After 8 years, 2 kids and 19 countries visited together, Elise + Simon celebrated their life + love by tying the knot on top of their favorite mountain in the French Pyrenees. Because of their already untraditional circumstances, they focused on aspects of the day that were most important to them, and gave little thought to what ‘a wedding should be or should look like’. A detail that was very important to them was spending time with each + every guest. Since Elise is french + Simon is Australian, they knew their wedding would probably be the only time that all of their friends + family would be together in one place at one time. So, to make the most of things, they invited everyone up to the small French mountain village where the wedding was held the week prior to the big day. Elise + Simon say, This involved finding houses for people to stay in in a village without a hotel. We needed 14 in the end.
They go on to tell us, We always knew where we wanted the ceremony to happen if ever we were to get married, in a field, outside, surrounded by mountains and friends in one of our very favourite places ever. As an architect/illustrator couple we had a lot of ideas about how we wanted things to look like or to happen and everybody was very supportive in helping make it work. We got everybody involved! And as many things as possible were handmade. And for all the things that weren’t handmade, we tried and work with local makers and workers as much as possible.
Thanks so much to You Made My Day Photography for the beautiful images and congrats to Elise, Simon + their entire family on the sweetest day!
Elise : I had very clear in my head of the way I wanted us to arrive to the ceremony. Together, and surrounded with kids running in front of us. I am so happy I pushed for it because walking this long path together, knowing that everybody was waiting for us to arrive in the field was such a nice moment, a few minutes just us before the ceremony.
Another wonderful moment was the dinner, when I finally got to relax because everything was running great. I remember looking at all these people close to us who were there, enjoying the evening under the stars in that place that is so special for me and thinking it is happening NOW. I need to enjoy this moment and remember it, it is great!
The other great memory I have is climbing up the mountain with the last cousins still on the dance floor at 6am, in my wedding dress and watching the sun rise with bread, cheese and wine and a view on the village... It was perfect.
Simon : We thought we had prepared our four year old son for the wedding by telling him about it, how it would work, how there would be lots of people etc. However, when he handed us the box with rings during the ceremony he didn't understand why there wasn't a ring in there for him. It was so touching to try and explain this to to him, there and then, and kind of brought home why we were there.
Elise’s brother entirely designed and built the beautiful, organic ceremony arch.
We love all the sweet ways the entire family was able to be involved in the wedding!
There was a 10 minute walk back to the village for the reception and when asked what their recessional song was, Elise said, Does the traditional village shotgun wedding salute count?!
Elise + Simon made elderflower cordial from a elderberry tree down the road, their caterer was from a small village not very far away, the wines were all from nearby vineyards, the flowers were wild flowers from the fields nearby, the band + the beer were from the next big town, and everyone filled up our glasses with water directly at the fountain.
Ask for help, but do it early. People are super happy to help (and touchingly so), but give them warning.
Do everything you can so as there is nothing to do on the day except get married.
Great advice from Elise's cousin we got on the day: Just enjoy. It won't go as planned, and will be all the more memorable because of it.
photography: You Made My Day Photography // venue name: Village that the bride's grandfather was from in the Pyrenees, France // event design: Bride + Groom (Elise and Simon) // florals: wild flowers picked in the fields around the village // wedding dress: local dress tailored // bride's shoes: bride wore traditional menorquinas shoes, groom wore hippie shoes from Denmark by Duck Feet // hair stylist: DIY // makeup artist: DIY // paper goods: Elise // catering: Le Confetti Gourmand // cake: Patisserie Perez // music: We had a great local band called Les Pneumatic Serenaders // officiant: Simon's father // groom attire: Pants by Knowledge Cotton Apparel, Shirt by Calibre Australia, Waistcoat and Tie by Jules (french brand)