The small, quiet village of Lascazères sits in the center of a richly historical wine-region, residential rather than touristy, but with spectacular views of the Pyrenees stretching away into the distance.
From: London, UK
Nearest Airport: Pau Pyrénées
As residents of this quietly beautiful location, Jane and Graham decided to abandon what they called the “traditional Englishisms” of a UK wedding and threw themselves whole-heartedly into a Mariage Français that ended up involving the entire village.
A Rustic Wedding
“The ceremony was conducted at the Mairie in our village, with the reception at the Town Hall across the courtyard and drinks at our house nearby”, described Jane. The wedding was certainly a very local, rural affair that the couple were keen to make as homely as possible. As Jane explained “The wedding was very rustic and we didn’t feel the need to excel on detail – we had no theme other than to ensure our guests were contented by supplying enough food, drink and good music”.
Overwhelmed with Excitement
The Civil Ceremony took place at 4pm in a small room, flanked by doors and windows that had been opened to allow all their guests to take part in the proceedings. “The room was very small and only held 35 people”, explained Jane “so we had to somehow accommodate the additional 40 guests who couldn’t fit in!”.
The ceremony was conducted in French and translated into English, and had been personalised with the addition of two poems chosen by the couple to be read at the beginning and end of the service. “The Mayor was a wonderful chap who had all the guests laughing despite most people not speaking French. The minute I walked into the room I felt calm – it wasn’t until after the ceremony that I was overwhelmed with excitement!”. To highlight the rustic theme, the venue had been decorated with locally grown flowers in huge enamel jugs, and the bride carried a bouquet of greenery, deep red flowers and berries.
The Perfect Rural Setting
Following the ceremony, the couple and their guests made their way across the Courtyard to their home, where under the shade of two gazebos the villagers joined them for celebratory drinks in the perfect rural setting: a garden surrounded by fields with the cattle lazily grazing in the fading evening light. Having concluded the speeches, the party moved to the village hall which had been decorated with potted heather, deep-coloured candles in simple glass jars, and authentic candelabras. The meal, a delicious traditional French menu, was topped off with a towering croquembouche followed by dancing to the music of a local band.
Simplicity is the Key
“There were so many things we couldn’t have had if we’d held the wedding at home”, said Jane. “We wouldn’t have been able to invite the whole village for a start, and I don’t think we’d have got away with spending our wedding night in a tent in a field!”. Unconventional maybe, but that is so often the mark of a unique wedding. The guests clearly felt the same; perhaps the 90% acceptance rate indicated how certain the guests were that they’d be in for a treat. And it seems they weren’t disappointed. “We had wonderful feedback”, concluded Jane. “People appreciate a wedding without a lot of fuss. After all, simplicity is the key!”
Story By: Callie Copeman-Bryant
The Perfect Partners
Ceremony: Lascazères Mairie // Reception: Private Residence &; Lascazères Town Hall // Caterer: Le Coin Gourmand, Marciac // Wedding Cake: Pascal Griffon, Maubourguet // Florist: E-Leclerc, IBOS // Wedding Photographer: Charlotte Bland // Wedding Day Guest Transportation: Gascogne Tourisme Minibus hire // Band: Brian Hull & the funky people, Toulouse // Wedding Dress: Idylia, Pau // Bridal Shoes: LK Bennett // Groom’s Attire: Geoffrey Kilts, Edinburgh