Beth and Marcus, our insanely kind and free-spirited couple from England, knew that they wanted to get married abroad. It was important to them that their wedding day felt like an adventure—just like their relationship has been—always jetting from country to country, and even getting engaged in front of a waterfall in Iceland.
They decided on Normandy, France, and then began their search for the perfect venue. One evening while scrolling through Airbnb, they came across the most enchanting storybook-like farmhouse filled with whimsy and things like corky art, antique furniture and carved wood doors. They were so sure that this home was the perfect setting for their intimate celebration that they didn’t even visit it before the wedding week. Although Beth does admit, “In some ways I was a little anxious about fitting everyone and finding wet weather solutions,” but continued, “I'm so glad we waited until our wedding week to see it for the first time…it made the experience so much more magical and exciting.”
Their utmost desire was that their day be intimate and simple; removing the useless distractions so that they could focus solely on their love for one another and their closest humans—their parents, siblings and a handful of friends. Their aesthetic vision combined borrowing and making everything they could until, they shared, “it formed a big, beautiful mess.” There was little need to buy anything as the farmhouse was already plum full of details like lanterns, carved tables, chairs, rugs and cushions. Marcus and a few friends made the long floor tables for the reception, Beth’s mom hand-stitched the napkins, and the women arranged their own foliage for their bouquets and crowns. Crafting the day with their loved ones “made the day so much more special,” Beth warmly elaborates.
The day of wedding, Beth and Marcus strayed from tradition and spent the morning together, writing letters to each other in the sun and then reading them in a relaxing, hot bath. Beth wore temporary watercolor tattoos on her feet, which we're staying bare, and adorned herself in a colorful embroidered dress from Needle and Thread London.
The ceremony was held in the orchard between an apple tree and a plum tree, with handmade dream catchers as the backdrop. Poppy, one of the bridesmaids, sang an opera version of Can't Help Falling In Love, by Elvis, as Beth proceeded down the aisle. Beth describes the moment:
“…everything started to feel so real. My dad told me to stop shaking, and tears started spilling down my cheeks. Marcus was looking at me, he was crying too.”
The evening was spent sitting on rugs and enjoying a completely vegan feast prepared by Beth’s mom and aunt. In place of favors, the couple wrote letters for each of their guests, individually thanking them for everything they'd done for them throughout their lives.
Beth concludes their wedding story: “The garden was lit up only by twinkle fairy lights, candles and the Milky Way shining above. Marcus and I shared our first dance on one side of the pond in a little overgrown gazebo, whilst our guests watched with sparklers on the other side. The day reminded me of a fairy tea party.”
And it was. Joshua and I woke up here on Saturday, the morning of the wedding, opened the pained window, and peered into the garden as the sun rose. It felt like a fairytale, like a dream. Beth, Marcus and their friends are all genuine and loving people, and spending time with them was a highlight of our year.
(The next day, we went to the Cliffs of Etretat for Beth and Marcus’ Day After Adventure Session. Subscribe to our blog to be the first to see the post when it’s published.)