Winter weddings are here!
We’re preparing to inspire our Fall and Winter brides who are deep into wedding planning as we move into cooler temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere. We have the most beautiful Chamonix wedding today that is giving us chills.
Carlos & Elvire are Mexican, French & Los Angeles transplants. They wanted to choose a wedding location that was meaningful to them both, so they picked Chamonix. The couple decided to have their wedding in winter, as most couples opt for summer weddings.
The couple wanted to show off the mountains and treated their friends and family to a cocktail party on the hill. They then took a gondola for beautiful snowy wedding photos (with faux fur). Katie Mitchell captured the images.
Our Love Story
Carlos and I were in our senior year at the University of Southern California. We met one month before we graduated. His fraternity held a fundraiser for a Dodger Stadium baseball game, and I bought a ticket. I had been scheduled to get a ride to the game but was running late. Carlos was the person who was running late, according to a mutual friend. Carlos added me to Facebook the next day, and, as they say, the rest is history.
Carlos proposed on New Year’s Day in Chamonix after my family slept at my parents’ house. We were married in March of the following year (after being engaged for 15 months).
Dress & Attire
I had always wanted a princess dress for my wedding. Since we would be outside in the snow, I also wanted sleeves. I found many dresses online at Monique L’Huillier with sleeves and thought that would be perfect. Monique L’Huillier had a dress similar to what I had imagined but with a shorter skirt. They were able, fortunately, to create a dress with the bodice from that dress and a long skirt with a train. Initially, I didn’t want a veil, but after I put on the dress and tried it on with a cover, I felt comfortable.
I knew I wanted the blue Manolo Blahniks Carrie Bradshaw had worn in the first Sex in the City film. My “something blue” was going to be the shoes. The earrings my mother had given me as a gift were my “something borrowed.”
We wanted the flowers to be in season, as our wedding occurred in winter. I chose baby’s breath because of its airiness. The flowers were painted white and pink, complementing the snow.
When planning our wedding, we wanted our wedding to be an expression of who we are and what we love. We also wanted to share this with our friends and family. We chose Chamonix as the location of our wedding because it’s where Carlos got engaged. We wanted everyone to experience this beautiful place, so we decided to host the cocktail hour on top of the mountain.
Our families were also included because they are our role models – they’ve shown that love is enduring. Carlos’ parents and I have been together for more than 40 years. We included a photo of their weddings alongside the guestbook to celebrate our parents’ love. My family also helped with the preparations. My cousin played guitar and sang in church, while my aunt sang and helped me choose the songs. My mother, grandmother, and uncle all read in church. My brother and best friend were our witnesses. Carlos’s family hails from Mexico; mine is French, and we live in Los Angeles. Our friends come from around the world, so we must include all cultures.
We knew that we wanted the wedding to take place in a church. We felt that the church in Chamonix, located in the middle of town and right in front of the mountains, was the ideal place. All the songs and readings were chosen to reflect the diverse cultures that we had in attendance. The church brochures we designed translated our ceremony from French into English. The songs were all in French, English, and Spanish. We made the priest read the vows to Carlos since he understands some French but doesn’t speak it. Carlos was only allowed to say “oui.”
I fell in love with Katie’s photos on Instagram. Her style was bright and dreamy, just what I wanted. She had many timeless pictures and knew how to make couples beautiful. After a brief Skype conversation to discuss our ideas, we knew she was the right choice.
Katie was an absolute pleasure to work with. She made us feel comfortable right away. She helped us with everything we needed on our wedding day. She was very nice to everyone, and we felt like long-time friends after the wedding.
The top of the mountain is where we take our favorite photos. We have a lot of pictures with the French Alps as a backdrop.
Our day was memorable by being on the mountain in the sunshine and sending Chinese lanterns to the rising moon. The lanterns were launched high into the air as the moon emerged from behind the hill. Our friends began to chant Carlos’ name, hoping that Carlos’ lantern would gain more altitude. It was a great memory. We all laughed.
The DIY Details & Decor
The mountains at the top were drawn based on the picture of my parents’ Chamonix home. My dad used the sketch to create custom champagne labels, including our wedding dates and names. The same drawing appeared on our welcome bags with our wedding date, title, and date.
We copied the wedding photos from our parents’ albums to display on our guestbook. We wrote and printed the text for the inside of the church brochures ourselves.
Mother wrapped the Jordan Almonds and added our custom-made tags. We filled the guest bags with maps and guides to Chamonix that we picked up at the visitor center. We also included a box of “Chamonix Orange” cookies and an invitation letter (printed on the same paper used for the church pamphlets), giving guests a schedule of the events taking place the day before, the day of, and the day after our wedding.