An ombré style wedding in a castle in Aix-En-Provence, France – 71Bait

Stephanie and Jason met at Hinge in March 2018. Jason lived in Los Angeles and Stephanie in Orange County. After a week of posting back and forth, Jason braved the LA traffic to drive down and meet Stephanie for brunch in Newport Beach. Upon learning that Jason played baseball in Dartmouth and Stephanie played volleyball at UCLA and Minnesota, the pair bonded through their college sports background and love of travel. After the first date, Jason committed to taking Stephanie out every Wednesday night after work and eventually moved to be closer to her.

On August 23rd, 2020, Jason took Stephanie to a friend’s flower shop and surprised her with an intimate proposal complete with candles, flowers and of course a champagne toast!

Photo by KT Merry


As soon as the couple saw pictures of the French gardens of the Château de la Gaude in Aix en Provence, France, they decided to celebrate their wedding there. a first for the venue. “Although our expectations of the venue were high and we also took the risk of being the first couple to get married there, when we arrived at the property we were completely blown away,” says the couple. They invited 41 guests to enjoy the entire venue in the days leading up to their wedding anniversary on September 1st, 2021. “The property was constantly buzzing with excitement and we were able to enjoy authentic and thoughtful time together with our guests in one of the most magical settings,” says the couple.

Stephanie and Jason chose a pastel ombré color palette with a focus on ice blue. “We chose this particular blue as the main color of the wedding because it was my grandmother’s favorite color. Although she is no longer with us, I wanted to pay her respects,” says Stephanie. Planners from White Eden Weddings coordinated the destination wedding and photographer KT Merry captured all the ombré design elements and sentimental moments.

The couple’s invitation suite from Crème de Papier included a watercolor illustration of the venue and an icy blue envelope. The invitations had a gold frame and gold lettering to match the gold wax seal.

Photo by KT Merry


Photo by KT Merry


For Stephanie and Jason’s wedding, guests were invited to the Château de la Gaude in Aix-en-Provence, France; a recently renovated eighteen room mansion in the French countryside, surrounded by vineyards and fields of lavender. The couple presented guests with welcome baskets containing items including lavender, wine, mineral water, baguette and jam. They included thank you cards with the watercolor illustration.

Photo by KT Merry


Photo by KT Merry


Photo by KT Merry


Photo by KT Merry


Stephanie originally had four bridesmaids, but two had to cancel at the last minute, so she got ready for the day with her family and two bridesmaids. She wore a beaded Gaia Lahav gown with a fitted bodice and hand-embroidered blush flowers. Four months before the wedding, Stephanie still hadn’t found her dress, so she headed to the Gaia Lahav flagship store in LA, looking for a dress that felt like something she would pick, but also looked gorgeous felt. “It was awesome and ethereal at the same time. What solidified when I left Galia was that I could finally stop searching Instagram for the ‘perfect’ dress,” she says. She paired the dress with Jimmy Choo satin pumps with ombre embellishments as a nod to the decor theme. She also wore Jason’s grandmother’s pearl earrings with diamond details. Her hair and makeup artist, Trine Juel, gave Stephanie her signature long, soft curls and a light foundation look using the Tom Ford Skin Illuminating Powder Duo to give her a soft glow.

Photo by KT Merry


She held a round bouquet of three types of roses in shades of cream and light pink, a nod to the reddish embellishments on her dress. She also had small tags with pictures of her grandmothers and uncle on her bouquet.

Photo by KT Merry


It was definitely a moment I will forever cherish as I saw a tear well up in his eyes as he admired the woman I had become.

Photo by KT Merry


Although Stephanie and Jason decided to see each other for the first time at the ceremony, Stephanie had a first look with her dad. “It was definitely a moment I will forever cherish as I watched a tear well up in his eyes as he admired the woman I had become and relieved at the milestones we had achieved together.” , she says.

Photo by KT Merry


Photo by KT Merry


Jason wore a black tuxedo designed at b.Spoke in Costa Mesa, California that featured a special message from Stephanie under the collar. He also wore custom cufflinks with a picture of the couple’s dachshunds on one and a picture of Stephanie with her dogs on the other. As for the watch, “I wore a first edition Rolex Submariner known as The Kermit, which was a college graduation gift from my parents,” says Jason. On the wedding day, he completed his look with Gucci shoes and Hermes Voyage as a fragrance.

Photo by KT Merry


Each of the groomsmen had their own tuxedo, which was custom made for the wedding, according to a set of guidelines Stephanie and Jason shared with them. They went with a black jacket with a button, black trousers, peaked lapels and black socks.

Photo by KT Merry


Photo by KT Merry


Photo by KT Merry


Photo by KT Merry


The couple’s ceremony and cocktail hour took place in one of the venue’s gardens surrounded by vineyards. They chose white medallion chairs and placed them on a curve for the ceremony. The floral patterns took up the couple’s ombré theme, with arrangements in tall white urns at the entrance to the aisle and floor arrangements at the sides of the aisle that gradually shifted from blue to purple to pink to white. The focal point of the ceremony was the three floral arches, also in ombré tones, at the altar, with a garden fountain behind.

