Margaux + Fuad’s French Wedding

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I have this bucket list. Things I want to do, people I want to meet, places I want to go. After listening to them for over 15 years, it would be a dream come true to hear the Libera Boys Choir sing live. Preferably in an ethereal setting like a cathedral. Someday, I’d like to eat lobster in Maine. I’d love to visit my grandmother in Romania. In the past year, I’ve been able to check many things off my bucket list. Sang karaoke. Biked the Golden Gate Bridge. And fit into this perfect little black Allsaints dress I’ve had hanging in my closet forever.

Eight years ago, I became a full-time wedding photographer, and since then I’d hoped the day would come that I would shoot a wedding in France. It’s my favorite place in the world. I’ve loved France and everything French (the language, the fashion, the music) since I was a little girl. That dream of mine came true this past July when I was asked to photograph Margaux and Fuad’s wedding in the Normandy region of France, just outside of Paris.

I need to stop for a moment and just take this in….

13 years ago, Alin and I honeymooned in Paris for 3 weeks. It was the best trip of my life. I wanted he and I to experience Paris again because I knew it would feel as if it were the very first time for us because were different people. We’d been married 13 years, raised four kids, and moved across country twice. Been through many ups and many downs. We were totally different. We both had a better appreciation for life and the things we got to enjoy while living it. So we stayed in Paris for ten days. I spent more time observing people and less time photographing like I usually did on our trips. The more I did that, the more I got to really BE in these moments, and have a real part in them. If I’d experienced Paris mostly through my viewfinder, I would have never noticed some of the beautiful scenes I got to see, or struck up conversations with strangers; like the old French guy at the cafe who told us stories of what life was like on that street corner in the 70’s.

I am grateful that Margaux and Fuad trusted me enough to fly me all the way from to America to shoot their beautiful French countryside wedding. Photographing this day for them and getting to know their families and friends was an honor and an experience I’ll never forget.

With that said, I have to take the time to thank Maria Hedengren who came all the way from Finland to photograph this wedding alongside me. She is truly one of the best photographers I’ve worked with. Her heart and soul shine through her work. She manages to turn a chaotic scene into a quiet and whimsical photographic moment. A few of Maria’s images are displayed below, and so beautifully compliment the wedding story. Maria, thank you, once again for all you’ve done!

Also, I’m so grateful I got to spend quality time with my friend Richard Israel around Paris before and after the wedding. When I found out that he and Tim were doing video for Margaux & Fuad, I could not have been happier. Richard is someone whose photographic I respect and it was an honor to work together with him on this wedding.

Without further ado, this is Margaux and Fuad’s French countryside wedding at La Grange de Bourgoult. (You can read more of their story at the end of this post, and see all of the wonderful vendors who helped make this day happen.)

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The Bride & Groom’s Love Story
Margaux and Fuad met at a bar in Chicago during Snowmageddon 2011 when they’d shut the city down for the first time in 30 years. They talked about cooking and Bieber, and afterwards shared a cab ride during which Margaux spoke French and Fuad sang a Bieber song. Not remembering each others’ names, they unknowingly saved the other’s number in their phones under the name ” Bull and Bear” which was the name of the bar they initially met at. Two days later, Margaux texted Fuad and after some back and forth, both realized they had a lot in common…

Both grew up abroad- Margaux in France and Fuad in Saudi Arabia. Both have foreign fathers with strange accents and American mothers with none. Both had connections to Florida- Fuad went to FSU for undergrad and Margaux lived there 7 years as a child. Both had connections to Georgia- Fuad attended boarding school there, and Margaux went to Emory for college. Both had connections to France- Fuad vacationed there almost every summer growing up in Saudi and Margaux is from there, obviously.

The proposal: Fuad proposed to Margaux in New Orleans which holds a special place in their heart since it’s an easy weekend getaway for them from Houston (where they live now). The French History in New Orleans has always interested Margaux and Fuad’s parents were actually married there over 30 years ago! On the observation deck of a nice hotel, Fuad got down on one knee and proposed to Margaux. They celebrated and headed back to the hotel where Margaux proceeded to tend to Fuad who came down with the Flu and Bronchitis. Margaux couldn’t wait to call her best friend, but she quickly found out that Katrina and her husband were already waiting for her at their hotel!

For the wedding day, all Margaux wanted was a beautiful place to get married, great food, and good music. She always pictured kids running around freely and adults enjoying conversation with one another. Margaux spent almost every summer of her childhood at her Grandparents’ house in Normandy, not far from where the wedding venue was. She remembers the cozy little house on the Seine River with a sprawling yard, full of flowers, hiding spots, bugs to catch, trees to climb, and berries to eat. She wanted to have that same feeling, reminiscent of all her summers surrounded by family, eating grandmother’s home-cooked meals and spending the days outdoors.

