How They Met
Chris and Oriane first met in their Sophomore year of high school World History class. If you ask Chris what his first impression of Oriane was he would probably say something along the line of “annoying and a bit of a know it all”. If you ask Oriane she would probably say… “who’s Chris?” Though no friendship was formed in that class, Oriane’s animated and [infectious] personality left a lasting impression on Chris. Luckily fate offered up another chance for him to get to know her better. During their senior year of High School, the two were paired together as dance partners for a choir they had auditioned for–yes, there is photographic evidence this happened, but we’ll spare everyone. Chris spent many hours winning Oriane over with his incredible dance moves and at 18, Oriane was convinced Chris was the man she would end up marrying, just ask her mom! 10 years, 2 breakups, college, a house renovation that nearly killed them, and many life lessons in between, they both realized they were perfect for each other.
It was a beautiful brisk Monday evening in October when Chris and Oriane collectively decided to walk the nearly six miles home from their offices downtown. In preparation for what was supposed to be a well-planned proposal that upcoming Saturday (outdoor brunch with flowers, family, friends, etc), Chris had decided to transport the ring from his office to its hiding spot at home. But somewhere along that walk, Chris decided it had to happen that night. He tried many times over, but the perfect moment was ruined by chatty neighbors when finally, Oriane was in bed, and he was able to walk over to her nightstand, took his one last gulp of water as a single man, and got down on one knee to ask her to marry him.
We love old buildings and knew wanted a space with history and character. Bridgeport Art Center‘s Sculpture Garden was the first and only venue we looked at. The arched brick outdoor space, and the brick and warm wood loft interior were the perfect combination of architectural detail and warmth to lay the foundation for the overall vision.
We wanted the wedding space to inform guests that you were part of a special moment and that felt like a formal event, but we didn’t want it to feel stuffy. We love to host and entertain and surround ourselves with friends and family, so we wanted the wedding to feel comfortable and relaxed. We wanted it to be magical, but we also wanted the atmosphere to encourage our guests to drink a little too much, laugh, get a little sweaty, and take off their shoes to cut loose.
Florals played a huge role in the overall feel of the wedding. As a self-proclaimed floral-obsessed bride, this was the most important decorative element. When I met with Fleur, I expressed my desire for the florals to feel a little wild, organic, and very romantic. They were the BEST to work with! We were able to achieve this by incorporating texture and greenery into the floral vision. Lemon leaf, Russian sage, smilax vines, and pampas grass added structure and drama, and softer elements such as garden roses were used to bring in the romantic effect. I spent many summers in the South of France as a kid where some of my fondest childhood memories were spent running through lavender fields like a hooligan. The escort card table, which was full of potted herbs and lavender, was a direct reference.
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Traditions and Memories
Chris is Welsh and I am French, and a lot of my family traveled from overseas to be at the wedding. It was important to us to incorporate our family and background into the day. We really wanted the wedding to be a reflection of who we were, where we came from, and where we were going together. We incorporated nods to our heritage with small touches like the bagpiper that played Welsh music during the processional and recessional, the wedding cake that was a spin on the traditional French “piece montee”, and a live crepe making station for dessert.
Chris and I took 20 hours of private dance lessons for our choerographed first dance. One of our best friends from childhood sang the song we danced to and about half way through, Chris completely forgot our dance moves! What ensured was a lot of twirling and dipping and maybe the best photo finish dip ever. It was fabulous.