In early August, two of the most in-love humans I have the pleasure of knowing tied the knot. About the bride and groom: Maria (Swedish gal), and Pierre (French dude), definitely have some kind of continuous electric current between one another, and their wedding on the Swedish island of Ven was nothing short of magical… and so them.
Upon arrival on the island of Ven via ferry, all the guests picked up yellow tandem bikes and hit the road to the location of the event. Sidenote, tandem bikes take a lot of coordination and are a lot more difficult than I expected. After getting settled in, we caught up with other guests and enjoyed some local grub and craft beer under the sun. Those who needed naps did so and before we knew it it was time to get ready for the ceremony. The afternoon flew by.
Us bridesmaids slipped on our vibrant red dresses (that, by the way, we all sewed under Maria’s supervision) and threw on our flower crowns that we made earlier in the day with flowers and leaves picked on the island. The brod slipped into her beautiful handmade gown adorned with giant bow on the back that took all 8 of us to get right (for anyone who knows Maria, she sews a good portion of her wardrobe and is quite the talented seamstress). This blue-eyed homegirl looked stunning, and when the groom saw her there was serious firework action.
When it was time, we all headed up a little dirt road to a little opening in the trees, where the two lovers exchanged their vows surrounded by family and friends. It was very much a tear jerker, tbh. The newlyweds rode off into the trees on their tandem with cans hanging and bangling from the back and the rest of the guests followed on their bikes for a tour of the island. It seriously felt like a flashback in a film, we were all riding in the Swedish island countryside with hair in the wind, etc., the whole thing felt like slow motion. We made our way to a little beach and the groom and his pals immediately stripped down and raced into the water, we all cheered, the sun was setting and it was just awesome. The evening rolled in with heaps of laughter, speeches in 3 different languages, Swedish meatballs & more, wine glasses cheering continuously, and rolled out with groovy moves on the dance floor and a huge bonfire.
Maria and Pierre, you rock, thank you for such an amazing weekend filled with so much love.
I know, I know… too many pictures in this post: Honestly I couldn’t cut it down any further, there were just so many I liked! ‘Twas another weekend getaway with some lovely ladies… this time northeast across the French and Belgian borders to Holland to find some tulip fields. Low and behold, we also found beautiful fields of daffodils and hyacinths. But before that— we passed [far too] quickly through a lovely town called Rotterdam. I had been wanting to go to Rotterdam quite some time, especially after drooling over Kit & Nancy’s blog and Instagram. The modernity of the city and tasteful design had me dreaming a bit.
We got into town and the rain had us a bit down, but with a little vintage shopping fix, Cube House selfies, stroopwafel stop and recharge we were able to have a chatty and boozy evening at Aloha. Aloha was awesome, but don’t let those Dutch smiles fool you, they rarely take another card besides Maestro (who has a Maestro?!). Definitely plan to have cash on your on your trip, to avoid unnecessary stress. Aloha is a once pool now awesomely tropic bar and restaurant. In the summertime I bet their terrace is pretty rad. I’ll need to head back to Rotterdam sometime, because to be honest when we woke up to blue skies that Sunday we booked it north to find flower fields. Geeks!
The mini road trip started by heading towards Leiden, which I had heard of cos a good friend of mine went to Law School there. Anyways, she had told me to just drive around there, and that is exactly what we did! Before we knew it we were off the main streets near Noordwijk and pulling over to go hang out in random local fields. I honestly am not sure I know what to call someone who grows flowers professionally…? It was beautiful and had me questioning life and my career, ha. Our third field was the most rad of them all: various color palettes and flowers. Luckily Ylenia needed to use the restroom so we wandered around the greenhouse next to the fields, and found the most MAGICAL PLACE THAT COULD EVER EXIST ON THE PLANET. When I say that I am not exaggerating. It’s called Kwekerij en theedrinkerij Noordwijk Buiten, and it’s incredible. There’s even a bus pulled in the side, vintage knick-knacks and fresh flowers all over the place, delicious snacks and teas, wooden and iron tables out in the lawn with a view of the fields, wooden suspended chairs…
And then there were more flower fields.
