from the bride, Stephanie… “Olivier and I met at work in 2012 working in a small group of chefs in the Culinary Services department at a French Sous-Vide company in Virginia. As cliche as it sounds, for me at least, it was love at first sight. I would make up excuses to get together after work for ‘meetings’ or to ‘understand my new job better’. Ha how embarrassing!…but ultimately worth it, right? I knew we had something special right away but whether it was just a fling or the real thing was unknown to both of us just yet. Within a couple weeks of working together and after lots of after work ‘meetings’, we began dating and before we knew it I was living in his apartment. Two years later he asked me to marry him in front of the glistening Eiffel Tower; it was an absolute dream come true…and a complete surprise! Today, we are still working for the same company (now in separate departments…for our sanity), expecting our first child and moving to Thailand in 2017. Needless to say, we keep the spark alive with all of our adventures in food and travel together.”
What are some of the challenges that you faced planning a destination wedding?
“Planning a destination wedding was much more of a challenge than the number of guests we decided on. We didn’t want to spend a fortune either, and having hundreds of guests can crank that number up real fast. Needless to say, I now approach weddings much differently and make sure to RSVP as soon as possible. Preparing the guest list and waiting for replies is the worst!”
What were the highlights of the ceremony?
“The ceremony was very emotional, mainly because I just could not hold in my tears of joy. Seeing my soon to be husband all dressed up, holding back tears and being surrounded by so much love was just way too much handle. We were standing in front of a French castle with a back drop of pastures filled with horses and cows as far as the eyes could see. I mean, the clouds literally parted as I entered with my dad to an orchestrated version of ‘Here Comes the Sun’… cue the tears now! To be honest, even in the pouring rain, it would have been just as beautiful and emotional. When you love someone so much nothing else really matters.”
What were the highlights of the reception?
“The food! I have to say, the food that is served at weddings is subpar, to say the least. As foodies, this aspect of the wedding was very important to us and we made that clear from the beginning. We had three courses starting with delicate appetizer choices such as duck and fois gras followed by lemongrass cod and duck breast or chicken roulade. The plating was to the highest caliber and the Michelin star restaurant wowed us in flavor and complexity. It was everything we ever wanted and more! Not to mention the amuse-bouche and profiterole cake was insane!”
What advice do you have for couples who are considering a destination wedding?
“Do it! I’m not suggesting cutting out your great aunt Mimi so you can hit the maximum guest list or anything, but if you don’t even know them, don’t worry about it. This is YOUR big moment and it really is the most special time spent between you and your soon to be husband. So the best advice I can give to any soon to be newlyweds is to MAKE IT COUNT.”