Advertisements
Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Getting Started’ Category

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.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Wedding planners generally offer between one and four different service packages.

  1. All inclusive: for want of a better term, the ‘all inclusive’ wedding service includes the consultation, conception, planning, execution and follow up of your wedding.
  2. À la carte: an ‘à la carte’ service would be for those seeking a wedding planner simply to access a few different weddings suppliers. In general, a couple seeking this kind of service would intend to take care of the overall organisation of their wedding themselves but the wedding planner would be their one point of contact for all suppliers booked through the wedding planner.
  3. Coordination only: in this instance, the wedding planner would be employed to be on-site for the day of your wedding (usually with a support team) to ensure that your wedding runs smoothly. They would request a list of the suppliers that you have hired to work on your wedding with contact details in advance of the wedding to be able to formulate and manage an appropriate schedule for deliveries, set-up and de-rig.
  4. Consultation only: for a consultation-only service, a wedding planner may share a list of recommended suppliers, wedding planning tools and local knowledge with a client during a face to face meeting. It would then be up to the couple to contact suppliers and take care of the organisation of their event.

To find out about the wedding planning services I offer, please contact me by email on kerry@my-riviera-wedding.com.

Read Full Post »

Wedding planner billing methods can vary greatly as with a wedding planner’s fee structure. You may either be invoiced directly with the individual supplier that you select with the help of your wedding planner, or alternatively all billing may pass through the wedding planner. On one hand some believe that it is more practical to pay only one bill to one company (the wedding planner) or on the other hand others feel more comfortable settling with the supplier directly so that costs are controlled more easily.

In the case that a wedding planner charges a management fee, for time spent or earns their fee through commissions, your wedding planner could give you the option either to pay suppliers directly or to pay one bill to the wedding planner who will in turn settle with suppliers.

If the wedding planner is using the ‘mark-up’ method, it is highly unlikely that they will give you the option to pay suppliers directly.

To find out about the wedding planning services I offer, please contact me by email on kerry@my-riviera-wedding.com.

Read Full Post »

Wedding planners on the French Riviera, as anywhere in the world for that matter, can generate their income in a number of different ways. Detailed below are four of the most common fee structures employed by wedding planners. Be aware that it is possible that a wedding planner may use a combination of all of the below methods or they may operate using one or two only. Make sure you are aware of your wedding planner’s fee structure and billing process from the beginning so that there will be no nasty surprises.

  1. Management fee: a fixed percentage of the total cost of the wedding. The total cost being sum of the purchase prices from all suppliers.
  2. Margin / mark-up: some wedding planners mark up on each item purchased from a supplier therefore the price presented to you will include a hidden mark-up charged either as a percentage or a fixed amount.
  3. Time spent: many wedding planners charge for the time they spend on the preparation in advance of the wedding and the time spent with the client on site during the actual wedding celebrations. Usually the cost for onsite time is greater than the preparation time and time is charged either per day or per hour. Each wedding planner sets their own rate depending on the fixed charges they need to cover in order to make a profit (office rental, salaries of employees, taxes and social charges etc.).
  4. Commissions (AKA Kick-backs): revenue from commissions is a real phenomenon in the South of France in a range of different sectors. By commission I mean being given a golden “thank you” for the referral of business to a supplier in a similar way to how an estate agent takes a commission as a percentage of the overall sale price of a given property. If you are either going to be billed directly by a wedding supplier or if a wedding planner bills you for any given service, either way there may be a commission for the “business bringer” integrated into the price which will be billed back after the payment of the service. This can be a rather strange concept for Anglo-Saxons as referrals usually do not come with a price tag in the UK or US, however this is very common business practice on the Cote d’Azur so don’t be alarmed

To find out about the wedding planning services I offer, please contact me by email on kerry@my-riviera-wedding.com.

Read Full Post »

The French Riviera is not the cheapest place in the world by any stretch of the imagination and wedding planner rates are no exception to the rule. However, since the economic crisis, the weddings and events sector in the South of France has become much more competitive and wedding planners have learned that they must in turn be competitive in terms of price to win business.

The amount earned by a wedding planner in fees can equate to between 10 and 30% of a total wedding budget. I have however heard of some cases where this amount has been much higher! It is worth keeping in mind that self-employed, independent wedding planners may work out cheaper than larger wedding planning companies due to the fact that they do not have as many fixed costs. Governmental charges for business are extremely high in France as is office space rent in the towns along the Cote d’Azur. An independent, freelance wedding planner on the Cote d’Azur will most likely work from home or in an office share situation and will certainly has a great deal less charges to pay.

