This French Countryside Wedding Is What Dreams Are Made Of
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The Real Wedding of Danielle & Hedi
A wedding dipped in conscious design, endless sentimentality and the golden hour glow of the French countryside, Bride Danielle and Groom Hedi left guests – and us – enthralled. Wrapped in romance from start to finish, the newlyweds detail their love story and unforgettable nuptials with Wedded Wonderland.
Table of Contents
The Love Story
Meeting in the summer of 2019 and reconnecting online after meeting years prior, Bride Danielle recounts, “We met for an impulsive coffee date one day. It was short due to work so we met the next day too, and from there I was traveling a lot so our relationship existed on facetime for the first few weeks.”
“By the time we were both available for our third date a few weeks after the first, he was home in France for the summer, so I joined him there and we spent a wonderful week together in the countryside – where we now live! It’s also where he proposed; it was so meaningful to us. We live near a beautiful lake, so he planned the proposal over a picnic with a bottle of summer wine as the sun set over the lake. Barely anyone was around and it felt like just the two of us in this dreamland. It was perfect.”
Explaining her preference for finding new ways of doing things, Danielle tells us, “I strangely didn’t want my wedding to feel too ‘bridal’. I just didn’t want our wedding to be a copy and paste of someone else’s, or of everything I’d saved on Pinterest. There are SO many ways to do things; so many beautiful and interesting ideas, but I think it’s most important that you explore a wide variety and then hone in on what feels more ‘you’ and most authentic. I didn’t want anything too stereotypically bridal; so no lace or sequins on my dress, not a really traditional veil, not too much white (my dress was a champagne off-white, and I went for more earthy, tonal colours for the decor to fit the season and our personal tastes). It brings some life to the wedding too.”
Detailing how she wanted to take a sustainable approach to her wedding day, Danielle shares, “My dresses were both made from deadstock fabrics; my veil was made from a vintage French silk and loaned out after my wedding to give it a longer lifespan; my jewellery was either vintage or handmade with recycled materials by Ysso; my bridesmaid’s dresses were all sustainably made by Reformation; we used plants for the florals that we then planted in our garden and gave to some guests, as well as dried flowers that last forever; and our food was made by a local couple, using local, seasonal ingredients (we wrote the menus just a week before the wedding!).”
When asked what memories stood out as unforgettable, she details the drive to Town Hall in Hedi’s vintage Mercedes with her father who “had the biggest grin on his face driving such a beautiful car”, before her eyes finally met her husband’s for the first time on the day.
She also recounts the beautiful moments spent getting ready with the kindred women in her life, and that she wouldn’t have had it any other way.
“I really remember the people arriving to the ceremony; I was upstairs and looking out on the terrace – that’s also when the nerves set in!”
She recalls the moment she walked into her reception, “One of our favourite songs [was] playing, this felt like the first time we’d been completely alone together all day, and as we entered the tent everyone was dancing and celebrating with so much energy, it was amazing.”
As we all know, weddings are not without their last-minute changes and Danielle explains that she was no exception, “I did my own hair and make-up in the end as my make-up artist couldn’t make it quite last minute, and I preferred to do a natural look. I think people expect that you need to do something really different and outstanding on your wedding day, but I’d actually say there is more power in the minimal look; enhancing your normal daily make up a little, but in a way that feels natural and effortless.”
The beautiful newlyweds held the official celebrations in the region Hedi grew up in. Danielle describes how she had recently moved from London to France with him, and the pair wanted to host their guests in their new surroundings.
“Our venue was the family home which is gorgeous – it was a no-brainer – especially as it was where my husband’s older brother got married too. It was really special to hold it at home; somewhere familiar and, again, really unique, too.”
“It took a while and when I couldn’t find anything that felt like ‘the one’ off the rail (online or in stores) or vintage, I knew I wanted to go bespoke and design something truly special and aligned with my own style. Savannah Miller had a wonderfully open approach to the process, so it felt really easy to work with her and really collaborative. We took my initial ideas and just weaved in suggestions of hers that were beyond anything I could have imagined myself. We decided on every little detail together, and it felt so nice and comforting having a team of women beside me throughout the journey.”
“I also loved working with PS Bridal (one of the founders is a friend of a friend so it was a no-brainer). When we couldn’t find the right thing I was looking for for my civil look, they worked on some sketches with a seamstress and we went from there; building on initial sketches and altering along the way. I just love the process, if you can go bespoke, I would not think twice about it. It ensures you’ll end up with something really aligned with your vision, style and shape; and something that you can also ensure fits with your venue too – the possibilities are endless.”
Advice For Future Brides
“Be different! And be you! At the end of the day, you want this to feel like ‘your’ special day; so why make it look like someone else’s? Bring personal touches into anything you can, and you’ll have much more special memories when you look back on it in years to come.”
“I’d also emphasise that it’s all about how you feel. If you’re not sure about anything (especially the dress), following the feeling, not the trends and not what you ‘thought’ you wanted. You’ll also change a lot during the process, so be flexible and adaptable, go with the flow, and try to make the whole journey feel as enjoyable as possible; don’t lose sight of why you’re doing it!”