Dreamscapes of desert, a blank canvas to create an oasis for an unforgettable wedding. With an organic affinity to Berber textures and the earthen tones of Marrakech, French couple Margaux & Thomas’ ceremony unfolded by the shadow play and romance of the desert.
Exchanging vows beneath a canopy of wildly bohemian blooms, seemingly endless dunes contrasted by a lavender sky as their backdrop.
The Bride, an eclectic silhouette in a floorlength backless gown, effortless embellishments of woven tassels lent an unexpected and intriguing element to a classic aesthetic.
Berber rugs beneath bare feet paired with lashings of opulent blooms of every poetic persuasion created an unexpected oasis for the twilight reception…
Beautifully documented by Chloe Lapeyssonnie
NAMES: Margaux & Thomas
WEDDING DATE: June 11th-12th-13th 2015
GUESTS: 120 people
HOW WE MET: We met 7 years ago in Paris during our studies in architecture and design. We immediately became very close friends but over the years, it somehow slowly turned into the most beautiful love story we could ever have hoped for…
OUR ENGAGEMENT STORY: Margaux: I’m from Paris and Thomas is from Bordeaux. As kids, we both used to go on holidays (separately of course) to the Bay of Arcachon, enjoying sunny boat trips and picnics on the Arhuin sand strip. So after we met, we quite naturally continued to go back to The Cap Ferret every summer, but together! And when Thomas was planning his proposal, he couldn’t think of a more symbolic place to drop on one knee… It all happened at the hotel restaurant "La Coorniche", which is one of the most beautiful places on Earth to us. The sun was setting on the horizon, we’d had a perfect candle-lit dinner facing the gorgeous view on the ocean… a truly magical and idyllic moment!
MARRIAGE TO US MEANS: Firstly a big party with all the people we cherish! But now that this moment has passed, it means a lot more to us…It’s a real commitment in front of all our loved ones, one of the greatest memories of a lifetime… and the foundation of a new family, OUR family! Nothing compares to that…
WEDDING LOCATION: We left for Morocco for a three-day love fest with all our friends and both our families. On the first night, we held a welcome party at the Bo & Zin restaurant in Marrakech. There was a lot of partying, which was a great way to set the vibe for our wedding. The morning after, we all left for the Agafay desert to celebrate our union on a sand dune, in this wonderful place called La Pause. From one dune to another… it was a way for us to ensure a sort of consistency in our wedding theme.We chose my father’s best friend to host the ceremony, and it was a time dedicated to our family and friends to express their messages of love and their blessings. After the ceremony, we stayed a little bit longer on the dune to enjoy a show by local performers (dancers, musicians) and we all started dancing because the mood was already very festive!
Then we all walked down to the Berber tents under which the diner tables had been set. We made our entrance the traditional Moroccan way, both of us carried on large chairs to the dancefloor. During the diner, in-between courses, we clapped to a gorgeous Oriental dancer and fearless fire-eaters! The brunch: Still following our "Berber chic" theme, we organized a big brunch at my father’s place, around the swimming pool, with lots of authentic, crafty details: woven baskets and hats with cute embroidered words, hand-made Berber rugs and stools, locally made picnic baskets… And to make sure the party would not end too soon, we also hired a jazz band who flew in straight from Paris!
THEME/STYLE: As our wedding took place in the desert, we naturally went for something locally-inspired, with a lot of Berber influences, but with a modern, chic twist to it. We didn’t want something too "black tie" as we thought it wouldn’t be the right fit in that kind of surroundings, so we encouraged our guests to wear casual chic outfits.
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PHOTOGRAPHY: The photographer was Chloé Lapeyssonnie. We immediately had a crush for her creative world. At our first meeting Chloé showed us a couple of her wedding photos, needless to say we both had goosebumps... Chloé manages to capture “THE” moment, the perfect emotion, and then transcribe it in the most natural way into her photos. What we really love is the fact that none of her photos are frozen, on the contrary, her work is always alive and enables us to re-project ourselves back into our memories.
Moreover, Chloé is exceptionally generous, kind, always willing to listen and to give out sound advice. All of this is very important given that she eventually is one of the persons with whom we spend the most time during the wedding. Now that it's over I can honestly say it is one of the most beautiful gifts of our weeding: to be able to look at all these precious moments stolen with such emotion.
