Amanda Wakeley Bridal Elegance for a Poolside, French Villa Wedding…

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Hi everyone, I hope this email finds you well, and that you are feeling rested and refreshed after your weekend 🙂  I’m really excited about the wedding I’m about to share with you.  Regular readers may recall that a couple of weeks back, I featured the most chic and elegant London Elopement, where the Bride wore Valentino.  It was the most beautifully intimate of wedding days (no guests) and London Wedding and Lifestyle Photographer, Dominique Bader recorded the whole day on camera in the most perfect way possible.  Photographer Dominique is someone I’ve had the very good fortune of becoming acquainted with over the past few weeks, and so it is with great pleasure {and huge privilege} this morning, that I am sharing Dominique’s own wedding with you.

I do love it when the Wedding Photographer has her turn to become the Bride!

Dominique and Samuel tied the knot on 25 July 2009 and the stunning backdrop of Dominique’s family villa in St. Paul de Vence in the South of France played venue for the day.

So full of grace, elegance and understated glamour is this wonderful day, that I found myself smiling for pretty much all of the time I spent preparing this feature.  It is being able to share such wonderful and inspirational photographs with you that make my role as a Wedding Blogger so very rewarding.

This beautifully styled wedding was planned to perfect by Marjoire at Aava Communication and Bride  Dominique wore an exquisite gown by Amanda Wakeley, that had effortless elegance written all over it…

“I saw my dress online and immediately fell in love with it. I made an appointment at Amanda Wakeley and when I entered the shop I asked to try it on straight away. It was the first dress I tried on and I knew it was for me! I had never seen such a unique dress.

The straps and beaded belt were so unusual and that is what drew me to it straight away…”

Love My Dress Wedding Blog – Photography Copyright (c) 2011, Anna Rosell

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“We chose to get married at my family’s villa in the South of France, because of the stunning surroundings and we thought it would be truly lovely to get married in our own home.

I wanted something relaxed, natural and effortless. I wanted the style of the day to really reflect that this was a destination wedding taking place in garden and by a pool. So everything was quite rustic and natural.

We had both the ceremony and reception at home. In France, as long as you have been legally married at the town hall you can have your ceremony anywhere…”

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“My wedding ring was from Tiffany & Co. and I chose it because I wanted something very simple and delicate.

Samuel opted to have a ring I had given him years ago as a birthday present made into his wedding ring. I had had it engraved and he had been wearing it on his middle finger. So we simply took it to back to the jewellers and they made it fit on his ring finger. He said he couldn’t bare to replace it with a new ring and so he insisted on having it as his wedding ring. It actually works really well and it’s far more sentimental for us…”


“I knew I wanted flats and a beach type sandal to go with the garden wedding. So Emmy Custom Made Wedding Shoes came up with a custom design just for me and I loved them!”



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Dominique wore a bracelet from Dinny Hall  – a gift from Samuel…

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“My makeup artist was Laura Jennings. She worked at a salon in London that I had been visiting for years and I couldn’t imagine anyone else doing my make up. She did an amazing job and I never felt so wonderful.

She is fantastic at what she does. Laura now runs her own beauty therapist business called The Beauty Chambers in La Manga, Spain…”

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Dominique styled her elegant up-do with some pretty hair pins, also from Emmy

“The pins were made to match my shoes and were just perfect for the updo I had….”

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“Our flowers were supplied by Roni Fleurs and they couldn’t have done a more fantastic job. We wanted white and green because it fitted in with the colours of our garden. We also wanted a very fresh and natural feel.

Roni came up with so many great ideas such as the Medici vases lining the drive, the hanging pomanders and the floating arrangements in the pool. It was also amazing to get married under a floral arch. We couldn’t have been happier with the work they did…”


Dominique’s Bridesmaids wore Bridesmaids wore midnight blue dresses by Dessy.

“The bridesmaids chose their own dresses and in the end, three of them chose the same dress and my cousin chose a slightly different style which was just gorgeous…”



Samuel wore a custom fit suit by Marc Wallace…

“The shirt was custom made from Mark Marengo and the ivory tie was from Marc Wallace also…”

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As guests arrived to witness the ceremony, they were greeted at the entrance with hanging pomanders of various sizes, which were made up of white roses…


“Once inside, the grounds of the villa were lined on each side with extra large Medici vases (approx 5 feet high) on pedestals, with floral arrangements comprising roses, white hydrangeas, white lilies, white anemone and green leaves/foliage…”

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“We had totems with floral arrangements on either side of the villa’s front door (which is where I made my entrance from before walking down the aisle). These consisted of white roses, stephanotis and white hydrangeas…”


“I walked down the aisle to an instrumental version of Loreena McKennitt’s Dante’s Prayer. We chose it simply because the acoustics were beautiful and it fit perfectly with our intimate ceremony. For our recessional we walked back up the aisle to Queen’s You’re my Best Friend…”

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“We were married under a floral arch which was decorated with bunches of white hydrangeas, ivy and white roses…”

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“Samuel and I We met through a mutual friend that I (bride) was at university with in London. However, Samuel was living in West Yorkshire and it was only through a weekend trip to London to visit this mutual friend that I met Samuel. We hit it off straight away and he asked if he could come down the following weekend to visit me. After this Samuel visited me in London every weekend (without exception) for 2 years until he finally moved to London and we moved in together.

Samuel proposed to me on April 16, 2008 on a beach in Phuket, Thailand where we were having a holiday. We went for a walk on the beach and as the sun was setting, he got down on one knee and asked me. I was so shocked that my first reaction was “are you serious” followed quickly by a “YES!”



