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Welcome to My Riviera Wedding, a wedding blog and “how-to” guide for Anglophone couples who dream of organising their special day on the French Riviera. My Riviera Wedding is written by Cannes-based wedding planner Kerry Bracken.

In My Riviera Wedding you can find practical advice on getting married in France, handy tips to get you started on the right foot, a hand-picked selection of the most wonderfulwedding venues on the French Riviera and Provence, the very best local wedding suppliers and much much more.

If planning your own wedding on the French Riviera seems like a daunting task and you would like an extra helping hand, don’t hesitate to contact me. I would be delighted to talk to you about the different wedding planning services that I offer throughout the South of France. To find out about my professional activities, please visit my new website www.lavenderandroseweddings.fr.

If you would like to receive notifications of new posts by email, you can subscribe My Riviera Wedding via the Email Subscription widget on the right hand menu of this blog.

Let the wedding planning begin!

Kerry

Lavender and Rose LogoIt’s been a good few months since I have posted anything on My Riviera Wedding but am delighted to be back with some super exciting news! Since October 2009, I have been working in the wedding industry in the South of France. Beginning as writer of www.myrivierawedding.com, wedding planning quickly grew into a full-time career. My first wedding season as a self-employed wedding planner in summer 2010 was small but perfectly formed with a wedding in Provence and two château weddings on the French Riviera. 2011 grew to be a very busy summer with 13 beautiful weddings throughout the South of France. In 2011, I was also able to launch a professional company website http://www.kerrybrackenweddings.com.

Following a fantastic 2012 season, the success of which I owe in part to my valuable colleagues Jennifer and Sarah and our extended network of superb vendors, I made the decision to create a limited company. Today, Kerry Bracken has become SARL Lavender and Rose and www.kerrybrackenweddings.com has become www.lavenderandroseweddings.fr.

Lavender, the symbol of Provence and for many the South of France, encapsulates the authentic nature of the weddings we create for and with our clients. Rose symbolises the eternally romantic destination of the French Riviera. Our new logo shows the beautiful Centifolia rose or Rose de Mai, cultivated in the perfume city of Grasse and used in fragrances the world over.

My aim is for Lavender and Rose to become known both nationally and internationally for chic and stylish weddings on the French Riviera and Provence, embracing everything French but adding a twist of Anglo-Saxon flair. I aspire to create weddings that are truly unique, with enormous attention to detail and will continue to strive to offer a high level of both personal and professional service.  The future is full of promise and the Lavender and Rose team are excited about what should be an amazing 2013 season with almost 20 confirmed weddings so far!

Kerry Bracken
Director & Wedding Planner
Lavender & Rose
www.lavenderandroseweddings.fr

Lavender and Rose postcard

 

Believe it or not, I am not actually posting this film because of the handsome staring man. Strangely enough it’s actually the backdrop and the amazing hotel featured towards the end of the film that excites me more than the lead male… sorry Jude! The majority of the new Dior Homme Sport advert is filmed on the stunning French Riviera with Jude driving along the stunning coastal roads, ending with a sequence at my fetish venue, the Hotel du Cap Eden Roc with its majestic cream facade and beautiful shoreline. If this advert doesn’t make you want to get married on the French Riviera or at least visit, I don’t know what will! P.s. aren’t the car and boat amazing!

After receiving several requests for wedding planning services and venue finding from couples who were inspired after watching the film ‘A Good Year’ to hold their wedding in Provence, I thought I would share a selection of the most well-known films that have helped put the French Riviera and Provence on the world radar as one of the most beautiful and romantic places to visit and get married. Watch, enjoy and be inspired!

Filmed on the French Riviera, Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘To Catch a Thief’ (1955) is a classic golden oldie starring Cary Grant and Grace Kelly. The film showcases a timelessly romantic and utterly glamorous French Riviera with spectacular landscapes, cliff top views, coastal roads, palatial hotels, sun, sea and sand. The film was made only months before Grace Kelly became the Princess of Monaco.

