Nestled amongst Puyricard (a quaint Provencial village dating back to medieval times) is where you will find the ever romantic Chateau Grimaldi, the setting for Laura and Toby’s intimate affair.
Layers of pampas grass and muted florals were carefully placed throughout the ceremony, their earthy tones perfectly complementing the crumbling walls of the historic venue. Dusty pinks added a warm and inviting atmosphere for guests as they arrived at the enchanting Chapel. Inside, they were serenaded with two long reception tables adorned with candlelight, delicate linens and whimsical florals, setting a hauntingly romantic mood for the evening.
As the champagne flowed and the swing quartet echoed into the countryside, French delicacies were shared late into the night.
Names / Laura & Toby
Wedding Date / 26th October, 2019
Guest Numbers / 43
How We Met
We met on a photo shoot in December 2015. Toby is an architectural and interiors photographer and I’m an Interior Designer. We got along really well on this day and we were sharing stories about France, travel, food etc. The shoot came to an end and we went our separate ways. The following year in September we bumped into each other at a local cafe/grocer and we were both really pleasantly surprised to run into each other. The following week, we ran into each other again at a magazine launch. A few days later Toby and I had our first real date. We both had a mutual love of playing tennis, and so a Friday night hit then turned into drinks then into ramen then into more drinks and we’ve been side by side ever since.
Our Engagement Story
It was the end of a long week and we had planned to go to our family property (roughly two and half hours west of the city) for the weekend with some close family and friends. Toby was shooting a project halfway to the farm (a little white lie) so we agreed we would meet at the farm later that Friday evening before everyone else arrived the following day. When I arrived, Toby had laid out the most amazing setting right on the ridge near our cabin overlooking the valley. Cheese, flowers, a crackling fire – it was so beautiful. It was actually the eve of our one year anniversary. So to be honest, I wasn’t actually surprised that Toby had gone to so much effort. I thought he was just being his cute self. After an hour or so of eating and drinking, Toby got down on one knee in front of the fire and asked me to marry him. We cried and I said yes and then we celebrated with family and friends for the weekend.
Marriage to us means…
A commitment to someone who believes in you and equally a commitment to someone that you believe in. No matter what life throws at you, it’s knowing you have a person you can never be ashamed to talk with, laugh with and cry beside. The idea of witnessing each other’s lives is truly special.
We got married at the incredible Chateau Grimaldi in the south of France, 20 mins outside of Aix-en Provence in a small village called Puyricard.
Event Aesthetic & Inspiration
The chateau already had so much character and beauty that we really wanted to let the building be the showpiece. The aesthetic was soft and romantic and the colors reflected the season and dusty pinks of the provincial architecture. Vanessa from D’Amour et De Deco really understood the balance we were trying to achieve.
Lorenzo Accardi. As we were travelling from Australia, we really wanted to find someone local. Everyone we spoke to led us in the direction of Lorenzo and after viewing his work we knew he would be able to capture our day beautifully.
My dress was designed and made by myself, my mother and my sister. It was classic in shape but the fabric was a bit jazzy. The fabric was somewhere between a beautifully embossed brocade and a sheer lace. My mum and I found the fabric first and then the shape and form of the dress developed from there. I wasn’t 100% sure on what style I wanted so instead I went in search of a fabulous fabric knowing that the fabric would determine the style. The high neck was balanced by an elegant low back, and the sheer long sleeves made it feel a little more contemporary. The process of making my dress with my mum was so rewarding. My mum is a very clever seamstress with a lot of experience, but I’m just starting out so she guided me along the way and we were so happy with the finished result. It fit me like a glove and the fact I made it with my mum is so sentimental.
Cult Gaia. These glittery mules are something I’ll wear again. They are sparkly, a bit abstract and comfy – the trifecta!
I wanted my bridesmaids to look like themselves on the day and be able to wear something they loved and would feel fabulous in. My only request was that they be tonally in sync. My sister – the Maid of Honor – made her pantsuit from a gorgeous berry-colored Italian brocade, and then one by one the ladies selected dresses, each complimenting the other. We chose outfits from three wonderful Australian designers – Zimmermann, Aje and Scanlan Theodore.
I had a Marquis and brilliant-cut diamond on a white gold band. Our jeweler was Adam Graham from Brisbane. Toby had a white gold band.
Jewelry & Accessories
I wore a pair of Oscar de la Renta earrings. A drop pearl acorn with golden leaves.
I wanted my hair to be simple and classic, but not fussy so I went with a low chignon.
My makeup was dewy and luminous. Relatively natural, but I still felt really pretty and ‘done’. I added a red lip for the reception, which is a go-to look for me. Les ciseaux de Marie was absolutely wonderful. Marie and Audrey were so relaxed and good at what they do. We all felt like we were in very capable hands.
Paired back, modern and classic type by Studio Bland.
