A Rustic French Wedding at a Vineyard Château
It was Blake and Edouard's shared sense of humor that first got them talking—on a dating app that Blake's little sister had convinced her to download. On their first date—an afternoon salsa-dancing class—they figured out that not only were they both getting their Masters' degrees at New York University, they also lived a block apart in the West Village. About a year into dating, Edouard proposed with the help of a little book he'd made that retold their love story—in a humorous way, of course.
A year later, nearly 200 of the couple's closest friends and family members traveled from eleven different countries to Edouard's native Bordeaux, France, for their wedding. The celebration took place at Château La Louvière, a vineyard owned by one of Edouard's dear family friends. In a local church in Pessac Léognan, Blake and Edouard combined Serbian Orthodox traditions with Catholicism for their ceremony; the service included a Bishop, two priests, and chanters. The following cocktail hour and reception were held mostly outside, much to the enjoyment of their guests (the little ones, especially!). With the help of a transparent tent and a five-piece band called Spyglass, the festivities lasted until 4 a.m.
As for the highlight of the evening? Not ones to forego enthusiasm, Blake and Edouard quickly posed for photographs and ran into the tent where all their guests awaited them. As their guests stood on their chairs and spun their napkins around per French tradition, Blake and Edouard danced around the tables in an improvised moment of pure joy.
Red Ribbon and Watercolors
Jill Ryder from Shindig Bespoke helped Blake and Edouard create their invitation suite in the unique color combination of cobalt blue, yellow, red, and pink. Ryder painted French flowers along the edges of the invites and made separate cards for the ceremony, reception, and brunch.
Blake works in the wine business and Edouard has family in the industry as well, so the Château La Louvière made the perfect wedding venue. "Our family friends have known the owners of Château La Louvière for years. They graciously opened up their property to us. It's located about 40 minutes from downtown Bordeaux," she says.
Timeless and Comfortable
It took trying on close to 50 dresses for Blake to find a wedding dress that she truly loved. An ivory-hued, silk crepe gown with a V-neck halter and organza petals trailing down the back of the train, the wedding dress was an online find; Blake tracked it down after seeing it on Instagram. When she tried it on at Vera Wang, she knew that it was exactly what she had been searching for.
Something Old, Something New
The couple worked with Blake's grandmother, a Los Angeles jewelry designer, to design her engagement and wedding rings (which were comprised of diamonds and sapphires).
Another Something Old
Blake's veil, which reached all the way to the ground and worked perfectly with the train of her gown, was Edouard's great-grandmother's; she wore the garment when she was married in the early 1900s.
Blake's grandmother and great-grandmother designed these four rings for her and her sisters, which they all wore on the big day.
Blake and Edouard each have three siblings—yet another coincidence in their long list of funny match-ups—which made for a large wedding party. Blake decided that her sisters, friends, and cousins should be able to pick their own dresses, so she gave them a color palette (white and cream) to work with. The result? A mix of materials, textures, and tones that created a mismatched vibe—the dresses fit right into the vineyard backdrop and rustic luxury theme of the celebration.
With the help of the local flower shop, La Bicyclette, Blake and Edouard created a floral palette that was fresh and locally sourced. White, light blue, and purple flowers made up Blake's bouquet, while the blooms at the ceremony were all white. Thistle served as an accent flower throughout.
The Groom and All His Men
Edouard's suit was custom-made in Bordeaux, as was his shirt; his tie was Hermes. His dashing groomsmen wore navy suits and blue ties.
Dad's Signature Move
Ahead of the ceremony, Blake's dad flashed his signature move: the thumb's up.
Flower Girl Euro-Style
A Blended Ceremony
It was important to Blake and Edouard to honor both of their religions during the ceremony. Blake's mother's side of the family have very strong ties to Serbia and are Serbian Orthodox, while Edouard was raised Catholic. By combining both traditions, Blake and Edouard made their service unique and celebrated both of their upbringings.
The couple paused for an iconic kiss right outside the church doors while onlookers showered in them in rose petals.
The Cocktail Hour
"Cocktail hour, which was more like two, is something we will never forget," says the bride. "It took place on the front lawn of Chateâu La Louvière with food stations on the perimeter. Guests loved the foie gras burgers, oysters, salmon blini stations, and the passed hors d'oeuvres." The couple's band, Spyglass, played acoustic tunes throughout the interlude; the many children invited to the wedding enjoyed the music and the atmosphere, and spent the majority of the cocktail hour "running around and playing."
Decoration Meets Necessity
Escort cards, which were made of vintage wine advertisements, were hung on a floral-adorned metallic net on the front yard; guests searched for the accompanying tabletop image as the found their seats at dinner.
Candles, Florals, and Feasts
By using a mix of round and long tables and off-white linen tablecloths, Blake and Edouard managed to make their formal affair feel homey and inviting. They served lobster ravioli and cucumber gazpacho as starters and offered a main course of mushroom risotto or veal two ways.
Wine Box Menus
As a nod to the wedding's locale, Edouard's brother-in-law printed the dinner menus onto slabs of wood normally used for wine boxes.
Dancing Until Dawn
The couple's "giant dance party," as Blake calls their reception, kicked off with quite the impressive performance. To bring their first date full circle, Blake and Edouard enlisted their friends to help them choreograph a salsa routine, which was a hit with guests.
The couple's celebration began at 4 p.m. and didn't let up until 4 a.m. the following morning—12 full hours of total joy.
Location, Château La Louvière
Event planning, Loli Events
Flowers, La Bicyclette
Stationery, Shindig Bespoke; Minted
Rentals, Options, Vaisselle Vintage
Bride's gown, Vera Wang
Hair, Claire Jones
Makeup, Beauty Bike
Flower girl dresses, Cyrillus