Inspiration from Versailles

Now that you know a little about the quirky Camels, I think it’s time to start talking about the wedding!

First of all, you should know that I’m a huge history nerd. One of my favorite time periods is 18th century France and the history of Louis XIV, Louis XV, and Louis XVI—which of course includes Marie Antoinette and the palace of Versailles. Throw in Sophia Coppola’s stunning film (and not really accurate) Marie Antoinette, and you have a good idea of what has inspired many elements of our wedding.

I first visited Versailles over the summer of 2011 with my stepsister. We were on a whirlwind tour of Paris when she was on her way to study abroad in Madrid. As soon as I found out we were going to Paris together I knew we were going to have to visit Versailles.

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Visiting Versailles for the first time and extremely happy to be there with my bag of macarons. (personal photo)

I was totally smitten by the palace and the history surrounding it. Take the famous Hall of Mirrors for instance—not only is it steeped in the history of the kings of queens of France, but this room also saw the end of the Franco-Prussian war in 1871 where William I was declared emperor of Germany. The Germans returned to the Hall of Mirrors in 1919 to sign the Treaty of Versailles which ended World War I. So much history in one place!

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The Hall of Mirrors (personal photo)

After my first visit in 2011, I returned home and immediately bought several books on the palace and Marie Antoinette. After all my research I knew I had to go back someday. That opportunity came when my fiance and I traveled to Paris this past March. It was honestly one of the most magical days of my life, but that might have something to do with a surprise proposal on the grounds of the palace! So you can imagine that incorporating Versailles and Marie Antoinette into our special day seemed only natural.

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Details of Versailles (personal photos)

But I didn’t want too much rococo influence, with its gilded golden opulence. This level of formality and excess just isn’t our style. We’re down-to-earth people who enjoy all things informal. This meant that we were drawn to images of the peaceful countryside but with a touch of aristocracy. Luckily, I knew just where to look for inspiration.

In order to escape the rigid court life of Versailles, Marie Antoinette had a idyllic country-style village created at the Petit Trianon, a short 30 minute walk from the main palace. The Queen’s Hamlet is open to tourists and you can stroll through the fields and view her farm and quaint country cottages. It is now maintained as a sort of living museum with livestock and vegetable gardens, much as it would have appeared over 200 years ago. I’ve traveled all over the world and I think the Queen’s Hamlet is one of the coolest place on earth. It’s as if someone peeked into my imagination and created a playground for adults with all the whimsy of childhood dreams. Seriously, check out these images and tell me you haven’t fallen in love!

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Marie Antoinette and her entourage at the Queen’s Hamlet in Sophia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette. (source)

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The Queen’s Hamlet (personal photos)

And so, we have built our inspiration from there, along with the help of some trusty wedding blogs. After many, many months of planning, I have assembled a wealth of inspirational wedding images that I hope you find inspirational as well!

What unlikely places have you found wedding inspiration?

BLOGGER

Mrs. Camel

Location:
Athens, GA
Wedding Date:
May 2013
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comments

  1. Member
    lealorali 4370 posts, Honey bee @ 8:40 am

    In the art nouveau period! A peacock feather here, the arts & crafts-style windows of our venue there, the elaborate beading on my dress, etc

  2. Member
    LissaBeans 340 posts, Helper bee @ 9:20 am

    your wedding is going to be so beautiful!! i loved versailles, but i didn’t go to see the queen’s hamlet; it looks amazing. such a striking difference from the opulence of versailles. for our wedding, we (surprisingly) don’t have any true specific inspiration piece or period – we are just kind of going with the flow! ps how good are laduree macarons?!

  3. Member
    Mrs. Castle 1190 posts, Bumble bee @ 9:52 am

    We visited the palace of Versailles on our honeymoon and loved it. I wish I would have known about the Queens Hamlet! I would have loved to visit it. Next time!

  4. Guest
    Melchucki, Guest @ 10:28 am

    I got engaged at Versailles! Absolutely gorgeous place. We were out in the gardens enjoying a picnic when he popped the question. We then went on a tour of the palace and I have to say, I did not pay much attention because I spent most of the time staring at my ring :)

  5. Member
    Mrs. Toadstool 2485 posts, Buzzing bee @ 1:25 pm

    This looks great, as beautiful as Versalles is, I agree it’s a bit too over the top. I’m very curious about the details you are planning to incorporate.

  6. Member
    Mrs. Pony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 2:56 pm

    I love how much history is in such a beautiful place, I definitely want to go to Versailles! Can’t wait to see how you incorporate it into your wedding!

  7. Member
    Mrs. Camel 703 posts, Busy bee @ 6:43 pm

    @lealorali: I looooove art nouveau! I’m sure your wedding was (will be?) beautiful!

    @LissaBeans: You HAVE to see the Queen’s Hamlet. Such an awesome place. My dad was just in Rome and mailed me a box of Laduree macarons. They were a little stale but I was SO happy. :)

    @Mrs. Castle: I bet that was an amazing honeymoon destination! You really must see the Queen’s Hamlet!

    @Melchucki: We got engaged at Versailles too! I will have a whole post about it! Our guys must know true romance. ;)

  8. Member
    cosmo_gmr 945 posts, Busy bee @ 1:58 pm

    Oh wow… I HAVE to go there someday!

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