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Archive for the ‘Preferred Wedding Suppliers’ Category

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!

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Lizzy Parks

Acclaimed British Jazz/Soul singer song-writer Lizzy Parks is the perfect accompaniment for any event. An exciting and innovate performer, Lizzy adds atmosphere and class to any occasion. Signed to UK-based independent record label Tru Thoughts with whom she has released several albums, Lizzy moved from London to Cannes on the French Riviera in 2009.  As well as performing her own material at gigs and festivals around Europe, Lizzy has a large repertoire of jazz and soul tracks which she sings at weddings and events accompanied by her fantastic band (available in different formations from duo to quintet). Offering arrangements of well-known standards, Lizzy and her musicians can execute a vast repertoire of music from vocal piano jazz to up tempo swing. In addition to her Jazz Band set up which is absolutely ideal for wedding cocktail receptions, Lizzy can also perform modern songs (with some of her own material if desired) in her own unique style with her guitarist Tom. Lizzy and Tom recently performed at an informal rehearsal dinner I organised for one of my clients and it worked fantastically.  Lizzy is really a delight to work with, proving an exemplary level of professionalism at all times. Make sure you check out her fantastic new group Lizzy and the Gentlemen available for weddings and events throughout the South of France: http://lizzyandthegentlemen.com

To contact Lizzy and find out more about the entertainment services she provides, you can email her on info@lizzyparks.co.uk

 

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Otherwise known as an Officiant, a Wedding Celebrant is the person who conducts a wedding ceremony whether it be religious, humanist or spiritual. As outlined in the Getting Married in France section of My Riviera Wedding, the only legally recognised wedding ceremony in France is the civil service, which is often accompanied by a symbolic blessing or religious ceremony. Couples who decide not to hold their ceremony in a place of religious worship can effectively hire an independent Wedding Celebrant to lead their wedding ceremony in their venue of choice; on a beach, in a hotel, in the gardens of a villa or Chateau or even out at sea on a yacht!

The French Riviera is home to many well reputed Anglophone Wedding Celebrants. I have compiled a selection of the most reputed professional officiants in the area currently available for wedding ceremonies throughout the South of France.

  • Anne Naylor: Anne Naylor creates and conducts tailor-made wedding ceremonies throughout the South of France region. Along with the Bride and Groom, Anne prepares the order of service, vows, readings and blessings according to the couple’s faith, religion, spirituality or culture. For her wedding celebrant services she offers 5 packages ranging from as little as 500 euros up to 2, 500 euros. Anne is also a life coach and writes an inspirational weekly column for the online newspaper The Huffington Post.
    For more information about Anne and the different Wedding Celebrant services she offers, you can visit her website and her blog. Please don’t forget to mention that you found out a about Anne on www.my-riviera-wedding.com! By doing this you will be helping me to spread the word about my wedding planning activities.
  • Peter Madan: Based near Cannes, Wedding Celebrant and ordained Reverend Peter Madan runs a team of  10 ministers, located along the French Riviera. All ceremonies are 100% made to measure and Peter personally prepares all the future Brides and Grooms for their wedding ceremony, even if one of the other team members celebrates the actual ceremony. The preparation process usually starts with an initial consultation, Peter then provides the couple with sample ceremonies according to their needs from which the outline of the ceremony is drafted out. With Peter, the couple continues to work on the ceremony over the following months before the big day. Peter and his team of celebrants are all bilingual French/English and can between them offer wedding Celebrant services in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Hebrew, Russian and Turkish. Although all of the celebrants are Christians, they can all also perform non-religious ceremonies. The team has previously married a large variety of different couples including Catholics, Protestants, Jews and Non-Believers.
    You can contact Peter Madan either by email or by telephone on +33 4 93 69 52 00. To find out more about the wedding celebrant services that Peter offers, you can visit his website. Please don’t forget to mention that you found out a about Peter and his team of celebrants on www.my-riviera-wedding.com! By doing this you will be helping me to spread the word about my wedding planning activities.

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A wedding favour is a small gift offered by the bride and groom to each guest as token gesture of thanks for their presence at the wedding. Traditionally, wedding favours are sugar-coated almonds with a white or pastel coloured hard coating, presented in a translucent piece of coloured fabric and tied with ribbon to close. This type of confectionary favour is called a dragée in French.

