Honeymoon in Provence, France

Honeymoon in Provence

Today I’m excited today to share the last stop on our recent European travels – Provence, France!

I’ve always wanted to visit Provence. As I imagined, this beautiful setting in the south of France was the perfect way to end our trip (be sure to check out the our posts on Mallorca, Paris, Amsterdam and Portofino). When you visit, I highly recommend renting a car. In our pics, you’ll notice gorgeous sprawling landscapes in every direction, which means that everything is pretty far. Day trips to the lovely neighboring villages of the region are quite popular and having your own car is the best way to do this…be sure to mind the bicyclists, they’re everywhere taking in the views while getting in great hill workouts.

Thanks to our friends at Mr & Mrs Smith Hotels, we stayed at the amazing and beautifully decorated Le Couvent des Minimes Hôtel & Spa in Mane, France. The hotel is a former convent dating back to 1613!! I loved the juxtaposition of the historic convent against the super hip interior design – especially the lobby and breakfast area. The hotel also has a gorgeous pool – not the pic below, we’ll show it a bit later :) –  and lavender fields (unfortunately we were a few weeks too early to see the lavender!). They have two pretty amazing restaurants on site or you can take a quick 10 minute walk to the village of Mane. Bonus, the owner is so incredibly nice. We ran into him in the lobby each morning to discuss our activities of the day prior and he would offer advice on our activities for the day. His advice was spot on and so valuable since it was our first time in the region.

Le Couvent Des Minimes Hotel

Le Couvent Des Minimes Hotel Lobby

Isn’t that lobby just amazing?!! Love those pink + green chairs!

Sheep at Le Couvent Des Minimes Hotel

lavender fields

Le Couvent Des Minimes Hotel

And this was the breakfast + casual dinner restaurant (above) – just LOVE the design…there was also a terrace to enjoy breakfast + dinner

pool in provence

…making new friends :)

Toddler and Cat in Provence
Le Couvent Des Minimes Hotel

We really enjoyed sitting on the terrace for breakfast and the garden for an early evening cocktail and a quick game of bocce ball. Provence is so great for a relaxing trip and a nice change of pace after visiting more popular and crowded travel destinations in Europe. Once we arrived, we definitely took advantage of the quiet and enjoyed our time relaxing as a family at the hotel walking their gorgeous grounds – with a glass (or 2 or 3!) of rosé. We didn’t get a chance to check out their L’Occitane spa but it looked pretty amazing too!

The hotel was located in the small village of Mane and it was just the prettiest little town! Also, when I say it is a small village…..I mean small – just a few restaurants. So we ate most of our meals at the hotel.

Honeymoon in Provence

Honeymoon in Provence

Honeymoon in Provence

Totally missing all those blue + purple shutters and doors! So pretty, right?!

The town of Forcalquier is much larger and just a 10 minute drive away. The largest farmer’s market in the area is held there every Monday and we were lucky enough to be in town that day and stopped by. We picked up some pretty amazing olives, strawberries and baguettes. Honestly, those strawberries were SOOO good – probably the best strawberries I’ve ever had!

Best activity to do in Provence? (well, besides sitting outdoors and drinking rose!), village hopping! There are so many amazingly cute villages. We were lucky enough to visit quite a few, so I’ll share our itinerary for a day of village hopping which I would totally recommend – if you are here for a few days, you could check out even more!

Leaving Mane, we drove about an hour (the drive is so pretty, passing fields of poppies – and, depending on your time of year, lavender! – other hilltop villages and more) to Gordes. Gordes was one of the towns I remember seeing photos of online and it did not disappoint! It’s one of the prettiest hilltop towns in Provence. It was pretty amazing seeing it appear out of no where as we approached…

gordes in provence

We took a short walk, enjoyed a cappuccino then we were off to the next town. :) Next up was Ménerbes where we had a seriously perfect lunch at Le 5 . Their was a DJ spinning French mixes of indie songs, delicious food (I had an artichoke pasta that was out of this world and Jason had a steak), and then the view! Le 5 has probably the best terrace in Ménerbes with a gorgeous view of the valley. Pretty amazing lunch spot if you get the chance to dine here. :) The town is super small too, but really pretty.

