An Opulent Pink-and-Gold Wedding on the French Riviera

bride and groom smiling holding champagne coupe glasses
Anya Kernes

Sorhaya was working part-time in a boutique in Canada in 2011 when a customer caught her attention and the two began chatting. Though Duc left without getting her number, he returned to the store several times over the next few days, trying to reconnect, but missing her each time. "He eventually came back to the store to ask me out, I said yes, and we went on a date," says Sorhaya. Duc moved from Belgium to Canada six months later, and the two became a couple.

In June 2018, Duc was preparing to move to the United States for work while Sorhaya planned to stay in Canada. "Before he left, he made me a promise that he would come back in two years and we would get married," says Sorhaya. "I know some people would've thought that getting engaged right before your significant other is moving to another country is risky, but we both knew our relationship was strong enough to survive a long-distance relationship—and thankfully, we were right."

When they began putting their wedding plans in place, Sorhaya had a very short list of locations: "I've always wanted to get married in the South of France," she says, "and with my husband being Belgian with the majority of his family living in Paris, it was the perfect location for us." The couple chose Château Saint Georges on the French Riviera in Grasse, France, for a destination wedding for 60 guests in 2020. "With the different travel restrictions, it became impossible to have our wedding held as planned," says the bride. They postponed it until August 14, 2021, when the couple and their guests could travel after getting vaccinated.

The lavish décor at the château inspired the couple's color palette and overall wedding aesthetic. "I wanted something classic, elegant, and romantic, but mostly personalized," says Sorhaya. The pair combined elements and traditions from both their nationalities, welcomed guests with custom baskets, and made sure the DJ played music all their loved ones could enjoy. "Make sure the wedding really represents what you and your future spouse have as a vision for your big day," says Sorhaya. "A wedding goes by so fast and the last thing you want is to have regrets because you didn't stick to what you wanted."

01 of 25

Royally Charmed

french chateau wedding venue interior
Anya Kernes

"We completely fell in love with all the historical details of Château Saint Georges and the gorgeous hilltop view of Grasse and its surroundings," says Sorhaya. "This château is nicknamed 'le petit Versailles'—it translates to 'small Versailles.' It was built in the 19th century and restored to perfection with many intricate and detailed gold moldings paired with small paintings." The building's pale pink exterior and interior combinations of white, gold, and blush pink also inspired the couple's wedding color palette.

02 of 25

Finding Their Way

handmade paper wedding stationery suite with custom crest and illustration
Anya Kernes

Crème de Papier used handmade paper for each element of the invitation suite, incorporating a custom crest with the bride and groom's initials and gold foil and black letterpress calligraphy. "The suite also included a drawing in watercolor of the château and another one with a symbolic map showing where all our guests come from and where we would meet in France—the Temple of Love at the Château Saint Georges," says the bride.

03 of 25

Basket Cases

welcome basket containing olive oil wine and soap
Anya Kernes

The bride and groom ordered gifts for each attendee from Une Pincée de Provence. "We wanted the basket to incorporate different elements of the South of France so our guests could relive their experience back at home," says Sorhaya. "The basket was handmade in France and included a handmade lavender soap, a mini glass bottle of olive oil, and mini bottle of rosé."

04 of 25

One of a Kind

bride wearing floral applique gown applying perfume
Anya Kernes

Sorhaya had a specific wedding dress in mind while shopping, but after special-ordering it through her boutique, she realized it wasn't the perfect fit she envisioned. Instead, she chose an Eva Lendel off-white A-line gown with floral appliqués on the bodice. "I didn't want to take it off," she says. "It felt like it was me in a dress, and it perfectly fit the theme for the wedding, which was classic and romantic." She added gold chandelier earrings and a crystal bracelet to complement her wedding and engagement bands—both custom-made by a high school friend. "It makes me so happy that my ring is truly unique because my husband and I helped design it, but even more so because it was created with the help of a friend," she says.

