Claire & Sid

Provence, France

May 20-22, 2022


Claire & Sid's original wedding plans slated Watercolor, Florida as the destination. Having spent many summers there as a child, Watercolor held significant meaning for the bride and her family. But with the after-effects of Covid and visa complications in the mix, fate had other plans. With the rest of the world at their fingertips, Claire + Sid ultimately fell in love with Provence for its slow living philosophy, unique experiences for their guests and inimitable beauty. During the excitement + hubbub of the holiday season, the date was set: May 21st, 2022 at Bastide de Gordes. 

With only 5 months to plan from scratch, the design brief was simple: "A relaxed Provence garden wedding with the warmth, merriment and playfulness of a classic rom-com." Fitting for a bride who considers Nancy Meyers (and her kitchens in particular) the ultimate muse. Claire + Sid's vision for a comfortable, convenient and surprise-filled guest experience was a singular focus from the get-go. Naturally, we made it our mission to orchestrate high-level experiences + story-forward design moments across a 3 day itinerary - no easy feat for any wedding, but especially when you have guests flying in from all over the globe! 

A soft mix of Alice blues with accents of beau blue + cornflower shades, juxtaposed by the natural greenery of the surroundings and subtle sage laurel touches




Day 3 - Vineyard Tour & Wine Tasting 

Day 1 - Welcome Party in Gordes Village Square

Day 2 - Wedding Day at Bastide de Gordes

Laidback Provencal Summer Mood

Potted Herbs in Clay Vessels for the Italian Trattoria Welcome

Lavender, muscari, Lily of the Valley!!!

Cozy courtyards, printed linens, gorgeous valley views

Petite floral details EVERYWHERE


this way

x marks the {wedding} spot!


The Welcome Gift


A festive weekend deserves a festive welcome gift, no? Claire & Sid wanted to keep the goodies authentic to the region, without feeling gauche (we KNEW they were our people!) We also sought to tie in elements of their story through creative gifting moments + subtle themes they'd see in the design-filled events to come. In addition to a trifold Welcome Letter + watercolor weekend itinerary from the fabulous WhoDrew, take a peek at some of the gift inclusions we dreamed up for these babes. 

We also wanted to welcome guests with some of the locals' go-to snacks: Socca and calissons. The Bastide prepared the former for us, and we portioned them out into gusseted food-safe bags with a grosgrain ribbon + scalloped tag.

Socca is a traditionally a sort of pancake made from chickpea flour, but we spun the idea on its head by turning them into bite-sized chips!

Meanwhile, we scooped up the calissons (a provençal candy dating back to the 15th c) from Confiserie du Roy René in Aix. These zesty treats are essentially a soft blend of finely crushed almonds and candied fruits (melons, orange peels), honey and orange blossom. And they're oh. so. good.

We threw in a couple liters of Acqua Panna (still and sparkling, bien sûr) and called it a day in the snack department!  

Our first stop in the Welcome Bag Assembly was the pick-up of the bags themselves. We scored 50 of these authentic woven treasures with long leather straps at the expansive weekday market in Aix-en-Provence. Much more cost effective than securing in the States. It always pays to go straight to the source!

The real crown jewel of this lavender-scented Welcome Gift, however, was the custom block print kit to honor C&S' story.

A series of block print stamps sourced from Delhi sat in individual compartments next to an adjoining section for the travel-sized paint tube from Sennelier in one of the wedding hues. We also included a section for a plastic painting tray, a duo of sponges, and stack of plant-made paper the size of business cards that guests could practice on and/or stamp for any souvenirs they bring to their loved ones back home.

We collabed with a custom packaging company for the floral printed kit itself and LMC Paper Co. for the made-to-measure compartment inserts.

"As we planned our celebration in Provence, we couldn’t help but take inspiration from our individual heritages and our wedding destination. Floral prints found their way into our designs early on, and it didn’t take long for us to realize that a marriage of hand-painted French faïence traditions and ancient Indian block printing practices would be the perfect way to honor where we came from and where we are going. It only felt fitting to share a piece of this symbolism with you!"

