ORLENE + GUILLAUME
July 2, 2016 / Mougins, France
How did you two meet?
20 December, 2011: After hundreds of emails, letters, and phone conversations, we finally met on a wintry Tuesday in Paris, at the big blue door on Rue Etienne Marcel. He was tall, well-dressed, and his heart was racing. I was a foot smaller than him, slightly nervous, with a beaming smile. He carried my suitcase into his apartment and… I never left.
Guillaume, tell us how you proposed!
I waited until we were in the middle of nowhere, in Iceland, where the sunsets last for 3 hours in the summer. We were sitting on the top of a hill overlooking a fjord in the tiny village of Stykkisholmur; it was almost midnight and the sun was touching the horizon. The perfect moment for me to ask Orlene “Si elle voulait faire son chemin avec moi…?” If she wanted to build the rest of her life with me…together.
How did you decide on your gown, Orlene?
It was my best friend and eventual witness Sara who brought the Opal Gown to my attention! She’s American and told me about BHLDN (which we don’t have here in Europe). When I saw it, I immediately felt it was the one! It answered all of the criteria I had been searching for: a flowing romantic, ethereal-style dress that would showcase my shoes and I would feel comfortable walking in. I loved looking back and seeing the train of petals following behind me on the grass. So pretty! Perfect for the champêtre-chic theme of our garden wedding.
Describe the location of the wedding and why you chose it—it looks beautiful!
We chose Guillaume’s parents garden for the wedding because we loved the idea of having an intimate space that already had so much meaning for us, and where our guests would feel at home. It’s a plus their villa is literally on the top of a hillside in the beautiful village of Mougins, on the Cote d’Azur.
You formed a friendship with our stylists (they love you!). Tell us what it was like working with them.
Living in Paris and ending up falling in love with a wedding dress I could only find in the States… so typical of me! But thankfully, I had the incredibly patient and helpful BHLDN stylist Caroline to make the experience a smooth and exciting one! Caroline was there for me at every step: choosing the size, advising me on what kind of heels to go with, down to choosing the perfect veil! I am so grateful for her kind, responsive emails. Every piece of advice she gave along the way resulted in me now looking back and not wanting to change a thing—and that is an amazing feeling for a perfectionist like me.
Describe the mood of your day.
The mood was so relaxed and there was a lot of laughter and smiles. For the ceremony, Guillaume’s dad (our officiant) and our witnesses hit the perfect balance between humor and sincerity in their speeches.
We knew that two of the most important elements would be the food and the music—and we have to say, both were incredible! We had a jazz quartet from Cannes playing throughout cocktail hour and lots of our talented friends got up to dance, sing, and play along with them.
Just before the dessert, Guillaume played the accordion and everyone sang along to the French classics—the ambiance was electric! Likewise, the food by Provence-based chef Steven Borishansky was exactly what we had hoped for: quality and finesse in both the presentation and the taste. We could not have asked for more!
What do you most look forward to in married life?
Maintaining and appreciating the small but essential daily rituals that bring us real happiness in our everyday lives—having breakfast together every morning, meeting up for lunch at our favorite spot on Tuesdays, having date night on Wednesdays, and cooking dinner together in the evenings.
We’re looking forward to the projects we have planned together: buying and restoring an old house in the French countryside, traveling to the far-flung parts of the earth to find the perfect fly-fishing spots for Guillaume (they also happen to be in the most beautiful, serene parts of the world), and creating life together—intimidating, but so exciting! We can’t wait to see our family of two blossom with new life. 🙂
Your best advice for future brides and grooms?
Be as present as you can on the day of the wedding. So many couples say that it’s a day that goes by so fast! But for us, because we were aware of being 100% present, we can remember every single detail. Savor every minute!