Margaux’s mother and grandmother (who is no longer here with them), are both avid quilters and have passed that skill down to her. Her mother quilted the ring pillow herself and the guests signed quilt squares instead of a guest book which her mother plans to sew together for her someday. Another special moment for Margaux on the wedding day was when her bridesmaid lent her her sapphire ring to serve as her “something borrowed”, “something blue”, and “something old”. She thought it was such a thoughtful gesture, and is very grateful to her for that. The surprises continued, when at the reception, Margaux’s sister put together a video from both Margaux and Fuad’s childhood. There were funny narrations, subtitles everywhere, and Fuad’s father cried- touched that Margaux’s sister had included their own family in this video. The humor continued when Margaux’s brother attempted to translate their father’s toast from French to English. He butchered the translations but it made for great entertainment and laughs all around.

From the jazz band, to the food, to the incredible floral arrangements, and even when the dramatic storm rolled in- all in all, Margaux and Fuad felt the wedding day was just perfect and as it was meant to be.


People Who Made this Day Magical
Assistant/Second Photographer: Maria Hedengren
Videographers: Pie & Mash Filmworks
Ceremony & Reception Venue: La Grange de Bourgoult
Event Designer/Coordinator: Bride + Mother of the Bride
Makeup: Ciara Costenoble Coiffure
Hair: Charles Gillman Cosmetics
American Wedding Cake: Sugar Plum Cake Shop
French Croque-en-Bouche: Xavier Hauville
Caterer: Xavier Hauville
Florist: Soline Lefort of Lily Paloma
Officiant: Christian Souchon
Jazz Group: Kicca & Intrigo
Reception DJ: Didier Marlay
Wedding Dress: “Cameron” Amsale Dress purchased from Mia Bridal Couture
Veil: Toni Federici (Lisette) from Mia Bridal Couture
Hair Flowers: Hair Comes the Bride
Jewelry: Earrings from Cherry Hills Bridal & Necklace is bride’s own
Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Bridesmaid Dresses: Dolly Pearl
Groom’s Suit: The Custom Shop
Groom’s Shoes: Allen Edmonds
Groomsmen’ Suits: The Custom Shop
Stationery: Save-the-Dates & Menus from Minted; Invitation Suite from Minted
Transportation: Cars Perier

Comments

  1. Richard Israel -

    Such beautiful work friend, what an honor and pleasure working, and hanging out with you guys!!! You are one special lady!

  2. -

    Caroline, I absolutely love the way you capture a moment – absolutely gorgeous and timeless! And I am glad that you made it to Paris!

  3. -

    HONESTLY this is insane. This collection of images is absolutely perfect and while we are on the theme of honesty they make me want to throw my cameras out the window and just become a professional cat groomer. So damn good.

  4. -

    Oh my. Everything and I mean *EVERYTHING* here is lush! The couple (super gorgeous btw), details, processing. You completely smashing this one Caroline!

  5. -

    Love LOVE your work…always have. This proves I’m right! Amazing images here! You captured the day with extraordinary elegance as usual!

  6. -

    Caroline! I remember when you booked this wedding and was so excited about it! It’s even better than I dreamed! The light is exquisite, the portraits are amazing, the emotion is so present in every photo. I know I’m fangirling but these photos are perfection.

  7. -

    Your journey inspires me on both a personal and professional level. You are so talented. I’m glad you share your gifts with the world, it’s a better place because you do.

  8. Mercedes -

    Simply amazing, Caroline. There’s such a strong sense of being *there* through your eyes.

  9. -

    Well it goes without saying first of all that you are RIDICULOUSLY talented. Like wow! And yes- this is a DREAM wedding- I too am obsessed with all things French and hope someday to not only photograph a wedding there but live there too! But you nailed this. The whole set is amazing, but I am particularly in love with the portraits of the bride, and the beautifully lit wide shot of the couple dancing from above the reception. (I also adore the portrait of them in front of the carriage) Beautiful work!

  10. Heather Kanillopoolos -

    Stunning work Caroline!! I especially love the getting ready set here. Gorgeous!

  11. -

    Erin, we need to meet one of these days. You are a girl after my own heart. And thank you so much for taking the time to write all of that. Means so much coming from you.

  12. -

    I am in love with every aspect of this wedding. From her dress to the outdoor festivities, this wedding is one of kind! Congrats to the happy couple and a job well done to you on capturing these moments. The photos are absolutely fantastic!

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Courtney // Beautifully Anxious

Courtney. This girl.