Honeymoon in Provence

villages in Provence

After lunch we drove to Lourmarin (at the recommendation of the owner of Le Couvent des Minimes Hôtel & Spa) and we were so glad to have got this recommendation because it was my favorite town of the day. Every shop and corner was just so pretty!! The center of the village has a bunch of cafes that create the perfect spot to have a glass of wine or cup of coffee. Side note, if you are taking a trip here with a toddler – there is a great playground here :)

Honeymoon in Provence

For dinner we drove back to Bonnieux (we passed this town on the way to Lourmarin) and recalled seeing a pizza place (Brasserie Les Terrasses) with a terrace that had the most stunning views of Provence. The pizza we had here was definitely nothing to get excited about, especially after having so many great pies during our trip. However, enjoying their wine with probably one of the most amazing dinner views you can find in Provence blew us away. If you visit Provence, I highly recommend a sunset drink and/or dinner here – the view is one you won’t forget….these photos don’t even do it justice!

Honeymoon in Provence

Honeymoon in Provence

This view was like looking out into a painting you guys!! Miss it….

If you are planning a honeymoon here, a few other recommendations from Le Couvent des Minimes Hôtel & Spa that we were interested in trying but ran out of time:

  • Banon, France (a 30 min drive from the hotel) is known for goat cheese! Enjoy some cheese + wine with a gorgeous view
  • For scenic vistas, visit Sisteron, a commune located between two long mountain ridges – there’s an ancient citadel to explore, winding narrow streets and a 12th-century cathedral.
  • Wine tasting

I hope our recent travels to Europe helps inspire your honeymoon, anniversary trip, family trip – or maybe even just a girlfriend’s getaway.

Thanks again to Mr & Mrs Smith for helping us find the perfect hotel in Provence and click here to learn more about how they can help you plan your dream honeymoon…if that might be to Provence or somewhere else magical as they have hotels all over the world!

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Whimsical Creekside Engagement Session: Nayeli + Brad

Vintage Motorcycle Engagement

Shortly after Nayeli + Brad met through mutual friends, they realized they lived only 5 blocks from each other in the most quaint part of Old Town Austin. One night they decided to meet up in their neighborhood for a bite to eat and, as they say, the rest really is history! Nayeli tells us, Our neighborhood has restaurants and markets enveloped between homes, so we decided to meet in the middle at Galaxy Cafe. Our connection was cosmic, of another world, like finding the person that was made out of a cookie mold of your subconscious. We were both covered in amazing tattoo artwork which made it just a tad easier on the eyes, we had a deep love for the 1950’s (from cars to kitchen tables), and Mexican culture felt like home comfort even though we were both born on the Texas coasts. After the evening of drinking wine listening to blues on his patio, like the gentleman he is, he walked me home under the moonlight and came in for a kiss at my front door. I knew this kiss was different, it very well could have been the wine, but I felt woozy. Some may call it butterflies, but I soon realized I’d just tasted the lips of my future.

Let’s see more of their sweet love connection in their engagement photos captured perfectly by Clayton Austin

Vintage Motorcycle Engagement

bright colorful bouquet

For those of you who are familiar with Clayton’s work, you know he is a man of many talents! He crafted this stunning bouquet for Nayeli + whipped up the sweetest boutonniere for Brad. Love.