The Grand Entrance

Heralding in an atmosphere of playfulness x whimsy, we conjured up the idea of a vintage car fleet to bring the couple and their parents to the most scenic overlook in Gordes for some pre-dinner portraits and a sensational sunset ride through the valley.

We planned the journey down to the decible, outfitting each pastel buggy with a custom playlist feat. the golden oldies of Italy, hooking up the chauffeurs with attire to suit the laidback Tuscan vibe and mapping out the prettiest route for them to take (perfectly timed so the couple would have a grand surprise entrance after their guests had several minutes to arrive, settle in and grab a fresh pour of aperol spritz from the many circulating trays.

Okay, okay... we hand-picked the cars from the transportation company's fleet of many to ensure they matched the wedding color palette too. It's all in the details!

welcome dinner


BUONA SERA by Dean Martin

IL MONDO by Jimmy Fontana

TU VUO FÀ L'AMERICANO by Renato Carosene

AMACORD by Nina Rota & Carlo Savina


Parents of the Bride's Ride

Chauffeur attire direction



Parents of the Groom's Ride


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The Pasta Cart & Sfoglina

Stationed at the venue entrance, this hand-painted pasta cart featuring deconstructed elements from the wedding motif created an engaging guest experience from the start.

Flourishing with fresh greenery + blue + white blooms, the cart doubled as a seating chart and favor display. Take a peek at the signage below, framed by a scalloped wicker frame from AERIN, that cheekily encouraged guests to "find their name, grab their treat, sip on some spritz and say ciao to their seat!"

As for the secret sauce? We placed a mix of pesto spreads at each guest seat, alternating by flavor. Each was bedecked with a calligraphed olivewood spreader sourced from the local market in L'isle Sur La Sorgue.

welcome dinner

The Table Designs

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Across from the Pasta Cart, we had a Sfoglina (aka "Pasta Granny") all the way from Puglia that hand-rolled pasta live for guests as an interactive entertainment experience nodding to the couple's favorite restaurant in Chicago, Tortello. 

The cart itself drew inspiration from the decked out food stalls you see throughout Italy, but namely in the South. Because the Chefs from both Tortello and Bastide de Pierres harked from Puglia, we thought it only fitting to include a whimsical display like this! Beauty and function at the forefront, as always.

Olivewood spreader place cards (pre-calligraphy)

We worked with WhoDrew to create custom pasta packaging that could be calligraphed with each guest's name + table number.  She knocked it out of the park!

Our mockup of the pasta cart motif for the in-house painter with the production crew.

The Table Design

The existing floorplan of Bastide de Pierres was perfectly suited to indoor and outdoor seating, so we played into the eclectic energy with mix + match everything! Tables in round, square and rectangular form filled the intimate nooks + crannies of the quintessentially Italian space, set for a family style dinner. Our challenge was to create a layered tablescape with limited real estate and without making the place settings or the room itself feel too crowded. 

Another big obstacle was rentals - while Provence has a number of fabulous rental companies, the options for unique tabletop pieces + linens are scarce. Combine that with the micro-lead time for this project, and we were looking at white china or bust. Ever up for a challenge, we scoured the rental  companies based in Northern Italy, Spain and even the UK for some supremely unstuffy alternatives that would suit our couple's style and budget. What we couldn't find readily available, we relied on our Trade network and top secret Etsy go-to's for. Long story short, we love moving mountains to create a distinguished and gracious guest experience that you + your guests will never forget.

welcome dinner

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The Table Design

The custom linens, napkins and placemats included a woven sky blue linen from Schumacher with an embroidered white stripe motif, a printed sage linen from Fermoie featuring minuscule white diamonds (plus fringed tasseling in some cases!) and a hemstitched ecru cloth linen that felt soft as a lamb. 

welcome dinner


To ensure the room felt dynamic without being unbalanced, we meticulously planned diverse combos of these fabrics for each table. This created a wonderful illusion of layering, even if not every table featured all 3 fabrics. We went through dozens of iterations to arrive at a polished mix of full-length and half-length tablecloths, placemats and napkins that would allow us to waste no yardage, prioritize the VIP tables and overall give our clients the best bang for their buck.

We had to put our Interior Designer hats on BIG TIME as we collaborated with showroom managers and textile makers for these made-to-measure pieces that would make a lasting impact.

