Issue link: http://papercitymagazine.uberflip.com/i/452972
A S TO L D TO C AT H E R I N E D. A N S P O N . P H OTO G R A P H Y M A D E M O I S E L L E F I O N A , M A D E M O I S E L L E F I O N A . C O M . LE MARIAGE EN PROVENCE ACROSS FROM AVIGNON'S 14TH-CENTURY PAPAL PALACE, DESIGNER MARGARET NAEVE AND BRAD PARKER SAY, "I DO." THE HAPPY COUPLE: Interior designer/owner of M. Naeve, bride Margaret Naeve; commercial real estate entrepreneur Brad Parker. (The couple were set up by one of Naeve's closest friends, whose husband had worked with Parker.) POPPING THE QUESTION: December 7, 2013. It was a complete surprise for the bride: "We had been dating a year, and he had sold his town house; his parents came in town to help him "move," which I thought was funny for a 32-year-old. Lo and behold, it was because he was going to propose. He did it in my apartment … Our parents were all together at my father's, waiting for us with champagne. We then all went to Poscol, where we'd had our first date, and celebrated." WEDDING DATE: August 2, 2014. DESTINATION: La Mirande Hotel, Avignon, a storied property that dates to the 14th century, formerly was the Cardinal's Palace, conveniently located across from the Palais des Papes, where the popes of the 1300s resided before papal rule returned to Rome at the end of the epoch. Serving as a hotel since the 17th century, La Mirande was restored and made into a five-star hotel/restaurant/cooking school by its current owners, reopening in 1990. THE INSIDE STORY: The historic lodging played a role in both the bride's design business and this romance. Naeve recalls, "Eight years ago, when I was on the second buying trip of my career, the woman whom I purchased the store from, Annette Schatte, took me to La Mirande. I absolutely fell in love. There's a certain feeling that you get when you walk into this hotel — it's completely dream-like. Brad and I had only been dating a couple weeks, and he invited himself on a buying trip. We stayed at La Mirande. I think we both knew then and there that we had something very special. I had always dreamed of a wedding there … Not to mention, my parents are also very fond of the venue." NUMBER OF GUESTS: Seventy-five, arriving from Houston; New York; Washington, D.C.; Austin; Belgium; France; and Dallas. DETAILS Wedding Planner: Fabienne Kieger with Instant de Prestige (instant-prestige-events.com), who specializes in parties in the South of France, and Rozenn Le Goff at La Mirande, director of hotel events. You Are Invited: The bride enlisted Events for all the printed details, from the invitations to place cards, programs … any and everything paper-related for the big day. A First: Naeve recalls, "The owner of the hotel — a beautiful elderly French woman, Madame Stein — came to the cocktails before the rehearsal dinner and wanted to meet me. She was in awe of what we had done to the hotel and was touched that I had wanted to get married there. La Mirande has had parties and receptions, but in the decades that her family has owned the hotel, they had never had anyone married there! So she wanted to meet us and share that." On Finding the Perfect Photographer: "I started googling 'best wedding photographers France' and stumbled upon Fiona Conrad," the bride says. "I knew the moment I saw her photos that she was the one. Luckily, she was available. We chatted over the phone and met in Brooklyn. I was beyond excited about her work … The organic way she captured the wedding and the landscape of Avignon is truly artistic. It is like fine art photography." Importing a Florist: The bride eschewed straight-laced tall arrangements with restrictive formality, preferring a looser, more natural feel. After days of searching, she asked photog Fiona if she knew of anyone, and presto. "The minute I saw Liza's work on her website, Peartree Flowers, I knew she was the one," says Naeve. Like the photographer, Liza Lubell came from New York, and the pair had worked together on other vows, so that instilled confidence. I Do as Design Commission: "This wedding was like the ultimate design job," says the bride, "and all of these little bits and pieces started to come together. Just like when I am on a project, you want to create this feeling, a moment. That's how planning the wedding was for me. I was crazy because I couldn't find any tablecloths I liked, so my wedding planner and I drove all around Provence and found an amazing little fabric shop in a village near Avignon. They had the most incredible burlap, so I had the table covers all hand-done there. I was nutty about these details, but they were so gorgeous." The Night Before the Big Day: The festivities launched with the rehearsal dinner in the ancient stone cellar of the hotel. The bride's family was seated in a long room with medieval groin-vaulted ceiling, where the groom-to- The bride makes a grand entrance.