I’d say more but I’m going to save her & Dan’s story for when I blog their full wedding. Until then I wanted to share this series of three photos. These were taken just moments before her first look with Dan. As she approached the front door, I watched her and I felt this pang of love for her in my heart. She reminded me so much of myself. Then I saw her fiddle with her fingers nervously while she looked at me and I knew I had to photograph her in that moment so that I’d never forget it.

cute nervous bride

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Sarah + Blake // Cincinnati Wedding

If I were to do my wedding all over again, Sarah & Blake’s wedding would be closest to what I would have wanted for myself. A meaningful celebration in my home with my closest family and friends. It was such a privilege to be let into some of their most intimate moments; especially when stories and photos were shared in their living room.

Sarah tells their love story best…

“Blake and I met five days in to 2014 and within two months, were engaged. Originally wanting a fall wedding, we landed on a summer soiree, which meant I had just over three months to plan the entire event. While this might seem overwhelming for most brides, my experience as a wedding photographer guided pretty much the entire planning process. For me, having an intimate affair at which Blake and I could actually visit with our guests was of paramount importance. Second to that was the visual style of the event—every detail was planned with the question “What will photograph best?” in mind.

Our entire wedding budget was $10,000, which mean that whatever we did, it had to be stylish and sensible. Ultimately, we’ve decided on a location that both Blake and I feel the most at home with… our new home. Turns out, we would be making our home into a great little apartment, blocks from central Hyde Park, a yuppy neighborhood northeast of downtown Cincinnati. The apartment isn’t lavish, but it’s us. We were excited that our first memories of married life will be generous—and intimate—hospitality with those we love.

I got ready at the apartment and planned to do a First Look just outside our front steps. Hyde Park is a fabulous location for photographs…and many of Blake and I’s significant moments took place within the iconic Hyde Park Square. Our first meal together was at Arthur’s, a great little pub less than a half-mile from the apartment. We always get milkshakes at Graeter’s, located just around the corner from Arthur’s. And the best coffee and wine bar, Awakenings, is our favorite spot for late night chats.

The ceremony took place at 5pm outside in the Ault Park Rose Garden. As if almost on queue, it started to rain, one of those perfect mid-summer rains, just as I was to walk down the garden pathway. Fewer than 30 guests will be in attendance—only our closest family and friends. The officiant is Blake’s best friend from childhood, and my roommate of six years from Chicago played guitar. It will be a very simple ceremony, no chairs, just our guests standing in a half-circle around us. 20 minutes and it was over.

After the ceremony, we returned to our apartment for a casual potluck…no tables or fancy set-ups…just our family and friends and a humble kitchen. Friends and family shared toasts in our family room and my mom made the cake—the same one she’s made for every special occasion in my memory.

Later in the evening, additional guests arrived for for a Drinks and Dessert Gathering. Blake and I had our first dance to Lord Huron in what is now my home-office. We finished the evening with a sparkler send-off.”

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People Who Made this Day Magical
Assistant/Second Photographer: Mindy Braun
Ceremony Venue: Ault Park Rose Garden
Reception Venue: Bride & Groom’s Private Home
Florist: Floral Verde
Makeup & Hair: Aristocuts Salon
Caterer: Dorothy Lane Market
Wedding Cake: Mother of the Bride
Wedding Desserts: Dorothy Lane Market
Officiant: Jonathan Schuler (groom’s best friend)
Ceremony Musician: Nicki Neal
Wedding Dress: Emmaline Bridal
Jewelry: Grandmother’s Vintage Jewelry
Bridal Shoes: J. Crew
Groom’s Suit: J. Crew
DIY Florals in Jars Around Apartment: The Flowerman
Bride’s Engagement Ring: Elizabeth Diamond Company
Groom’s Wedding Band: Jared’s

Comments

  1. -

    This really resonates with me. You’ve completely captured the intimacy of their wedding. That black and white sparklers picture, and the way the hands all fall together, is beautiful.

  2. simona -

    If i was to have my wedding all over again, id do the opposite of everything we did the first time. I would only have my family and very close friends. I would have the ceremony and reception outside, in the beauty of Gods’ creation. Surrounded by green trees. The sound of the birds and the smell of grass. My dress would be insanely simple……. These photos are beautiful yet subtle and speak volumes. Great work Caroline.

  3. -

    Oh my GOODNESS, Caroline, this is gorgeous. So intimate and warm. I love their first look, and the few photos after it. Also, the car rear-view window kissing shot? I die. Amazing, amazing.

  4. -

    Wow, how special. I’m in love with so many of these moments, especially the photo of them hugging right after being married. Gorgeous. And her bouquet – out of this world gorgeous!

  5. Heather Kanillopoolos -

    Absolutely gorgeous work! I love how simple and clean your compositions are- it makes the emotion even more clear!!

  6. -

    Such a gorgeous wedding! All of the umbrella pictures are my favorite by far. The pictures with the bride twirling are so cute too!

  7. -

    So sweet and simple – I know what you mean about how if you were doing it all again for the first time, this is kind of how you’d do it – I’ve had that feeling at weddings myself sometimes :-)

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