Once in a while I have the pleasure of featuring photographs that capture a couple’s intimate engagement moments. What makes this engagement shoot special is the location – row upon row of purple lavender set in the heart of Provence lavender fields in France. Manuela and Martin of Forma Photography captured the essence and beauty of the moment perfectly.

For a wedding blog such as Love & Lavender, it is no secret that our namesake flowering plant plays a role. I love lavender. I have always loved its warm fragrance, purple colors, and calming effects. In fact, out of the five planter boxes I have on my deck three are lavender plants! When I first took the reins of L&L I thought, “How perfect, maybe one day I will get to move to France and frolic in the lavender fields myself!” For now I will have to imagine what it would be like to walk the rows of lavender as pictured below.

Join me on a journey to Provence and explore the old world cobblestone streets, the fragrant rows of lavender, and a sunset evening for Julia and Markus’ engagement shoot. And remember to take some time to stop and smell the lavender.

Provence Lavender Fields ~ Photographer Remarks

“We have known Julia and Markus for quite awhile. When talk about wanting a love shoot in France surfaced, our ears opened wide. The two of them have been a couple for 8 years now. They just moved in a house and wanted to have new pictures of the two of them to be featured on the blank walls.  Julia (a tax consultant) and Markus (works in real estate on his way of finishing his studies as an architect) loved the idea of shooting in the blooming lavender fields.

We started this engagement shoot in a little medieval town called Les Baux-de-Provence. It has a spectacular position in the Alpilles mountains, set atop a rocky outcrop that is crowned with a ruined castle overlooking the plains to the south. It has been classified as one of the “Plus beaux villages de France” (one of the most beautiful villages of France).

When the sun started to set we headed towards the lavender fields in Valensole, which can be translated to ‘Valley of the Sun’. The famed Provence lavender fields bloom in summer, so being there in July paid off due to the beautiful violet-tinged views.

The love between Julia and Markus competed with the amazing colors. The sunset combined with the gorgeous light – photographer heaven for us.”

 

Stone Village in Provence Stone steps with potted plants
Standing in doorway of stone building in Provence with clock above008 - Julia and Markus - formaphotography Holding hands in front of wood door in Provence 018 - Julia and Markus - formaphotography Standing in front of orange wooden door 021 - Julia and Markus - formaphotographyProvence Lavender Fields with country house Rows of Lavender in Provence Provence Lavender Fields walking by touching the lavender plants fresh lavender on gravel path Smelling a bunch of lavender in the fields of provence engagment shoot in lavender field rowsKissing in lavender fields hands cupping dried lavender 042 - Julia and Markus - formaphotography   Man lifts woman in rows of lavender fieldsWalking in the rows of lavender fields in Provencethrowing lavender into the air 079 - Julia and Markus - formaphotography

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you click on the link and make a purchase I will receive a small commission. I may be compensated in exchange for featured placement of certain sponsored products and services. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will add value to my bride and groom readers.
Love and Lavender Weddings Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

A romantic California wedding that seems to have it all: style, grace, decor, a touch of vintage and a bride and groom that look stunning! This Dutch-meets-Italian family wedding will leave you drooling for more gold, glitter, and rustic charm.  Don’t take my word for it. Read what the photographer Melissa Vossler had to say as well as the bride, Shannon Struiksma.

Romantic California Wedding ~ Photographer’s Remarks

“I’ve known Shannon since she was a little girl, and have had the honor of photographing her creatively the past few years. When she became engaged last year to her perfect match and asked me to photograph their May wedding, I was thrilled!
Shannon is full of life, charismatic and pure energy. She also happens to have incredible style, so I knew she and Matt’s wedding day would be perfect. I was right. No detail went unnoticed. Matt and Shannon put so much thought into their perfect day. From the neutral color palate to the hints of gold and sparkle. Her vision came to life in a gorgeous classic evening affair. Pure perfection!”

Bride’s Comments

“Matthew and I got married on a perfect day in the beautiful city of Burbank, Ca. The moment we both began planning for this special day we knew what elements we wanted to include. We felt that our day needed to be classy, yet modern, meaningful to not only each other but our whole family, and of course needed gold, glitter, and rustic charm. Immediately we knew that our day needed to be documented by the ever-so-wonderful Melissa Vossler. Matt and I began looking into our ‘ideal’ venues ensuring to include pieces of our personality to guide our search.  I should also include the key element of our decision making with the venue being the capacity they could hold. Between his wonderfully large Dutch family and my outrageously rambunctious Italian family we needed a beautiful venue that could accommodate our loved ones.”
groom with giant glasses and bride with fake giant lipsWedding dress hanging on gold framed mirror halo wedding ring Romantic California wedding bridesmaids with bride before the wedding
“Another incredible part of our wedding was our first look before the ceremony and the joy and emotion of that intimate moment where I saw the man of my dreams and future husband all dolled up and excited to see his bride. The day would not have been complete without the extremely fun reception where young and old danced the night away and celebrated this beautiful day with us.”

Romantic California wedding first lookstruiksmawedding-330georgeous white bridal bouquet

“We both instantly fell in love with Calamigos, and knew that this was the place we would say ‘I DO.’ It helped that it was in my home town too. Since we chose such a beautiful venue with Ivy on the ceilings, outside fans, twinkle lights in the landscape, vintage chandeliers in the ballroom and stunning scenery, we knew our job would be to accent these stunning features. We chose to keep our decorations simple and stunning – vintage frames that I found at an Estate sale, embossed invitations, glass gold chargers, vintage charms on our candelabra’s, mirrors with beautiful calligraphy and much more. We felt this added the perfect touch to the event. I come from a very creative and amazingly talented mother who does events. She was key in helping to plan, organize and set the perfect wedding in motion.”
cream colored classic 1932 Chevy convertible with bride and groom dressed in tuxedos: groom with his groosmen wearing sunglasses bridal party at Calamigos Equestrian
Bridesmaids with bride outside at Calamigos struiksmawedding-541handmade photo tree for Goraieb family
“Together with a graphic artist, Matt and I created our wedding logo making a crest that represented our future lives together as Struiksma’s. This logo went on our invitations (gold foiled as well as embossed), our menus, and our programs. This one piece made our wedding come together so perfectly. Our guest book was a scrapbook I made using different yet themed colored envelopes with cards for our guests to write on and seal for us to real later on. Our entrance was complete with a vintage gold frame chalkboard sign with our crest on it, twinkle lights from a weeping willow, and a gold glitter arrow on the ground”
struiksmawedding-559chalkboard with gold frame and personal wedding logo table setting at Calamigos weddingstruiksmawedding-576 Calamigos wedding indoor reception table settings  romantic California wedding guest book table
“Some of my favorite parts of our wedding included the music. My father has had the privilege of traveling all over the world as a musician his entire life and working with some of the greatest musicians of all time. He would probably be embarrassed at the mention of him being Ringo in the original “Beatlemania,” but oh well. Almost 20 years ago now he became a Pastor and has still remained heavily involved in the worship side of his ministry. He still works with the most astounding musicians in the world. Some of which were playing flute, violin, and keyboard at our ceremony.  We kept all the music very traditional since that is what my husband and I wanted for our day.”
romantic Calamigos wedding ceremony
Bride with adorable dog wearing tuxedo and tophatthree hands, three generations
“Our exit was grand with our tunnel of friends and family underneath ivy that was covering the entire outside patio, gorgeous outdoor chandeliers, twinkle lights and sparklers. Although, I must add that our getaway would not have been complete without Matt’s grandpa whisking us away in his cream colored classic 1932 Chevy convertible.”
sparkler sendoff at Calamigos
Bride and groom kiss and drive off in 1932 car
“We could not have asked to work with better vendors than the ones we had. They were all just, well, the best. Melissa Vossler (photographer) who captured every perfect moment we had and is so incredibly talented. Our wedding coordinator Janis Goraieb (my mom) and Lisa Bolar who made sure that every detail was perfectly in place before that day. My mom also handmade every gold glitter table cloth, each candelabra, the tulle backdrop for our head table, the vintage framed seating chart, flower arrangements, family tree display … she is INCREDIBLE. I will always have this day to look back on as not only the most beautiful and perfect day of my life, but one in which our families got together and bent over backwards to make sure Matt and I had a day that was better than our wildest dreams. This day will be one in which we cherish forever.”

Wedding Budget

Venue: $40,000
Coordination, flowers, backdrop, place settings, table cloths: $20,000
Dress: $4,000
Bridesmaid Dresses: $120

Vendors

Photographer: Melissa Vossler
Wedding Coordinator: Janis Goraieb (bride’s mom) and Lisa Bolar
Venue: Calamigos Equestrian in Burbank, California
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Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you click on the link and make a purchase I will receive a small commission. I may be compensated in exchange for featured placement of certain sponsored products and services. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will add value to my bride and groom readers.
Love and Lavender Weddings Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
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