By obtaining quotes from a few different wedding planners, you will be able to compare prices and make sure that you are getting maximum value for money.

To find out about my wedding planning services and rates, please contact me by email on kerry@kerrybrackenweddings.com or visit my website www.kerrybrackenweddings.com.

Read Full Post »

Traditional wedding schedules can vary depending on religious and cultural norms. I have drafted out a few different examples of wedding schedules that you could possibly choose to follow. All take into account overseas travel time and are over a weekend so that guests do not have to take too much time off work.

  • Schedule 1: 3 days, 2 nights, could be planned over a long weekend with arrival either Friday or Saturday and departure either Sunday or Monday.

D -1 D Day D +1
Arrival of the wedding party & guests throughout the day Champagne breakfast or brunch Brunch
Excursion, leisure or wellbeing activities for wedding couple, wedding party & guests Wedding ceremony Departure of wedding couple for honeymoon
Wedding rehearsal Wedding reception-          Welcome cocktail

–          Wedding breakfast

–          Dance party

Departure of wedding party & guests
Rehearsal dinner Wedding party and guests stay overnight
Wedding party & guests stay overnight


  • Schedule 2: 3 days, 2 nights, could be planned over a long weekend with arrival either Friday or Saturday and departure either Sunday or Monday.

D -1 D Day D +1
Arrival of the wedding party in the morning Champagne breakfast or brunch. Breakfast
Wedding rehearsal Arrival of wedding guests in the morning Excursion, leisure or wellbeing activities for wedding couple, wedding party & guests with lunch
Rehearsal dinner Wedding ceremony Departure of wedding couple for honeymoon
Wedding reception-          Welcome cocktail

–          Wedding breakfast

–          Dance party

Departure of wedding party & guests
Wedding party stay over Wedding party and guests stay over


  • Schedule 3: 2 days, 1 night with arrival Saturday morning, departure Sunday afternoon/evening.

D Day D -1
Arrival of the wedding party & guests in the morning Breakfast
Wedding rehearsal (time permitting only, the wedding rehearsal could be done another time prior to the wedding weekend) Excursion, leisure or wellbeing activities for wedding couple, wedding party & guests with lunch
Wedding ceremony Departure of wedding couple for honeymoon
Wedding reception-          Welcome cocktail

–          Wedding breakfast

–          Dance party

Departure of wedding party & guests
Wedding party and guests stay over


  • Schedule 4: 2 days, 2 nights with arrival Friday evening, departure Sunday afternoon/evening

D -1 D Day D +1
Arrival of the wedding party & guests in the evening. Champagne breakfast or brunch. Breakfast
Depending on what time people arrive, possibility for them to make their own arrangements in a local restaurant, in the hotel restaurant or order room service Wedding rehearsal (time permitting, the wedding rehearsal could be done another time prior to the wedding weekend) Excursion, leisure or wellbeing activities for wedding couple, wedding party & guests with lunch
Wedding party and guests stay over Wedding ceremony Departure of wedding couple for honeymoon
Wedding reception-          Welcome cocktail

–          Wedding breakfast

–          Dance party

Departure of wedding party & guests
Wedding party and guests stay over

Read Full Post »

The French Riviera and its surrounding area is filled with highly desirable wedding destinations. There really is something for everyone from glitz and glam seaside towns, to Provencal countryside getaways and romantic medieval villages. I have picked out a few of my favourite wedding destinations on the Cote d’Azur and in Provence that you may wish to consider for your wedding. You might prefer to decide upon a destination based upon the location of a particular venue that you have in mind. Please see my pick of the best wedding venues in the area in the Recommended Wedding Venue section of My Riviera Wedding.

  • Cannes & surrounding: Cannes encapsulates the glitz and glam associated with the Cote d’Azur. the city and its surrounding neighbourhood has an extremely vast selection of fabulous venues suitable for weddings. From chateaus (Chateau de la Napoule), to stunning hotels such as the Martinez , the Carlton, the Majestic and the 1835 White Palm Hotel, trendy hangouts (Le Baoli and Palm Beach), beach restaurants to name but a few l’Ecrin and Vega Luna as well as an abundance of modern private villas.

cannes

 

  • Mougins & Mouans-Sartoux: Situated just outside of Cannes in the Provencal countryside, Mougins and its neighbouring village Moans-Sartoux are ideal wedding destinations away from the hustle and bustle of the busy coast. With a golf and country club, The Royal Mougins, several private domains and country residences such as the Manoir de Letang, the simply amazing Château de Castellaras, a luxury hotel with Michelin star restaurant, Le Mas Candille and several well-known fun restaurants for example Le Park and the Moulin de Mougins, Mougins and Mouans-Sartoux both offer a wealth of possibilities.