BRIDE'S DRESS: The dress I wore was Stephanie Lardeau. During the early preparations, I had an obsession, an anxiety: having my dress made by someone I didn't know and who certainly didn't know me... what a silly idea... it seemed totally crazy!! Very soon I realised I had to ask one of our best friends who is a hugely gifted stylist to make my dress. She immediately accepted and we were able to work over the next few months on the design of the dress, which, given the location and the spirit we had decided upon, had to reflect our image. Stephanie Lardeau brilliantly managed to translate into a dress the simplicity in the choice of materials: tulle, English embroidery, but above all the true character of the country: the pompom!
BRIDE'S SHOES: For the civil ceremony I chose a pair of rockstud high-heels from Valentino. The light pink side can be a bit conventional, but enhanced by the studs, these shoes have a genuine look. My dress had a flowery belt pale pink. A shade we could also find in my bouquet.
I wanted shoes that I could wear again on other occasions, like with a boyfriend jean full of holes, far away from a civil ceremony in front of the mayor!!! In the desert I didn't have a choice: sandals. A dream for many to be able to get married in sandals. So why not? A lot less stress and above all an evening without pain! I didn't go very far and picked the sandal version of Valentino's rockstuds. As I was wearing a fully white dress, I wanted some natural looking sandals, but those little golden studs give them a gem look.
BRIDESMAID'S DRESS: I would have liked to get all of them to agree on a dress, a colour, but in the end given the different shapes and sizes of my bridesmaids and their different styles, they all ended up choosing their own dress and shoes. They simply wore a small crown in their hair and had an identical bouquet.
WEDDING RINGS: Thomas wanted our rings to come from the same place. And since I found mine first at Cartier's – a very thin Cartier ring with small diamonds for me – we naturally chose his – a platinum ring – there as well.
GROOMSMAN ATTIRE: The groomsmen each had a navy blue bohemian chic suit, with nicely fitted trousers, rolled-up on top of classic white Vans. We added some raw leather laces and they each had a pocket handkerchief in a fabric we chose.
HAIR: The hairdresser had a last minute problem with his passport, which means he never made it to Marrakech. Thank god my best friend is Lebanese and very good at doing hair!!! So we completely improvised!
MAKEUP: I didn't want my makeup to be too pronounced, and given the wedding location, I was driven towards something natural. A friend who works in the makeup industry took care of that part at the very last moment.
STATIONARY & INVITATIONS: As we are both architects and designers, it was important that our invitations were level with what we wanted to transcribe into our wedding.We worked on a wooden cardboard frame which was laser-cut. The dark color that came out of the cardboard was exactly the colorful atmosphere we were looking for. We created several pages, which we then bound in a linen bag embroidered with our letters: T'M Thomas / Margaux = T'M = T’Aime = Love) To give it an even more traditional Moroccan style, we closed the bag with a white pompon, the same as the one on the back of my dress.
A graphic charter clearly emerged from these invitations and from then on we always worked on black and white linen elements.
WEDDING FAVOURS: During the ceremony in the desert, we handed out a fan to each of our guests in case it got really hot. On the tables were some small baskets containing: a Berber candle, Moroccan pastries, a bottle of water with a survival kit and especially a 'WHO&WHO' booklet with the name of each guest plus a sentence to sum them up.
FLOWERS: Being in the country of the rose, we wanted to remain simple and faithful to traditional Morocco: big white roses mixed with olive leaves. We really wanted something very simple and authentic. For the brunch we opted for flowers in a country spirit, with a 'just picked' effect. That's why we used the baskets as vases, in order to accentuate the natural aspect.
VIDEOGRAPHY: A week before the date, we still didn't have cameraman to immortalize our wedding. We had sort of put that aside... Slightly panicked by the number of negative answers we were getting, I called Chloé (our photographer) who posted a call for help on our behalf on FB!!!
She found Jeremy (from The Quirky), who was also a friend of hers, which convinced us even more. The fact that Chloe recommended him was very reassuring, because we are such fans of her world we knew she was suggesting someone in the same spirit. And boy did we do well! We met Jeremy on the 1st day of festivities and it immediately clicked between us! Super nice, discreet... despite the fact that a camera is shooting you all day long, never did we have we had the impression that we were being filmed. And above all the result: tears, laughter, everything was there!!!! Beautiful framing, natural light and a faithful rendition of our marriage, everything we hoped for.
PREPARATION:The preparation happened in a cabin in the dessert, a sublime location at La Pause. With all of our best-girls and men, we took the time to lunch together; a really friendly and relaxed moment before the stress began rises... Then we went off to get prepared with them, Thomas and I each on our own side. For the anecdote, just when I was about to put on my dress, impossible to lay hands on it, right in the middle of the desert! A memory that now makes us smile... today...