A sampling of the fabrics that didn't quite make the cut. Reasons ranged from material costs, fabric weight and texture to in-person color, suitability with the dinnerware selects and overall vibe with the venue setting itself.

The Table Design

We spruced up each of the dinner tables with one of these charmers, designed in collaboration with WhoDrew to feature a playful Italian take on elements from the couple's wedding motif. The panels were backed with the same stripe print guests witnessed in the invitation suite to boot - we love a good moment of continuity!

welcome dinner

The family style feast was a masterclass in Italian cuisine, with stuffed zucchini flowers, pillowy burrata, traditional grissini, four cheese pizza and melt-in-your-mouth tiramisu. 


Unfolding accordion style, these hand-painted menus had a license to kill... at the wow factor!

The servers got a piece of the design pie too, don't you fret. We dressed up the team of fluent-in-English servers in natural linen aprons, while the bartenders got snazzy in handmade leather versions.

It was imperative that the delivery of each course fit the theme, so we sourced these darling wooden trays with a rustic chic Italian feel to keep the tone! 


The Table Design

We like to think C&'S' wedding allowed us to put another feather in our cap when it came to color composition. When brainstorming the floral + candle vibe with Akiko from Floraison, we knew we wanted to be conscious of the colors on each table, since each would have their own unique linen combination, pattern scale and color ratio. The cream and terra cotta walls grounded the suite of mix + match tables, and we ultimately came up with specific decor formulas for each of the 16 tables. 

We asked Akiko to cluster "like with like" for the majority of the arrangements in order to evoke that freshly plucked from nature feeling this laidback Welcome Party called for. Blue muscari, dusky fritillaria, white hyacinth and bunches of green herbs like parsley were in full supply, among other stock flowers and bell-shaped blooms.

We sourced specialty vessels with an emphasis on scalloped stone, fluted ceramic, glazed earthenware and vintage found pieces. A couple of the Provencal water jugs and footed cachepots were even sourced from the bric-a-brac filled market of L'isle Sur La Sorgue and our favorite pottery artisan in Mairie de Caunes-Minervois!

welcome dinner


The Lounges

Claire & Sid wanted the weekend to kick-off with a smash, so we made sure the first impressions were out-of-this-world! There's nothing quite like seeing jaws drop when guests first arrive to an event space, and we still get chills reminiscing over the reactions to this one!

As most of the guests were staying in this Provencal village, and the welcome dinner venue was a restaurant in the main village square, we were commissioned to completely transform the space so that it would be unrecognizable from anything guests might have experienced before.

We started by removing most of the dining tables  along the patio, replacing them with a series of pattern-forward lounge vignettes with rattan, terra cotta and scallops for days.

Finished off with the pasta cart and sfoglina, a canopy of greenery and a vintage sideboard cum water station, the space felt entirely approachable and dazzling.

welcome dinner

Concept to Reality


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Fresh pours of Aperol Spritz welcomed each guest as they stepped through the iron gate entry, rampant with greenery, florals and potted trees. A full hour of Italian aperitivo would give them the opportunity to catch-up with long lost friends, meet new ones and gush about their European exploits so far that week. We made sure that aperitivo staples like taralli, breadsticks and olives were circulating on the reg (and rosy-cheeked glasses of spritz too).

The Roaming Band

welcome dinner

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You can't end a night in {dream} Italy without gelato, tiramisu or espresso... so we had all three! Homemade strawberry, pisachio, salted honey and vanilla flavors filled the night sky with their pretty pastel hues, while chocolate-dusted ladyfingers were served tableside for anyone who wanted a scoop - straight from the baking dish!

While espressos were enjoyed standing by the bar in classic Italy fashion, we'd be lying if we said the fun didn't continue long after the Gypsy Queens wrapped. In fact, we're pretty sure it was this very ensemble that led guests through the village square and towards an unofficial after party at one of the town's most famous terrace restaurants (which boasts a fab live DJ every night!) 

We imagined guests would be dancing in the street by the end of the night... we weren't wrong!

You heard them before you saw them. A saxophonist + drummer parading through the village streets as they played an iconic intro to "Pretty Woman," The Gypsy Queens always know how to make an entrance.

