** Editorial shoot published in Whimsical Wonderland blog **
For some couples the idea of a traditional wedding simply isn’t a good fit and they prefer to do it their own way. Imagine a couple in love sharing dreamy, intimate moments together, with no fuss, no stress, just the two of them in a magical place where they make a lifelong promise to each other with an exchange of vows and rings.
Sound romantic? Well, when it comes to weddings, it doesn’t get any more romantic than an elopement.
Fascinated by this bold and brave new trend, which is quite advanced in the USA, but still a relatively young concept here in Europe, particularly in the south of France, I got to imagining how I could learn from my peers and showcase an elopement wedding with the production values of a French style, fairy-tale wedding.
This has been so much fun in its realisation and has resulted in my latest atmospheric editorial shoot which tells the story of a secretive, romantic, elegant and yet slightly quirky autumn elopement.
Although some may feel they are being taken out of their comfort zone, it’s full of creative design elements which I hope will inspire couples dreaming of a destination wedding in the south of France, or just provide them with lots of ideas that can be infused into any wedding setting to make it an experience of discovery, adventure and excitement hope will inspire you.
The narrative is set at the stunning Château de Montfort, a paradise lost in acres of land between Monaco and Cannes where our couple escape to a secret place to exchange their vows with just an officiant present to seal the deal. I love its delightful gardens full of shapes, colours, fragrances and perspectives and its eclectic, cosy interior perfect for enjoying candlelit dining and local delicacies, tête-à-tête.
I knew I could capture true emotion by casting real life couple Nadja and Cedric in the roles of bride and groom, and, after months of design process, storyboards and colour palettes, I teamed up with the very talented Ghislaine from Déco & Harmonie, who understood exactly what I was trying to achieve and had the ability and creative know-how to translate my vision into beautiful decorative elements and gorgeous floral arrangements, even managing to include pampas grass plants into the bridal bouquet.
I adore the combination of fashion, modernity and added touch of the unconventional by Parisian designer Love is Like a Rose who provided Nadja’s dress and the quality of her unique handmade shoes by Alix de la Forest Paris, while Belle comme un Camion assured a natural and elegant look to Nadja’s hair and make-up. Cedric was dressed by Father & Sons Nice with a special touch by J&T, a young and ambitious start up designer based in Paris who just loves bowties with attitude.
The rings were supplied by local custom jeweller Volterra and Catherine from Féeline Création did a wonderful job handcrafting all our lovely bespoke stationary. Although La cerise sur le gâteau normally specialises in artisanal chocolate and traditional French wedding cakes – such as the famous pièce montée – for this occasion they were delighted to try something different and the result was visually stunning and tasted delicious too.
After all the time, hard work and commitment invested in the organisation and realisation of this project by so many lovely people, it seemed a real shame not to tell our story in film as well as by image and I am so excited by the atmospheric way Christophe Mechineau’s has captured the perfect balance of romance and emotion I wanted to evoke.
The elopement wedding château de Montfort has been a very successful shoot and a great way to inspire futurs brides and grooms who are considering having an elopement wedding.
Conception: Olivia Marocco & Ghislaine Deco et Harmonie // Photographer : Olivia Marocco // Photographer Assistant : Caroline D’Asta // Styling & floral arrangements : Deco & Harmonie // Domaine : Château de Montfort, Luxuria Events // Videographer : Christophe Mechineau // Table Decor : Option // Wedding Dress : Love Is Like A Rose ( Paris) // Wedding Shoes : Alix De La Forest (Paris) // Wedding Rings : Volterra // Hair & Make Up : Belle Comme Un Camion // Boe Tie : J&T // Suit : Father & Sons // Wedding Cake : La Cerise Sur Le Gâteau // Wedding Stationary : Féeline Création // Ceremony Text : Sofi Zed // Models : Nadja & Cédric