Vintage Motorcycle Engagement

Vintage Motorcycle Engagement

Vintage Motorcycle Engagement

Vintage Motorcycle Engagement

Vintage Motorcycle Engagement

We love that Brad brought his vintage cushion motorcycle along for the shoot! These shots are so much fun…

Vintage Motorcycle Engagement

River Engagement

bright colorful bouquet

River Engagement

Nayeli says, Like any modern romance, first come love, then comes the unplanned baby carriage. On Christmas night we found out we were expecting. He sold his motorcycle the next day and shortly after proposed to me under twinkling lights at my parent’s ranch, where we are getting married on October 24th, 2015.

We love that they included their sweet babe in some of their pics!!

River Engagement

River Engagement

River Engagement

River Engagement

River Engagement

River Engagement

These photos really capture this beautiful duo to a T! Congrats, Nayeli + Brad. We wish you three a lifetime of love!

photography: Clayton Austin

This wedding features rad artists fromThe GWS Wedding Artist GalleryClayton Austin is a Featured Artist in the GWS Artist Guide! Find more rad artists for your day in our Gallery

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Gold + Pink Cali Ranch Wedding: Emma + Dan

Barn Wedding

Two hues we know we’ll never, ever stop loving (be it for weddings or just in general) are pink + gold. And today’s wedding executes that palette as perfectly as can be! Emma + Dan wanted their day to feel classic, with a slight modern twist. They told their coordinator, Erin of Bustle Events, and their florist, Emily at Shotgun Floral Studio, to surprise them with some of the details, and the team really knocked it out of the park! Think hot pink candles galore, beautiful spring garden flowers in antique brass + gold vessels, a custom decal for the dance floor, and so much more. The day turned out beyond beautifully + better than E + D could have ever imagined. And it must have been a total dream for OneLove Photography to capture!

Gold Invitation

bridesmaid dresses

je'taime clutch

first look

glam bridesmaids

We love, love the bridesmaids in their gorgeous neutral BCBG frocks! So much so, that we’ve put together a shopping guide inspired by their look below!

Theia Wedding Dress

Wedding Party

outdoor ceremony

outdoor ceremony

outdoor ceremony

outdoor ceremony

Such a stunning ombre-esque arch!

Barn Wedding

Barn Wedding

Barn Wedding

glam white bouquet

groom's tux

Barn Wedding

Barn Wedding

Barn Wedding

gold pennant escort cards

hot pink candles

hot pink and neutral tablescape

We truly loved the reception space, which was filled with warm, wood details, stunning florals + textural, ivory table runners from La Tavola.

hot pink and neutral tablescape

hot pink and neutral tablescape

hot pink and neutral tablescape

gold and pink accent menu

hot pink and neutral tablescape

Barn Reception

bangles

give me some sugar bar

pink flower topped cake

Be present on the day. Take a few minutes the morning of to sit by yourself and soak it all in if you can. This is such an incredible milestone in life, and I think it's important to breath in the magnitude of it all. If anything goes "wrong," I suggest reframing and laughing at the situation. Everything that is supposed to happen that day will happen for a reason, and little quirks to the wedding always make for a good story! As I was making my entrance to the ceremony my veil got caught in a tree, and all I could do was laugh and carry on. As soon as I got to Dan, we were so nervous that we immediately kissed before we were supposed to and our guests erupted in laughter. At the end of the day, we were surrounded by so much love and support, nothing else mattered!

photography: OneLove Photography // venue: Private Estate in California // wedding design + coordination: Erin Taylor of Bustle Events // hair + makeup: Artistry by Danika // cake: Sweetie Pies // catering: Preferred Sonoma Caterers // videography: Wellspun Weddings // band: Pacific Soul Band // 
dress designer: Theia

 // florals: Shotgun Floral Studio // groom’s attire: Hugo Boss // bridesmaids dresses designer: BCBG // shoes: Stuart Weitzman // 
stationery: Underwood Letterpress // veil + accessories: A Stitch in Time // rentals: La Tavola

This wedding features rad artists fromThe GWS Wedding Artist GalleryBustle Events and onelove photography are all Featured Vendors in the GWS Vendor Guide! Find more rad artists for your day in our Guide.

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