Heather + Matt by Benjamin Wheeler

Provençal family vacation-themed wedding in the French countryside.

The theme for our wedding was ‘Provençal family vacation’ – relaxed but elegant, with lots of colour.

Matt —— Both our families are from snowy mountain towns in the US so we love to ski. We also love travelling and are absolute Francophiles, having both lived in France. It’s why we decided to have a French wedding – we thought it would be the greatest gift to have our closest friends and family in one of our favourite places.

Heather —— We met 16 years ago when we were freshmen at the University of Virginia. Matt’s roommate and I had gone to high school together, and the roommate invited me to tag along to a group lunch. As Matt said in his wedding toast, he noticed me right away. We reconnected later in San Francisco and this time sparks flew. Within a few weeks, we’d hatched a plan to lead a group hike to Yosemite National Park. On the way, we camped at a farm and I found Matt early in the morning playing with the farm’s piglets, which totally won me over. He eventually gave me Julia Child’s cookbook with a note asking me to be his girlfriend. 

Matt proposed while we were hiking in Norway’s fjords, which was super romantic. The theme for our wedding was ‘Provençal family vacation’ – relaxed but elegant, with lots of colour. We got married at Château Talaud, a small b&b run by a French couple outside Avignon in Provence. It’s not a family home, but we loved that it felt like one. We thought the best way to share our love for France was to take our family and friends to the French countryside. 

We were happy to splurge on our photographer and music, hiring a local band of troubadours. When it came to my dress, my reference board was mostly vintage couture. One of the few bridal images I loved was a Savannah Miller Danielle dress so I contacted Savannah and her team. As a designer, I love and appreciate the design process and working with women at the top of their craft. I was excited by the idea of participating in the whole process. We collaborated on a few sketches.

Our inspiration was vintage 1990s Balmain by Oscar de la Renta, and Vivienne Westwood, Chanel and Givenchy. We discussed a dress that would feel as at home walking down the aisle as on a couture runway. I love frills and froth so we added a frothy hand-pleated organza trim to the top of the dress and sleeves. We decided on a tulip-style skirt to show off some leg and highlight my shoes. Matt’s outfit was a bespoke three-piece tuxedo designed and made by Cad & the Dandy. His shoes were engraved with each of our initials on the soles.

PHOTOGRAPHER Benjamin Wheeler, @benjaminwheeler / WEDDING DRESS & VEIL Bespoke by Savannah Miller Bridal, @savannahmillerbridal / GROOM’S TUXEDO Cad & The Dandy, @cadandthedandy / GROOM’S RING Family heirloom / BRIDE’S RING Cartier band, custom engagement ring with heirloom stones, @cartier / GROOM’S WATCH Cartier, @cartier / BRIDE’S JEWELS Lizzie Fortunato, @lfjewels / HAIR & MAKEUP Cassandra Lusi, @cassandralusi_mua / FRAGRANCE Diptyque, @diptyque / PLANNER Wanderlust Wedding, @wanderlustwedding / STATIONERY (CREST, INVITATIONS, DINNER MENU, ITINERARY) Lauren Q Design, @laurenqdesignstudio / VIDEOGRAPHER Dear Vincent, @dear.vincent / DOG PORTRAITS Clementine Studio, @clementinestudio / VENUE Château Talaud, @chateau_talaud / CELEBRANT Trang Le Bozon (friend), @speakupnw / BAND Four Kicks Band, @fourkicksband / STROLLING BAND Riviera, @soundsofriviera / DJ South Prod, @southprod34 / WARDROBE STYLING Emily Dawson, @emily_bydesign / MARQUEE Be Lounge, @be_lounge_officiel / CATERING & BEVERAGE La Cinquième Saison Traiteur, @la_cinquieme_saisontraiteur; D.N.A. Bartending, @dna.bartending / FLORA Tepee Sauvage, @tepeesauvage / CAR RENTAL Provence Classics, @provenceclassics / GROOM’S REHEARSAL DINNER OUTFIT Cad & The Dandy, @cadandthedandy / CUSTOM ENGRAVED CUFFLINKS Tiffany & Co, @tiffanyandco / LOAFERS Santoni, @santoniofficial / GROOM’S SHOES Gaziano Girling, @gazianogirling / BRIDE’S NIGHTGOWN DÔEN / SLIPPERS Antique Japanese slippers / RECEPTION ATTIRE Vintage Bob Mackie via Happy Isles Salon, @happyisles_salon / REHEARSAL ATTIRE 1930s steel blue silk gown from Desert Vintage, @desertvintage / LACE GLOVES Grandmother’s / COCKTAIL MENUS, MAPS Lana Dreams, @lana_dreams_wedding / POOL PARTY OUTFIT Antique Irish lace gown from Gossamer, @shopgossamer / MAID OF HONOUR’S DRESS Milly, @milly / CROQUEMBOUCHE La Cinquième Saison Traiteur, @la_cinquieme_saisontraiteur