Archive for December, 2010
The Wedding Photographer and the Churches of Corsica
What is a wedding photographer doing in Corsica? Not taking photos of a wedding but a mini report of the churches in Corsica. I dream of one day doing a wedding in some of these churches because with doubt, they wa they are maintained is quite incredible, some of them are absolutely splendid. Using my time wisely I was able to visit a few churches, below are some of the photos taken.
The wedding of Gretchen & Andrew from Boston in Monaco by PGPhotography Wedding Photographer France and Monaco. http://www.pgphotography.eu/
Gretchen first contacted me early in 2009. After that we probably exchanged at least 300 e-mails ! We first met when they’d come to The Riviera in May 2009 in order to prepare the wedding , find a Venue meet all the suppliers and also have two weeks holiday. They had chosen a hotel in Les Issambres and we met at The Motel Van der Valk in the little harbour of Saint Aygulf. They had not realised when booking their hotel online that it sometimes may take several hours to drive from Les Issambres to Monaco and they had to leave before having finished with their program.
I then offered to help with some little things like taking a few pictures for them at the anglican church of Saint Paul in Monte Carlo or finding a DJ and some musicians. That’s how I first discovered the restaurant : Les deux Frères in Roquebrune Village upon Roquebrune Cap Martin and it’s fabulous view of Monte Carlo.
Last april I had to fly to New York City and Montreal for the preparation of another wedding and an engagement shooting. I thought it was a good idea to suggest to them the same kind of shooting in Boston and at the same time visit Boston where I had never been before. It was quite hard to organize at that time of year and finally after many many changes in my plans I flew directly to Boston with my colleague and friend Jean Baptiste Paye whom I already talked you about in several posts on that blog. After two days visiting the City of Boston and also Cambridge together we met Gretchen and Andrew on James Street. We then went for a long circular walk along The Charles River and into the old Italian borrough taking amazing pictures all along the way. At the end of the day we all had dinner in Hannover Street just near where they both live.
In June they arrived in France a few days before the wedding and settled in La Turbie close to Monaco. We had dinner together at the old flower Market cours Saleya in Nice on Thursday night to review all the details and the schedule of the wedding day. They left me and went to pick up Andrew’s parents at the airport of Nice Côte d’Azur.
I now realize how much Gretchen ( who did not hire a wedding planner and organised it all by herself ) really did a good job. Planning that kind of event relly is a big deal because all attendees were coming from different States in the US and also from London. No one had a vehicule and they all arrived at different times and by different means. Hiring a bus for everybody was a great idea despites the traffic problems for large vehicules in Monaco.
On the wedding day I arrived with Bruno Espagnol another friend, photographer in Toulouse, who had come to stay with me, at my place. We met the girls at Jacques Dessange the famous hairdresser in Monte Carlo. The bride, her bridesmaids, several friends and the sisters had booked the place for a hairdressing and make up session. An Army preparing an overseas invasion would not have been more efficient and though the place is quite huge it was entirely filled with a joyfull and smily troup of girls all wearing electric blue dresses. Hey girls you’ve all been nice and smily and helpfull ! Thanks to Vanessa from Phoenix and her wonderfull smile and Heather the Californian who moved to NYC and did most of the make up. To Tarra from Philly who is so talkative after a little glass of wine or Patty from Texas who dances like a pro, Jean from Chicago (Gretchen’s maid of Honnor), Shannon from Frisco and Jennifer who both appear to be professionals when it comes to opening bottles of Champagne!
After the compulsary picture of the group in front of the Casino we all headed to the hotel in La Turbie to begin the process if Getting Ready. I was very glad that Bruno had come to help because the hotel was so crowded and all attendees moving from one room to another. It was quite hard to find who we were looking for : The Groom first, then the Bride and finally her dress that had dissapeared. Derek and German were self proclaimed Super Express Ironers and kidnapped the dress to give it new life in a room on the level below. After a moment of panic Gretchen warmly thanked them for having “saved her day”.
What to say about the ceremony ? That it was very touching for everybody but mainly for Gretchen’s mother, the Vicar, an english canadien, had a great sense of humour and both violonists where absolutly amazing.
The weather had been perfect throughout the day except after the ceremony when we went with the Bride and Groom to the casino for some pics. The sky had turned to cotton white, probably an other application of Murphy’s law ? I will have to add some colour to all the skies in thoses pics ! Some days I am glad that photoshop exists.
The reception was fantastic. I must tell you about the restaurant Les deux frères. I absolutely recommend it for small and intimate weddings. Besides it’s fabulous view, the food was wonderful and I am sure that Pascal my friend of Promusique will agree as he tasted everything with delight. The owner of the place who had been a little distant the first time I came to visit revealed to be a perfect host; nice, funny, cheerful with a great sense of humour. Everybody danced all night and again I will highlight how american and english weddings in general are different, more lively and dynamic than the average french wedding.