We went with a mixture of locally made tapenade and mustards. Presented in a small bottle on the table. We wanted something local and easy for our guests to return home to Australia with or be enjoyed smothered on crusty bread while on further adventures.
Flowers, Bouquets & Styling
We had a vision for what we wanted. We were guided by Vanessa (D’amour et de Déco) on how we could make this a reality – considering the time of year and what would be available. We had pampas grass, popes money, orchids and roses. There were probably other types of flowers in the mix, but these are the ones that stood out.
We, along with our closest family and friends (25 in total) stayed in the manor house on the property. On the day, Toby and I didn’t see each other until walking down the aisle.
I got ready with the wonderful women in my life including my mum, sisters and bridesmaids. My bridesmaids walked to the little village in the early morning to get breakfast treats from the markets for us while I spent time with my mum. They gathered pastries, yoghurts and fruit (a dream breakfast, especially on my wedding day!). We had a really lovely day. I was determined to stay relaxed, and in the end, had probably the most relaxing day I have had in a very long time. It went really quickly, but I got to spend lots of time with my bridesmaids and soak it all in.
Toby spent the day with his best men….
Ceremony Décor / Reception Décor
The reception was held in the chapel. We had two long tables and Vanessa (D’amour et de Déco) created a really beautiful moody space with candles and whimsical florals. It was so atmospheric and romantic.
Vanessa from D’amour et de Déco was our planner and stylist. We found her on Instagram, along with our caterer Citron Pavot. As we were planning from Australia we were so thankful that we had someone we trusted on the ground to look after the styling for us and make sure everything came together beautifully on the day. We flew to France the year prior to meet Vanessa and Amandine and visit a couple of venues that we liked. The reconnaissance trip was so valuable as it meant we could relax knowing that we loved our venue and that we got along well with our stylist.
Amandine from Citron Pavot made us the most beautiful naked layer cake. It was raspberry and lemon.
Ceremony Bridesmaids – I’d Be Waiting by Nathaniel Ratliffe and the Night Sweats
Ceremony Bride – Think I Always Thought by Jordie Lane
We are married song – This Will Be by Natalie Cole
First Dance – Tennessee Whiskey by Chris Stapelton
Gala Swing Quartet played during cocktail hour.
Food & Beverages
We had a stand-up cocktail hour around the pool followed by a sit-down dinner inside the chapel. Amandine from Citron Pavot created the most delightful menu for us. We had small bites like petit croque monsieurs and prosciutto-wrapped scallops to start. For the main course, we had red wine braised beef, creamy mashed potato and beautiful carrots. The dessert was our cake, along with cheese and other small sweet desserts arranged on a dessert bar.
We both wrote our own vows.
We spent a beautiful week in a little town just outside of St Remy with our nearest and dearest after the wedding. We’re still on our honeymoon though. We’re traveling in Europe, the UK and beyond for five months. So far, France, Italy, England, Scotland and Iceland.
We asked our guests to forgo a gift. Instead, we suggested a card with some well wishes. This was a really lovely idea as we got to read all these wonderful messages from our friends and family after the wedding.
Tine de Donder was our celebrant. She was wonderful. We felt really comfortable with her instantly after just one Skype meeting. She is actually a journalist, which makes for a very interesting celebrant! The words she spoke on the day were a complete surprise to us, which we loved. She got in touch with friends and family that know us really well and pieced together a story – dare I say it – our love story.
A Memorable Moment
Seeing each other for the first time. A ‘first look’ was not something we wanted to do. Leaving that moment of surprise to the aisle was really special.
One Thing I Wish I Knew Before I Started My Wedding Plans
That it would all flash by so quickly.
If I could give other Brides-To-Be one Piece of Advice
Truly, I would say just to remember what the day is about. It’s about you and your lover. Your ideal wedding will be very different from the next person. There is no one-size-fits-all rule book, so just make sure it’s true to the two of you. Also, if something goes wrong or not to plan, ask yourself, “Will this actually impact how I remember our wedding day?”. If the answer is no, then forget about it and don’t let it stress you.
Don’t change your whole look for your wedding day. Make sure you feel and look like you.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.
Photography / Lorenzo Accardi
Bride’s Dress / Designed and made by Joanna, Laura & Sally Molloy
Bride’s Shoes / Cult Gaia
Wedding Rings / Adam Graham
Jewelry & Accessories / Oscar de la Renta
Wedding Stylist / D’amour et de Déco
Wedding Planner / D’amour et de Déco
Hair / Les ciseaux de Marie
Makeup / Audrey Deanjean
Stationery / Studio Bland
Florist / D’amour et de Déco
Cake / Citron Pavot
Catering / Citron Pavot
Celebrant / Tine De Tonder
Wedding Venue / Château Grimaldi
Entertainment / Gala Swing Quartet
Rental Tables & Chairs / Belounge
Tableware / Options
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