What a special opportunity for me, a Frenchman living in Northern California, to document the California vineyard wedding of Lucie and Christophe, also French transplants to NorCal! I met them several years ago while I was shooting in Paris, and was super excited when they contacted me to shoot their beautiful vineyard wedding. The mix of French culture and fun in an iconic California location made for a super memorable time for everyone.
I asked Lucie to write down some of the details from their special day and I can’t be more excited to share her words with you! Scroll down to see their images.
Paris is for lovers
Chris and I met in Paris about 6 years ago. We had friends in common and our paths crossed a couple of times until he decided to crash my birthday party. A few months later we decided to move to the US together! We’re both French, but we now live in San Francisco and are completely in love with California.
The most difficult part was to decide where the wedding would take place. Paris? Elsewhere in France? Or in our newly adopted state? Finally we chose California, knowing that our wedding would be the best occasion to invite all our loved ones to discover the West Coast and extend the wedding into a weeklong vacation with everyone.
Having our guests come all the way to San Francisco and being able to show them our life here made these moments together even more special. We wanted a laid-back, festive and outdoor summer wedding and after months of research we found the perfect venue in the Alexander Valley, surrounded by vineyards, with amazing views of the valley, complete with a charming old barn – it was the perfect blend of the French touch in an authentically American space!
Last hurrah with friends
We actually kicked-off the festivities the week before the wedding day, with a surprise bachelor and bachelorette weekend in Las Vegas organized by our best friends! After months of wedding planning, we definitely needed that to completely unwind and fully enjoy the week leading up to the big day, with all our guests in town.
Our California vineyard wedding
The big day was absolutely fabulous. Sharing our happiness and emotions with everyone and being surrounded by so much love and laughter was completely surreal. The day went by so quickly but I can very specifically remember so many special moments. Getting ready separately – me with my mom and girls, Christophe with his guys, having an intimate moment before the ceremony to see each other for the first time, having one of our best friends marry us during a very unique and personal ceremony and dancing the night away with our favorite people.
There are so many! From me calling Chris “Groomzilla” during the months of planning, but being secretly so happy he took the lead on (almost) everything, to my mom organizing a surprise flash mob and sending hilarious tutorial videos to my friends, or to me falling asleep still in my wedding dress, but wrapped up in a tablecloth at 5am!
Photography made fun
We had a very special connection with Sebastien from the moment we met him! We did an engagement session in San Francisco and had so much fun that all the stress from having to “pose” in front of his camera disappeared. I also remember how comforting it was to have him around as I was getting ready and feeling excited but nervous on the morning of the wedding. Sebastien is a very authentic and perceptive photographer, who instantly understood our vibe and was able to capture the raw emotions of that day – from the big moments to even the smallest behind-the-scene details.
Through his work, we are basically not only re-living the entire day, but also discovering hidden gems and creating new memories!
Sebastien Bicard is a fine art wedding and portrait photographer based in Paris and California. He specializes in international travel and destination weddings worldwide.