They were easily the biggest hit of the night as this 5-piece roaming band from Nice charmed each table with upbeat serenades that took no less than 10 minutes to have everyone pausing on the dessert course so they could dance.

Infinite supply of fanciful cocktail napkins? Check.

Listen to a sample!


Geranium pratense

Fritillaria meleagris

Digitalis parvilfolia

Smokey mauve delphinium

Rose ‘Goldfinch’

Nepeta, forget-me-not, ornithagalum

drooping star-of-Bethlehem

Nigella papillosa ‘African Bride’


Californian poppy

Ipheion / spring starflower


Astrantia / masterwort


Clematis ‘Samaritan Jo’

Chinese meadow-rue

Muscari / grape hyacinth

Scabiosa columbaria

Fritillaria michailovskyi

The Floral Direction

We're taking a brief intermission from the event day design details to shine the spotlight on... all things botany! Akiko, the owner of Floraison Studio in Paris, is an international treasure, and her performance throughout the weekend was a tour de force as always. 

We spent many an aperitivo meeting at The Hoxton Paris to hash out the nitty gritty from sorting through candle options by height, width, color and texture to selecting the perfect floral vessels for each event, considering everything from material needs to wind concerns.

  We brought the below floral library to Akiko during our initial meetings, to give a visual reference of the varieties, colors, shapes and general vibe of the florals for the weekend. These images come from the absolute masterpiece that is Aesme Studio's Botanical Series (go follow her on Insta now if you aren't already!) Alex is a joy to work with everytime we get the chance, and we find ourselves stalking her freshly plucked flower profiles morning, noon and night. 


Getting Ready

It was a gorgeous May day, despite the forecasts of rain! Claire & her girls enjoyed a come-as-you-please breakfast spread as the hair + makeup rotation schedule began. They got ready in Maison de Constance, the private villa adjacent to the Bastide and the setting where Cocktail Hour would take place hours later.

We always want to make the wedding morning as special as can be, and so we draped an olive green block print linen over the table in the garden, itself beneath an iron pergola flourishing with greenery.

Croissants, tea sandwiches, granola, jams + jellies, fruit from the neighboring villages of Provence... it was a feast enjoyed from the comfort of spacious rattan arm chairs and floral print pajamas.


Guest Arrival

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For the wedding day, Claire chose a romantic A-line gown with a draped neckline, which she paired with heirloom jewelry and an embellished cathedral length veil. One of the most special pieces Claire carried on the day was a lace handkerchief that her grandmother Betty gifted to her in 1997, after returning from a trip to Belgium. Claire was extremely close to her grandmother, who passed away years ago. So it was a very special moment to wrap this heirloom around her Lily of the Valley bouquet, while reading a letter Betty had penned over 25 years ago offering Claire advice for her marriage.

Our Bridesmaid Breakfast Mood

A darling First Look - just the two of them. Claire had just slipped into her floral fil coupe gown from Lela Rose. We had it freshly pressed for her only hours before! 

Potential portrait locations we scoped out!

Guest Arrival

We never turn down an opportunity to conceptualize guest fashion moods for the wedding website, and today's brief was semi-formal garden party. As you can see from the images above, the guests absolutely nailed it! Madame Wintour would be proud. 

Wedding day

The ceremony took place at Bastide de Gordes, on an intimate terrace overlooking the sun-kissed valley below. Guests were greeted with honeysuckle garnished lemonade, infused with lavender and served atop woven scalloped trays, while a string trio serenaded them with classical music. 

The servers wore white blouses with poet sleeves, golden-flax maxi skirts and pearlescent ear vines that practically made them the fairy godmothers of a provençal garden... particularly when armed with trays of refreshing lavender lemonade too!  

The sun was pretty unforgiving as the ceremony time drew closer. So this is one particular example of how padding the timeline so you can be flexible with the official start is always a good idea. We had eyes on the sun positioning + cloud coverage, and were actively communicating with the string trio, photographers, f&b team and venue coordinators to get this timing just right, with guest comfort top of mind. Guests enjoyed having a bit more time to mingle, sip on welcome drinks and take some photos with the picturesque view backdropping the ceremony setup, and we ended up inviting guests to be seated/cueing the first processional song about 15 minutes after the invitation time, as heavenly clouds began to fill the sky. Not only did we want to give stragglers a chance to arrive, we wanted to be mindful of the couple's top priorities - guest comfort and beautiful photos. Our clients' ultimate mission is perpetually at the core of what we do (before, during and after each event). 

