She said yes, my youngest! For my daughter, the perfect wedding venue and celebration had to be here on our land, in our outdoor garden: a woodland wedding. As every princess needs her castle, hers was our home. No fairy godmother could’ve made the bride more gorgeous, no castle could’ve been more regal than “home”, no wedding more fairy-tale like than here on our beautiful land in the South of France.
It all started a good year ago when her boyfriend decided to ask her to marry him with his own made short film: “Prince asks princess to marry him: a fairy tale proposal”. Although she thought we were just going to watch a film, she soon heard too many well known details in the story and ended up being invited outside, where a shiny heart pattern of lights brought her to our garden well, where he waited to propose.
The couple had so many cute and clever ideas; some dreamy, whimsical, and outright magical. The fairy tale-inspired theme with a hint of French outdoor romance was evident in all of the small touches of their wedding decor. They allowed themselves plenty of time to plan their wedding exactly how they wanted it and to do all of those little finishing touches which made it extra special. A home wedding for Belgians and English family and friends, required an organisation effort, but had as an advantage a successful wedding on a much smaller budget.
Their to die for wedding invitations, were created in the form of a passport, a flight ticket, adding a personal touch by hand-making them themselves. Take a peek at their gorgeous booklets:
They crafted their wedding rings out of dearly beloved family jewels, helped by a professional jeweller/artist: white gold for him, yellow gold for her.
The evening before the wedding day nature spoiled us with a heart shaped cloud in the sky:
Signs along the road
placed on straw bales (in old funny Flemish slang) guided the guests in the direction of the area where the ceremony took place.
A wooden pallet revealed the program of the day:
No princess is complete without her beautiful gown. While the guests were invited to go and wait for the big entrée of the bride, the couple sneaked off for a private first moment, to spend a bit of alone time, meeting each other as bride and groom to be.
With her stunning gown and train walking up the isle on Train’s music “Marry me”, she was the princess at her own ball, the excitement and anticipation there in her smile.
They each wrote their own vows and read it to each other as a surprise on the day. Personalised vows really made it so special. Their friends surprise that brought a tear to everybody’s eyes, was their son’s recorded voice talking about their family love, on for them composed piano music playing in the background.
The perfect dress was not found in the first boutique we went too, the assistant didn’t at all advise her of the shape, cut, fabric and colour best suited to her figure and colouring. The second shop and assistant understood finding the perfect dress is something most women have dreamed about since being a little girl.
Their drinks station was set up at the side of our house (non-alcoholic drinks for the first part under the hot sun, alcoholic ones later in the afternoon). The dinner party was held on our terrace (with no seating arrangements) under beautiful white canopies, decorated with grand balloons.
They spend hours preparing their very own table decorations.For fairy tale weddings you can never have too many white flowers or beautiful blooms. Even her wedding bouquet had a plant of our garden in it: “Serpevivum”, as did the table decorations.
Her eldest brother made sure there were some fun games to entertain the guests:
We used local suppliers (baker, florist, cooks, butcher, veggie restaurant) people we knew and that know us and wanted to contribute in their best way. The hairdresser was her best friend and did a wonderful job. Even the cake of their dreams, created by our local baker, with added delicate floral details, fitted the beautiful fairy tale look.
There’s no better location for a dreamy fairy tale evening wedding party than in the forest. The trees draped with fairy lights (led), instantly made the venue look completely magical once the dance party started! Draped from the ceiling of the canopy, twirled around trees, several fairy lights in bottles, straw bales draped with white sheets, it all created a playful yet romantic atmosphere that was just perfect for capturing the colourful and rustic look of the surroundings. Then the first dance on Chris Medina’s “What are words”, followed by a totally unexpected family surprise dance for the couple.
Every bride deserves to feel like a princess on her wedding day. All the guests and family absolutely loved all the romance, tenderness and thought that Veerle and Manu put into every aspect of their fairy tale wedding, they created a balance between elegance and fun.
Now they’ve whisked off into the sunset my daughter and her European prince! Fairy tales do come true, even if the magic lasts for one day only! It truly was a seamless and unforgettable day…
I captured their every moment together in my heart forever!
The last of my 4 kids now married too:
ps: Even the guardian gate dogs were decorated 🙂