05 of 25

Fit to Be Tied

oversized bow tied at back of brides gown
Anya Kernes

An oversized bow tied at the back of the dress just below the bride's neck, and cascaded all the way down to the skirt.

06 of 25

Pretty in Pink

bride walking with bridesmaids wearing light pink tulle dresses
Anya Kernes

Sorhaya chose light pink tulle dresses from Joanna August for her bridesmaids. "I wanted the dresses to be flattering," she says. "It was also important for me that their dresses were pale pink so they could fit the overall color scheme, but most importantly, I wanted them to complement the aesthetic and feel of my dress." Seeing her friends don their gowns was even more exciting than she anticipated. "In general, we were so happy to see all our guests dress up, especially after months of COVID and only seeing people in their loungewear," says the bride. "It was truly a special moment for us."

07 of 25

Coming Up Roses

bridesmaid bouquets with pink and white roses and eucalyptus
Anya Kernes

Florist Emily Alarcon created a round bouquet filled with pink-and-white roses for the bride, and smaller versions for her attendants. The couple kept their floral design consistent by using the same types and colors of roses for the boutonnières.

08 of 25

Black-Tie Requested

groom wearing black tuxedo
Anya Kernes

Duc wore his black Zegna suit with a traditional bow tie and Antonio Maurizi shoes, while his groomsmen chose black suits from SuitSupply. The groom wore just one accessory—his wedding ring, passed down from his grandmother as a wedding gift.

09 of 25

Above All

bride and groom sharing first look on chateau balcony
Anya Kernes

The couple took advantage of the château's beautiful views as the backdrop for their first look. "I've never seen my wife look so beautiful," says Duc. "I knew she was beautiful, but I truly realized that I was the luckiest man in the world that day." For both the bride and groom, the first look stands out as a favorite wedding memory. "It was a precious moment between just the two of us," says Sorhaya. "He looked so dashing and handsome—a true prince! We were able to really soak up the moment and really feel the love between us while enjoying the view of the surroundings, which made it even more magical."

10 of 25

A Warm Welcome

flowers arranged around acrylic welcome sign
Anya Kernes

The couple focused on small touches that made guests who traveled to the venue feel at home. "When our guests arrived at the venue, they were welcomed with drinks placed on a chariot and a translucent welcome sign, both surrounded by flowers," says the bride.

11 of 25

Ready to Wed

wedding ceremony set up facing white stone gazebo
Anya Kernes

One of the venue's selling points was a small gazebo, called Temple de L'amour, where the couple could hold their ceremony.

12 of 25

Road to the Altar

wedding guests sitting in gold chairs aisle decorated with white delphiniums
Anya Kernes

"We wanted the aisle to be a road to the temple," says the bride. "We decorated both side of the aisle with multiple generous bouquets of white delphiniums and roses, added pink rose petals on the floor, and adorned the end of the aisle with two big Medici vases filled with roses, hydrangeas, and local greenery."

13 of 25

Father and Daughter

father of the bride walking bride down aisle lined with white flowers
Anya Kernes

Sorhaya's father escorted her down the aisle during the processional. "I was so happy to have my dad by my side that day," she says. "Somehow, I felt like daddy's little girl again."

14 of 25

Saying "I Do"

bride and groom exchanging vows beneath white stone gazebo
Anya Kernes

COVID safety guidelines made it too complicated for the couple to host a traditional Vietnamese ceremony alongside their western one, but they still wanted to incorporate elements of the groom's culture into the day, so his parents wore traditional Vietnamese gowns. The bride and groom wrote their own vows, but read those in private during their honeymoon. "During the ceremony, my husband repeated each line of the vows written by the officiant in a funny way, making everyone laugh," says the bride.

15 of 25


coupe glasses arranged for champagne tower
Anya Kernes

The couple asked their caterer to build a Champagne tower that they could fill during their first toast as a married couple. "Since we were in France, Champagne was a must for us!" says Sorhaya.

