This wedding. Where do I even begin? It was truly one of the most memorable and beloved weeks Emily and I have had. I don’t think we’ve ever slept so little, ate so much, wined so much, or felt so instantly at home in France.
I’ve known the bride, Jamie, since we were teenagers, and she and Jordan have become dear friends to Emily and I. It would be a huge understatement to say it was an honor to document their wedding. But to document their wedding in southern France, in a chateau that looks like it just materialized out of a painting? We were a little excited.
The part that really stands out, though, isn’t that it was a stylish wedding in a beautiful destination - though it was both - it was that from beginning to end, it was all about the people and relationships. Authentic hospitality and amazing food are everyday things for Jamie and Jordan at their restaurant, DERU Market, and it comes from genuinely wanting to give people an experience where they feel served and cared about. This carried over to their wedding in every way. Chefs by nature and profession, they spent the week cooking for and caring for everyone.
For the days leading up to the wedding, these two and a small group of their family and friends explored the French countryside, hunted truffles, wandered medieval towns in the rain, strolled through charming markets and cities, and spent quality time eating and cooking and enjoying everyone's company. The day before the wedding a few of us walked out to the field behind the chateau to find a spot for the wedding ceremony. In the middle of the field stood a massive oak tree, steeped in history - and surrounded by cow patties, of course. With the sun warming us, we decided it was the perfect spot for them to exchange their vows. Later that night, and leading into the morning of the wedding, the sun gave way to dark clouds and pouring rain.
What I loved, though, is that it didn’t faze anyone. People ran out to a nearby market and miraculously found 30-something pairs of grey (in keeping with the color palette of the day) wellies to keep our feet dry. The elegant black-tie dinner was moved into an old stone barn, made to look incredible by their friends Steve and Jamie Moore and many helping hands. Right as the ceremony began, like something out of a movie, the rain stopped and the sun burst out. Later that night, the dinner went from, “Oh, we’ll probably be done by 9 or 10pm” to, “Oh, it’s 3am?! Should we have dessert and open more wine?” Happy speeches, tearful laughter, clinking glasses. So many good things and full hearts.
Honestly, the whole week and wedding day was a really beautiful lesson to me that despite whatever problems might arise, things often turn out far better than we could have hoped or planned for. Looking back at this wedding, I can’t imagine it being any more perfect if everything, weather and all, had gone according to expectations. A little microcosm of life, perhaps. Keep moving forward, things are going to be amazing.
Also, spot the photos below of Jamie and Jordan making their wedding cake together. One of my favorite moments of the day. Who wakes up at 4am on the morning of their wedding to bake their own cake! (I mean besides Jamie, they literally make the best cakes in the world.)