Real Couple Q&A: Nicole & Ben
By The ThirstyNest Editors
This couple’s story comes to us from across the pond in the form of a French fairy tale. They met on a starry wine-filled evening in the city of lights and the rest is history. This dreamy story was brought to life by the sparkling wines of Veuve du Vernay from the French countryside of Beaune. Their wines embody the essence of French flair and the romance which lives inside each bottle.
1. So, tell us your super French meet-cute story?
It was a rainy December night in Paris (no really, it was)...But first, I (Nicole) had taken a month long sabbatical from work and rented an Airbnb in Paris over the holidays. Fast forward to December 27th -- the city was quiet after Christmas, so I reached out to Ben (whom I had been put in touch with prior to my trip) to see if he might be interested in grabbing a drink.
After realizing that his apartment and my vacation rental were a 4 min walk from each other, it seemed silly not to meet up for a drink or two in the neighborhood. (However, it did take some convincing to get Ben out the door that night). We picked the meeting spot, a corner outside of my apartment, and set the time for 8:00 PM. After a few glasses of Veuve du Vernay the rest is history!
2. What is it about French culture that you find most romantic?
The French have a very direct approach to "romance" and relationships, which I really appreciate. They don't follow the conventional "dating" process we do in America... none of the waiting 3 days to call, are we together or aren't we? Are we "exclusive"....what does that even mean? It's very simple. If you like someone you spend time with them, and are essentially "together" until you aren't -- or until you decide this person is "the one." I also love that, for the most part, proposing and the selection of the engagement ring is done quietly, and as a surprise to the bride as well as family and friends. It’s not like in the U.S. where it’s typically handled more publicly.
3. What’s your most memorable imbibing experience together in France?
It'd have to be the night we met. We walked over to a wine bar in Le Marais and cozied up to the bar. Conversation flowed just about as easily as the wine, and we talked the night away over several bottles of white wine, and even a few "special" glasses provided by the friendly barman. We closed down the bar, being some of the last people to leave, and Ben (the true gentleman that he is) walked me to my apartment to say good night.
On a side note, we ordered our wedding wine from a small regional vineyard near the venue, and they hand delivered cases of white, red and sparkling along with 2 wooden barrels that we used for decor during our ceremony. It was very special to have something local and we received several compliments from our guests on how fantastic the selection was. This is also very memorable for me and we love getting wine from there when we go back whenever we can.
4. Tell us about your dreamy wedding venue. Deets please!
Ben proposed during a vacation together in France, and since we had already discussed having our main ceremony in France we used the second part of our vacation to look at venues. It didn't take long to finda beautiful location just outside of Bergerac in the Dordogne region in Southwest France.
The property is quite large with one main house, able to sleep 30+ people, which was perfect to accommodate our guests traveling from the US. The reception room was right off the main house, and we dined by candlelight on the tables and the chandeliers. Our ceremony was outside at the back of the house overlooking a large park, and "the pigeonnier" -- the old pigeon and dove house -- now converted into a charming and private honeymoon suite. There was a separate room off of the main courtyard which we used for DJ and dancing into the early morning. I learned first-hand the true "French schedule" of a wedding dining late into the evening (11:00 pm) and dancing until 5am!
We were so fortunate to have our closest family and friends with us for 4 days of wedding celebrations, starting with a "meet and greet" BBQ at the house and ending in a brunch the day after the main event. The weather was perfect and we couldn't have asked for a better location!