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