“I wanted an outdoor celebration that mixed French and British traditions. In France you have to have a civil ceremony at the town hall first-it’s the only legally recognized way to marry. But because it is so short and involves reams of paperwork (not very romantic!) lots of couples choose to have a second ‘symbolic’ ceremony. We held ours in the garden of our reception venue in the Grasse region-the perfume capital of France-among the olive trees.
The symbolic ceremony was in both languages, and my friend Serena, a professional translator, interpreted my father’s speech into French.
For me, the flowers were one of the most important elements of the day, so I made them the focal point of the decor. We used an antique dressing table as the altar, which we covered in blooms to make it look like a French flower market, and filled perfume bottles with coloured water.
Bright colours were a must. I wore pink lipstick to match the soles of my shoes and my nails were painted a coral colour.
My dresses were a bargain. I had three vintage-inspired gowns; a lace dress for the civil ceremony, a long one for the symbolic ceremony, and a short gown for the evening.
We had an artist live-paint our wedding for a unique souvenir. She drew throughout the day using charcoal and watercolours, and we took a photo of the painting to use as thank-you cards.
My top tip: If you’re having a destination wedding, consider hiring a planner who knows the area. If I were not one myself, I don’t know how I’d have managed.”