A MODERN DAY DOLCE VITA FAIRYTALE WEDDING, MONACO STYLE.
Text by: Natalia Langsdale
In an era where getting married abroad holds an even stronger significance than it used to, to fulfill a childhood dream to be wed in what has to be the world’s most iconic fairytale place – Monte-Carlo, was made possible for one couple through My Riviera Weddings and the Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer.
“Stars shining brightly, champagne bubbles fizzing, hearts pounding with anticipation… Magical celebrations in exceptional locations, where flair for elegance, excellence and service is elevated to an art form.”
It is every girls’ dreams to marry their very own Prince one day. Nothing made this modern day fairytale more real than the story of how Lithuanian Gabriele met her very own ‘Prince’, Colombian-born German-raised, Federico.
Monte Carlo – an exceptional setting in which to celebrate your love, one beautiful early summers night. Two star struck lovers’ eyes meet over a glass of champagne while their eyes play hide and seek behind the beauty of the decor that the space of the Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo patio enthralls.
One simple “would you mind if I join you” were the magic words that marked the beginning of a whirlwind weekend, a stay at the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort with its never-ending lagoons and magical sunrises.
It ended with Gabriele being whisked off into the sunset to the Tête de Chien in a collectors S1 E Type convertible Jaguar, following the very route that the likes of Tony Curtis and Roger Moore revved their engines – a dream for every movie lover who wishes to follow in their very tracks.
Once arrived, with a 360 degree view to include Monaco, Saint-Jean Cap-Ferrat and beyond, with the setting sun playing with the shadows of this ephemeral spot where lovers unite, both then knew that they were made to be for one another. Little did they know that they would return one day to celebrate their love once more in a more meaningful way.
A few years later, our couple returned. Sharing the sights that had touched their hearts, spending a weekend in love and returning in their classic car to take the road running between the picturesque seaside town of Villefranche sur Mer and the beautiful town of Eze to then meander their way up to where it had all begun.
As they entered the revolving doors of the Hôtel Hermitage, emotions all came running back and little did Gabriele know what was later in store for her.
They began their trip down memory lane by starting off their evening underneath the flower gardens of the one of the world’s most legendary hotels at the Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo.
Here, running their eyes along the bottles through the corridors housing about 350,000 bottles, is the world’s biggest hotel wine cellar – a paradise that remains decidedly hidden from the sun and one that left our two wine connoisseurs entirely enchanted thanks to a private tasting with their master sommelier. One of My Riviera Weddings specialties – surprising couples with once in a lifetime surprises otherwise rare or nearly impossible to enjoy otherwise.
After the couple had enjoyed a drink in the shade of the Mediterranean sun at the legendary Casino Square, the couple made their way to admire jewellery at Vitale 1913, where the engagement ring had been custom-made to measure.
Late afternoon the couple continued enjoying the sights with a beautiful walk roaming the streets of Monte-Carlo, followed by a romantic champagne sundowner in the comfort of their suite overlooking the Principality.
Time to change into their evening outfits – a bespoke Tsubaki Geraldine Daulon trouser outfit, matched with a pair of Maison Vitale “Fleurs des mers opals” earrings for her and a tailor-made jacket by Suit Supply for him. The couple made their way to the famous Monte-Carlo Beach, belonging to Monte-Carlo Société de Bains de Mer, built in the roaring 20s by the architect Roger Seassal and redesigned in 2009 by India Mahdavi.
As they descended the steps, Gabriele caught view of the pontoon that had been entirely privatized for a romantic tête à tête dinner facing the sea. Beautifully decorated by the hotel with rose petals, and with just the Mediterranean sea as their witness, the pontoon transformed into a proposal to be remembered when a stunning Emerald cut diamond ring slid onto Gabriele’s finger followed by a loud YES!
Fast forward a year, and following in Grace Kelly’s and HSH Prince Rainier III’s footsteps, our modern day couple chose to say their vows in an intimate setting, right in the heart of the Principality of Monaco, in the stunning gardens of the legendary Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo.
While her groom was getting dressed in his bespoke Suit Supply three-piece suit in an exceptional Diamond Suite at the Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo overlooking Casino Square, his bride, Gabriele was being prepared in the Riviera Diamond Suite of the Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo.
Overlooking the Monaco harbour and Palace on the rock, refined makeup by Irina of Allure Makeup and a modern twist to the classic low chignon, styled by Agnès Doussot with details of the dress adorning her hair as a bespoke hair piece was set in motion.
As the sun rose to its zenith, so did the preparations as the bridal look was finished off with a pair of breathtaking pair of Maison Vitale “Fleurs des Mers Bleues” earrings.
Time to put on the bespoke made-to-measure Geraldine Daulon Paris wedding dress. The moment was breathtaking. The Mother Nature “Hana” dress by Geraldine Daulon inspired by faraway lands with delicate hand embroidered flowers inspired by blossom trees, gold detail on the upper body and a floor length sweeping “Izanami” kimono made Gabriele the picture-perfect modern dignified bride.
With its palatial grandeur in Belle Epoque style, nothing was more elegant than our timeless bride floating through the corridors whispering tales of the time and marked by historic importance, such as that of Nicolas Marquet and Gustave Eiffel resonating through the walls.
As she joined her love at the Excelsior Terrace of the Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo through the open doors of the beautifully adorned Excelsior salon, the beautiful bride was greeted by a hand-picked gathering of their nearest and dearest respecting the new era of marrying in social distancing times.
The floral decorations married traditional romance with modern elegance, beautifully arranged by English-speaking florist on the French Riviera, Claire of Dandelions & Grace. The florals were designed to enhance the modern bride but also render homage to the classic French elegance of the stunning venue.
Combining traditional romance with stylish elegance and glamour, Claire used classic garden roses in soft tones paired with more modern dried details, such as Lunaria. The designs instantly became uplifted and created the delicate touch that the couple sought for, matching the overall theme and wedding attire.
The unique tinted sweet peas added the contemporary detail bringing a fresher modern feel to the arrangements, such as the table decorations, the wedding arch, bouquet, button hole and wedding cake.
Between cocktails served in the outdoor terrace of the exotic gardens of the Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo overlooking the sea and Palace, our couple was taken aside to have their private photos taken in the gardens, under the wooden canopy lining the alley way reminiscing gardens of far-away lands.
After the session, a meaningful surprise organized by My Riviera Weddings followed – a spin on the world’s most iconic F1 racetracks in a baby blue Lady Blue Jaguar E-Type from 1966. An experience bringing delight to the couple for all the memories it evoked.
After the motorized adrenaline rush, a beautiful dinner among guests was served in the majestic Excelsior Salon at the Hôtel Hermitage. The sizeable table was adorned in a minimalistic modern style, with customized stationery handwritten in calligraphy by Summer Yang Calligraphy, Paris and miniature floral décor amidst the candelabra and soft lighting.
Wedding dress & engagement outfit @geraldinedaulon
Diamond Jewellery @vitalemontecarlo
Make Up Artist @irina.awad
Hair Styling @agnes_doussot
Hôtel Hermitage @hotelhermitagemc
Hôtel de Paris @hoteldeparismc
Monte Carlo Bay @montecarlobay
Monte Carlo Beach @montecarlobeach
Ring Box @voeu_du_coeur
His n Hers Beach Jackets @209mare
Day Jewellery @birsenaite.jewelry
Macramé Pool Jewellery @madewithlovebynatalia
Classic Cars 1960s Jaguars privately owned