I’m so excited about the new episode of my Life as a foodie today – note here that I skipped “in Chicago”, it’s all about France this time – as we’ll be talking about my wedding!
The wedding countdown has started – 4 days to go now. It has never felt so close and the excitement is building up. It’s funny that I’m feeling this way although I have been legally married to David for over a year already. At least I’m not worried about saying “Oui” to the love of my life again (but I still feel some butterflies in my stomach again)! I also understand those who prefer a small intimate wedding as we did last year, but one thing is sure: organizing a huge party for your wedding puts you into an entirely different perspective.
For the last few months, we have basically become project managers for our own wedding as we had to plan and think about everything, every last detail. Good news: it’s a lot of work but it’s all about fun. I know you are curious so I’m happy to share with you today 10 things you need to know about the wedding:
1. The wedding venue is in Tours, France.
We came all the way from Chicago to get married in France, and more precisely in my hometown, Tours. If you haven’t heard about it before, Tours is a medium-sized town located by the Loire river, about two hours driving south of Paris. I grew up here and feel at home when I’m here even though I lived in 5 different cities and 3 countries since I left Tours.
The wedding venue is a 18th c. tithe barn tax collectors would use to collect and store taxes levied on salt. Very French, with large wooden beams on the ceiling, wooden flooring, and a nice green garden outside for the cocktail. We hope for nice weather!
Summer in Touraine.
2. Wedding theme: Midsummer and lots of flowers!
We get married on the day of Midsummer (June 24th), the most important tradition in Sweden centered on the summer solstice and rivaling with Christmas with its festive spirit. Because our legal marriage took place in Sweden last year and as we lived 6 and 7 years in there, we naturally came up with the idea of getting married in France on Midsummer.
The tradition of Midsummer is probably the most authentic one I have ever seen. During the three-day weekend (from Thursday afternoon to Sunday night), most people flee the cities and head for the countryside or the archipelago, ready to start the festivities for a few days often times in their family summer home, charming wooden homes. There, life is back to basic necessities but for food (smoked salmon, gravlax, herring, strawberry layer cakes with cream) and drinks (snaps, beer, etc.). The celebrations take place around a huge maypole around which kids dance “Små grodorna” (little frogs), each of them wearing a flower wreath on their heads.
Midsummer tradition, Gotland 2010.
We center our wedding in France around this tradition of Midsummer, taking advantage of both cultures (I’m French, David half French and half Swedish), and among others, flowers will take an important place for us. Wild flowers are the ones we cherish the most as we are searching for nature and simplicity: they will be in my wedding bouquet and David’s matching buttonhole, there and there at the cocktail, and on the tables too. There will be hints of Midsummer at almost every moment of the wedding (it’s not all about flowers) but I can’t tell you more about it right now…
3. We’ve got a special edible gift for our guests
Both David and I are true foodies, and being a food blogger myself, food matters a lot to us. While everyone is thinking about amuse-bouche for the cocktail, the menu and the wedding dessert, we decided to add our little foodie twist for our guests themselves.
Traditionally in France, we place on the table a small purse of dragées (sugar covered almond candies) for each guest. My opinion about dragées is that it’s boring. Most of the time we go back home with our little beggar’s purse, stash it on a shelve or in a drawer, and forget about it for years before throwing it away. Instead, I wanted something different for our guests, a small fresh edible treat you really want to nibble on as soon as you see it! I’m very proud that I elaborated this special recipe exclusively for the occasion; I hope everyone likes it. Good news, the recipe will be on the blog on Tuesday next week (June 27th), stay tuned!
My Ispahan StyleRaspberry, Lychee, and Rose Pavlovas, inspiration from a wedding dessert.
4. The wedding dress is 100% handmade and 100% French
My wedding dress will be unique and I’m so excited about it! It all happened last year when at my cousin’s wedding, I told my aunt, a professional dressmaker, that I had always dreamt she would design my wedding dress. I said that as a joke or an old fantasy, thinking she would be too busy to accept anyway. But she took it very seriously, felt emotional about it, and a few days later she told me: “I thought about it, I will do it!”.
Just so you know: my aunt lives in France and I live in Chicago. Not the easiest challenge ever but we pulled it off! I designed my own wedding dress, based upon a dress I had tried in Chicago and loved, and together we worked on researching the right fabric and designing the dress itself. I’m extremely happy that we chose 100% French fabric, and I can tell you already that the dress is made of silk and lace only. I keep the rest as a surprise, but you can check below my Pinterest board where I found some inspiration.
5. Vouvray is the new Champagne
Champagne is overrated. At least according to me. While abroad, there is nothing best than Champagne, in France we usually drink a local sparkling wine instead of a proper Champagne, which is mostly served in Champagne and its surroundings.
In my region, Vouvray is one of the sparking wines we cherish the most, and it’s also my favorite sparkling wine probably because its rich flavors are reminiscent of the many special occasions I got to drink it in the past. And so Vouvray will be served at our wedding, can’t wait to see how our foreign guests will enjoy it! In the meantime, stay tuned for a Vouvray-based cocktail recipe which will be published on the blog on Friday, June 23th, the day before the wedding.
Summer drink with fresh berries
6. Our photographer is a blogger friend!
A few years ago, I organized a food blog event in Paris, and met the amazing photographer, Marine, from Mlle Coton. We kept in touch and I’m really happy to count her as our official photographer on Saturday. It’s important to feel close to the photographer, as he/she is our best partner on the wedding day, the one that will make the day count before/after.
7. Our guests come from all over the world!
Our wedding will be cosmopolitan or won’t be. Given the fact that David and I have lived in 7 different countries so far, we of course struck new friendships in different places. We expect no less than 19 different nationalities on Saturday, coming from 7 different countries.
English will be our number 1 language together with French, but you’ll be hearing some Swedish, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, German, and maybe some Croatian and Finnish for the lesser known languages. I can’t wait to witness this huge melting pot!
My wedding bouquet last year + a small French pastry with a Swedish twist from Fosch.
8. Wedding brunch: the party must go on!
In France, the wedding often lasts for two days, the first day being of course the wedding day, while the day after is more about having an informal brunch/lunch together. There is no dress code, people come as they are and we take time to relax and spend some time with our relatives and friends, especially when they come from far away, which is the case for us.
Each time I have been to a wedding, I have always enjoyed the day after even more. Too bad I can’t wear my dress two days in a row!
9. Honeymoon and fight against cancer
The wedding, and after what? We agreed we didn’t want any material gifts, for personal and logistical reasons. Instead we accept money gifts, that we will be using for two different purposes: we will donate 50% for research to fight against cancer. I recently lost my godfather to cancer and would have loved to have him with us at the wedding. Everyone knows someone battling with cancer. The least we can do is contribute to research.
We will probably use the other part for our honeymoon, although we still have no idea where to go. One thing is sure, it will not be straight after the wedding. So if you have any dream destination to suggest, please give us your best tips.
Midsummer night at 3am in Stockholm countryside.
10. Follow us with #delanddavid2017
For once, we will probably be far away from all social media on our wedding day, focusing on our guests exclusively. However, we created the hashtag #delanddavid2017 so that you can follow us during this special day on Instagram mostly. For the rest, you will need to wait a little bit longer as I will probably publish the article about the wedding with some photos of this special day in the beginning of July.
There are of course many other things I’d love to tell you, but I need to keep them hush hush until the wedding, so stay tuned for more.