Le Grand Amour
JADE CHILTON (NÉE SPROWSON) AND ROB CHILTON DATE OF WEDDING: 14 AUGUST 2016 LOCATION: PROVENCE, SOUTH OF FRANCE
A Saturday afternoon barbecue in a sunny back garden in south London was where it all began. It was 2011 when Rob and EW style director Jade happened to be at mutual friend’s garden party. There were a couple of glances through the smoke coming from the barbecue, a polite ‘hello, how do you do?’ and then, with the encouragement of a talkative mutual friend they got chatting. And didn’t stop until late into the evening.
On Monday, Jade received a call at her office and much to her surprise, it was Rob calling to say that he was outside her building with the umbrella she had left behind at the party. A series of dates followed during that London summer of 2011. “After our first date, I remember calling my best friend to say there was ‘something’ about Rob that I really liked, “says Jade. “I was only 25 at the time and wasn’t looking for anything serious, but I was definitely intrigued.”
“Over one year later, I got offered a job in Dubai,” says Jade. “Rob told me to go, enjoy it, and make the most of the opportunity and that we would figure it all out. His support and the certainty that we would survive the long distance placed between us told me that he was the one.” Six months later, Rob emigrated to Dubai. In 2015, Rob popped the question while on a romantic holiday away in Provence – a destination that quickly turned into their dream wedding location.
VENUE: Finding Blanche Fleur was as simple as a Google search for Rob and Jade. “We knew from the moment we saw the pictures it was for us and we put a deposit down without going to visit – we like to call it love at first sight,” says Rob. The 14th century former mill is situated on a small island surrounded by a moat. It has been converted into a shabby-chic B&B with a pool and beautiful old features that added character to the day. Domaine de Blanche Fleur, Provence in the South of France (blanchefleur.com)
NUMBER OF GUESTS: It was an intimate affair with 46 close friends and family.
THEME: “We both agreed the morning after Rob proposed that our day would be a beautiful and relaxed affair, complemented by delicious food and drink, great music and excellent company – everything else would be an added bonus. We wanted the day to be fun, relaxed and full of colour with plenty of laughter.”
DRESS: “Funnily enough I found my dress while researching gowns for Emirates
Bride. I was instantly struck by this extremely cool brand, Houghton NYC (based in the US), as the dresses didn’t conform to tradition. I wanted to wear something that no one had seen before.” The problem for Jade was getting her hands on her dream dress. Although the couple had booked their venue via the internet, there was zero chance the bride would buy a wedding dress without trying it on first. “Only five months before the big day, I flew to LA for a shoot and Houghton NYC kindly shipped the dress to a local LA boutique called LOHO. I touched down in LAX and rushed to the bridal shop. Thirty minutes later I left the boutique, the proud, albeit tired, owner of a bridal gown.”
VEIL: Jade wore an understated fine tulle veil that didn’t overpower the dress. boandluca.com
SHOES: “Glitter-coated Gucci mules that I’ve worn time and time again since the wedding.”
FLOWERS: “We met our florist Celine on a visit to France, a few months before the day. Using our best high school French we told her exactly what we wanted. We left feeling slightly anxious but also excited about how Celine would interpret our vision using our mood boards and clumsy descriptions. But she created the most beautiful mix of in-season blooms for the boutonnières, the bouquets, the tables and the altar. We were thrilled with the result!” says Jade.
MENU: After a two-hour tasting lunch with a French catering company the couple decided on a traditional Provençal menu that included spit-roasted lamb, pissaladière (a French-style anchovy pizza), charcuterie boards, slates of cheese, warm baguettes and a variety of delicious desserts including a rum baba that the groom still talks about to this day. meffre-traiteur.com
BRIDESMAIDS: “My beautiful sisters were my bridesmaids and wore floral silk maxi dresses from Topshop Unique. One of my favourite designers, Gül Hürgel (gulhurgel.com), custom-designed the three flower girl dresses for me.”
MUSIC: Jade’s father walked her down the aisle to an acoustic cover of Elvis Presley’s ‘ I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You'. Music played a huge part in the day, with a surprise swing jazz trio of cheerful Frenchmen to entertain the guests.
CAKE: A traditional French-style cake called a croquembouche: crème patissèrefilled profiteroles that were presented as a towering pyramid covered in sparklers – “Its entrance produced more than a few gasps!” Says Rob.
INVITATIONS: Rob and Jade commissioned a local illustrator, Ayang Cempaka (ayangcempaka.com) to design their invitations. The envelopes were sealed with a heart-shaped gold wax stamp.
TABLE SETTING: As a stylist, the small details really mattered to Jade. “I wanted to show our personalities, but also have some fun and hopefully raise a smile among guests with the table settings.” They had custom-made linen table runners trimmed with broderie anglaise. They coated plastic farm animals in gold paint for the name place settings. A mixture of jars and vintage vases held the flowers, and they filled the room with candles. Each place had its own illustrated menu by neonstructure.com.
Little Black Bridal Book
FLORIST: CELINE AT UNJARDINENVILLE.COM
DRESS: HOUGHTON NYC AT LOHOBRIDE.COM
ILLUSTRATORS: AYANG CEMPAKA (AYANGCEMPAKA.COM) FOR THE INVITATIONS AND HOSANNA LEE (NEONSTRUCTURE.COM) FOR THE MENU CARDS
TABLECLOTHS: DEEPA’S, SATWA (04) 349 9733
Jade’s Top Tips
1.“Have fun! You will mostly likely spend a year planning your big day, so enjoy the tastings, the venue visits and creating the personal details with your partner. This is the fun bit and you will never do it again!” 2. “Once the day has arrived, forget about the details and enjoy getting ready with your best wwfriends and family. The day goes fast, but Rob and I made sure to sneak a few spare moments alone together.” 3. “Do what makes you happy, not what anyone else thinks. Of course make sure guests have a fabulous day, but don’t feel pressured into inviting a long lost auntie. Ultimately it’s your day.”