25th to 28th August 2017
Gaelle Le Berre Photography
We would love to know how you both met:
We met in Sydney, Australia in 2014. My husband is from there and I am French. I was a French teacher there for a year and a half, and we met 4 months before I left. A French friend of mine had told me about this very nice group of friends she made, and I wanted to meet them as I actually found hard to make friends with “local people”. She invited me to a birthday party with this group, at a bar, and Surya was there. His charming accent, his subtle humour and his gentleman manners made me want to see him again..
Let us have a sneak peak of your proposal:
We were traveling in Colombia for two weeks, and it was an amazing trip already. We were back in Cartagena to leave the day after, and we both had a huge crush on this town, with all its enchanted colours and its Caribbean vibe. We had woken up at 5 am in the morning to travel by bus to Cartagena so we were totally exhausted and quite dirty, but we had to go buy souvenirs for our families, so we walked around the street vendors. Surya looked really tired, so I told him to sit down and I went on my own for a little while. When we got back to the hostel, which had a small rooftop, we noticed that the sky looked particularly beautiful so Surya told me we should take pictures of the sunset from the rooftop. As I’m writing this, I realize it sounds obvious, but back then I did not expect it at all! I was looking around, and when I turned around, I saw him on his knees. He made a moving speech than neither of us remembers, we were both in a “bubble” at that time. I could not believe this was happening, it was the moment! He held me a cute metal ring that he had bought to a street vendor earlier when he pretended to be tired! Of course, I said yes, and I couldn’t have dreamt of a more romantic, yet simple proposal. It’s like we were alone on the top of the world with all the colours below us and a beautiful sunset sky, perfect!
What was the date of your Big Day, your beautiful wedding:
We have several dates: August 25, 2017 was the civil wedding with only family and close friends. On August 26 was the church wedding and the big party, so the real Big day. And on Monday after the weekend, on August 28, we had the Hindu wedding with a smaller party (my husband and his family are Hindus, his parents come from India).
Where was the location of the wedding:
It was in Ile-Tudy, Brittany, France, a small charming harbour where I spent every summer, and in Kerambleiz castle on the 26th. For the Hindu wedding, it was still in Ile-Tudy, on the terrace of the house my father-in-law was renting for the weekend.
Tell us about the planning of your wedding day, and were there any unexpected surprises:
It was really hard to plan everything from far away (we live in NYC). We chose the place (the castle) when we came back for Christmas, and I came back again in May for a few days to meet with all the professionals, but other than that it was only emails, coordinating with my family to buy some things and meet some people, and I was very grateful for Amazon for all the decoration! And for my very dedicated family as well, of course. In the meantime, little did we know that our families and friends were preparing their own surprises for us, a beautiful video with everybody in it, speeches, games, pictures and translation of all of it, in English or French! My brother and sister were the ones who worked the hardest to set up these beautiful surprises, and I hope I can do the same for them one day. This is one of the things that we remember and cherish the most from that day: what our loved ones did for us – including crossing the Earth to be here. As for the Hindu wedding, we didn’t have to do much, except book an Indian caterer, tell Gaelle (our photographer) to come back on Monday, and book a room at the town Hall, which we eventually didn’t use when we saw that the terrace of my father-in-law’s rental house was a much better fit! It had a very high wooden roof that looked like a dome, so that was another good surprise! The amazing weather during the whole weekend, after a rainy and cold summer, definitely was as well. My father-in-law took care of bringing Hindu priests from Paris, and my mother-in-law took care of our outfits, that were custom-made and beautiful. We are grateful for what they did to organize this wedding, and for the gifts they gave us on that day.
What colour themes were used in the wedding:
Peach, light pink and green for the big wedding. No colour theme for the Hindu wedding: the more colours, the better!
Was there any tradition introduced into your wedding, “Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue:
Nothing like that, except the “something old”: the ancient car that belonged to my great grandfather and that we use for every wedding in the family. But the Hindu wedding was full of new traditions to me! One of them was to put a bindi and/or a coloured dot on the forehead of the guests, as well as flowers in the women’s hair. My family-in-law also gave me beautiful gifts for our wedding, including saris and jewels, which is also a tradition.
