Perched above the glittering azure sea on Saint Jean Cap Ferrat in the South of France is Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild. This early 20th century ice cream pink Italianate villa is surrounded by burbling fountains and waterfalls in its extensive gardens and it would have been the place of dreams for children left to explore the shaded follies and temples in the searing heat of the French Riviera summer.
Today the villa hosts the most beautiful weddings and events and I’ve seen the huge operation that occurs when the villa closes to the public at 5pm and there quickly ensues a stream vehicles of the most efficient planners, caterers, florists, furniture, crockery and linen hire to put everything in place for a 7pm ceremony. Amazing!
From 7pm there will only be a maximum of two hours daylight left, which won’t give very long for photographs, so here are my top tips if you’re getting married at the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild or at another time limited location:
- Arrive as early as possible – whilst the suppliers are setting up, use that time to have a first look, then do your bride & groom portraits, followed by family group shots. You’ll all be looking your absolute best instead of hot and sweaty and it means you will have a much more relaxing time with your guests at the post-ceremony party.
- Be prepared – entrust a mini hair & make up emergency kit to your most reliable bridesmaid – powder, lip balm, lip colour, cotton buds, a mini can of spring water or beauty elixir (I love Avene and Caudalie) a hairbrush, a few hair grips and a mini can of hairspray will be very useful.
- Book extra help – if you really can’t arrive earlier than the ceremony, then book a 2nd photographer to cover distance shots of the ceremony and candids of your guests while you are getting portraits done.
- Visit the venue in advance – walk around the grounds with your photographer in advance and see in real time how long it takes to get around etc and now imagine that in your wedding shoes! It’s a great opportunity for them to discuss logistics, photography options and potential issues, as this really helps to ensure your wedding day runs smoothly.