16 of 25

Mixing it Up

illustrated wedding mojito cocktail menu
Anya Kernes

Another must for the couple: an entertaining—and creative—bartender. During the cocktail hour, they set up a station serving three types of mojitos (Sorhaya's favorite), and the rest of the evening included three other signature cocktails served with panache. "The bartender was the star of the night—after us—according to our guests," says the bride.

17 of 25

Food Matters

chef serving variety of gourmet appetizers
Anya Kernes

Choosing the menu from caterer De Bouche en Bouche was a highlight for Duc. "This is Duc's favorite part!" says Sorhaya. "He is a true foodie at heart and it was important that the entire day would be a copious culinary experience for everyone." During the cocktail hour, chefs served serrano ham, pan-fried foie gras, and pasta cooked in a parmesan wheel from stations, while servers passed 10 different hot and cold canapes. "All the wines we served were from the region and came from a small winery," says Sorhaya. "We loved the fact that the wine we had was not exported to North America and could only be enjoyed in France."

18 of 25

Find Your Seat

shelves of white roses and glassware containing escort cards
Anya Kernes

A gold bookcase created a sweet escort display at the château's entry point.

19 of 25

Raise Your Glass

escort cards adhered to champagne glasses
Anya Kernes

Small slips of paper were printed with each guest's name and table number and presented inside Champagne glasses.

20 of 25

Moving On

wedding guests filing inside chateau following cocktail hour
Anya Kernes

Guests filed inside the château as the cocktail hour ended.

21 of 25

Golden Touch

french chateau wedding reception setup with gold and white elements
Anya Kernes

The couple chose beige linens "that would melt in the background in the dim light of the room at night" for their reception tables, adding candles and golden accents for an opulent glow. "The flowers in the centerpieces were meant to replicate the floral arrangement in the Medici vases outside to bring some continuity to the design," says Sorhay, "and the vases were thin gold to mimic the crown moulding of the ballroom."

22 of 25

Clearly Chic

wedding reception table with acrylic table number
Anya Kernes

Acrylic table numbers allowed the lush florals and gold vases to stand out on the tables.

23 of 25

Sweet Moments

bride and groom cutting wedding cake embellished with fruits
Anya Kernes

Since neither Sorhaya nor Duc cares for fondant, they ordered a naked chocolate and chestnut cake from Made in Cake. "I didn't want the traditional flowers decorations. I wanted something unique," says the bride, "so our cake designer painted real fruits in edible gold and sprinkled them across the confection."

24 of 25

Best Memories

bride and groom sitting at wedding reception table
Anya Kernes

During the party, the DJ included compa and zouk, a music genre associated with Haiti, where the bride's parents are from. "It was really important for them and for me that we could dance to music from our country," says Sorhaya. "A wedding when all the people you love and cherish get together to celebrate your union and to have fun. We really felt the pinnacle of everyone's energy and love when everyone got down on the dance floor—especially when we saw our parents and older family members dancing with everyone. It was priceless."

25 of 25


bride and groom posing on white marble staircase
Anya Kernes

Photography, Anya Kernes
Venue, Chateau Saint Georges
Event Planning, LifEvents
Catering, De Bouche en Bouche
Flowers, Emily Alarcon
Videography, Air Snap
Stationery, Crème de Papier
Cake, Made in Cake
Music, Mix and Light
Rentals, Maison Options; Vaisselle Vintage
Bride's Gown, Eva Lendel
Bride's Accessories, Vezina veil; Jimmy Choo shoes; Karen Wolf earrings and hair accessories; Olive and Piper bracelet
Hair, Harold James (bride); Julien Matha (bridesmaids)
Makeup, Harold James
Bridesmaids' Dresses, Joanna August
Groom's Attire, Zegna
Menswear, SuitSupply
Groom's Shoes, Antonio Maurizi
Bar Service, Flair Evolution
Bride's Rings, Diamond Capital Jewelry
Favors, Une Pincée de Provence

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles