July 18th, 2018….the happiest day of our lives.
Ben & I met in Imperia, Italy & spent our first summer together hopping on and off trains, exploring the South Coast of France. We spoke about children on our 2nd date & often spoke about getting married in France, it was always so natural for us to speak about the future.
We got engaged in November 2015 (on Fraser Island, Australia) & decided it was crucial for us to have a long engagement. Getting married mid season (we chose to say I Do in July, our anniversary month) is stressful enough & having to plan it all in a short amount of time was totally out of the question. So we took our time, each month we would focus on booking another vendor, whether it be the photographer or calligrapher, we didn’t rush anything. We also found that since we started booking vendors in 2015 for a 2018 Wedding, we got the 2015 rates (most vendors will bump prices annually) & we were guaranteed our dates! Honestly, I’m so happy we took our time as we got to enjoy every aspect of our engagement.
As the one year countdown to the big day came & left, we started to have huge difficulty with the language barrier & contacting vendors local to our venue. It became obvious that we had to hire a Wedding Planner (by far the best planning decision we made)! Stephanie from Weddings of Excellence Provence, was INCREDIBLE. During the Caribbean season, our wifi was non-existent & we could rarely open an email, so my mom was CC’d in on all of the emails and the two of them kept us all on track.
So here it is, our Wedding Day.
It was magical, breathtaking & oh so much fun.
We decided to get married on a Wednesday, as everyone had to travel to the Wedding, we wanted to make it as much of a holiday for everyone as possible. 34 of our closest family & friends stayed with us at the venue for 5 days, while another 20 guests stayed later in the week. The remaining guests stayed at farmhouses & local B&B’s in the area.
Everyone was welcomed on the Monday afternoon with a tour of the venue (they had tennis courts, 2 pools & a vineyard!) and a MASSIVE wine & cheese dinner – our favourite kind of meal!
The day before our wedding, we met with our Wedding Planner & the Maître D’ to finalize everything from the welcome drink (fresh lemonade), to the variety of sliders & fries that would be served at 2am.
To stick with tradition, Ben and I slept apart every night at the venue until we were married. I stayed with my sisters, we drank wine & danced to ABBA until the wee hours of the morning while Ben stayed in a house with his siblings, cousins & friends. We both really loved that time apart with the people most special to us.
On the Morning of the Wedding, I was SO CALM. A rarity as I’m such a busybody. My Maid of Honour made a playlist for the bridesmaids to sing along too (it was 99% Taylor Swift) & we spent the whole day laughing, dancing & hugging.
As you may recall, I went wedding dress shopping in LA with my mom & best friend. I very quickly found my dress & then decided to keep it a secret from all of my bridesmaids. My sisters weren’t too happy that I wouldn’t show them, but it made for a beautiful moment once we were all dressed & I had my big reveal. (For more details on my dress, CLICK HERE!) Ben spent this day with his family & groomsmen, drinking beers by the pool. Our wedding day was the first time I have EVER seen Ben in a suit & he looked incredibly handsome in his 3-piece.
The guests were all seated at 4pm, meanwhile I was spending some quality time with my dad before getting ready to walk down the Aisle. As the bridal party walked down the aisle, Coastline & These Memories by Hollow Coves played in the background, while I walked down the aisle to Bloom by The Paper Kites & it was perfect. The first person I saw when I began the walk with my dad was a dear friend, Michelle. She was my roommate onboard M/Y Northern Star – the boat I worked on when Ben & I first met, she was there for the first season of our relationship & I was so thankful to see her after so long.
We have always been very fortunate to work with brilliant, amazing crew members, so when we asked our old Chef to officiate our wedding, it felt like a no-brainer to us. Flavia was just perfect for the job, she ensured our ceremony was the perfect mixture of romance, humour & sentiment. Ben’s vows where the most beautiful, romantic, kind & loving vows I had ever heard, he had so many of our family members in tears.
After being announced as Mr & Mrs Hulbert, we walked back down the aisle hand in hand with, Home by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros playing in the background. We hugged close to everyone at the wedding & then gradually we all moved down to the lower gardens of the venue.
It was important to me that we utilized the entire venue, so with every part of the day, the guests moved & discovered a new part of the Chateau grounds. Due to being in the Caribbean the winter prior, my parents flew to France to choose all of our food, deco & flowers for us – they sat with my pinterest board & our Wedding Planer to choose everything. Tiny details that I had pinned, such as gold arrows of glitter on the driveway where executed on the Wedding Day & it was glorious.
Since we didn’t pick out the menu, Cocktail Hour(s) was a surprise! The guests were treated to 14 different hot & cold canapés options, with a variety of choices for our gluten & dairy free guests! Our Maître D’ also surprised us with a bicycle hot dog stand with 4 different delicious types of hot dogs, including lobster & foie gras… food heaven!
Our Dinner Reception was located in the properties courtyard, which even had a beautiful wishing well to the side. We had 5 speeches throughout the evening, with a food course in between. The meal was a culinary delight, completely over the top with 6 courses & perfect for our day. Since Ben prefers savoury & I love sweet, we organized a 7 tier cheese wheel cake after dinner & cut our delicious 2 tier wedding cake at midnight. Our main goal was for all of our loved ones to feel looked after & cared for, I think it’s safe to say that we accomplished that!
Around Midnight (time flew by), we all walked up to an indoor/outdoor reception area. Inside we had a DJ who played classic wedding tunes (and surprise, surprise, a TON of Taylor Swift), the wedding cake was set up here along with comfortable chairs & tables & the wedding cake – this was designated as my area. Ben’s area was outside & involved leather Chesterman Couches, chill music (loads of Tom Misch) & this is where we also served the 2am Sliders & Fries feast!
We were only allowed to use the DJ until 4am, so we moved down to one of the guest houses & continued to chat, laugh & listen to music until we went to bed. It was one the most beautiful day of my life.
Majority of Ben’s friends who came to the Wedding, I met for the first time after the ceremony. I was so overcome with gratitude for this group of people who loved & encouraged Ben long before I knew him. I then looked to my family & friends who have been so incredible supportive throughout the years. As our wedding day came to a close, I was in Euphoria. I had just married a man beyond my wildest dreams, in the most romantic settings of all time, Provence.
If you made it all the way to the bottom of this, CONGRATS! That was a long post & I honestly could of written 10 posts on various parts of the day.
Thank you for taking the time to share our special day with us!
I’m working on another wedding blog that showcases all of the finer details of the day, including our various menus & cocktails, along with list of our vendors!
P.S. Want to see a teaser of our Wedding Video? Pop some popcorn & Click HERE to watch it!
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