‘Jean de Florette’ (1986), ‘Manon des Sources’ (1986) and ‘La Gloire de Mon Père’ (1990) are all screen adaptations of novels written by celebrated French writer Marcel Pagnol. The films show Provence at the turn of the century; some of the rural areas are today still as charming and rustic as they were in the early 1900s.

‘Dirty Rotten Scoundrels’ is an American 80s comedy starring Michael Caine and Steve Martin. The screenplay focuses on two con artists whose playground is the French Riviera. Many of the Riviera’s finest establishments such as the Grand Hotel du Cap Ferrat and the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild feature in the film.

For a romantic comedy / chic flick, the 1995 box office hit ‘French Kiss’ with Meg Ryan and Kevin Kline was filmed both in Paris and in various parts of the South of France, predominantly in the village of Valbonne and in Cannes.

‘Priceless’ (French: Hors de Prix) is a 2006 French film starring French comedian Gad Elmaleh (Jean), a barman who works at a luxury hotel, pretends to be a millionaire and sparks the interest of Irène (Audrey Tautou), a gold-digger who has a serious penchant for rich men, jewellery and designer clothes. Much of the film’s hotel action was filmed in Monaco’s famous Hotel de Paris.

Starting Russell Crowe alongside Oscar wining French actress Marion Cotillard, Ridley Scott’s ‘A Good Year’ (2006) tells the story of a British investment broker who inherits his uncle’s château and vineyard in Provence. The film sublimes the superb landscapes of Provence’s Luberon valley featuring the Vaucluse villages Bonnieux, Gordes and Ménerbes. I have been able to scout out several venus in Provence which resemble the Chateau featured in the film.

2010 French flick ‘Heartbreaker’ (French: l’Arnacoeur) stars the stunningly beautiful Vanessa Paradis along French beau Roman Duris. The film features a local wedding venue with the finest cliff top view on the French Riviera; the Domaine du Mont Leuze, during the wedding sequence towards the end of the film.

Unbeknown to my clients and many colleagues in the wedding industry in the South of France, I have a second life. Not anything sinister, illegal or sordid, far from it, it’s something much more fun than that! As well as being a wedding planner, I have another hobby / extracurricular activity / job on the side… I sing, and dance, and play the flute and drum. Along with my dear friend and wedding planning colleague Lizzy (AKA Elizabeth Loveheart) and American buddy Arikka (AKA Arikka Baby), my alter ego Siobhan Fox is a proud member of retro, female vocal group, The Sundown Sisters. Lizzy’s brainchild, the group was formed coming up to 12 months ago and ever since, we have gone from strength to strength. It seemed apt to blog about it as we come up to your year anniversary, after a first season filled with hard work, lots of laughs, lashings of red lipstick and impossibly tight skirts. Starting off with backing tracks, Sundown Brother bass player Nzo was recruited after our first gig where we played along side his band. Several corporate gigs, a few private parties, a couple of public gigs, a charity do, and a wedding later, The Sundown Sisters have just this week been joined by a superb rhythm guitarist which adds a whole new dimension to the group’s sound. I will be blogging about any upcoming public gigs, in the meantime, for more information and bookings, contact The Sundown Sisters by email on hello@thesundownsisters.com or call Lizzy on +33 (0)6 77 90 97 97.

Here is a little picture of us taking a break between sets at an event we performed at this summer (I’m the blonde on the right). We will be working on promotional videos very soon!

After a fantastic 2011 wedding season with 13 weddings, 13 happy brides and 13 happy grooms, it’s time for me to officially launch my new wedding planning website www.kerrybrackenweddings.com. Kerry Bracken Weddings is a way for me to promote my wedding planning activities and the range of services I offer in a more structured way. My Riviera Wedding will continue to evolve, most likely into a venue and vendor find website with a sister website My Provence Wedding. Watch this space for future developments! In the mean time, check out www.kerrybrackenweddings.com and my new blog. Happy reading!