Today, the wedding favour has diversified greatly and many couples offer guests more extravagant gifts, not always edible ones. Wedding favours are often customised too with for example the name of the bride and groom, a photograph or other image, a quote, saying or personal message.  Examples of the many alternative wedding favours that I have come across recently are chocolates and truffles, tea bags, tea leaves, USB keys, seeds for a plant or flower, key rings, match boxes and matches, fortune cookies, note books, scented candles, scented soaps, essential oils, bubble blowers, photo frames… as you can see, the sky is the limit in terms of what you can offer guests as a little thank you.

If you are thinking about an alternative to the traditional ‘dragée’ for your wedding in the South of France, you might like to think about offering a wedding favour inspired by the local area. Below, I have come up with a few ideas and have tried where possible to choose products that can be bought online:

  • Fragonard Perfume Products

Fragonard is the most famous of the perfumers based in Grasse, France’s perfume capital. Fragonard sell online a range of fabulous gifts which would work really well as wedding favours, such as cute pots of solid perfume, scented candles, and sets of perfume sachets.

  • L’Occitaine Products

L’Occitaine is a chic french beauty brand with all products made using natural ingredients found in Provence.

  • Savon de Marseille

Savon de Marseille is the famous square shaped oilve oil based soap originating from Marseille and sold by a company with the same name.

  • Olive Oil

A l’Olivier, an Olive Oil brand with stores throughout the South of France, does fantastic gift sets ideal as wedding favours.

  • Lavender

Lavendar is one of the symbols of the Provence region of the South of France. Why not offer your guests a lavender gift such as a Provencal style sachet or a bottle of lavender essential oil.

  • Honey

Your guests will love a pot of super sweet organic Provencal honey.

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The rental of furniture, tableware and catering equipment is something that is more often than not managed by the catering company you choose but if you need to order any equipment directly, there are two main companies who operate throughout the South of France who specialises in the rental of furniture, ‘Art de la Table’ (tableware) and catering equipment for weddings and events: Options and Aktuel. Both Options and Aktuel have a large selection of dining tables & chairs, buffet tables, high tables, coffee tables and bar stools as well as outdoor furniture and lounge furniture sets all for rent. As well as furniture, Options and Aktuel have a huge range of table cloths & napkins, cutlery, crockery & glassware, candles & candle holders and other decorative and functional elements. If you are feeling creative, you can mix and match items to put together your own décor concept, otherwise the sales team can do this for you.

Options and Aktuel also rent out professional quality catering equipment. Again, your caterer will usually take care of this side of things for you but if you or someone in your entourage decides to do the catering for your wedding then Options or Aktuel might be a good port of call if you need any extra equipment such as BBQs, serving dishes &  utensils, chafing dishes, fridges and coffee machines.

Both Options and Aktuel’s websites are very easy to use, you can obtain a quote online using an ‘add to basket’ system and view photos and descriptions of all products. Delivery and pick-up are quoted for according to the order but set up is not included because the companies assume this is going to be taken care of the caterer or the client directly.

You can view both companies’ full product ranges on their websites: www.aktuel.fr and www.options.fr

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If you like me are a bit of a techno freak, then you will have no doubt thought about creating your very own website for your wedding. Wedding websites are fantastic tools for facilitating the organisation of your wedding and for keeping in touch with guests regarding important wedding information. With a wedding website, you can do the following and much more:

  1. Share the official wedding photos of your special day with guests and allow them to upload their own photos.
  2. Send e-invitations and regular email updates to your guests.
  3. Keep a track of your guest list by asking people to confirm their presence online.
  4. You can use your wedding website as a blog to share you feelings and experiences with your guests on the run up to your wedding.
  5. Allow guests to access information regarding the location of the wedding ceremony and reception with google maps or another similar application.
  6. Inform guests about your wedding list.
  7. Give guests info regarding accommodation options.
  8. Allow guests to contact one another if they wish to get in touch to share lifts or accommodation.
  9. Allow guests to post personal messages to you and your fiancée.
  10. Allow guests to donate money rather than buying  gift using Paypal or a similar secured online payment system.
  11. Give guests the opportunity to upload audio files onto your website to include in the wedding play list.

Today, there are a whole host of companies offering easy to use wedding websites. Most claim to be completely customisable but I can tell you that this is not always the case. Although they generally offer a good range of templates, it is not possible to really create a totally original website. I have reviewed a few online wedding website companies for you below, all whom offer quite a similar service. Most are pay to use but some are free. Most companies charge according to how long you want your website to be online for (the length of time the company will agree to host your website on their servers). Usually the maximum online period is 18 to 24 months, after which your website is automatically taken off line. Some offer customisable domain names such as www.brideandgroom’sname.com whereas others only offer domain names as an extension of the company’s own URL. The major downside for me with all companies that I have come across so far is that they do not offer multi language websites. For international families this can be problematic.

