6 Jun 2012

A French Wedding… in my dreams

how pretty to have ‘vintage’ for the children in a bridal party

I often ponder about what type of wedding I would choose if I were getting married today… sometimes I even think I would love to be married again so that I could plan a great party, wear a fabulous dress and enjoy the celebration with friends and family all over again… The truth is our wedding was just as I wanted and I would not change a thing… I couldn’t reproduce that moment in time… even if I tried… For me, the 27th November, 1982 will always remain a perfect day… Surrounded by my family and best friends, I married the man I love and we went blazing into an unknown future… that was one potent cocktail.

and this embroidered beauty worn with ballerina slippers

I have always known what I like and don’t like… one of those characteristics that you are born with… I am not sure if it is a good or a bad thing… but it is how I am… My wedding was no different… I had dreamed of an all white wedding… dress, flowers, decor… and that is what we had. I suppose it’s easy when you know your own mind… deliberation is exhausting and too much choice is aways the death knell to a great experience. I knew that I wanted to be married at home, in the house I grew up in…with a reception in the garden… and that’s how it was… All white and all at home… My mother tells me I have always done things ‘my way’ and my wedding day was no different.

perfect blooms… bouquet worthy

If I were planning a wedding today I would naturally want to host it in my own home…  May, in southern France would be the perfect month… A ceremony under the rose bower and a sit down lunch in the garden… followed by a dinner dance in the evening. I like to think that my ideas have progressed in 30 years and that I would decorate differently from my own wedding… but I wouldn’t… My first love, white, is always my preference for traditional weddings.

posies of garden roses

and for fragrance

As a rose lover I think that would be my flower of choice for the table settings and for the inside of our home… Loose and natural arrangements of our white icebergs would be in every room… and small posies of our scented creamy coloured roses would provide the fragrance. The tables I would cover in French quilts… white embossed… and the china… in my dreams Astier de Villatte or a Provencal equivalent of the same feel… old embroidered linen napkins tied with lace… and cut crystal vintage wine and champagne glasses… Chairs… French garden chairs… the decorative iron type with a pretty little cushion added for comfort… A traditional wedding but with a relaxed feel… and a French touch.

linen and lace

vintage crystal and glasses…

What to wear if I were a modern bride? That is the one thing I would do differently… as much as I loved my gown back then… it was the era of all things ‘meringue’ and Princess Diana… Today I would choose a more simple shape, something more figure flattering… how I took for granted my slender waist and slim legs back in my early 20’s… What was I thinking? That’s the advice I give to my girls… to embrace their looks and their beauty now, every day… be happy and be content with themselves because it’s pretty fabulous… The benefits of hindsight talking here.

The biggest challenge in planning my French wedding would be coercing mother nature… hoping that the roses bloomed magically at the right moment… that the weather performed… but for now, I can rest easy because it is all in my imagination.

What I would like to say about a wedding, any wedding, is that while we strive to create this unforgettable day… this symphony of setting and romance… all that really matters are the two people making their commitment… I am a great believer in commitment… in committing… in standing up, moving forwards and having the courage to follow your convictions. How it happens and where it happens doesn’t really matter… whether it’s legally binding or a verbal declaration between two people in love… being together, being united is what matters… Having each other’s best interests at heart in all weathers… that is a true definition of marriage.

Please visit Marsha at Splenderosa for a link to all of my friends posting about weddings today… reminiscences, sentimentality and beauty abounds… be prepared to be misty eyed… I am… xv



VA In Your Inbox

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Carla Coulson

If you were to plan a modern wedding it would be nothing less than styling perfection just like everything you touch I am envisioning as I type!! I agree with your advice to your girls we took it all for granted.
Carla xx

Heather in Arles

Oh my, I spoke to soon because who is misty-eyed now? And I fear I will be all day at this rate! I especially appreciate the last paragraph–that kind of belief in commitment applies to much in life…you are proof of it. Also, I reread with great pleasure your previous post. I remember being so overwhelmed by it the first time that I didn’t dare leave a comment and now I do dare and say that David Terry’s post-script is absolutely spot on as well…

Francine gardner

I am also very traditional and love an all white wedding…this post really made me reminisce on my wedding day and the meaning of marriage, a bond to love and treasure.

Annie @ Plumsiena

I wish mothers of the bride would read your second last paragraph! We can almost predict the marriages that will not last when we witness how folks plan the wedding.

The focus should be the marriage itself!


Well put Vicki! We’ve made 48 years and weathered many storms – but commitment is so important and here we are now, so much older, hopefully wiser, and enjoying our life together more than ever!!!!!



Reading your post today brought back so many wonderful memories. What a truly beautiful day all those years ago ( not to mention a whole lot of fun ).
J xx

Sandi Kelly

although I do not always post a comment, your blog is one of my first visits every morning, it guarantees a little flight of fancy, my morning orange juice for the mojo, thanks for always being consistent in the surprise and content, hugs

Amy Kortuem

Gorgeous ideas! I’m surrounded by weddings in my day job (an advertising copywriter for a printing company specializing in wedding invitations) and my self-employment (I play my harp for lots of weddings) and I do engage in the fantasy of “what would my next wedding be like” once in a while. There are so many choices and new ideas all the time that it’s overwhelming, but I love the idea of a wedding being one moment in time – capturing the emotion and the style and the look of being in love RIGHT THEN.

It’s also given me ideas of what NOT to have at a wedding!

Garden, Home and Party

I love daydreams and your account of what a wedding might be today is wonderful. An all white wedding sounds dreamy…I cracked up at your description of your dress. My dress was very much the trend, sort of a flower child looking silk thing but the day was memorable and I’ve been blissfully happy for 39 years, that’s what really matters, right?


Oh I’d love to have seen your wedding. I’m sure you planned it to perfection. Here in the south, little girls are still often dressed in the hand sewn gowns similar to the ones you have shown as flower girls at weddings. A beautiful post as always dear V.
PS Still no sheet but I”m ever hopeful.

Teresa @ Splendid Sass

This is the most beautiful and heartfelt post! Just absolutely stunning and I love your ideas on marriage.
These dresses remind me so much of my daughter’s senior dress that was French hand sewn with yards and yards of french lace.
I can’t imagine a more perfect wedding than the one you describe here between you and your husband. Such thought and meaning.
Thank you for sharing.


Weddings today seem so much more about trends and themes, but I really admire weddings that are classically composed and dedicated to what the bride and groom envision. I would love to see your wedding photo!

Yvonne @ StoneGable

Vicki, Being sure of what you like is a quality to be admired! It would be fun to do it all over again, wouldn’t it! My only daughter was married a couple of years ago and we had such a blast planning her wedding! There are so many great and personal choices now! A bride can create a wedding that reflect who they are! Charming images and lovey post!

Tish Jett

Beautiful, Vicki, beautiful in every way. Yes, it is all about commitment the true definition of love that lasts.




Beautiful dresses, flowers, and I love the vintage crystal. We were married the same year and are heading to France to celebrate our anniversary soon! Getting married and facing the future together.. a potent cocktail indeed but one worth having :)


Denie Moulun-Pasek

What you propose sounds just right.

Can you tell me what brocante you were attending in your pictures? This summer, I want to venture out of my region (Var) to visit brocantes. Was it St-Remy de Provence or Isle sur la Sorgue?

Jeanne McKay Hartmann

Such lovely thoughts on weddings, Vicki. Both your real day in the past and the one you’ve created in your imagination sound beautiful. I’m glad you had such a wonderful wedding, but even more glad that decades later your commitment to each other is still going strong. Here’s to many more years for you!

Devine Decorating

I modeled my wedding dress design after one I saw in Avignon, France as a college student. It had a full tea-length skirt… A faux pas my (ex) mother-in-law informed me, but I did it anyway!

Peggy Braswell

What a wonderful statement you have made about weddings, VA + when I close my eyes I can image your wedding + Such good advise for everyone. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com


Perfect timing for me. As a florist with my daughter getting married outside this weekend… in a winery. Thanks for sharing.


Oh Vicki,
I LOVE your take on our BIO post this month and, the images that have accompanied your words are beautiful. We were married in 1979 and also at home.
….and, if you ever do choose to renew your vows, can you find a tiny space for me because it sounds like it will be the most wonderful day, not to be missed !!!! haha. XXXX


Always so spot on in style and spirit!! My beautiful wedding day is now a blur but 25 years and four children later my husband and I are still together, loving, laughing and living life as we promised each other we would!


What lovely pieces of brocante, old laces, white roses, vintage style dresses… It sounds like your wedding was a wonderful stylish happy affair. I agree. It is the long term committment, and having each others best interest at heart which elevated a beautiful wedding day to a long happy life together.



A lovely post. You must be looking forward so much to the time when your own children are married. Can imagine how beautiful their weddings will be, especially if they’re at Mas de Berard.

We’ll be celebrating our 43rd anniversary on our current trip (in St Remy now) but in Paris for the anniversary. At the time my husband was a postgrad student so it was very simple. Because family and best friends were all in Australia, I planned to wear a long floaty divided skirt I’d seen at an affordable price. However, the best man told us he’d ordered a dress kilt in my husband’s clan tartan. So we decided a more traditional white dress might avoid all comments on who would wear the pants. It was a beautiful wedding at Great St Marys, Cambridge, and at my husband’s college.

When our son was married some years ago he kept up the family tradition by wearing my husband’s kilt. Most of the male guests and the wedddng party wore kilts too. It was by the lake in the grounds of the Australian National Gallery. The bridal party were led by two Highland pipers. Very beautiful.


How lovely this is. You will be in ecstasy planning one of your DD’s weddings. The idea of a French garden wedding as you have described here is heavenly. I floated along the descriptions as if they were an event I was anticipating in the near future!


Roses and crystal and lace… sounds perfection Vicki!… and the venue would be the icing on the cake!
Thirty years! Congratulations!
A-M xx


Such beautiful photos, and I love your sentiments toward the end … I agree completely with your definition of what marriage is. Your post caught my eye especially because I am just beginning to plan my own wedding which will take place in September of next year! You gave me some beautiful inspiration :)

Shiree Segerstrom

Oh my gosh, those white roses are gorgeous. For some reason I have an abundance of white ones this week. The Diana is white with pink tips, the climber is pure white, and another unidentified one has slightly ivory undertones like half and half. How can one not wax poetic about the rose. Shiree’


ahhh, Vicki. Everything you do is sublime. Real and imagined. You are always such an inspiration to me. Your writings are always more than they appear and I leave feeling wiser, and my soul fed. Thank you for your talent, and your unwavering friendship. xoxo isa


Oh Oh Oh My Vicki!
I believe I would get married all over again right here on this page! Love love love it all! The purity and soft crispness of it all is so beautiful!!


J’ai beaucoup aimé ces petites robes de poupées à Villeneuve,c’est mon amie Patricia la fée des pompons qui en a achetées 3 pour son prochain stand,je n’en n’avais jamais vu d’aussi belles.

Bonne journée



Absolutely beautiful – love the roses, do you know their name? Please?


Those are glorious images. And you tell a very vivid story – the young woman who knew her mind, the mother counseling daughters. I feel I know you – lovely post.


Wow Vicki, having seeeing pics of your beautiful home I can just begin to imagine a wedding there…simply perfect! I am so very late in commenting… later than any bride has ever been..lol, but things are crazy over here. It has been a suberb afternoon visitng all the bridal posts and I am so inspired.



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