Also I admire the abillity of anglo saxon people to prepare and recite wonderful, smart and humourous speaches. That was the case again this time and I want to tell about Jon’s speach. He recited a poem from Paul Valery : The Footsteps
Your footsteps, children of my silence,
With gradual and saintly pace
Towards the bed of my watchfulness,
Muted and frozen, approach.
Pure one, divine shadow,
How gentle are your cautious steps!
Gods! …all the gifts that I can guess
Come to me on those naked feet!
If, with your lips advancing,
You are preparing to appease
The inhabitant of my thoughts
With the sustenance of a kiss,
Do not hasten the tender act,
Bliss of being and not being,
For I have lived on waiting for you,
And my heart was only your footsteps.
Gretchen and Andrew from Boston (MA)
When, where and how did you first met? We met freshman year of college at Boston University. We lived in the same dorm. Neither of us can agree when and where exactly.
Did you hit it off from the get go? No–we were friends first and then dated on and off toward the end of college.
However, it did not get serious until a year after we graduated when Gretchen was living in Chicago and Andrew was living in Boston.
Transportation: Carnia Express
The Venue: Les Deux Frères, Roquebrune Cap Martin, France
How did you find your venue and why did you choose it? We Googled like mad and then went with our gut and chose the place
. We placed a deposit in the winter of 2009 and visited that May. Luckily it was perfect–the view and food–5-stars.
The Church: St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Monaco
Wedding Planner: No wedding planner–we did it ourselves.
Menu: Guests were offered a choice of the following:
Cocktail hour: aperitifs and marbled duck foie gras hordoerves
Duck breast on an arugula salad with creamy morel mushrooms sauce
A trio of lobster, fresh green beans, cream sauce and basil
Grilled beef fillet, sauted vegetables with herbs in a Barnaise sauce
Sea bream stuffed with spinach, sundried tomatoes, cebette onion and Parmesan cheese in virgin olive oil
Bresse chicken with pistachios, spaghetti squash, in Port wine
Tart apples with cinnamon and bourbon vanilla ice cream
Fresh pears served warm with almonds in creamy caramel sauce
And wedding cake
Cake:Les Deux Frres – Three layers, three different flavors: strawberries and cream, chocolate with chocolate cream and lemon chiffon with lemon curd
Engagement Ring: Tavit’s Settings, Boston, MA
Wedding Rings: Tavit’s Settings, Boston, MA
Hairdresser: Dessange, Monaco
Make up: The lovely Heather.
Shoes: Christian Louboutin (bride) and Allen Edmonds (groom)
Brides underwear: Some shop in Courmayer, Italy!
DJ: Pascal Serri at Promusique Animation (he was great, highly recommended)
The dress: Harper Della-Piana at SEAMS in Wenham, Massachusetts (design from a dress shown in the movie “The Black Book“)
She created it strictly from screenshots I sent her via email–fabulous.
Grooms attire: Tommy Hilfiger
Florist: Florazur, 9 Rue des Combattants en Afrique du Nord, La Turbie, France–They were so nice and made beautiful arrangements–two days before the wedding!
Very affordable and highly recommended.
Best man: Jonathan Salois (Andrew’s brother)
What to say about him: Jonathan is pretty much the coolest guy on earth and dominates at ice hockey. He’d say “Go Bruins!”
About his speech: It came from left field–totally amazing!
Maid of Honor: Jean Mattes
What to say about her: They met freshman year of high school at Loyola Academy during gym class.
About her speech: Heartfelt sincerity–beautiful!
First Dance Song: “I Will,” by the Beatles
When, where and how did Andrew proposed: The day after Gretchen ran the 2008 Chicago Marathon: October 13, 2008–he did it at her parent’s home in Chicago in front of her family.
Best moment of the day
For Gretchen: From morning until evening and into the early morning–it was a perfect dream! I was elated to see Andrew at the ceremony after a chaotic weekend; I was instantly calmed.
For Andrew: Seeing Gretchen in her dress for the first time and watching my parents cut a rug in the dance circle.
Honeymoon: Our European excursion was one huge honeymoon where we managed to hit: France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Iceland!
Advice for future couples who want to get married: Don’t be pressured by anyone to do anything you don’t want to do. It’s your day and no one else’s–completely worth it.
Anything you would like to say about preparing for this day: A LOT went into planning this day. A lot of patience and a few moments of panic but it all worked out beautifully.
If you get organized, it’s not so daunting.
Some of the best pics of the day