mougins

 

  • Antibes Juan-les-Pins: With over 30 private beaches, one of them belonging to the lovely family run hotel the Belle Rives, Juan-les-Pins has a great deal of great wedding venues. Located on the border between Juan-les-Pins and the Cap d’Antibes a new luxury boutique hotel, the Cap d’Antibes Beach Hotel, has recently opened its doors after almost a year’s construction. The Cap d’Antibes Beach Hotel has been built onto the already existing beach restaurant and night spot Les Pecheurs, which has also been given a facelift. The Cap d’Antibes, a peninsular between Juan-les-Pins and the old town of Antibes is home to some of the world’s most wealthy people; Arabian princes, celebrities and top business men. It is most famous for the exclusive Hotel du Cap Eden Roc a favourite A-class celebrity hangout during the Cannes Film Festival. The Cap d’Antibes has several superb waterfront venues such as Keller beach as well as some fantastic villas such as the Domaine la Dilecta.

antibes juan-les-pins

 

  • Saint Jean-Cap-Ferrat: With Apple’s Paul Allen amongst the many high-flying property owners, the peninsular of Saint Jean-Cap-Ferrat is considered as being THE ultimate destination in the South of France for those seeking privacy, luxury and exclusivity. Saint Jean-Cap-Ferrat has some breathtaking wedding venues such as the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild the fabulous Grand Hotel du Cap Ferrat, and the Villa Kérylos in nearby Beaulieu sur Mer, It also has two wonderful private beaches; Passable Beach and Paloma Beach (Tel: +33 (0)4 93 01 64 71 open from Easter to the end of September).

saint-jean-cap-ferrat

  • Saint Paul de Vence: The medieval village of Saint Paul de Vence is a real gem. Made famous in the mid 20th century by the passage of world-renowned artists such as Picasso and Russian painter Mark Chagall who is buried in the village’s cemetery, Saint Paul de Vence still today promotes arts and crafts and is filled with independent galleries and artist’s workshops. Saint Paul de Vence is for me a perfect example of a well-preserved, picture perfect typical French village. With a beautiful little church, two Relais & Chateau hotels (Le Mas de Pierre and Le Saint Paul) as well as the top class restaurant La Colombe d’Or. In nearby Vence one of the most fabulous hotels in the area can be found; the Chateau Saint Martin which is part of the same group as the legendary Hotel du Cap Eden Roc.

saint-paul-de-vence

  • Grasse: For me Grasse is highly underrated as a wedding destination. The town offers greater value for money than some of the nearby towns and villages and the events service at the Grasse Tourist Office is more than happy to help prospective clients discover the many delightful venues that Grasse has to offer. Grasse is most famous for its perfume industry, with 4 large perfume factories in the town, a perfume museum, many beautiful flower gardens and fields where flowers are cultivated for the production of perfume some of which double up as wedding venues such as The Bastide du Parfumeur or the Domaine de Manon. Not forgetting of course a superb Relais et Chateaux hotel and Michelin star restaurant, the Bastide Saint Antoine and the stunning Chateau Diter.

grasse

  • Monaco: Even the most luxurious addresses on the Cote d’Azur tend to have a relaxed sea-side feel to them, something that can not necessarily be said for the many preened and polished wedding venues Monaco has to offer. Depending on what floats your boat, Monaco may conjure up a mixed bag of emotions. Some feel that Monaco is a cold, soulless, ‘fake’ town while others are in awe of its grandeur and pomp. It is safe to say however that the quality and range of venues in Monaco is unrivalled most of which are grouped under the Monte Carlo SBM umbrella, a holding company which owns and manages most of the Principalities leisure and tourism venues. Amongst the best hotels in Monaco are the Hermitage, Monte Carlo Bay, Hotel de Paris, Le Meridien, Vista Palace and Monte Carlo Beach. Great beach restaurants are La Reserve de la Mala in nearby Cap d’Ail, Anjuna Bay in nearby Eze sur Mer and K Beach. Great restaurants and lounge bars include Maya Bay, La Chaumiere and the Pacific.

monaco

  • Provence: Provence includes the territory inland of the French Riviera and the countryside of the Var region of the South of France, the next department along from the Alpes Maritimes (06 post code area) beginning west of Cannes just after the small seaside town of Theoule. Provence with its many vineyards, lavender fields and country escapes is a fabulous wedding destination and a cheaper, less crowded alternative to the Cote d’Azur. Here are just a few of the many stunning wedding venues in Provence to wet your appetite: Commanderie de PeyrassolChâteau Font du Broc, Magnanerie de Saint Isidore.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »