CJ and Adrien’s French-Influenced Southern Wedding
When French banker Adrien Barbe moved to the States, he had no idea he would be meeting his future wife in a New York minute. A mutual friend introduced the “cute, charming Parisian boy” to photographer Catherine Isaac. There was a five-year age difference between the couple. But after a first date, they realized that age was only a number and fell in love.
On May 17, 2014, more than 100 guests gathered at the Magnolia Plantation Carriage House in Charleston, South Carolina, to celebrate Adrien and CJ’s nuptials. A Tennessee native, CJ created an elegant celebration that she describes as “Southern charm spiced with French flair.”
In Search of Southern Soil
CJ’s Tennessee roots sparked a quest to find a wedding venue in the South. The pair searched for fun getaway cities for traveling guests. The Magnolia Plantation Carriage House in Charleston immediately struck the couple with its historic, peaceful atmosphere and expansive grounds. The plantation’s lush greenery and vibrant blooms also reminded the bride of a French flower shop.
“It’s really easy to get caught up in all the planning, making sure everything is just perfect,” CJ explains. “Luckily my girlfriends and my sister would remind me there is only one reason for this day, and that’s to marry the love of my life. So if things don’t work out the way I thought they would or if the programs don’t print right, it doesn’t matter. None of that stuff matters because we were getting married.”
The Stationery Suite
The Bridal Bouquet
CJ carried an arrangement of lavender (fresh and dried), astrantia, maidenhair fern, seeded eucalyptus, ranunculus, astilbe, Queen Anne’s lace, jasmine vine, sweet peas, olive branches, explosion grass, viburnum, and spray roses. She wrapped linen fabric from her dressmaker around the base of the bouquet.
CJ’s bridesmaids wore dresses of their choosing in a range of gray hues.
The Bride and Groom
Adrien accessorized his blue suit with a colorful custom bow tie made by the London-based company Beau Bow Ties.
Adrien completed his wedding look with a favorite birthday gift from his bride: squirrel cufflinks. A squirrel lover, Adrien frequently feeds nuts to the critters in Central Park.
CJ added another sentimental—and Southern—touch to her groom’s outfit with a monogrammed handkerchief from Neiman Marcus.
The bride shared a special moment with her sister, mother, and grandmother before the ceremony on the Magnolia Plantation.
To enhance the natural beauty of the overhanging trees that shaded the ceremony, ornamental flower baskets by Branch Design Studio were added to the towering limbs.
Here Comes the Bride
CJ walked down the aisle on her father’s arm to Patty Griffin’s “Oh Heavenly Day.”
Vive Les Mariés
Long live the newlyweds! The French saying adorned glassine envelopes of lavender for guests to toss at the new Mr. and Mrs. Barbe as they recessed from the ceremony.
Wild peacocks and turkeys roaming the historic grounds made a guest appearance at the outdoor ceremony.
Picturesque Wedding Portraits
The newlyweds snuck away during cocktail hour to take wedding portraits around the property. The bride described the idyllic setting as “a magical spot for a wedding.”
When the couple first started dating, friends jokingly referred to Adrien and CJ as “The Frenchie” and the “Tennessee Girl.” The nicknames stuck and became the titles of the newlywed’s signature drinks. Adrien’s drink of choice, “The Frenchie,” represented a French 75, while CJ’s “Tennessee Girl” represented an Old Fashioned.
CJ added a dash of whimsy to the reception with “Charleston is always a good idea” cocktail napkins by For Your Party.
Wedding guests signed an “adventure globe” to suggest future travel destinations for the newlyweds.
Charleston Crêpe Company honored Adrien’s French heritage by creating a three-tiered confection.
The dessert table displayed other one-tiered confections by Duvall Events. The cake flavors included carrot, almond sponge, and chocolate chiffon.
A Squirrel Soiree
The First Dance
CJ and Adrien stayed true to their lives in New York City by sharing their first dance to Frank Sinatra’s “New York New York.”
For the Road
Guests munched on late-night snacks of rocky road and herb Parmesan popcorn.
Guests raised sparklers in honor of CJ and Adrien and bid them adieu.
The newlyweds sped off from the wedding celebration in a Dodge Meadowbrook, courtesy of Low Country Valet.
Photography: Elisabeth Millay
Location: Magnolia Plantation Carriage House
Event Planning: Amanda Lewis of Southern Chic Weddings
Catering: Duvall Events
Flowers: Branch Design Studio
Officiant: Your Charleston Wedding Officiant
Calligraphy: Becky Larimer
Hair: Vanity Salon
Makeup: Carrie LaMarca
Transportation: Low Country Valet