France is probably the country where I feel most at home. I’ve done a whopping 14 weddings in France, I speak the language, I’m comfortable driving around the tiny villages and I love the wine (that last one counts, right?). Seriously though, one of my favourite things about my job is that I can fly anywhere in the world to be your destination wedding makeup artist.
Catherine contacted me in 2022 as she was getting married in Provence, France at Le Galinier and had seen my work at Naomi’s wedding that year, also in Provence. In fact, not only did she like my work, but she also liked wedding planner, Holly from Wonderlust Events, photographer Jack Henry, videographer Chris from Perfect Moment Films, florist Élise and Wildfire DJs. To top off the fact that she’d booked me to do her makeup, she’d also booked a lot of people that I respect in the industry and also some that I’ve been lucky enough to call my friends.
I met Catherine and her mum at Catherine’s home in London one weekend last July where we discussed everything ahead of the big day. Catherine and her mum were quite simply some of the easiest clients I’ve had. I did the makeup, the requested zero changes and off I went. Whenever this happens, there’s a little niggle in the back of my mind – this seems too easy, but no, no changes were made, the flights were booked and off I went.
The Day Before
I flew out to Marseille the day before the wedding as usual. My worst fear is my flight getting delayed and so I always insist on flying the day before and landing at lunchtime. If the only flights available are in the evening, I fly the day before that – you never know! I arrived in Lourmarin in the afternoon, super sweaty and a little bit frazzled just in time to bump into Catherine and her bridal party having drinks in the cute little village. I said hello and went to my Airbnb to shower and unpack.
That evening I met up with the rest of the team for some pizza (when in erm…France…right?!) to discuss the big day. Holly, as usual, is incredibly on top of everything and asked me if I could help with a teeny tiny favour….driving the vintage classic car, in another country, on the other side of the street. There ‘is only a small chance that you’ll need to drive it’….she said….
The Wedding Day
The day of the wedding was beautiful. I was only doing makeup this time as her lovely hairdresser Dean was going to be doing her destination wedding hair, so for me, everything was easy peasey lemon squeezey.
Catherines bridal party were so chill and everyone wanted to look natural with a nice glow – perfect! They all had beautiful skin and lovely features so it made my job very easy. Despite the fact that the weather was a little grey, I still applied plenty of SPF, as even on cloudy days, it’s so important to be protected.
I had plenty of time to get everyone ready so I managed to stop for some lunch which Catherine had very kindly organised for me, and to have a quick walk around with Catherines Dad to see the classic car, that I probably wouldn’t have to drive….thanks Holly.
Unfortunately, as is the case with all weddings, you cannot predict the weather and as we neared the time to leave, the rain came down on us. Catherine and her party, being our biggest priority stayed dry but we made the decision that she should not be getting into the windowless, soft-topped classic car. I tried to stop the rain from getting into the car using towels and umbrellas, so in fact, the rain came down on me and my photographer pal, Jack Henry. The decision was made that Catherine and her dad were going to travel to the church in the rental car, but, they still wanted photos in the vintage car, outside the church. Queue the slow head turn from everyone towards me….
They left, I wiped the seats as much as I could and sat down onto the wet, hailstone laiden beautiful classic car. Looks like I’m driving!
Navigating the streets of Louramarin in the rain in a car with no power steering, no windscreen wipers and a choke that I’ve only used in my 1972 Beatle that my ex boyfriend bought 20 years ago was….interesting. I 100% got lost. Jack had to come and find me, and also pull up the handbrake as I wasn’t strong enough, but, we made it and Catherine and Matt got their photos of them driving the car. My job as chauffeur was still not done as once they got to the drinks reception, the car still needed to be moved to the car park, and then back again when it was time to pick them up. I donned my hat again and headed off to collect the car.
Once my job was done, Holly kindly gave me a glass of wine and I was done for the day!
To be honest, I loved every minute of it. I loved that no two days are the same, whether I am your destination wedding hair and makeup artist or I’m driving around the corner from my home. I’m so grateful that I get to be there and help in any way I can.