Photo by KT Merry


Photo by KT Merry


A string trio and pianist performed “Beauty and the Beast” while guests took their seats at the ceremony. The couple’s photographer, KT Merry, escorted them onto the castle’s terrace overlooking the wedding ceremony. “It was a private moment, having it all to myself in the middle of the excitement of the day, and just before I walked down the aisle to marry the man of my dreams,” she says, “it was a moment of serenity and excitement at the same time.” it makes me chill from veil to jimmy choo!”

Photo by KT Merry


Photo by KT Merry


Stephanie walked down the aisle with her dad at her side while the string trio played “Can’t Help Falling In Love.” Stephanie left the song choices a surprise to Jason up to this point.

Photo by KT Merry


It felt like the whole world stood still, nothing else mattered and the three of us were in our own moment.

Photo by KT Merry


Stephanie and Jason asked their friend Justin to officiate their ceremony. They asked Stephanie’s Aunt Sue, who was Stephanie’s guardian while she was in high school, to read “Union” by Robert Fulgum. The couple exchanged intimate vows that gave their guests a glimpse into their private relationship. “The ceremony for us was a moment for Jason, Justin and I,” says Stephanie, “it felt like the whole world stood still, nothing else mattered and the three of us were in our own moment.”

Photo by KT Merry


Photo by KT Merry


After the couple was declared husband and wife, the string trio performed “The Wedding March.”

Photo by KT Merry


Photo by KT Merry


After the ceremony, the couple left with their photographer for some portraits, a walk through the garden and a glass of champagne.

Photo by KT Merry


Photo by KT Merry


The couple served two signature cocktails at home, named after their two dachshunds. The “Pennies from Heaven” was a pink gin and white wine cocktail with fresh lime, chartreuse elixir and rose lemonade. The “Woody’s Roundup” was a passion fruit and tequila cocktail with chili, lime and grapefruit. Guests were also served bites, including shrimp tartare, local artichoke with caviar, and a live foie gras cooking station.

Photo by KT Merry


The escort cards were displayed on a circular table on the lawn, adorned with small bud vases and an oversized flower arrangement in a glass vase.

Photo by KT Merry


Photo by KT Merry


Photo by KT Merry


Round and rectangular tables with velvet upholstery were set up in the outdoor reception area. Place settings included gold-rimmed glassware and custom laser-cut chargers.

Photo by KT Merry


The floral centerpieces featured the couple’s ombré color scheme, and similarly designed arrangements adorned the band’s stage and bar. “This created a consistent visual perspective from the ceremony to the reception,” says Stephanie.

Photo by KT Merry


Stephanie and Jason took a moment to snap some photos with their wedding party. Stephanie wanted her bridesmaids to wear a simple yet elegant dress, so she chose a pastel blue A-line dress from Hayley Paige Occasions.

Photo by KT Merry


Photo by KT Merry


A 13-foot white structure with icy blue trim framed the dining area, creating a cozy space in the venue’s grandiose gardens. Stephanie and Jason made their grand entry into the reception through a path marked with votive candles.

Photo by KT Merry


Photo by KT Merry


The pair shared their first dance to Jason Cassidy’s You. Stephanie then danced with her dad to Alan Jackson’s “You’ll Always Be My Baby,” and Jason shared a mother-son dance to Rascal Flatts’ “My Wish.”

Both Stephanie and Jason have special relationships with their grandparents. “It was very important for us to somehow integrate them into our day,” says Stephanie. “We cleared the dance floor and danced to Frank Sinatra’s ‘Young at Heart’ with each of our grandparents and it’s a moment we’ll never forget.”

Photo by KT Merry


Photo by KT Merry


Jason is a foodie so he was thrilled to learn the venue would be closing its Michelin restaurant to allow the team of chefs to prepare their wedding meal. The starter was lobster cooked with verbena and citrus and served with a drizzle of rose wine sorbet. For the main course, the guests chose between smoked racks of lamb and turbot.

Photo by KT Merry


Photo by KT Merry


Stephanie and Jason cut a white, three-tier lemon wedding cake that was decorated with flowers from top to bottom. A sparkler added some flair to the tradition.

Photo by KT Merry


The couple’s band kept guests energized throughout the night. They even learned a few songs the couple requested before their wedding, including John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads.” Jason’s second look included a shirt, bow tie and emerald green velvet tuxedo by b.Spoke. Stephanie changed into a high-necked, halterneck, made-to-measure dress with a plunging cowl neckline and crossed straps.

Photo by KT Merry


The couple spent some time in Greece after their wedding and are planning an official honeymoon in the Maldives. Stephanie and Jason offer some advice to other couples who are about to tie the knot. “Find vendors that you connect with who are really excited and passionate about attending your wedding,” they say. “Take calculated risks; You will not be disappointed as the details that have never been done before really make your wedding stand out and make it a once in a lifetime experience.”

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