We have an extra special treat today as not only are we sharing the London engagement session of the sweet Melodie and Adam, but we also have the privilege of sharing their fab seaside wedding in Cap Ferret, France! Yep, it’s a double dose of lovely for you all today! After being together 8 years, Melodie was really looking forward to an engagement, she might have even dropped a few hints but good on Adam for managing to surprise her, even if she knew it was coming…
“Adam and I met at the Red lion Westminster’s pub in 2005. A friend was organizing a birthday drink and both of us had also been invited. Straightaway, I thought he was cute and we ended-up chatting until 3am! We argued about the painter Rothko, who I really like but Adam kept saying it was just wall paper! So, I asked him to give me a chance to change his mind and do lunch at The Tate Modern Museum and visit Rothko’s gallery. After the pub! we went back at his friend’s flat for one last drink. When I left them I wrote my mobile number on a piece of paper and left it on the table (Boys are too shy to ask for it, but Adam later said, he took the number straightaway).…” Nicely played Melodie.. nicely played!
“It took Adam 8 years to propose, 1) because weddings are expensive and 2) because marriage wasn’t his thing! However, I was very keen to become his wife and so he finally surprised me on Christmas eve 2012! In France, Christmas eve is very important and we usually like to have a glam and sophisticated dinner at our West London flat! I always have the romantic Dickensian idea of Christmas in London. I had been noticing that Adam was going to a lot of effort to make our this particular Christmas perfect, while I was attending all the Christmas parties in London! I knew Adam was up to something and I was very suspicious…was it finally the engagement I was waiting for?!
On one of the mornings before the proposal, I had been looking for a lighter in the bed side table when found a little red heart shaped box! OMG, there it was! A cheap looking ring probably bought at a flee market. It wasn’t really to my taste but I thought at least we’d be able to go together to buy the real ring! On Christmas eve, we traditionally offer each other small little jokey presents. I received a 90′s Dance Music CD (which I loved as it reminded me of my teenage years!). It was approaching midnight and I was getting really tired so I told him I ready to go to bed and that we should swap the main present in the morning! Adam wasn’t impressed with my suggestion and made me a big pot of coffee to wake me up! I’d had a long day and was determined to stick to my plan so I offered him his gift first, which was a nice watch (and he panicked that I knew he was going to propose, as I always said, the day he offered me a ring, I was going to gift him a watch!) but it was in fact a total coincidence! I really didn’t think he was going to propose on Christmas Eve.
Finally Adam is given his chance to offer me his main gift and when I opened the box, it was an empty jewellery ring box. I was surprised and didn’t quite understand. When I looked at him, he was on his knee in front of me with the most beautiful ring, one exactly like I’d always imagined. A sapphire surrounded by little diamonds! It fitted perfectly. I couldn’t believe it. Adam was very stressed, worried that I’d say no after making me wait so long for it. I was too happy, I said yes and we danced to the 90′s music CD!”
Now for the glamour… their wedding!
“We had always imagined to have a big party at our wedding! With all our close family and friends. After 8 years of being together, I didn’t want a long engagement and instead get married quickly. So, we set the date for the end of June which gave us 6 months to organise everything. For us, there were 3 stages to the wedding process! First, we needed to agree on the location but this was quite straight forward as I always knew I wanted to get married in Cap Ferret, a little paradise in France, just 70km off Bordeaux. Cap Ferret is located on a peninsular between the Atlantic Ocean and the Bay or Arcachon, looking over the Dune du Pyla (the highest Dune in Europe). There’s also a little fisherman’s village, protected by Unesco. The place has a very rustic feel to it and is sophisticated at the same time. Adam and I really wanted all our friends to discover this amazing place, and many came for a week or a long weekend holiday!”
We looked at the different options for the wedding venue and since I always wanted to get married on the sea front, the sophisticated Pinasse Cafe was just perfect. The menu was just amazing. I counted 40 different dishes in total, all cooked by a Michelin star chef!”
“Next was to find the dress! After few disappointing bridal appointments I came across the website of Amanda Wakeley’s bridal dresses. I was looking for beach appropriate wedding dress, a light fabric with a nice flow. My bridesmaid and I went to the boutique on Fulham Road and we were not disappointed. The collection was just amazing and the 3 dresses I tried on fitted me great, but the first one I tried on was just my perfect dress and my bridesmaid said,yeah.. it’s you!”
“Lastly, we needed to organise the papers for the Mairie so that my English man would have the right to get married in France! We had to send his birth certificate to the Foreign office in London, who then sent it to the British embassy in Paris to issue un Certificat de Coutume. We also had to officially translate his birth certificate by “un traducteur assermente” and finally prove that Adam was free to marry and not already married in his country! Le Certificat de Celibat does not exist in the UK so he had to certify on his honor at the Mairie, in front of a government official. Also, because Adam doesn’t speak French, we also had to use an official translator for the ceremony at the Mairie. We were so relieved when we obtained the ‘publication des bans.’”
“Once we had everything organised, we needed to help our guests plan their trip to France, so I created a blog with all the information they would need to book their flights, their accommodation and information about cap ferret! We sent a save the date by email and shared the blog with our guests!”
“The wedding theme had to be festive and like beach holiday so we decided to go for turquoise for the sea, yellow for the sun and white for the wedding. I worked with a designer at my work to create an Art Deco style invitation with text on the front “Finally, the Wedding you’ve all been waiting for!” I guess our guests were really surprised at how original and modern our invites were and it really set the tone. We also added our own joke logo M&A, (Mrs M and Mr. A) because in English it usually implies Merger & Acquisition and I work for a professional services firm! We used that logo throughout the wedding and it grew on people!
To add to the beach wedding theme, I found turquoise and yellow luggage tags. flip flops wedding favors for the girls and bottle openers flip flops for the boys! I also ordered mini bottles of Lillet (a traditional alcohol from Bordeaux). I also ordered photophore menus that lit-up with a candle. It was really pretty and our guests loved it! We also had a picture of all our guests coming to wedding on vintage polaroid cards and finally, we had a map of Cap Ferret as the seating plan, a fisherman’s house for the envelopes and love signs for the guests’ presents. “
“My favourite memory of our wedding was our fabulous entrance to our venue on a oyster boat called a Chaland. The wedding venue suggested we arrive on the boat to the beach at the bottom of the stairs of the restaurant. We told our guests that we were going to have some of our wedding portraits taken and that we would meet them directly at the venue! It was a real surprise entrance! Adams speech was also amazing! It was really funny and personal and our guests loved it!”
Thank you so much to Adam and Melodie for sharing their wonderful engagement and wedding story with us today! Such a treat to be able to share both and of course, this is all thanks to their wonderful photographer Anne Sophie from Ela and the Poppies. We have been waiting to feature her work for so long now and we are delighted to have finally done so. Be sure to check out her website and blog!
Photography; Ela and the Poppies | Dress; Amanda Wakeley | Venue; Pinasse Cafe, Cap Ferret | Shoes; Alexandre Birman | House Rental for Guests and Bridal Party; La Villa Blanche | Hair dresser : L’atelier d’Alexia