 

Kind words

When the majority of people I meet in the wedding planning industry on the Riviera realise that I give out free information relating to venues and my preferred vendors in the South of France on my blog, the initial reaction is one of astonishment and utter confusion – why would you do such a thing??? Well the answer is that I believe that a couple will either need / want / be able to afford a wedding planner, or they simply won’t, regardless of the amount of contacts you throw their way. For those couples that go it alone for whatever reason, it makes me extremely happy to be able to help them on their way. I received a letter from one of my readers a few days ago who allowed me to post her kind words, thanks Janelle!

 

“Dear Kerry,

Your work on this website has been a blessing to me and my husband!  We are a young couple who lives in Canada but dreamed of being married in the romantic French Riviera.  We always follow our dreams despite knowing the way.  But when it came time to pick a priest, photographer, and videographer I did not know where to begin!  Then I found your lovely website!  It really was a blessing :)  Your suggestions and reviews allowed us to select extremely talented people to join us on our special day.  We were married at a villa near Mont Boron, Nice.  Father Peter Madan preformed the ceremony.  I can not say enough wonderful things about that man!  He was perfect!  Father brought an amazing harpist and violinist to create a truly romantic atmosphere.  Alban Pichon was our photographer.  He captured beautiful images of us through out the ceremony.  He is very talented and provided us with wonderful images very quickly after the ceremony.  We selected Saskia Aafjes as our videographer and she did an amazing job, especially editing the final video with music.  The team worked extremely well together on our special day, June 2nd, 2011.  

Thank you for creating this website!  Without your recommendations, our wedding day would not have been as special.  I wish many wonderful things for you and your career as a wedding coordinator.  Thank you for helping me create a truly unforgettable riviera wedding!  

Warmest Wishes,  

Janelle”

After having been recommended the Mas Provencal in Eze by a foodie client in Monaco, visiting it, meeting the owner and then booking it for a rehearsal dinner for 30 people wedding in April (the Bride said is was the best restaurant she had ever been to), I thought that it was about time to try the restaurant’s famous cuisine. Mr Heinz, the wonderful owner of the restaurant kindly invited Gregory my BF and I for dinner a few weeks ago and I have been itching to blog about it ever since.

The Mas Provencal is not only a gastronomic experience, it is a feast for all the senses. Starting with sight, the most immediately impressive thing visually about the restaurant is not the exterior of the building which looks quite ordinary, is not the view (of which Eze has an abundance but the Mas Provencal has none), but is the interior of the restaurant. The Mas Provencal is covered from wall to wall with floral compositions, plants and vegetables, waterfalls, colourful vintage furniture and intriguing looking home-made contraptions some decorative some functional used for serving food. Moving onto hearing; the hat-clad silver fox keyboard / clarinet player was entertaining in an extremely old school, utterly wonderful way. Now for taste; the cuisine is not refined or gastronomic but it is simply amazing. Staring with a basket of raw vegetables that you can cut yourself or bite off in chunks rustic style and dip in the most delicious Tapenade and Anchoiade, moving on to the tasty bits of marinated small fish and squid with heaps of delicious herbs and seasonings, Charcuterie meats and freshly baked bread… that’s just the appetizer! Next up comes a choice of several dishes for an entrée from which I was prior advised to go for the risotto which is cooked then served in a giant parmesan wheel so when it’s scooped out and served in front of you onto your plate is gooey, creamy, cheesy and oh so tasty – I definitely had seconds. For the Plat Principal a choice of a selection of meats and fish from which I chose the veal fillet and Gregory the beef Entrecote which were both served with amazing mash potato and tasty mixed vegetables. And as if we had any room left, dessert was followed by Petit Fours served from spoons and flowers hanging from a tree and nice strong Italian espresso coffee. The Mas Provencal was all we could talk about on the drive home and I haven’t stopped recommending it since and I am already looking forward to my next gastronomic adventure at the Mas Provencal. Thank you Mr Heinz!

 

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