Good morning beautiful, I so hope you've had a lovely restful weekend and are ready to embrace the week ahead. As usual, I've been saving something incredibly special to share with you this morning, as I try to do on every Monday morning – a breathtakingly beautiful wedding to kick start your week with.
Jon and Justine's south of France wedding took place on 15 June 2013 at Chateau de Queille in Saint-Quentin-La-Tour. There is so much I adore about these images – the way Justine looks so utterly at ease in her Dolce Vita mini wedding dress, the relaxed, rustic and rural nature of the venue and backdrop and the way Tom Ravenshear has so perfectly captured the essence of this special day. I love how unfussy and down to earth it was, the communal table at the reception and the fact that Justine prioritised the sound of beautiful music over her wedding dress purchase…
"The style was guided by our desire to create a genuinely relaxed, intimate atmosphere. Having a communal dinner table was important to us for this reason. We wanted to keep it simple and let the beauty of the venue and surrounds speak for themselves. Everyone was involved in the set-up and this made the celebration
even more enjoyable as it was a day that we’d all created together."
Photography Copyright © 2013, Tom Ravenshear
"We met in a cafe in Phnom Penh in 2009 while we were both
travelling solo through South East Asia. I was on my way to meet my sister and
Jon’s travel companion had rushed home on account of a severely infected
toe. We hit it off straight away and went travelling through Cambodia
together, then I followed him back to the UK (I’m originally from
In our first year together Jon proposed twice but I felt it
was too soon. After the second proposal he said 'I’ve done my bit, you
have to ask next time'. A year later, while swimming in Ningaloo Reef,
Western Australia, I asked him to marry me. Two years after that we were
"We wanted somewhere peaceful, warm, slightly remote, in a rural
setting where we could relax and hang out with our friends and family
for the week. Somewhere big enough to house our guests, with an option
We were hoping for somewhere that most guests had not been
before. The region is not particularly touristic, with lots of sleepy
villages, apple orchards and great local food and wine. There are also
lots of opportunities for wild swimming in rivers and gorges which is
what drew us to the area in the first place (after a road-trip last year
from Marseille to Barcelona dictated on the fly by spots picked from
Daniel Start’s book, ‘Wild Swimming France’."
"The chateau is encircled
by a beautiful river, though the water was not quite warm enough to swim
in in early June!) The chateau, itself, is spectacular but in a
wonderfully earthy way.
The grandeur of the building is balanced by the
sensitive and rustic decoration making it at once otherworldly yet
entirely welcoming and comfortable. Exactly what we were looking for."
"All of the boutonnieres, hair pieces and the bouquet were made
on the day by our guests from the wildflowers, leaves and rosemary
collected from the garden. They did such a beautiful job! They also made
the confetti packets from the pages of a vintage book bought locally
and gathered petals. It was a very DIY wedding and everyone contributed
making it such a great team effort."
"I wore Stilettos from Whistles in Covent Garden. I loved them but they did not hold up
very well on the soft lawn! I walked down to the ceremony barefoot on
account of all the steps and me being rubbish in heels. But, in
hindsight, I wish I’d gone barefoot for the ceremony, too. I was so
focussed on not sinking during the readings, it was really distracting!"
"I purchased my dress online from Dolce Vita. The
dress actually wasn’t a big priority for me. I just wanted something
fairly casual and comfortable and not too expensive as I’d committed
most of the dress budget to getting musicians from Paris to play for
"Some of my favourite moments of the day included quiet moments
with my mum walking down to the ceremony, the reading of our vows by our
‘celebrants’ – my sister and Jon’s brother, Jon’s poem over dinner, the
dancing, ending up in the pool at midnight in our clothes!"
"We chose Buddhist vows inspired by Tibetan Lama Thubten Yeshe, and our Mums did a reading each. One was on quantum physics theory of
entanglement by John Santiago and how it relates to life and love. The
other was a medley of extracts from works by Khalil Gibran and Paulo
Jon also read a poem he wrote during dinner."
"Our engagement ring (designed by Jon and inspired by
peppercorns – the local delicacy from the region where we met in
Cambodia) and wedding bands were all made by our dear friend Naoko
Inuzuka who delivered them in person from Melbourne which was incredibly
special for us.
She presented the rings at the ceremony and they were
passed around the circle so that by the time they reached us they had
been held by each of our guests (something we ripped off a friend’s
wedding!). The bands are simple white gold with our initials ‘J&J’
printed on the inside."
"We used Wildflowers, candles, vintage bottles and cutlery sourced
from London antique markets and brocantes in France, rosemary sprigs
form the garden, festoon lights bought online, jam jar lanterns. I
really wanted exposed wood for the dinner table so we used the existing
picnic table in the courtyard and tacked other tables (one that we
purchased from a local brocante the day before) on to this with a small
"The place cards were our wedding favours – customised mismatched vintage spoons, that were hand-printed with our guest’s names on them by Goozeberry Hill, which we placed on their plates."
"The wonderful Gabriel Cazes from Paris and his awesome band entertained us and our guests.
Gabriel played solo acoustic guitar during the ceremony. During dinner,
he sang a song I requested for Jon as a surprise. And after dinner he
and the band rocked our little party til the early hours. And even
tolerated us as we took over their microphones!"
"We made a cake out of stacked cheese rounds bought from the local shops."
"The wonderful Tom Ravenshear was our photographer. We were lucky enough to win a competition run by Oh Comely magazine
for free photography. We could not have found a lovelier photographer
if we tried! He was so calm and helpful, helping set up lighting,
decorate the table, co-ordinate people…just amazing. His wife joined
him and they were such great people to share the day with.
By the time
we said goodbye it was like saying goodbye to old friends! His images
are sensitive and inspired and we are so happy with them."
"We had requested ‘Home’ by Edwarde Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros
(this has meaning for us because of our cross-hemisphere relationship)
and ‘Ho Hey’ by The Lumineers. However, we’d had a few wines by that
stage and didn’t time our entrance very well, appearing during Lou
Reed’s ‘Walk on the Wild Side’, but we just went with it!"
Words of Wedded Wisdom…
"It was pretty chaotic
planning on our part, literally throwing everything together on the day.
In hindsight, it would have been useful to arrive in France at least a
few days before guests arrived to get organised.
Once people arrived,
many we hadn’t seen in over a year from Australia, a lot of things went out
the window as we were so busy catching up! Which was exactly as it
should be and actually – I wouldn’t change a thing! It was such a special time.
I suppose my biggest regret was not finding the fireworks store!"
Such a beautiful, beautiful wedding, and I'm utterly in love with Tom Ravenshear's photography – if you love his work as much as we do, why not drop Tom a line to check his availability for your own wedding (see more of Tom's work on our blog here).
I'd love to know what you like the most about this particular wedding and which images you might be pinning to your Pinterest boards.
With much love,
Photographer – Tom Ravenshear
Venue – Chateau de Queille, Saint-Quentin-La-Tour, South West France
Brides Dress – Dress by Dolce Vita
Veil/Headpiece – wild flowers in her hair
Brides shoes – stilettos from Whistles in Covent Garden
Brides Accessories – old hoop earrings
Grooms Suit – The Kooples + blue suede shoes from Hackett
Flowers – Wild flowers picked from the fields on the day
Cake – tower of local French cheeses
Entertainment – Gabriel Cazes
Catering – spit-roast organised by Gayda Winery
Personalised Silverwear (favours) – Goozeberry Hill