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A wedding in the heart of the Chateauneuf du Pape’s vineyards at Espace de l’Hers

I hit it off right away with the future husband and wife. Laurie and Anthony have a wonderful bond and their joie de vivre is contagious ! 4 years and a few months after they started dating, they decided it was time to tie the knot and celebrate their love with all their loved ones.

On the morning of the big day, I met Anthony at their house in Orange. He turned on the music and put on his Vogue suit while him and his friends were get ready and goofing around. No stress!

I then left for Châteauneuf du Pape, where the wedding reception was going to be held at the gorgeous Espace de l’Hers venue. The estate, located on one of the Châteauneuf du Pape vineyards, is a true gem. I met with Laurie in her room, as she was ready to put on her Les Mariées de Provence wedding dress, wearing a beautiful bridal chignon made by hairdresser Eric Léturgie‘s team in Orange and a perfect makeup by Mesdames L’institut in Caderousse. She even had gotten a tan at Tahiti Sun before her big day!

The bride had thought of every little detail: eyelash extensions and special manicure by Belle en gel, mini champagne bottles bubbles for their ceremony exit, custom made shoes by Magic Feet, and that was just the beginning!

Anthony was patiently waiting for his love in the courtyard, excited to discover her as she was putting on her jewelry and perfume… finally, the first look magic happened! The photos speak for themselves…

Then off to the théâtre municipal of Orange we were. This 19th century stunning theatre is were summer weddings are performed in Orange.

After getting officially married, the bride and groom and all their guests drove back to Espace de l’Hers for the outdoor ceremony held in the courtyard, under the big beautiful tree. The talented Gwenaëlle took care of the floral arrangements, as well as the ceremony celebration as she’s also a ceremony officiant!

I love symbolic ceremonies as they give me so much freedom as a photographer, while also being completely personalized. Laurie and Anthony’s loved ones’ speeches sure were a big hit: there were laughter and happy tears all over the audience.

The vows and rings exchange was very important for the couple, as the wedding rings they had custom made by Créaly had been made from Laurie’s own grandmother’s jewelry.

The courtyard then transformed into a mingling scene, cocktail hour and dinner being catered by Le Ramier traiteur. After family portraits, the newlyweds raised their glasses and thanked their friends for their support and help during the wedding preparation, as well as their guests for joining them in celebrating this big milestone.

We then took off for some time to take bride and groom photos at the closeby castle of Châteauneuf du Pape. But the wind being annoying, we didn’t stay long. Long enough though to take some great portraits with the ruins of the castle. On the way back, we stopped for more photos in the vines that made Châteauneuf du Pape’s worldwide fame.

Having all the locations be really close is definitely a must for the bride and groom who were able to really enjoy their guests’ company. I didn’t cover the dinner part of the wedding day, but I’m sure the party went on until dawn, thanks to DJ Berny!

I had a real blast capturing Laurie and Anthony’s wedding under the sun of Provence. The bride, groom and all their loved ones were so kind and friendly, it made me enjoy this day even more. Merci and congratulations!!

J’ai découvert les photos de Marie via l’application Mariage.net. Je suis littéralement tombée amoureuse de son style photographique, de ses prises de vue, de ses couleurs mais aussi, de ses clichés en noir et blanc. Chaque photo retraçait une émotion et me donnait l’impression de vivre le moment immortalisé.

J’ai donc pris contact avec la photographe qui m’a très rapidement invitée à se rencontrer. Marie s’est proposée de se rendre chez nous. Elle a pris le temps d’échanger avec nous, d’apprendre à nous connaitre personnellement. Nous avons pu évoquer avec elle : la photographie, le mariage, notre couple (afin de mieux cerner nos personnalités) et lui exposer nos attentes. Marie s’est montrée très attentive et désireuse de nous satisfaire. Au delà de réaliser une belle prestation, Marie a toujours eu le soucis de nous faire plaisir. Elle ne nous a jamais fait ressentir que nous étions un mariage de plus dans sa carrière. Bien au contraire ! Elle a réussi à rendre singulière son intervention auprès de nous.

Pour nous, au delà de la réalisation de belles photos, le côté humain été primordial. Le feeling est tout de suite passé avec Marie ! Elle est une personne discrète et agréable. Elle nous a rapidement mis en confiance et donné envie de découvrir son univers.

Par la suite, Marie s’est rendue avec moi sur le domaine de notre mariage afin de repérer les lieux et de préparer au mieux le jour J. Elle s’est toujours montrée très investie et disponible durant nos longs préparatifs.