CEREMONY/RECEPTION DECOR: We didn’t call upon wedding planners, we really wanted to do this on our own. La Pause has the advantage of regularly hosting such events, so we were able to delegate all the coordination part. Because of our jobs however, we are very sensitive to decoration, so we were in in charge of that! The decoration was quite simple. The idea was to let the beauty and magic of the place express itself. We just emphasized this natural setting with a simple and elegant layout, coffee tables, and sofas with white cushions. White tablecloths integrating centrepieces composed of olive leaves and white roses. We danced all night on large red Berber rugs.
WEDDING PLANNER/ WEDDING STYLIST: As two good architects, we designed our wedding as a project of Specifications, Atmosphere, Trendy images, Environment, Materials. Soon the wedding was outlined, so we chose not to entrust a wedding planner and organize everything ourselves.
Thankfully, we were surrounded by the best bridesmaids and grooms who helped us tremendously.
CAKE: Unfortunately, it was not at all like we’d imagined and ordered, but we laughed a lot about it: Totally cheap and ugly!
WEDDING SONGS: Arrival: She‘s Only Happy In The Sun (Ben harper), First entrance song: Un Deux Trois Soleil, Lantern release: Over The Rainbow.
ENTERTAINMENT: We are in the desert in the middle of nowhere in a world of Arabian Nights. A starry sky, plenty of braziers with large fires and candles placed everywhere. We wanted to emphasize the Arabian Nights feel. We also had a Gnawa orchestra: a Moroccan singer and jugglers for the cocktail. Then we had a belly dancer during dinner, which meant that even during the meal something was happening.Then we had jugglers and fire-eaters, accompanied by our letters 'T’M' in flames!!! To end, we had planned a lantern release so that everyone could be involved.
CATERING: As we were in Morocco we wanted to respect the country’s culinary tradition. Moreover, in the desert it is quite complicated to make sophisticated dishes. So as a starter we chose a chicken pastilla. The main meal was a beef and pear tajine with semolina. And for desert, a strawberry pastilla.
TRANSPORT: Transport was the biggest stress of our wedding. A proper organization! We hired a van company that did round trips between the different locations. 45 minutes on a minibus to get to the desert.
HONEYMOON: A road trip along the West coast, in California, with the ultimate goal of our honeymoon: the Amangiri resort!!
CELEBRANT: My father’s best friend. It was important to us that he was someone close, who knows us both and who could therefore talk about who we really are, in a sincere and friendly way.
READINGS: We took advantage of the ceremony in the desert to exchange our vows. In the end we simply let our feelings guide us: it was the moment for saying what we didn’t say to each other every day. And especially to be able to say it in front of all the people we love.It was simple but sincere and it remains a joy to relive our speeches through the video.
SOURCES OF INSPIRATION: We drew a lot of our inspiration from the country, the souks and Moroccan craftsmanship. The different landscapes and places we witnessed were also a great influence and source of inspiration during the preparation of the wedding. We also spent a lot of time on Pinterest and created tables for each event.
A MEMORABLE MOMENT: The most beautiful moment was the ceremony in the desert. Suddenly we realized that we were witnessing the accomplishment of a whole year of preparations. Me at the arm of my father, Thomas in front of the altar with his moist eyes... All our family and friends...
At that moment, surrounded by those we love, we become aware of the sheer size of the moment, of what is happening...With every passing minute we also discover the place as we had imagined it, and from then on there is only happiness!
IF I COULD GIVE OTHER BRIDES ONE PIECE OF ADVICE: Very important tip from me would be to enjoy it!!! Many friends who had already gotten married told me: « you’ll only see what’s wrong, the little detail that's not the way you wanted, etc... » I think we were so afraid not to enjoy ourselves that it ended up being just the opposite. We have no regrets!!! We have the impression of having experienced everything 200% and even if there were a few details that were missing: the hairdresser, the disappearing dress... we were cool about everything, we just wanted to make the most out of our time with the people who were there.In the end that’s what a wedding should be: « sharing with the people we love ». Your husband / wife, your family and friends!!!
PHOTOGRAPHY: Chloé Lapeyssonnie
BRIDE'S DRESS: Stephanie Lardeau
BRIDE’S SHOES: Valentino
GROOMS FORMAL WEAR: Rives paris
FLORIST: Lady Brindille
CATERING: La Pause
HONEMOON DESTINATION: USA / West Coast / Amangiri
VIDEOGRAPHER: The Quirky