Another beautiful weekend and an exciting week ahead full of sunshine and festival inspiration here on the blog! Our first instalment of real wedding inspo is brought to us by the gorgeously talented Lelia Scarfiotti, who captured bride Tasha and groom Joseph at their dreamy, ethereal wedding in Urval, France; a beautiful part of the Dordogne countryside. Chateau de la Bourlie is a fairy-tale castle set in a medieval village surrounded by botanical gardens and acres of green space – the perfect setting for this beautiful wedding. Tasha imagined just how her wedding would be styled, from the dainty princess crowns to the hand-fasting ritual ceremony.
For the wedding styling, I was inspired by Sir John Everett Millais’s painting of Ophelia and the ethereal scenes in one of my favourite films as a child ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ (1935). We also had a hand fastening which is a beautiful Pagan tradition.
Tasha set to the cobbled streets of hip Shoreditch to find her dress and eventually found this stunning, delicate lace drape gown from House of Vintage which she paired up with the ‘Arela’ crown by Luna Bea. Her bridesmaid’s followed her in floaty, neutral kaftans from Free People with crowns from Tasha’s very own bridal brand Silken Studio.
For romantic, foliage-filled, French castle wedding inspiration, read on to see how Tasha made her dream fairy-tale wedding a reality….
Joseph took me for a walk the day after his birthday. We were staying in Margate, Kent, and drove out to Reculver Beach on the coast. We were walking along the beach and Joseph got down on one knee.
Botanical Plant Stationary and Bookmark Place Cards
Our stationary was by Alexandra at Pirrip Press in Bristol, who created everything from old botanical drawings of plants and fruits that grew in the venue’s region like oranges, lemons and herbs using a rotating very pale lilac and green theme for the background. Joseph loves literature, so we designed a bookmark to have as place cards that people could take home and use.
1950’s Inspired Hair and Statement Red Lips
Zara Vernazza created a simple 50’s pinup feel to the hair using big rollers. Holly Silius is an amazing make up artist, and created a slightly more glamourous look for me on the day. I wore my own trusty red lipstick as I wear it every day.
French Countryside Wedding Venue
We got married at the Chateau de la Bourlie in Urval, France; a beautiful part of the Dordogne countryside outside of Bergerac. Joseph and I couldn’t seem to find the venue with the right kind of touches in the UK, and I was particularly nervous about the changeable British weather. We knew we wanted sunshine, great food and wine so we decided to set our sights on France. We’d taken our holidays in South of France for many years before down by the coast, but decided to venture further inland towards Bordeaux/ Bergerac because of the wine history. We fell in love with the mix of traditional charm and modern interior additions during the first visit. It truly was a fairy-tale castle set in idyllic countryside just outside of the medieval village of Urval.
Medieval Bell Tents
We had some amazing medieval bell tents with proper beds inside for some of the guests. We heard the next day that this was where all the late night fun went down!
Beautiful Music and Readings
My aisle music was the Johnny Harris version of Joseph’s favourite song ‘Wichita Lineman’- originally by Glen Campbell and exited the aisle as a married couple to The Smiths ‘There is a Light that Never Goes Out’. Our readings included ‘A Moment Of Happiness’ by Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi and ‘Love’s Philosophy’ by Percy Bysshe Shelley.
Foliage and Dried Petals
We wanted to bring a natural feel to the wedding so chose to have no flowers at all (except for natural flower petals as confetti) and create an atmosphere using foliage only.
Festoon Lighting and Banquet Tables
We had dinner in the courtyard, and we had some beautiful festoon lights adorning the tables. We had banquet tables with table runners made of foliage like Eucalyptus and Rosemary, and each of the tables were named after our favourite places in the world like Nymans Gardens, Collioure Plage and Blakeney Point.
Romantic Luna Bea Headpiece and Silken Studio Crowns
I love the magical feel to Luna Bea headpieces. Lou made me her ‘Arela’ crown design in a custom colour silver to match my shoes. I love veils, but wanted something a little more romantic than a standard cascade, and something that wouldn’t obstruct from the crown so I chose a draped veil.
Joseph wore a suit he bought in The Kooples and the groomsmen wore ties from Paul Smith. We achieved an ethereal look for the bridesmaids with some simple cotton beach kaftans from Free People, which were lovely and light for the 32 degree sun we had that day! They wore vintage crowns from my bridal brand Silken Studio. One of the crowns dates from the 1950’s and reminds me of the ‘Childlike Princess’ character’s headpiece in The Never Ending Story. Inspired by dream catchers, I made the girls some circular hoops to hold wrapped in ribbon and foliage.
Flared Sleeve Vintage Gown
I’d been to lots of appointments and tried on many styles of wedding dress before I found ‘the one’. I used to work in bridal many years ago, so knew the benefit of trying on different shapes to get to a shortlist of styles. I knew I wanted a dress with a 1970’s feel to it with flared sleeves, so I scoured vintage wedding dress boutiques. I had a long appointment at House of Vintage in Shoreditch trying on many dresses, and it looked like there wasn’t anything that worked. Marcia who ran the store said she had one dress upstairs that she’d just picked up from a shopping trip in LA. She went upstairs to get the dress and I fell in love with it on the hanger, and knew it was ‘the one’ when I tried it on.
I really wanted something Studio 54 style so I wore some chunky silver metallic platforms from Prada.
Tower of French Pastries and Natural Flower Petals
We had a traditional French wedding ‘Piece Montée’; an amazing tower of choux pastries with sparklers in. I used to love Sylvanian Families as a child, so my mum made outfits by bride’s mother to top the cake.
Joseph is a huge Nick Cave fan so we danced to ‘Bring it On’.
Walking down the aisle to the love of my life in front of all my friends and family.
Expect the day to fly by. You might be worried about some small details in the planning stages, but on the day you won’t notice them! Delegate as much as you can. Brides could ask their bridesmaids to check your hair is in place during the day and maybe carry a mirror around with them for you to use. Remember to breathe, be present and enjoy the day!
Wedding planning did become stressful at times because it involved hosting all our friends and families in another country, and juggling with the fluctuating Pound to Euro but the final weekend was totally worth it in the end. It was wonderful to marry my love in the beautiful French countryside with great food, wine and music.
The Line Up
Location: Chateau de la Bourlie
Photographer: Lelia Scarfiotti
Wedding planner: Lucy Williams
Bride dress: House of Vintage
Bridal crown: ‘Arela’ crown by Luna Bea
Bride shoes: Prada
Bridesmaid dresses: Free People
Bridesmaid crowns: Silken Studio.
Makeup: Holly Silius
Hair: Zara Vernazza
Groom suit: The Kooples
Groomsmen ties: Paul Smith
Stationary: Pirrip Press
Confetti: Kellys Wedding World
Transport: Perigord Voyages
Catering and Piece Montée: Humblot
Dinner table hire: Oui Mon Coeur
DJ: Andy, Dordogne Wedding Music