Elegant Same Sex Wedding

Saint Jean Cap Ferrat, France







Michael & Neil

Michael & Neil’s wedding weekend was elegant, sophisticated and truly special. These two grooms are literally from different corners of the globe. Michael is Turkish – Swiss – Russian and wished to include his Jewish traditions into the ceremony. Neil is Chinese from Shanghai  and also wanted to represent his culture on their wedding day. Both men wanted to incorporate their families, their heritage, and traditions into the ceremony, which made it all so meaningful and rich.

The dynamic two met when Michael was visiting the hotel that Neil was managing. They quickly locked eyes, and to say the least, hit it off immediately. With many trips across the ocean to see one another they fell in love while exploring the world together.

Neil proposed in front of Michael’s family at an intimate dinner with a ring that was custom made. Each of their wedding rings held a ruby because red is lucky in Chinese culture. The start of many traditions.

Michael was really thoughtful with every detail of the planning process keeping his guest’s happiness as his main priority. Every detail was given the utmost attention, from the guest gifts, to the menus, to the entertainment, everything was planned to perfection so his friends & family would have an extraordinary experience during their wedding weekend on the Riviera.

The couple provided welcome boxes for their guests that included a lavender candle, local honey, soap, herbs de Provence, olive oil, custom engraved Evian water bottles, a lavender sachet, and glass decorative wall hangings of the evil eye.

Some guests stayed in a seaside hotel in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat and the others stayed in a luxury hotel in the center of Nice. From these locations, they were able to explore the best the French Riviera had to offer.

To kick off the wedding weekend, everyone met and mingled at a seaside restaurant for a beachfront welcome dinner with a delicious Mediterranean spread of fresh fish and local specialties. 

The morning of the wedding day was peaceful. Michael & Neil got ready with their best friends by their side in rooms overlooking the sparkling Med. Once they arrived at the famous Villa Ephrussi, they wandered through the many exotic gardens and up to the Temple d’Amour for the first looks. We are suckers for this moment, it makes our hearts swell.

The ceremony took place on a platform that was constructed over the fountain, which is the centrepiece of the villa’s gardens. String musicians played as the couple walked down with their parents to meet under the arch. Before the ceremony, Michael’s niece played the guitar and sang – there was not a dry eye in the house. There were many traditions included in the ceremony including the Chinese tea ceremony honoring the parents,  and the smashing of the glass after the big kiss!

The ceremony was followed by a cocktail hour at sunset with vibrant hues of pinks, oranges and purples that painted the sky above. After indulging in signature cocktails and scrumptious canapés the guests headed to the tented area for dinner, which was beautifully lit creating a  romantic & magical atmosphere.

The menu was chosen perfectly with so many options for their international guests list to enjoy. Live music continued with electric strings and a tenor opera trio that brought guests to their feet. 

Just before dessert, the wedding party moved to the seaside terrace to watch a custom fireworks display perfectly timed to the couples’ favorite songs. The fireworks sparkled over the Med as all of the guests watched in awe. 

The night continued with dancing in the ballroom that was illuminated with dozens of disco balls creating a starry, glittery ambiance.

 The following day Michael & Neil hosted a  farewell brunch with the most diverse spread we have ever seen,.. luscious salads, fresh seafood, oysters, shrimp, colorful pastries & cakes. After everyone said their final goodbyes to the newlyweds some guests stayed in the Riviera and kept exploring, some had to rush home. One thing is for sure, they will all keep Michael & Neil’s wedding weekend close to their hearts.

The adventure continues for M&N. They have been traveling all over the world together from Bali to the Swiss Alps and plan to move to Shanghai to start their family. Love wins!

My now-husband and I had been working with Monica and her team at Haute Wedding for a little over a year to organize our Big Day on the French Riviera and we couldn’t have wished for a better overall experience! We loved how proactive, organized and professional they all are, and Monica herself is a true magician (also a virtuous maestro) who put it all together. We had initially contacted Sarah Haywood’s team to enquire about their services, we wanted a luxurious, high-end wedding thinking a ‘celebrity planner’  would be up to par with our expectations…they did not compare in any way whatsoever to Haute Wedding.

The combination of warmth and professionalism we received from Monica was genuine and beyond compare. We  found out about Haute Wedding on Vogue’s list of Best Wedding Planners (published in May 2018) and this brought us to Monica! All in all, thanks to her expertise and dedication, we have spent the absolute best three days of our lives and every one of our guests felt the same way. So thank you, Monica and the Haute Wedding team, for all you’ve done for us! When can we do it again?!

Michael & Neil