Ralph's. One of the bride's favorite interiors in all the world. We drew inspiration from their courtyard seating for the original pre-ceremony lounge vignettes.

White paddle fans offered a welcome respite from the sun's harsh light - it was an exceptionally hot day in a usually temperate month! We attached sweet little name tags to the fans for the VIPs, and placed them at their reserved seats so they'd be waiting once they processed down the aisle.

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Swatches of the custom cushion + tablecloth linens we initially pitched to combat the venue's existing restaurant furniture in black + gold... definitely not the vibe we were going for! Because we were working with an uber short setup + strike time for this space, we weren't allowed to remove any of the furniture, so we suggested draping the tables with textiles more suited to the wedding design and swapping out the chairs with the iron garden ones pictured here. Ultimately, we were able to negotiate with the venue on temporarily removing all the black + gold furniture and replacing them with a handful of the wicker lounge vignettes from the main bastide - much more cost effective in the end!

The ceremony

Claire + Sid tasked Floraison Paris with transforming the terrace into a lush garden with floral pathways that meandered through the circular seating arrangement. Sid, his groomsmen and the parents walked out to a romantic string version of the Icelandic song, Hoppípolla, while Claire entered with her father to a dramatic instrumental chorus of "Yellow". The service was officiated by Claire's brother, Kevin, with readings from her sister-in-law, niece + nephew and one of Sid's childhood friends. 

wedding day


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We love a good ceremony in the round, not only for its uniqueness but for its symbolism most of all. Enveloped on all sides by their closest friends + family, the round ceremony setup spoke to Claire & Sid's  love for each other having no beginning and no end.

As afternoon set in, a poetic string trio set the scene...



YELLOW by Coldplay

GOD ONLY KNOWS by The Beach Boys

When dreaming up the ceremony entrances, we're always thinking about how we can make each processional dynamic and impactful. For C&S, we had the parents, groom and groomsmen enter from a gorgeous side entry, backdropped by the main bastide, so that the bride and her bridesmaids could have the grand entrance down ancient stone steps. 

We thought about the length of each song, the sun positioning and the pre-ceremony "hiding spots" to get it just right. And we meticulously timed each individual's entrance down to the second. "Officiant at 38 seconds, Groom at 51 seconds..." 

Shop for specialty bouquet + bout ribbons and trimming with us at Samuel & Sons in Paris! 

It also helped us combat a pretty awkward terrace shape - we'll call it a win-win-win! 

Call us silly, but this is how we make sure the songs never feel like they're cut short and the VIPs feel like they're having a true moment in the spotlight. Cinematic moments are our bread + butter!

We time each reveal with the ebb + flow of a song, which felt most evident in Claire's entrance. The music faded into a brief pause as she took a step into the sun. Guests gasped. Sid exhaled with an ear-to-ear grin. And the music picked up at the most climactic moment of Coldplay's Yellow as she and her father descended the grand stairs towards the terrace + epic valley view.

tastes & tipples

The service was followed by a Cocktail Hour in the multi-tiered gardens of Maison de Constance - just steps away. A jazz trio from Jazz Around Midnight entertained guests, while scalloped blue quartzite trays circulated with locally-inspired treats like gravlax salmon blinis with fresh cream, comté cheese gougères and green cheese + goat cheese velouté. The most popular place to be, however, was the potato chips bar which featured Cape Cod Chips + Magic Masala Chips (the couple's favorites) snuck over from the US and India via checked luggage.

wedding day

We took our cues for the Cocktail Hour menu design from Claire & Sid's most nostalgic memories of home and favorite gastronomic experiences around the world, as well as local delicacies rooted in (no surprise here) cheese. We went through a number of iterations alongside the Chef to arrive at a comprehensive flavor profile that felt balanced and exciting. We thought long + hard about an appropriate ratio of hot to cold canapés, heavy to light, fresh to dense. Once that was determined, we dreamed up innovative ways for each hors d'oeuvre to be presented. (We don't like to play favorites, but these scalloped soapstone trays might be our pride + joy!)

