on a dating app. I’d given my phone to my friend and she insisted he was a good one!

What’s your engagement story?

Dan had plans to propose at the top of the Atlas Mountains during a new years trip to Marrakesh, but covid meant it was looking increasingly unlikely. We went to Cornwall in the summer and he asked me while sitting on a rock in a secluded part of Kynance Cove. We kept it secret until we’d gone to London to choose a ring together.

Photograph by Sylvana Ruggeri RU2G

How did you come across The Mews?

I live nearby, I’d been to a number of dress shops looking for something very different to The Mews’ style. I found lots of lovely dresses but none of them tipped me over the edge. Because our wedding was in France, I thought perhaps a French designer might have been what I was missing.

What styles were you channelling whilst dress shopping?

Initially I wanted a contemporary ball gown, something with a striking profile, but the venue was very french, and very crumbly. I needed something more effortless, and the stunning silk skirt of the Caroline Takvorian dress felt just right.

Photograph by Sylvana Ruggeri RU2G

Tell us about finding your perfect wedding dress

I’d tried on a different Caroline Takvorian dress and fell in love with the skirt, but the top just didn’t feel like me, when I returned, the sample had just come in. I couldn’t take it off. I asked if it would be possible to make an adjustment that really made it my perfect dress, and as soon as the designer agreed, it was mine!

What advice would you give to a bride about finding the perfect dress?

Try to imagine how you want the day to feel, as well as how you look. I tried on so many dresses that I loved, but it was only when I imagined myself in the venue that I was able to make a decision. I’d have saved myself a lot of time (not that dress shopping isn’t fun) if I’d taken a more holistic view of the day.

Photograph by Sylvana Ruggeri RU2G

Where did your wedding day take place? 

Chateau de Clerbise in the Charente-Maritime. It’s a beautiful chateau not far from Cognac.

Tell us about your aesthetic for the day – were there any themes or inspiration behind this?

I really wanted the design of the day to sit peacefully within the architecture of the venue. I chose the colours of wine, cognac and sunsets. We had the chateau for a week, and by the time the wedding arrived I wanted it to feel like we were hosting at home (if our home was a 16th century chateau) so everything came back to a feeling of warmth. We had lots of arch shapes, inspired by the architecture of our home and the doorway of the ruined chapel that held our ceremony.

Photograph by Sylvana Ruggeri RU2G

What did your groom wear?

Dan wore a cream linen Cavani suit. Unfortunately the suit he’d actually chosen didn’t arrive, and one of my girlfriends spent the week leading up to the wedding hemming and cuffing the backup suits that had to travel without alterations.

Photograph by Sylvana Ruggeri RU2G

What was your favourite detail of the day?

The music. A friend of mine learnt the words in french to la vie en rose and sang on the terrace. We had a saxophonist throughout the day, he played my processional song and then continued throughout the cocktails. It gave the day an enchanting feel that we couldn’t have created without him. When the band played in the evening, he jammed with them all night, it really made the party! 

Photograph by Sylvana Ruggeri RU2G

Words of wedded wisdom?

Plan the wedding exactly how you want it. Keep the traditions, or throw them out of the window! Embrace the ridiculous and do it how you want, then find suppliers that are on board. That way, when problems arise you know you’ll be able to trust their advice. 

Laugh. Nothing will go to plan and no one will have any idea that it didn’t. We had 42.3 degree sunshine on the day and thunderstorms in the evening, so much had to change and it made no difference to our guests. 

Photograph by Sylvana Ruggeri RU2G

Are you planning a honeymoon, if so where are you off to?

We had to postpone our honeymoon when I took a job a month or so before the wedding, so we took a few days to relax in the Île de Ré before returning home and we leave for Marrakesh next week. It feels special to us that we’ll complete the celebrations in the Atlas Mountains.

Photograph by Sylvana Ruggeri RU2G

Photography by Sylvana Ruggeri RU2G

Styling by @harrietinthehouse

Moss dress by Caroline Takvorian at The Mews