While Parisian glitz usually steals France's spotlight, the South of France offers incredible inspiration for an effortless and charming wedding. Painters such as Cezanne, van Gogh, and Picasso, have been inspired by the luminous light and brilliant colors of the region for good reason! Southern France has a distinct style characterized by Mediterranean beaches, small cobblestone streets, lush countrysides, and agricultural delicacies. After just having spent a week in Provence, here are some incredible wedding inspirations I picked up along the way!
The Feel of Southern France
Southern France is very different from the glitz and glam people usually associate with French style. Instead, the South of France is a agricultural oasis where most people go to vacation and unwind in the midst of lavender fields and Mediterranean Sea air. It is rustic, charming, and simply romantic.
Because the South of France is all about fresh produce and agriculture, a rustic farm table would embody this perfectly. Touches of lavender, lace linens, and maybe even burlap would dress the table nicely.
The Holman Ranch estate in Carmel Valley, California replicates the rustic, yet elegant feel of Southern France. With it's lavender accents, stone buildings, and private vineyard, it truly captures the essence of an elegant and rustic retreat.
The Flavors of Southern France
Incorporating Parisian food into your wedding is always a sure bet, but food from Southern France will wow your guests not only with the incredible flavors but also with the unique recipes. The waters of Coastal Provence provide a great sea harvest, including plump mussels, oysters, and tiny clams. Because of this, the area is especially famous for its fish dishes, notably bouillabaisse. Of course, if seafood is not your thing, the region offers other great dishes and desserts.
Serving this soup is a sure way to impress any French guests. Although it is one of the most famous dishes in Southern France, it is a pretty well kept secret by the locals. It consists of an assortment of seafood and is flavored with tomatoes, saffron, and olive oil. Because this is considered a delicacy, this is a great dish to serve on your special day!
A nice accompaniment to the soup would be the typical flat, lattice-like break called fougasse. Garnished with black olives, anchovies, onions, and spices, this break is the epitome of rustic Southern France flavors. Plus, the bread's cool lattice-like shape makes for a beautiful addition to the dinner spread!
It wouldn't be a true Southern French affair without a Salade Niçoise. This is a great option for those guests who don't have the most adventurous taste buds because it's a fairly simple and universal salad. It comes in many versions but always includes lettuce, green beans, tomatoes, black olives, eggs, and anchovies.
Nougat is one of Southern France's most typical candies and is can come in a wide variety of different flavors. Made with a base of egg white and honey, the rest of the flavor is really up to you or the chef. Different types of nougats would make for fun dessert spread! (The nougat pictures below is made of cranberry and pistachio...yum!)
The Frills of Southern France
It is the little things that make the South of France so memorable. Besides its incredible food and beautiful scenery, the region is known for its artists, soaps, and laces. Incorporating these little "frills" into your wedding as decorations, favors, or even activities is easy.
Personalized Savon de Marseille
The city of Marseille is one of the most important soap-making centers of the Mediterranean and is most famous for its savon de Marseille, which is used all over France. The best thing about this soap is that, just like Marseille itself, it's rustic, simple, and sweet. Made from 72% olive oil, coconut, and palm oils, the soap is easy to make and can even last up to six months when used as a bath soap.
A fun idea for your wedding is creating your own savon de Marseille by adding a personalized mix of lavender, rosemary, honey, or even almonds. These soaps will not only make great favors, they can also be used for years to come in your own home and always remind you of your special wedding day.
You can always pick and choose different aspects of Southern French culture that you have fallen in love with and incorporate them into your wedding. Southern France's influences are perfect for rustic, simple, and elegant weddings that will truly stand out among all the other Parisian themes.
What is your favorite aspect of Southern France? How would you incorporate it into your wedding?