FRENCH CON­NEC­TION

Ni­cole Schoeni and Will Toye tied the knot at the his­toric French chateâu where, a year ear­lier, Will had popped the ques­tion

Malaysia Tatler Wedding - - CON­TENTS -

Ni­cole Schoeni and Will Toye tied the knot at the his­toric French chateâu, a place where a year ear­lier Will had popped the ques­tion

Sur­rounded by vines and set amid splen­did French-style gar­dens, the wed­ding of Ni­cole Schoeni, di­rec­tor of Schoeni Gallery, and prop­erty de­vel­oper Will Toye took place in one of France’s most im­por­tant his­toric build­ings, the 13th-cen­tury Château de Bag­nols, which the cou­ple booked out for the en­tire week­end of their wed­ding. “We stopped over for a night on a road trip in the sum­mer of 2012, and Will sur­prised me with a pro­posal,” re­calls Ni­cole.

The wed­ding took place on Septem­ber 21 – the same date as Ni­cole’s par­ents’ wed­ding – and be­gan with a tra­di­tional church cer­e­mony. The bride wore a wed­ding dress from Au­gusta Jones, be­fore chang­ing into a dress by Jenny Pack­ham, while Will wore Ralph Lau­ren. “Mul­ti­tal­ented ac­tress/ model Ankie Beilke, who was one of my brides­maids, was also sweet enough to do my make-up for me,” says Ni­cole.

With the wed­ding cer­e­mony over, the party toasted the bride and groom with cock­tails in the chateau, fol­lowed by din­ner in its win­ery, which was topped by a fire­works dis­play syn­chro­nised with the mu­sic of Cold­play, one of the cou­ple’s favourite bands. “It was an in­cred­i­bly mag­i­cal mo­ment as it was a sur­prise for many, and was won­der­fully chore­ographed. The fire­works felt so close, it was as if you

could touch them… It was def­i­nitely a high­light,” says the newly-wed.

Mu­sic was an in­te­gral part of the wed­ding. Ex­plains Ni­cole, “Will loves live mu­sic at a party, so we splashed out and hired a nine-piece band from London called Fam­ily Funk and flew them in for the wed­ding. We’d first heard them at a friend’s wed­ding a few years ago and were blown away by their tal­ent. Af­ter the live band, we were also ex­tremely lucky to have one of the UK’s most renowned DJ duos, Chase & Sta­tus, to play for us. We had so much fun danc­ing all night long!”

The fol­low­ing day saw the cou­ple con­tinue to cel­e­brate their nup­tials with a pool party at the chateau, with ta­bles and pic­nic blan­kets set up around the round pool, and 1950s and ’60s jazz mu­sic pro­vid­ing a cool sonic back­drop. “There was sun shin­ing through the sur­round­ing cherry trees, and res­i­dent chef Jean Alexan­dre Ouaratta cooked up a de­li­cious buf­fet.

We also sur­prised our guests with a hot-air­bal­loon ride,” says Ni­cole.

Since the chateau it­self is so stun­ning, Ni­cole says the cou­ple didn’t need to work hard to make the wed­ding spe­cial. They did, how­ever, do their best to make the large, cav­ernous room in­side the win­ery – where the din­ner took place – feel warm and in­ti­mate by means of a “jun­gle” theme. “We hired three large olive trees, and hung vines and fairy lights from the win­ery’s beams and fur­ni­ture. The flower ar­range­ments were also cre­ated with a wild flair,” says Ni­cole. There were also lit­tle de­tails to re­flect the cou­ple’s per­son­al­i­ties, such as the mini can­vases and easels for place names to re­flect Ni­cole’s love of art, and the 1950s and ’60s jazz CDs compiled by Will, which were handed out as favours.

Straight af­ter the wed­ding-week­end cel­e­bra­tions, the cou­ple flew to Istanbul and en­joyed their first few days of mar­ried life at bou­tique bolt­hole Ge­orges Ho­tel, where Ni­cole says they en­joyed the cul­tural sites, the art bi­en­nial and some shop­ping. Fi­nally, Mr and Mrs Schoeni-Toye re­laxed at the Mal­dives’ Anantara Ki­havah Vil­las for a week – the per­fect way to end two days of bliss­ful cel­e­bra­tion with friends and fam­ily, and a busy city break.

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