Belinda & Hadrien
August 8, 2019, Saint-Dye-sur-Loire, France
Even during the early stages of their relationship, Belinda and Hadrien knew they’d spend the rest of their lives together. Talks of marriage began after a year of dating, but Hadrien still managed to surprise Belinda with an unexpected proposal during a trip to Tasmania, Australia.
Rather than having a choreographed engagement planned, Hadrien secretly carried the ring with him and waited for the right moment to present itself. That moment came while the couple was on a hike at Cape Hauy, approaching a scenic cliff line. The two were drenched with rain, as the weather wasn’t in their favor but it was their only chance to see the Cape. After they came to a clearing, they were greeted by the most magnificent view. The rain also stopped, the sun came out, and a rainbow appeared – quite clearly, the perfect time for a proposal. Hadrien told Belinda to look towards the cliffs so he could take a photo. When she looked back, he was down on one knee, holding a diamond ring.
As a French and Australian couple, Belinda and Hadrien spent the first few months of the wedding planning process considering potential locations. Eventually, they decided on a destination wedding in France that would take place at Château des Grotteaux in the Loire Valley.
“What appealed to me about the Loire Valley is its sense of romanticism, history, and gastronomy,” Belinda shares. “But mostly, it was the first region that Hadrien and I visited as a couple on a holiday to France in the early days of our relationship. To top it off, it is a region that is easy to access from Paris – which was a very important consideration for our guests, who were travelling from all parts of the world.”
With an intimate guest list of 60, the bride and groom had a civil ceremony in Paris, as is customary in France, giving everyone a chance for a proper meet and greet. A couple days later, everyone transitioned to the Loire Valley for a white party at the gardens of the historic Château de Chenonceau. By the end of the night, the guests had become one cohesive group of friends and were ready for the wedding day.
The ceremony was held in a 15th century church in Saint-Dyé-sur-Loire, followed by refreshments of champagne, strawberries and cream before heading to Château Des
Grotteaux for a garden cocktail hour.
“After the church ceremony and a session with our photographer, Belinda and I had to drive to the reception where our guests were waiting,” says Hadrien. “We did so in a classic 1960's Morgan Plus 8, and I'll always remember Belinda behind the wheel, zipping through the fields of wheat with her long veil flying in the wind. It was the first time we were on our own since exchanging our vows and for a brief moment, we were alone in our bubble.”
The newlyweds and their guests enjoyed a beautiful dinner under the stars with the effortlessly elegant ambiance of a summer garden party. “Discovery” was the central theme of their wedding, and the couple wanted to create a guest experience that included elements of the local region. They even scoured wine lists from Michelin-starred restaurants beforehand, specifically choosing local wines for their guests, and browsed farmers markets to discover different cheeses and traditions.
“The goosebump moment for us was seeing people from our two worlds all together, connecting and having a great time,” says the couple. “It truly was a once in a lifetime
opportunity. A few days later, we left for our honeymoon in Kenya for safari adventures, and then on to the Seychelles to unwind, relax, and reminisce about our new memories.”
>Written By: Lauren Malamala
Belinda & Hadrien