Le jour du mariage, tout a été parfait ! Marie s’est montrée présente mais pas omniprésente. Elle adopte une juste place entre nous accompagner et nous laisser libre de profiter de cette journée qui est la nôtre. Elle a su nous mettre à l’aise pour créer de magnifiques clichés, naturels. Elle nous a guidé et accompagné durant toute cette journée pour immortaliser de réels beaux instants vécus. Marie a le sens du détail.

Elle a également outrepassé sa fonction de photographe en se montrant très à l’écoute et voulant que cette journée se déroule parfaitement : elle a pu tenir mon voile qui s’envolait avec le vent, m’aider à mettre des boucles d’oreilles récalcitrantes, et à mettre à l’aise l’ensemble des invités. Tout le monde l’a adoptée et s’est prêté au jeu des photos grâce à la bienveillance de Marie. Elle avait deux appareils photos.

Dès le lendemain matin du mariage, Marie a pu nous envoyer un échantillon de photos pour nous donner un aperçu de son travail (et nous rassurer sur le rendu !). Nos photos ont ensuite été livrées très rapidement (une semaine) sur une galerie internet sécurisée et sur une clé usb.

Le résultat est au rendez-vous ! Nos photos sont superbes ! Nous sommes comblés ! Elles nous représentent parfaitement et mettent en valeur nos personnalités. Les photos de Marie ont une réelle âme et du caractère ! Elles continuent de faire vivre au travers des images, des moments qui nous sont chers.

Nous n’hésiterons pas à refaire appel à Marie pour une nouvelle séance photo !

Alors, futures mariées, si vous souhaitez immortaliser de la plus belle des façon cette magnifique journée, je ne peux que vous conseiller de faire appel au talent de Marie Calfopoulos !

Laurie B.

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A wedding in a Provence village and on the Pont d’Avignon

A sunny Saturday of September in the Provence village of Mazan… Marie and Thibaud have been impatiently awaiting this day for months — even years — finally: they’re getting married!

I’m meeting the blushing bride at her parents beautiful villa as she’s getting her hair done along with her friends and bridesmaids. Everybody’s relaxed and excited at the same time. After the hair comes makeup: a flattering pink and peach look for this blue eyed beauty.

Times goes by quickly, and while Marie is putting on her city hall ceremony dress, I’m off to capture some shots of Thibaud and his groomsmen at his parents house nearby.

In a small town, everything is walking distance so we get to city hall in a few minutes by foot. The fiancés each get a warm welcome from their loved ones before the ceremony.

The mayor who’s known the family well performs the civil ceremony and soon the lovers officially become husband and wife!

Right after, everyone leaves the room and Marie puts on her long wedding dress with the help of her bridesmaids, all dressed in soft pink tones.

Now off to Mazan’s church, located nearby, for a beautiful religious ceremony.

The bride and groom exchange rings, and exit the church under a traditional rice toss, then leave for Avignon in a red convertible car.

The couple chose to host their wedding reception at Espace Jeanne Laurent, next to the Palais des Papes in the heart of the old town of Avignon. The venue, overlooking Pont Saint-Bénézet offers a sunning view over the Rhone river and has a private access to the famous bridge. A wonderful opportunity to take some unique bride and groom portraits!

As the sun goes down, most guests walk down to enjoy the view during cocktail hour, and we can get more fun portraits done with friends and family.

Dinner is about to start and that’s my cue to leave. Marie and Thibaud’s wedding day was full of laughter and joy, and it’s been a pleasure capturing all those unforgettable memories for them.

Les photos reçus sont magnifiques, en grande quantité. Les réunions de préparation avec Marie ont ête efficaces et Marie avec son expérience des mariages a pu nous conseiller. Elle a su être discrète pendant toute la ceremonie et être très flexible.

Thibaud P.

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How to choose your destination wedding photographer?

You’ve been dreaming about this day your whole life…

Your one and only has finally popped the question and you’ve celebrated your engagement with your friends and family… it’s happening: you’re getting married! Before your big day, you’re going to be very busy. Whether you’ve hired a wedding planner or not, you’ll be the ones to choose the vendors that will accompany you on your wedding day.

One of the most important vendors you’ll have to choose is your photographer, or team of photographers if you’re excepting many guests. If you’re reading this, you’re probably wondering how to make such a delicate and highly important decision. After all, this person will be in charge of capturing all the memories of the most important day of your lives!

As a professional photographer, I have shot dozens of weddings over the past 10 years. I’m going to share with you all the questions you should ask yourselves and what you should ask your photographer to make sure you are making the right choice.

All your wedding memories will be captured by your photographer, a delicate task not to overlook

1. Are you in love with their photographic style?

To me, there are as many styles as there are photographers. Each person has their own way to capture a wedding. Nevertheless, you can easily notice things that you like and things you don’t. Some people will be into very bright and airy photos, others, on the contrary, will love a moody, darker style. Some will want their photographer to pose them a lot while others will want spontaneous shots. Maybe you’ll want a realistic and authentic approach that is photojournalism…

In order to define the style you want for your wedding, try using Pinterest! This virtual pin board will help you visualize and save all your favorite images, giving you a general vision of what you want for your own wedding. You can also explore instagram and save the pictures you love.

During getting ready, your photographer will capture close-ups of important details

2. Do you have chemistry?

Your photographer is the person you’re going to spend time with the most on your wedding day! Their mission will include closely following you around to make sure their don’t miss anything on your big day. It is essential that you feel comfortable with this person and the presence of the camera. For shy people, it can be daunting to spend an entire day being the center of attention and to be photographed all day long by a stranger.

I share a lot about my story and my personnality on my website because I love to connect with people. By spending time with your photographer and getting to know them, you’ll develop a friendship that goes way beyond the usual vendor-client relationship and you’ll be able to relax and enjoy your day to the fullest, creating wonderful images together. The same goes for your family and friends, who will loosen up and be themselves in front of the camera. The result: spontaneous shots with real emotions and a joyful day for all!

Your photographer will have to be social in addition to all the other skills shooting a wedding requires

3. How experienced are they?

It seems obvious, but good commercial skills can make you forget that photographing a wedding is a difficult task. I think it’s one of the thoughest photography fields, as it requires so many skills: foresee and plan ahead as you never know what can happen, react quickly, be experimented enough to know where to stand and use the right settings to to get the best shot, sensitivity to truly appreciate and capture this beautiful moment, discretion not to disturb the ceremony, but great social skills to capture real emotions… There are few diplomas in this field so many wedding photographers are self-taught. To make sure a photographer is experienced enough, you can also check what past clients thought of them by reading reviews.

Also note how many weddings they show when you look through their portfolio. The more, the better! In addition to their portfolio, which includes their very best work, ask to see a full wedding gallery so you get a real feeling of what you’ll get with them.

Marie,
These pictures are ABSOLUTELY breathtaking!  We have only showed a couple of people and they were literally in tears!!!  I just wanted to let you know how wonderful you were to work withyou made our wedding day perfect!  Thank you so much for everything.  If you are ever in this part of the world, let us know and we’d love to show you Baltimore/DC.
Again, thank you so much and I hope we have the opportunity to work with you in the future!!!

Katlyn G.
You'll want them to capture your exit of the ceremony perfectly!

4. How do they work on a wedding?

This is also a very important question to evaluate their experience level. In addition to knowing how they work, you can ask your photographer how they got a specific shot for example. I personally love to share anecdotes about weddings I've shot, so I'm sure they would be keen to talk about that too.

Also ask them about their post-processing and workflow: what softwares do they use, what adjustments do they do, how long it takes, when and how you'll get the final images etc...

Additionally, some photographers (myself included) will offer to meet again after the initial wedding consultation to talk about your wedding in details or to visit the wedding venue together. All these steps are essential and shouldn't be neglected.

Another important thing to consider if you're planning to get married in a different country (in France for example) or have international guests in attendance: do they speak other languages fluently? You'd think it's not that important, but I've shot quite a good amount of destination weddings and elopements in France with various nationalities and being fluent in English was so comfortable! For me as a photographer so I could listen to what was said and pick up on last minute changes etc... but mostly for the guests who didn't have to make an effort to communicate with me. Plus, I love speaking other languages (and teach some French too)!

Your photographer should be able to capture tears or joy and laughter

5. What's included in their collections and what's not?

Each photographer has their own terms and conditions so make sure to ask about their travel fees, ask if you'll be able to share your gallery with your guests, download photos for free and order prints easily, how many photos you'll get as it can vary a lot between photographers, if you'll get color photos only or duplicates in black and white also or a mix of both, what time they'll start and end photography on your wedding day, how much are extra hours etc... all of these questions will influence on your final choice.

You should love their bride and groom portraits as much as their documentary photos

6. What are their rates and how to book them?

You'll surely have a specific budget alloted to photography, but if you fall in love with a photographer's work and it's a little over your maximum investment, ask yourself if that person isn't worth an extra couple hundreds. These pictures will carry the memory of your wedding for decades, it would be sad to settle for someone you didn't click with as much. Still, you should feel like it is worth such an investment in regards to all of the above.

