BASQUE COUNTRY, FRANCE
Tell us a little about yourselves.
I’m Stéphane, thirty-three years old, and starting my professional retraining in IT this year after nine years as a hygiene controller in Paris’s restaurants.
Vincent, thirty-six years old and is the future manager of the web service in ASIA, a travel agency specializing in travel to Asia and the Pacific.
We have been together for ten years now. Wow, time is running fast!
We met on a French gay dating site that no longer exists.
Tell us about the proposal.
It was a really moving and surprising moment.
We love to travel, and one of my dreams was to visit one of the big cities in eastern Europe.
One day, Vincent suggests we spend a few days in Budapest, and of course, I accepted.
When we arrived there, I realized that he had booked our accommodation at the Gresham Palace! I strongly advise you to take a look on the internet. It is simply sublime. We then went up to our room, and a bottle of champagne was waiting for us. And then, he got down on his knees, and he proposed to me. I did NOT expect that at all, especially since he had already told me several years ago that getting married was not really something he wanted.
So, I was shocked and so touched that our relationship had made him change his mind. And, of course, I said YES!
Amazing, and so romantic! How long was your engagement?
Four years! We love to take our time to the dismay of our witnesses impatiently waiting for the preparations.
What lead you to the destination?
I am from the Basque Country, and we wanted a country wedding in the middle of the mountains.
Sare is such a beautiful and typically Basque village that we quickly started looking for wedding venues around. Our wedding venue was a beautiful, large historic house with a panoramic view of the mountains that seemed obvious to us, just as we imagined.
What was the inspiration behind your wedding’s vibe?
We wanted a wedding close to nature. That was classy but simple and as eco-responsible as possible.
The inspiration behind the desire to have a country wedding came naturally because we are nature lovers and Vincent is crazy about plants!
Did you undertake any DIY projects for the big day?
Yes, we did with the significant help of my grandfather.
He helped us build a photo booth and the easel to present the guests’ seating plan by cutting and assembling wooden structures. We were so proud of it!
Talk to us about your experience finding the perfect outfits.
Since our wedding took place at the end of June, we wanted light fabrics.
We didn’t want to be dressed exactly the same but to have matching outfits. We hesitated for a long time, but we finally decided to go in a custom suit.
Talk to us about the big day! We want all the details.
Everything went very well, and it is mainly thanks to our excellent witnesses who were present at every stage. Even when the entrance music started and we didn’t know where the alliances were (I guess you can imagine our stressful state at that time), they were able to reassure us and especially find them on time.
And to finish, they gave us all such heartfelt and moving speeches that we will not soon forget. We can never thank them enough.
After the ceremony, there was a cocktail hour on the wedding venue’s large terrace with Basque culinary specialties and some champagne.
My parents also surprised us by bringing in a typical local band to sing.
We then went upstairs to the dining room, where Vincent and I made our entrance to music by The Blaze – “Breath.”
Everybody danced again!
We ate an excellent meal interspersed with videos created by our witnesses with lots of funny and embarrassing pictures of us when we were little.
And finally, we went down to the dance hall where we took Polaroids and partied until the end of the night.
It was such a beautiful day. What made it unique was the chemistry between the location, the suppliers, and our families and friends.
Vincent and I never imagined so much happiness.
What are your favorite moments?
Oh, my God! What a difficult question!
We really LOVED every moment of this day. But if we had to choose one of these moments, we would say: the emotional discharge felt when we went up the alley leading to the ark with our moms hung on our arms, the eyes of our loved ones riveted on us, on the resumption of the version of “Chasing Cars” by The Wind and The Wave.
It was so beautiful.
Did you incorporate any family or religious traditions into the day?
We created one!
We asked all our guests to put something in a box that we made available on a table (a word, an object, etc.), then we added a bottle of red wine, and we sealed the box.
In five or ten years we haven’t decided yet, we will open it, we will taste the wine, and we will find out what our guests have put in this box.
I think it will be a very emotional moment.
Do you have a standout vendor?
We had an instant crush on our photographer Patricia Hendrychova-Estanguet. We can never thank her enough for having immortalized, with so much authenticity, this moment of life so dear to our hearts.
It’s her who stole the show with her kindness, her vision, and her talent.
What does marriage mean to you?
Marriage means for me a consolidation of the relationship with his or her spouse. It also means showing love in the eyes of those close to you without filter and being proud of it.
Advice for other couples planning a wedding?
We indeed did it well in advance since we started our preparations a year and a half before our wedding.
I think the most important advice I can give is to listen to each other. You will never agree on everything all the time. The main thing is to make concessions and find yourself halfway.
Also, take the time to think about how you imagine this day. Start with the place, then the vibe of the day, and finally, the suppliers. Listen to them. They have excellent advice.
Take the time to create a wedding that you imagine.
Anything you are glad you did? Or wish you didn’t do?
Oh yes, I’m glad I dared to perform my first dance in front of our one hundred guests. I’m quite insecure regarding dancing, but Vincent was able to motivate me, and it was sooooo fun!!
Lastly, is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
We are very proud to be part of the people advocating a message of hope, tolerance, and love for a community that still sorely needs it.
And very proud to be able to do it through Dancing With Them.
Photographer Patricia Hendrychova-Estanguet
Bow Ties Colonel Moutarde
Cake Maison Adam
Catering Maison Daguerre
Ceremony & Reception Venue Au Milieu des Fougères
Flowers & Decorative Elements Les Fleurs d’Elia
Hair & Barber Madame Moustache
Lighting & Sound Hire DJ Michel Lion
Shirts Atelier Privé
Shoes & Socks Bexley
Stationery Le Studio de Julie
Suits Designer L’apiéceur
Wedding Favors La Maison du Piment
Wedding Rings Cartier