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” Our wedding cake was supplied by our caterers, Hediard. It was brought out during the evening party and was lit up with sparklers. It was a French fraisier cake made of cream, sponge and strawberries and was just delicious…”



“For our first dance track, we chose Just the Way You Are by Billy Joel which the lead singer of the band sang beautifully. We chose it because the lyrics represent exactly how we feel about each other…”


Words of Wedded Wisdom…

“Have the day you want and not the day you think everyone expects you to have. We didn’t pay attention to too many formalities as we wanted the day to really reflect us both. It was a day of family and friends and celebrating how much we couldn’t wait to be married to each other. Also, take your time walking down the aisle; it only happens once and is one of the most special moments in your life. I will never forget the feeling of walking down the aisle with my father and looking over at Samuel waiting for me. I still well up thinking about it!”


♥   ♥   ♥

Brides dress – Amanda Wakeley
Brides shoes – Emmy
Brides accessories – Emmy hair pins + Earrings from Debenhams + bracelet from Dinny Hall
Grooms – Marc Wallace suit + white tie, Mark Marengo shirt
Bridesmaids dresses – Dessy
Venue – Dominique’s family’s villa, South of France
PHotographer – Anna Rosell
Wedding Planner – Marjoire at Aava Communication
Flowers – Roni Fleurs
Cake –   Hediard
Entertainment – G Star
Rings – Tiffany & Co
Hair and make-up Artist – Laura Jennings, The Beauty Chambers, La Manga, Spain

♥   ♥   ♥

Just how lovely??

Dominique, you shine in front of the camera as much as you do behind it, what a beauty! 🙂 I know it’s coming on two years since your nuptials, but huge congratulations to you and Samuel. I have so enjoyed pulling together this lovely real wedding feature to share with my readers and simply haven’t been able to stop staring at your wedding photographs.

Thank you so much for connecting me with the very talented Photographer Anna Rosell and huge thanks to Anna Rosell herself for allowing these beautiful images to be featured on Love My Dress.

“Our photographer was Anna Rosell We brought Anna over from the UK beceause we couldn’t find someone in France that we loved. Anna did an amazing job of capturing all the beauty of our wedding and was so calming and wonderful on the day. We have a gorgeous album that we will treasure forever!”

You can view Dominique Bader wedding photography on the Love My Dress Wedding Blog here.  You can also see more weddings in France on Love My Dress here.

Are any of you planning a wedding in France? Leave a comment on this beautiful wedding below and share the plans you have for your own big days 🙂

See more from Anna Rossell on Love My Dress here.

Much love,

Annabel xXx


Annabel View all Annabel's articles

Founder of Love My Dress. Passionate Podcaster and Editor. Annabel lives in rural North Yorkshire with her husband and business partner Philip, their two daughters and menagerie of furry hounds. She loves photography, meditation, walking, being outdoors and star gazing. She is fierce when it comes to championing talent within the wedding industry and when she's not working on Love My Dress, she supports her husband Philip in the running of the family's sustainable flower farm and floral design business, Moonwind Flowers. In 2013, she became a published author.

44 thoughts on “Amanda Wakeley Bridal Elegance for a Poolside, French Villa Wedding…

  1. Hi girls! Thank you for your comments. This is a gorgeous wedding indeed. I love how Dominique pulls off an incredibly elegant look, yet keeps it all very understated and effortless – not like she’d need to even try to look beautiful mind!

  2. Thanks Annabel for featuring our wedding, it was the most special day of our lives and it’s great to see it up here! Our photographer Anna Rosell did a wonderful job and we love our photos!

  3. What a gorgeous day, loving the elegant simplicity of it all, but what a lucky couple – the villa looks so beautiful! I can imagine it was the most perfect day x

  4. Annabel, it looks just stunning. Dominique and Samuel is the best couple and had the most amazing wedding day filled with perfect details. Thank you.

  5. What a beautiful bride – I especially love her hair with those flowers/stars in. I can’t imagine her photographer was terribly stretched to get such lovely photos with such a wonderful cast and setting!

  6. Oh my gosh this has to be one of my favourite blogged weddings, I love the setting and the decorations, and the flowers, I dream of having flowers like that on my wedding day. Fantastic inspiration.

  7. What a stunning Bride and wedding, I adore her dress so much – and those sparkly flip flops! Such natural, effortless beauty!

  8. I am in love with everything about this wedding and having seen this bride in her flip flips have made a decision I’m going to wear some too for my summer wedding! xx

  9. Surely this girl is too pretty to be a wedding photographer?! =) If I were a client I’d take one look at her and be all, “No way, she’s way too gorgeous, she’ll steal the show!” Love her dress and those flower balls… to die for!

  10. A massive thank you to all of you have commented on our wedding. Although it was nearly two years ago it still feels like yesterday and all your wonderful comments have brought it all back! A big thank you to Anna as well for capturing all of the memories 🙂

  11. Wow, I really love these!
    The whole day looked like so wonderfully elegant and beautiful. It suited your villa setting perfectly.
    The photography is amazing too!

  12. Wow… what an incredibly beautiful wedding, in one of my favourite places in the world. Gorgeous photography and a gorgeous bride! The shots of the pool in the evening, swoooon! Please can I come and stay? 😉

  13. This is just the most beautiful wedding I’ve seen in ages (and the most beautiful bride). If I could do it all again this would be my dream wedding.

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