An Intimate Candlelit Rehearsal Dinner in Southern France

Julie and Christopher

Josh Gruetzmacher

On May 13, 2014—the night before their wedding—Julie Forsberg and Christopher Neubauer hosted an intimate, candlelit rehearsal dinner for their 36 guests at Petit Hopital, a bucolic farmhouse located in the Provence region of Southern France. Julie and Christopher met in 2011 and now split their time between San Francisco, where they own a creative firm together, and Lake Tahoe. Wanting their wedding weekend to be a vacation for their guests, they thought, "Why not Provence?" and the plan was hatched.

Go inside their beautiful garden wedding here!

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The Drinks

Josh Gruetzmacher

Guests started at a pastis bar, where they could try four different styles of the Provençal specialty liquor. The couple also served handpicked bottles of still and sparkling rosé—the region's wine of choice.

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Cocktail Hour

Josh Gruetzmacher

Cocktails and passed appetizers of raw crudités, saucisson, and tapenades were served before attendees sat down for dinner right before the sun set.

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The Escort Cards

Josh Gruetzmacher

Cheese knives made of olive wood and laser engraved with each guest's name served as Julie and Christopher's escort cards and a favor from the evening.

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The Escort Card Table

Josh Gruetzmacher

The "escort cards" were displayed on a table with white candles in glass hurricanes and a rosemary plant. To incorporate a more masculine palette throughout the evening, the couple chose green, indigo, and brown tones in the form of leather and wooden elements.

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The Tables

Josh Gruetzmacher

Framed by tall cypress trees and rows of hedges, the two long dinner tables accommodated the party of 38. A nearby fountain created a beautiful background sound as a pianist played French jazz on a 300-year-old grand piano from the house's salon.

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The Centerpieces

Josh Gruetzmacher

A blue table runner lined the two tables, along with rosemary plants and olive branches. "Much of the décor was taken from around the property," says Christopher. "We wanted this event to feel like something we would host at our own home in our own personal, relaxed, yet refined style."

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The Place Settings

Josh Gruetzmacher

The creative firm the couple founded together—Yonder Design—designed a leather envelope to hold a letterpressed menu on deckle-edged paper at each place setting. Place cards were laser-engraved brass tags tied around each guest's napkin.

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Table Numbers

Josh Gruetzmacher

Each of the two table numbers was printed on paper and mounted to wood.

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Josh Gruetzmacher

The pianist's playing continued to waft throughout the property as Julie and Christopher's guests enjoyed roasted Provençal vegetable terrine with pistou, olive puree, and goat cheese mousse; Dijon mustard and rosemary crusted organic pork tenderloin; olive oil potato puree; and carmelized Romanesco and cauliflower made by Chef Jonathan Chiri. For dessert? Hazelnut tuiles with vanilla crème legere and strawberry coulis.

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The Toasts

Josh Gruetzmacher

Due to the small group of guests at the couple's wedding, nearly everyone was able to give a toast at some point throughout the weekend. "Because the setting was so intimate, we didn't need amplification," says Christopher. "All of the speeches sounded that much more genuine and heartfelt."

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Josh Gruetzmacher

Photography, Josh Gruetzmacher
Location, Le Petit Hopital
Event planning, Shannon Leahy Events
Catering and Cooking Classes, Chef Jonathan Chiri
Sommelier and Cocktails, Kelly McAuliffe
Flowers, Laetitia C. Fleurs d'atelier
Stationery, Yonder Design
Music, Jazz Mood
Rentals, Options Marseille

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