Aloha // Restaurant & Bar (rezo recommended)
Markhal // Market hall with restaurants, shops & bars
Noordwijk Buiten // Greenhouse café and event space
Tony’s Garage Sale // Vintage shop
Stroop // Waffle Shop
Ile Tudy, a tiny port town filled with memories of my mother-in-law’s childhood and adulthood, where she would spend every summer in their family home right on the ocean. A magical place that I just love going to when we have the opportunity. This time ’round we came for Christmas with Louis, absolute perfection with the fireplace, good movies and baths in the enamel clawfoot tub. I was very grateful to be able to share this place with good friends post-Christmas, it was truly a pleasure. Here we indulged in delicious local seafood, good wine… we played games, strolled on the beach, ran into the wind. My in-law’s, my lover, Rachel, Haleigh and Anne were the perfect company to long late lunches.
It’s a special place, right on the sea, where you can actually give yourself time to relax and breathe in the fresh air. Sometimes you just need to hear the waves crashing as you’re falling asleep to re-emphasize how small we humans are in this world, eh?
The funny thing about Bretagne – like all seaside climates – is the weather can be just as nice in the winter as it can in the summer. No joke, this Christmas at Ile Tudy we had afternoons far nicer (& warmer!) than last August. It’s a crazy world. Thank goodness in this crazy world there are such beautiful quaint places to make memories in.
To wrap up the summer season, Louis and I were so excited to bring some friends to the house in the countryside. It’s the kind of place that is certainly worth sharing- and besides, who doesn’t want a weekend getaway outside of the stress of the week and Paris? (I mean, we all adore Paris, but let’s be honest, getting to somewhere calmer for the weekend is fabulous and anyone who tells you differently is lying).
So, Haleigh, Marissa, Ylenia and their beaus came down for a weekend amongst the flowers. It was a weekend to enjoy some nature, and to make some time to cook delicious things with garden finds, to pair with our perfect BBQ goodies.
Sharing such a beautiful place and a place we love so much with friends really made my heart all fuzzy. It’s kind of like sharing a little part of yourself in many ways, a place where so many memories are made and where more will continue to be made with dear friends.
I’m not yet at the age where heaps of my friends are getting married. It’s starting. For example, this is only the second wedding I’ve ever been to! (The first one was also documented on here). That said, I’m eternally bummed about missing two dear friend’s wedding last summer due to distance and a new job, but I’m hoping I’ll be able to be a part of more celebrations for dear ones in the future. Because quite simply, seeing people so so happy and being a part of such a celebration is one of the most magical things.
This September someone I really care about got hitched, my fromager friend Romain. We met in our Master’s program here in Paris, and he’s probably one of the sweetest humans I’ve ever met, so to head down to the Aquitaine with the other two members of our quartet, Coline and Mohamed, was just the best way to finish off the summer season. The simplicity and beauty of their wedding was beyond rad, full of brocante-themed details, bubbly and dancing. The adorable little Mairie was in a small town north of Bordeaux, near the newlywed’s new home, and the reception was in a beautifully modest local castle (to which I unfortunately did not bring my camera, cos boy was it beautifully decorated a rustic-vintage charm, streamers and table decor galore!).
Last but not least, a little side note on how epic French celebration meals are— they start so late after already stuffing one’s face in amuse-bouche and hors-d’oeuvres, and so they finish so late but it’s all just so wonderful and because of all the happiness in celebration of love, no one even realizes they’re tired! Leaving the dinner table at 3am isn’t always a bad thing, especially if it’s to get up and boogie to Claude-François and Jean-Jacques Goldman (Google both of these people now if you haven’t heard of them, and yes, you will probably hear their songs at any type of huge French gathering, notably weddings).
It was a very happy weekend, so much love to the newlyweds. And total props to Romain on the cheese course, he knows his stuff.