Stephanie & Benoit
Stephanie and Benoit had a relaxed and chic wedding on a little island of the west coast of France. This fabulous wedding was planned by the London based team at Et Voila! Weddings and their stunning photography was captured by Astrid Templier of Lovely Jubbly Photography.
Location: Ile de ré, France
Number of Guests: 200
Nearest airport: La Rochelle
Stephanie and Benoit, a French couple living in London, married in l’Ile de Ré, where Stephanie’s parents have a summer house. For the past 15 years Stephanie has spent her summer holidays on this beautiful island, so it seemed the perfect location for their wedding. Coupled with the fact that l’Ile de Ré has a beautiful, natural, un-touched environment, they knew it would also set the scene for a relaxed, simple yet chic wedding.
L’Ile de Ré is an island off the west coast of France, near Bordeaux and La Rochelle. It was easily accessible to all their London friends as there is a low cost airline going straight from London to La Rochelle. Once there, l’Ile de Ré is a 40 minute drive away. For those who did not want to drive, buses took them to the center of the island.
L’Ile de Ré is a haven of peace. It’s a bit like going back in time. It’s all about seafood, ships, small markets, and fleur de sel caramels! Most of the guests took a few days, or even a whole week, to stay in l’Ile de Ré and discover the island. There are lots of cycling paths and therefore lots of bicycles!
Stephanie and Benoit had a Church ceremony in one of the small villages on the island, followed by a cocktail and dinner reception in a fort dating from the 1700s. During the cocktails, guests could go to the top of the fort and enjoy the sea view. The dinner was organised in the courtyard of the fort, which was protected from the wind. A lounge area and dance floor were set up inside the fort in a succession of three stone walled vaulted rooms. A space was also set up for the children with a candy bar, a TV and plenty of Walt Disney DVDs.
As always in France, the food was amazing. During the cocktail, oysters with a shallots espuma were prepared before the guests. It made the oysters look fun on top of being truly delicious. There was also a foie gras and candy floss station… this really impressed the guests and was an experience they’ll never forget!
Benoit and Stephanie met when they were both on a student exchange in China. They decided on Chinese decorations to dress the spaces and used paper ball lanterns in different colors and sizes as well as paper umbrellas and bamboo.
The couple hired a DJ who really knew how to keep people on the dance floor! But just in case some guests felt more attracted by the champagne bar, Et Voila! also organised some small surprises such as a saxophonist and a djembe drum player, who appeared out of nowhere in the middle of the guests…this was a real hit! The party went on until 6am…