Destination Wedding In Chamonix – La Cabane
|27th April 2020
photographer - Eight bells
Why did you decide to get married in the French Alps?
It is somewhere special to both of us. Ben loves to ski and his heart lies in the mountain. During a travelling adventure around Europe in 2017 we hiked up to Charamillion in Chamonix together and so when Ben proposed we couldn’t think of a better or more appropriate place.
How did you find the venue and why did you choose it?
For the ceremony, we wanted to take out guests on an adventure. We took them up on the bubble lift to Charamillion, which is at the top of the valley and overlooks the whole of Chamonix. We had visited a couple of other spots (up Brevant and in Les Houches) but Charmillion had the privacy, relaxed atmosphere and stunning views.
For the reception, we were trying to find blend between relaxed and chic. La Cabane was perfect. We didn’t have to have the formality of a marquee (or the stress of decorating it!), the chalet-style was exactly what we love about the Alps when we come to ski and the food was out of this world.
Please tell us about your wedding dress and accessories
I decided to design my own. Having tried on a few dresses in the UK I couldn’t find one that was quite the right cut, or material – none of them had all the combinations that I wanted – and so I found someone who could help me design it and then make it.
I was looking for something simple in cut, sophisticated but not fussy. I wanted a full skirt but it had to be practical for the mountains. I loved the corset and drop waist to lengthen by body.
The turn over helped accentuate the off-the-shoulder design and adding buttons down the back added a little bit of detail that I love seeing in the pictures.
What inspired the choice of fashion and accessories for the groom?
James Bond in the mountains! The whole wedding was about marrying a combination between fun and relaxed, with stylish and elegant. Black tie seemed the only way to go!
What type of ceremony did you have and what were the special features of the service?
We got formally married in London the week before Chamonix, so the ceremony at Charamillion was celebration.
I wrote the ceremony script with the help of Ben’s brother who acted as our celebrant. We wrote our own vows, had a family member sing us down the isle and had lots of friends say short pieces (some poems, some free written) to help celebrate our moment.
Looking back, the ceremony was my favourite part of the day. Because of the low cloud there was a really intimate atmosphere and it felt incredibly special.
What were your thoughts behind the flowers – bouquet, button holes, centrepieces etc?
I wasn’t sure what I wanted for flowers, as the reception was beautifully decorated already and didn’t need much and the ceremony spot spoke for itself.
My favourite flower has always been a pale pink and white rose and so I knew I wanted those in there. Other than that, it was the florist that kindly and cleverly directed my vision.
We were extremely lucky with who we chose to do the flowers, as on the day the weather wasn’t good and the extreme low cloud meant that we couldn’t see any of the views of Chamonix or Mont Blanc and so the only thing that stood out in the pictures was the bright flower arch!
Without it our pictures would have looked as though we got married in a cloud (which we sort of did!).
Describe the food (canapés, cake, main menu etc).
La Cabane speaks for itself! A choice of 8 canapes (mixture of hot and cold), salmon ceviche, followed by filet steak and the most delicious dauphinoise potato’s.
How they cooked filet steak medium rare for 150 people I will never know but it was perfect and everyone raved about it.
The cake was unconventional. It acted as the dessert and was brought out on three tiers with large sparklers, done outside under the stars.
What music and entertainment did you choose and why?
We used a British band called Truly Medley Deeply. They played for us during the ceremony, reception and after dinner dancing. They were phenomenal!
They create medley’s so that you only ever hear your favourite bits of music/songs and design the medley’s around your favourite genres. They also learnt a couple of pieces that we wanted performed at the ceremony, in advance.
They are really interactive and get the crowd involved, so they bring a real atmosphere to the party.
How did friends and family help with the planning/ execution of the day?
Our parents were really involved in the planning. They came out to Chamonix to help visualise the venues and plan for the ceremony in particular. They helped arrange the chalet’s we stayed in in the lead up to the wedding and we couldn’t have done it without them.
Similarly, our bridesmaids and groomsmen were amazingly helpful – especially with the BBQ party the next day. We had a whole week out in Chamonix together and having them there with us for the whole time made the experience even more special.
What events and moments made your day special?
Going up on the lift with my Dad is a moment I’ll never forget. Seeing the outline of mountain bikers ride down past the ceremony in the mist was hilarious!
Being lifted up on chairs in the middle of the dance floor with all our friends and family looking up.
Ben’s groom speech.
The jovial, relaxed and emotional atmosphere of the ceremony and saying our vows to each other.
Why did you choose Eight Bells Wedding Photography?
Reuben and Polly are fantastic! We cannot recommend them highly enough. They were one the quickest and easiest decisions we made during the preparation as we knew immediately from their calm, professional, relaxed, friendly and unobtrusive manner that they would be perfect for our wedding in Chamonix.
Reuben and Polly were incredibly easy to work with – nothing was too difficult and they juggled moving between the bridge and groom chalet (not very close to each other!) with ease so that we could enjoy our morning getting ready.
They took all the stress out, knowing exactly what to photograph and when, without asking questions. We knew we wanted some slightly more formal pictures than their usual style would offer and they accommodated these brilliantly.
Having Polly doing the video at the same time was a real bonus and choosing to spend the extra money on the video was the best decision we made.
I cry every time I watch and they captured our day – the energy, the atmosphere, our guests, the key moments and the laughter – just perfectly.
We were really unlucky with the weather on the day of the wedding but they knew how to made the most out of the shots and took pictures I never would have thought of.
They even came back on the Sunday to our BBQ party the after to take some pictures of us in front of Mont Blanc in the sunshine. They also generated the pictures really quickly and made the gallery really easy to navigate around, as well as order pictures. Our house is now full of them! They are true professionals and we would recommend them to anyone.
Do you have any advice to other brides on planning their day?
Enjoy it! You only get to do it once. It’s so easy to get caught up in the stress of making decision and pleasing so many different people. Take time to make special moments out of the decisions you do have to make (for example, I had to find another dress to wear at my London ceremony but wanted to spend the money on my dress for Chamonix, so one of my bridesmaids came round to my house with lots of borrowed white dresses from friends; we drank champagne and made an evening out of it) and make every moment count. When you look back on the lead up you want to remember those with as happy memories as you do the actual day.