There are some moments that stay with you. I remember exactly where I was when Gemma first enquired for her Chateau Gassies wedding. It was Summer 2020. I’d managed to travel despite the pandemic. Restrictions had loosened. I was in Switzerland at my uncle’s house when I got her first email. By that evening they had booked me, paid the deposit and everything. Without even the need for a phone call. The most flattering bookings are always the ones that feel like a love story. I often compare booking clients to dating. When someone comes in straight away, and falls for me and my work. And then books me pretty much instantly. It’s like love at first sight!
Shooting this wedding did feel like a pivotal point in my career. The entire experience will undoubtedly stay with me. One huge goal achieved despite everything working against us. The stars aligned and against all odds, a destination wedding in the middle of a pandemic actually happened! It was a nerve wracking, and slightly stressful, few months holding on to the hope that this trip would even happen. With constantly fluctuating travel restrictions. And waiting to be offered the covid vaccination in time. Finding a second shooter, Marcus, just days before flying out.
A destination wedding is so much more than the one day! Most of your guests will make a weekend out of it, at the very least! And you most definitely will. So why not capture that exciting anticipation the day BEFORE your wedding. Mike + Gemma decided to do just that. We strolled through the streets of Bordeaux in search of photogenic spots. After all, the location is what drew you to your venue! Might as well ‘en profiter’ (that is, make the most of it).
My destination wedding package now includes an optional pre-wedding shoot. A relaxed hour slot where we can discover the local surroundings. And become comfortable in front of the camera.
It was incredibly hot. 35 degrees to be precise! But Gemma dazzled in an ‘extra’ (her words) gold evening dress. Doesn’t she just ooze class? Your pre-wedding shoot can be whatever vibe you choose. Chic city? Relaxed beach? It’s entirely up to you! It should reflect you as a couple, as well as highlight the assets of your location.
The chateau on its own is an incredible backdrop. But the details elevated the venues aesthetic even further. My favourite part of the ceremony set-up is the simple backdrop. A copper frame, with elegant draping and asymmetrical floral design. The stunning flower arrangements are the handiwork of Pauline from Atelier Septembre. I also loved the nod to the location using name place holders. Bordeaux is known for its wine. Hence why using the corks is a lovely touch.
Lisa Lister lead a deeply personalised ceremony tailored to Mike + Gemma’s love story. There were tears, but they were of joy and also lots of laughter. One of Gemma’s bridesmaids was unable to make the journey. For the best possible reason though, she’s pregnant! And she watched the entire ceremony on a video call. You may spot the phone poking down the aisle. Besides that, it was unplugged.
Gemma + Mike brought Essex and London to Bordeaux! Or at least the party lifestyle they enjoy back home was transported to their destination wedding. The reception kicked off with a champagne tower and escalated from there. By the end of the speeches, all the guests (yes, grandma included) were waving napkins in the air. Shortly after dinner, dancing to Luke Burr‘s live renditions. And by 2am… well let’s just say an ambulance was also called.
All in all, it was an unforgettable day. After 18 months of pandemic doom looming over us. We needed this. Every guest took the opportunity to let loose. How unbelievable! The sheer number of guests who made it to Bordeaux. Who were finally allowed to congregate, and hug, and dance the night away! Thank you Gemma + Mike for including me at your Chateau Gassies wedding. I’m thrilled to say I’ll be coming back!
Photographer: Jade Touron Photography
Videographer: Jensen Films
Venue: Chateau Gassies
Planner: Pure Expressions
Florist: Atelier Septembre
Entertainment: Luke Burrs
Celebrant: Lisa Lister Celebrant
Make Up: Skin23
Dress: Essence of Australia
Second Shooter: Marcus Rice Photography
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