Me & My Wedding: A Family Day In France
Me & My Wedding: A Family Day In France

Me & My Wedding: A Family Day In France

From the proposal to the cake, the flowers to the dress, we love hearing what goes into making someone's big day their own. And if you're after some inspiration, look no further – this is where we shine a spotlight on some of the most stylish weddings out there. For Danielle and Hedi, an eco-conscious celebration with friends and family in France was always the plan…
Photography: BERTIE WATSON

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The Beginning

Hedi and I met about six years ago at an event when we were both working in the wellness industry, but we didn’t really keep it touch beyond following each other on Instagram. Then, in 2019, Hedi messaged me, and we started talking and going for coffee. We’d only been together about six months when the pandemic hit and we decided to move to France, where Hedi is from. We holed up in his grandmother’s house which was empty. Luckily, our relationship went from strength to strength – though marriage was something we’d probably only talked about twice before Hedi decided to propose.

The Engagement

Hedi proposed in August 2021. It caught me a bit off guard because we still weren’t sure which direction the world was moving in, but it was very romantic. Living near a lake, we decided to take a picnic there to enjoy the sunset. Suddenly, he got down on one knee and I couldn’t believe it. Of course, I said yes.

The Ring

Hedi sourced a solitaire-style diamond and asked his mother’s friend – who works in the luxury jewellery world – to help him with the rose gold band and the fit. In the end, he went with a classic Van Cleef & Arpels-style design, and I couldn’t be happier with it.

The Venue

Neither of us wanted a long engagement, but because of the pandemic we set a wedding date for summer 2022 hoping everything would have settled down by then. It certainly influenced our decision to hold the wedding at Hedi’s family home near Lyon, which had become so special to us. Hedi’s parents had spent many years restoring the property and we have spent many happy times there over the years. We wanted the wedding to have an intimate garden party vibe, and I was excited to welcome a lot of my friends there – many of whom hadn’t been able to visit during the pandemic. Hedi’s older brother had also got married there, so it wasn’t a daunting idea to plan another wedding at the house. 

The Ceremony

Our civil ceremony took place at the town hall that morning, with just our closest friends and family as witnesses. The ceremony at Hedi’s parents’ house was led by Hedi’s brother and my sister, and we were lucky to capture the last of the September sunshine in the garden. 

The Flowers & Décor

Our décor was relatively minimal. I wanted to highlight the beauty of the garden as it already was, so we used lots of tall potted eucalyptus plants, along with dried plants in vintage vases and pots – plus my sister, who is a ceramicist, made lots of the vessels. Our florist was Amarylice and they knew I wanted to use wild flowers that were growing naturally in the garden on the tables and in the bouquets. A lot of the flowers and plants were planted in the garden after the wedding, too, and others were taken away to be used again, which felt really good. 

The Photographer

Our photographer was Bertie Watson. I think the images are incredible. We also put lots of disposable cameras on our tables for our guests to use throughout the night – first during dinner and then later on the dance floor. The more candid pictures people were able to capture on film are some of my favourites.

The Dress

For our civil ceremony, I wore a dress by Grace Lane, which was co-designed with Zoe Jervoise Graham at P.S. Styling using deadstock fabrics and off-cuts from a second-hand wedding dress I’d bought on eBay. I accessorised the look with a birdcage veil by Ann-Marie Faulkner via The Fall, and a recycled gold-plated bangle and earrings, which were made bespoke by YSSO. I also wore some simple sling-backs by Reformation.

My main wedding dress was a bespoke design by British designer Savannah Miller. The team sourced a beautiful deadstock pearl ivory duchess satin – I was very fortunate given it was the last of this fabric in existence. I loved how conscious the dress was – even the boning was recycled, and they even went as far as embroidering the date of our wedding in blue thread on the inside. As for the accessories, I had my grandmother’s pearls, La Grotta pearl drop earrings and vintage gold earrings. Ann-Marie Faulkner made my veil, and I wore Jimmy Choo pearl mules. My final evening look came from eBay for less than £40 – I just asked my mum’s friend to give it a slight alteration.

What’s wonderful is that my ceremony dress is now available as part of the Savannah Miller Bridal collection – or you can do something similar with them as a bespoke option. My civil dress has been recreated by P.S. Bridal and Grace Lane, and is available in the UK for rental

The Bridal Party

My bridesmaids wore Reformation. Like lots of brides these days, I really wanted to find something that didn’t feel too ‘bridal’ and for the girls to wear dresses they loved and would wear more than once. Hedi wore a bespoke tuxedo made by his friend Shaun Brennan, with vintage shoes and his dad’s Cartier watch from the 1970s.

The Food & Drink

Our caterer was Eatcetera, who are based locally in Lyon. Hiring a local supplier was important to us and we loved that they used all organic and in-season ingredients. We even had to write the menu by hand just a few days beforehand because everything was dependent on what they had at the time. We did large hot-plate BBQ dishes and fresh white fish with roasted new potatoes doused in herbs and vinaigrette, and roasted vegetables. Our cake was made locally by independent patisserie chef Ô Gourmandises de Mary – it was a natural sponge with middle and top layers of Swiss meringue buttercream and fresh berries inside. 

The Entertainment

We had a band in the evening for dancing – The Velvet Gloves, who are also Lyon-based. We loved that their taste is quite international, and their swing-folk vibe was perfect for our wedding. We also hired a friend of a friend to DJ the after party. 

Advice For Other Couples

I realise now that hiring a wedding planner to co-ordinate everything on the day would have come in really useful. Because we got married at home it didn’t feel necessary in the run-up, but given the time again I would definitely look into that. I’d also tell future brides to prepare for the wedding to dominate your life for a while. It’s not worth getting too stressed about – make sure you take regular breaks from wedmin – but it is something that takes up a lot of time. Always try to enjoy it – it’s over so quickly. 

Follow @DCopperman on Instagram. 

All images courtesy of Danielle Copperman & Bertie Watson.

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