  • Wedding WindowWedding Window is for me the best wedding website software service on the market. Wedding window offers the largest range of functions from a forum where your guests can communicate with one another, to an RSVP facility, wedding planning tools such as a budget calculator and checklist. Photos are displayed nicely and you are able to add music to your website. The themes are attractive and easy to customize. The Wedding Window package my clients most frequently go for costs 80 dollars for 12 months.
  • My Wedding: My Wedding is a free website service. My Wedding websites are user-friendly and the range of themes is extensive. My Wedding does not offer quite as many functionalities as Wedding Window but My Wedding is definitely a great tool considering it’s free!
  • Wedding Jo Jo: Wedding Jo Jo is fairly new on the market and offers a range of beautifully designed themes. The premium member option at 14.99 dollars a month offers considerably more features compared to the free version.
  • Wedsite: Wedsite is definitely one of the most visually attractive but its made using flash so is a little bit less viewer friendly.
  • The Knot: Along with a load of different wedding planning tools and useful wedding planning advice, TheKnot.com offers free wedding websites for members with TheKnot.com domain names. Becoming a member of TheKnot.com is free, however only residents of the USA can become members. If you live in the USA then great, if not then TheKnot.com is not for you.
  • Wedding Tracker: Wedding Tracker is an affiliate website of the same media group as TheKnot.com and offers a more complete service with personalised domain names. Wedding Tracker is a paying service but remains very reasonably priced compared with some other wedding website companies I have found on the net.
  • eWedding: eWedding is one of the most user-friendly free wedding website services that I have come across. eWedding offers a very complete range or features including custom domain names if you wish to upgrade to the paying service. The downside is that the range of themes are not particularly creative.

If you are quite web savvy and fancy having a go at creating your own wedding website, Apple offers a great basic website design tool in their iwork software package. If you don’t have a Mac, then Google has created a fantastic online application for the creation og free websites for any purpose; Google Sites. Alternatively, you could always create a wedding website using the platform I used to create my blog, the wonderful WordPress. You could even find a local web design company to create you a totally tailor-made, professional wedding website. The advantage about creating your own site is that you can keep it online for as long as you wish. Equally, if you have an international family and need to present information in several languages, this is easier to accomplish if you create your own website.

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If you are searching for quality entertainment for your wedding and don’t find what you are looking for in the Wedding Bands or the Wedding DJs sections of www.my-riviera-wedding.com, you might like to contact one of the entertainment agencies below who offer all types of good quality musical and non musical entertainment for events throughout the South of France.

  • Riviera Organisation: Riviera Organisation is owned and managed by British, Riviera-based former Riviera Radio DJ Peter Mackley. Riviera Organisation have a huge range of super entertaining acts on their books. From charismatic Soul artists to saxophone lounge music, funky house DJs and nu-school classical acts; Riviera Organisation can really provide the perfect type of entertainment for any occasion. As well as taking care of the artist liason side of things, the company can also provide all necessary sound & light equipment.
    You can contact Riviera Organisation by telephone +33 (0)4 93 12 14 01 or by email events@rivieraorganisation.com. For more information on the entertainment services that the company offers, you can check out their website: www.rivieraorganisation.com.

  • Prodiam: Prodiam is an artist agency based on the Cote d’Azur run by a wonderful lady called Marie Christine Lescure. The company offers a huge range of musical, dance, magic and performance art acts of an extremely high quality. For your wedding ceremony, the company can offer string quartets, harpists, opera singers, classical guitarists and pianists… For your reception Prodiam can provide any kind of entertainment to get the party started from cool jazz and soul groups to exotic performance acts for a range of themed events such as Bollywood, Oriental, Medieval and much more. Prodiam can provide a complete entertainment package with technical equipment, sound and lights included.
    You can contact Marie Christine by telephone on +33 (0)4 93 14 34 46 or by email on prodiam@wanadoo.fr. Marie Christine speaks great English and so do many of the artists on Prodiam’s books.

 

CLICK HERE TO VIEW A SELECTION OF WEDDING BANDS ON THE RIVIERA

CLICK HERE TO VIEW A SELECTION OF ANGLOPHONE DJS ON THE RIVIERA

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