Read their contract carefully to make sure you are on board with all their terms and conditions, including the cancellation policy, date change and the payment plan.

Oh Marie those are SO beautiful! You really captured the fun, loving spirit of the wedding. I cannot tell you how incredibly happy we are with them. They are so wonderful and magical and exactly the type of pictures that we were looking for. Thank you again for capturing our day so beautifully!

Madison B.
Your photographer should be able to work in all lighting conditions, including night and indoor

I hope this article helped you in making this important decision. If you'd like to know more about how I work on weddings, ask for a real life or skype consultation and get my wedding collections brochure, get in touch with me here!

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A wedding full of emotion at l’Auberge du Parc in Orgon, Provence

The bride and groom chose to get married in the church of Grans, a village near Salon-de-Provence, in the South of France. It was a sunny saturday afternoon of August, and their guests came all accross the country from North of France to meet the bride and groom in sunny Provence.

The beautiful bride was supposed to arrive in a fancy old car, but it broke down! So Agathe got to the chruch a little late, in her Cymbeline wedding dress, her Rose Tea bouquet in hand. An emotional moment as she walked down the aisle with her father…

The couple incorporated live music and readings throughout the ceremony, performed by the priest from their hometown, who also came all the way to Provence for the wedding.

After stopping in some typical Provence vines for bride and groom portraits, the wedding continued at l’Auberge du Parc, in Orgon. Located at the bottom of the cliffs, between the Luberon and Alpilles natural parks. The 18th century building is surrounded by a small river and greenery, a perfect venue for a Provence wedding.

The newlyweds made their big entrance for the reception with a ton of energy and a big grin on their faces, which set the tone for the whole night!

The traditional romantic first dance was soon followed by the famous “Time of my Life” song from the movie “Dirty Dancing”. And the party was on!

Then came the magnificent croquembouche and the bride and groom made a speech to thank everyone for coming all this way for their big day. The couple then took part in a tradition from their native land: the vivat flamand: a song with half-French half-Latin lyrics in honor of the newlyweds. During the song, the bride and groom sit down while their loved ones pour champagne on a tissue over their heads.

Singer Enrico Macias used to sing it so well in “Les gens du Nord”… the people from North of France are very friendly! It was a pleasure to photograph Agathe and Tim’s wedding in Provence!

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A French-Danish wedding in a castle of the Loire Valley

This fairytale started a few years ago when Carine, a French young woman, met Emil, a Danish gentleman. Cultural differences made their love stronger and the two decided to settle in Odense, Denmark.

Nevertheless, the couple chose to get married in France. They wanted to offer their guests, who were travelling from various countries for the wedding, the opportunity to discover the beauty of Carine’s birth country. They fell in love with Domaine de la Fougeraie, located near Tours, in the heart of the Loire Valley. An elegant and charming venue with its beautiful park and its 19th century castle.

Carine was relaxed on her big day, while her friends, mother and makeup artist were turning her into a real life princess.

In the meantime, Emil was putting on his suit with the help of his brother and sister.

Then came the first look. Carine came down the staircase of the castle before Emil’s wet eyes…

While their guests were arriving, we took some couple pictures with the bride and groom who were on cloud 9.

The outside ceremony was held in the park and was officiated by the lovers family members.

Before exchanging their vows, the two tasted the four elements – the sour, the bitter, the hot, and the sweet – four tastes symbolic of the elements of marriage.

The ceremony came to a close with Carine’s friends covering the song “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran.

The newlyweds then walked under French and Danish flags held by their guests.

Time to celebrate!

It’s been a real pleasure to capture Carine and Emil’s multicultural wedding at Domaine de la Fougeraie and to visit this beautiful area of France that is the Loire Valley and its magnificent castles.

Nous avons été ravis de notre choix ! Le feeling est tout de suite passé avec Marie, nous nous sommes sentis en confiance et avons apprécié son professionnalisme (devis clair, réponses rapides). Le jour J, accompagnée de Romain, elle a su capturer les moments clés, nous donner des directions quand nous en avions besoin et se faire discrète le reste du temps, et le fait qu’elle parle parfaitement anglais a bien aidé la communication avec nos invités étrangers. Nous avons reçu un aperçu des photos quelques jours seulement après le mariage et l’ensemble des photos en un temps record. Marie et Romain ont sur capturer les moments clés, l’émotion de la cérémonie et l’ensemble des invités durant le vin d’honneur. Nous la recommandons sans hésiter !

Carine V.

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