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The specialty cocktails were named after the bar that C&S shared their first date: Bangers & Lace. "The Banger" was effectively ranch water with tequila, lime juice, coconut water, topo chico and a cilantro salt rim. And "The Lace" was  a botanical take on a French 75 - gin, lemon and elderflower liqueur, garnished with an edible floral petal for good measure!

We honored Claire's late grandmother, Betty, with a floral bedecked refreshments table, since she was known for her unceasing hospitality and hosting skills. Floral-infused ice cubes, rosemary + lime flavored water, fluted glassware inspired by the shapes of petals... the cherry on top was the positioning beneath an ivy-canopied pergola. The very spot the gals had breakfast that morning!

Live chicken satay show-cooking took place in one of the lower garden quadrants

A dedicated "Chip Man" was staged here, dishing out the above chip + dip combos in sustainable bamboo bento boxes with custom parchment paper featuring one of the wedding motifs

Hover over each image for the name of the dish

cocktail Hour

wedding day

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A cascade of tiered gardens set the stage for Claire & Sid's summer-in-Provence Cocktail Hour. We played up moments of snug with low cocktail tables fringed with wicker arm chairs, leaf-canopied lounges dotting the perimeters, pliant bamboo deck chairs beside the glistening pool and built-in stone benches gussied up with plump linen cushions.

Even so, the space was just begging for moments of whimsy! And we happily obliged... Crafting a makeshift badminton net out of vintage lace from the 18th arrondissement in Paris, we strung up the keepsake fabric between two of the trees next to the badminton-themed Escort Card display so that guests could enjoy an activity during Cocktail Hour or the Dance Party, should they want to sneak back outside.

The escort cards were actually badminton birdies affixed with hand-painted tags surrounding cheeky signage that said "Let's cause a racquet!" 

A jazz trio from Paris courted the attention of guests with their snazzy repertoire of Davis, Coltrane, Brubeck, Parker, Gillespie and Monk. 

Ever up for an engaging guest transition, we surprised guests with a "Second Line" moment to Sam Cooke's You Send Me that led them to the adjacent dinner space. The saxophonist began it with a dramatic solo and was joined by a previously-hidden guitarist before they began strolling towards the bastide's lower garden terrace, with Claire & Sid in the lead.


Guests will always follow the couple, so get creative with your transitions! The flow feels entirely seamless if guests feel like they're getting to experience an event as it builds alongside the guests of honor. Whether it's an upbeat swing dance with your parents at the Welcome Dinner to get guests on their feet or a grand curtain drop reveal of a dancing tent, always think about how you can level up a moment to make it engaging + fun.   

We created custom table linens for the 60' long table using one of Schumacher's gorgeous blue + white stripe fabrics. Accompanying the crisp summer linen + cane back chairs were petal-shaped place mats, embroidered napkins, white speckled tumblers and mixed vintage glassware from Maison Margaux. The pièce de resistance was a toss up between the hand-painted menus "in the round" from WhoDrew which doubled as place cards or the VIPs' custom plates featuring original floral artwork from a renowned faïence artist in Moustiers Saint Marie. The plates featured dainty blue muscari, which was a prominent floral variety used throughout the weekend. We encouraged C&S to take these bespoke plates home as keepsakes so they could use again them for dinner parties in the future.

From a technical perspective, one of the key reasons we opted for cordless lamps in lieu of overhead lighting was that we didn't want to obstruct the beauty of the natural view with metal or wood rigging. It's so often done in this space, but we're never ones for conformity! As this particular perch was practically the crème de la crème of Provence views, we knew we could come up with a clever alternative that maintained the romantic ambiance and allowed guests to see their plates once the sun had set mid-dinner.

We were also particularly conscious of where the bride ` groom would sit, since not all backdrops are created equal! We meticulously measured out the 60' table's start point based on the couple sitting towards the middle, backdropped by an open valley view as opposed to a series of olive trees lining the walls. This ensured they had dreamy candid shots as their nearest + dearest gave a handful of speeches during dinner.

The Table Design

wedding day

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