What was the theme of your wedding, and how did you decide this:
The theme was travel, which is a very common and convenient theme! We both travelled a lot, we love it and it was a very international wedding, so it didn’t take us long to decide this would be our theme! More specifically, the theme was about the places we had been to together and that had a special meaning to us.
Your wedding was very beautiful, where did you gather inspiration from:
Mostly google images and Pinterest, and simply with my imagination! The decoration was simple, natural and elegant which was what we were going for. It looked like us. Hindu wedding: no decoration, again, the terrace made a perfect background and what contributed to the decor were people’s colourful outfits and the flowers in our hair, and the beautiful small altar on the ground.
What were some of your favourite moments in the wedding with either your partner, family or friends:
After the ceremony, seeing everyone gathered around us with happy faces on, realizing that all these people were here for us and that the day had just started. Being in the ancient car just the two of us, after the church ceremony, and traveling around, saying hi to the passers-by, it was our first moment alone for a while when we could share our emotions, and I felt like a princess! Our entrance in the dining room with the music on and everybody applauding and dancing! Watching the very moving videos that my brother and sister made/edited for us, including one with every guest appearing in it. Dancing with everyone, seeing everyone having fun. Hindu wedding: In the morning before the ceremony, when my mother-in-law put my bridal sari on me, which is a very complex process, and jewellery that she had bought in India. It was very calm around us, sunny outside, I found it to be an intimate and relaxing moment. The part of the ceremony when some of our friends and family had to – struggle to- carry us on their shoulders, while we had to put flowers around each other’s neck. The part when we had to find a ring in a bowl of water: I won every time! And towards the end of the ceremony when everyone had to throw rice at us.
Who were your favourite vendors for the wedding:
The florist, Yveline Douguet, “fleurs st Mathieu” in Quimper, France, who made my bouquet, my crown and the bridesmaids flower bracelets with such refinement and precision! The hairdresser and make-up artist Christine Vaillant who was absolutely lovely, relaxing, efficient and very talented. Salon Elypse in Quimper, France. The photographer Gaelle Le Berre for her fun and energy, and the very very beautiful memories we have thanks to her. The DJ for his fun ideas and professionalism, his availability and flexibility. Arnaud Boissière, Liven’ up, Quimperlé, France. The very nice Indian caterer who accepted the booking at the last minute and whose food was delicious! The crêpes caterer for the Sunday lunch. Delicious crêpes and very attentive and lovely cooks.
Who was the photographer for your wedding:
Gaëlle Le Berre
We would love to know what soundtrack was played for your first dance:
Stand by me, Ben E. King.
Did you go away for a Honeymoon, if so where was the location:
We went to Corsica for 3 days the week after the wedding, but we are still waiting to have a few months of freedom to do a big trip in South America, that we would consider as our “long-due, long Honeymoon”.
What words of support could you say to couples taking the journey of marriage:
For the preparation of the wedding: make it as simple as possible and take perspective. Also, ask yourselves and each other important questions, discuss about your values and your vision of different aspects of life, when else is a better moment for it than the engagement time? For the day of the wedding: simply live the moment, you had a long time to stress before, now is time for the best reward you could dream of. For after: every marriage works differently, you know how yours does better than me! So avoid taking lessons from anyone, just learn every day with all the wisdom and the tenderness you can have.
Gaelle Le Berre
La Ferme Quentel à Gouesnou, France.
Wedding dress: Luna Novias
Shoes: Dessine moi un soulier
Suit: Mr Hector
Groom Shoes: Finsburry
Bow Tie: Le Lucien
Yveline Douguet, Fleurs Saint-Mathieu, Quimper, France.
Traiteur Pennarun, France
Traiteur Pennarun, France
Necklace: Marc Orian
Earrings: Lilly & Rose
Wedding ring jewelery: Jallerat in Nantes