Alison Deetlefs met Philip Belamant at her older sister’s eighteenth birthday party, and they hit it off right from the start.
At the time Philip thought Alison was too young for him, so they remained flirty friends. Sharing the same social circles, they continued to run into each other until three years later, when they gave in to their feelings and took a chance on a date.
Even on that very first date they felt at ease with each other, effortlessly slipping into the relationship. Alison says, “We were very comfortable ... after knowing each other for so long there was never an awkward moment.” Philip realized that he’d found someone he could truly be himself with and to Alison, Philip was everything she’d ever wanted in a man.
“I DON’T THINK WE TOOK OUR EYES OFF OF EACH OTHER THE WHOLE CEREMONY AND WERE SO HAPPY WHEN WE FINALLY HAD OUR FIRST KISS.”
Alison says that Philip has “always been a complete romantic,” surprising her with everything from flowers to vacations. But the proposal was probably his biggest surprise. In 2011, the two planned a trip to Italy and France. Naturally with such a romantic backdrop, Alison was on the lookout for a proposal.
But her hopes faded when they arrived in Venice and Philip didn’t put anything in the safe, claiming not to have anything valuable on him. The very next day, they were alone on the edge of a tiny island off the coast of Venice, staring out across the water. When Alison turned to look at Philip, he was on one knee. Alison was in such total shock that she didn’t even notice the ring. “It really was one of the happiest days of our lives!”
From Italy, the newly engaged couple went to France and decided that was where they wanted to get married. Despite the distance and the language barrier, they managed to organize their dream wedding. They chose the Château d’Artigny for their reception, with its mix of classic beauty and convenience.
The spring wedding day dawned with freezing rain, but everyone was too excited to be bothered by it. Alison got a little nervous during the indoor ceremony, but “Once I saw Philip, I felt at ease again ... I don’t think we took our eyes off of each other the whole ceremony and were so happy when we finally had our first kiss.”
The wedding was a weekend-long affair, giving everyone a chance to bond. The reception ballroom was decorated with soft glowing lights, pink flowers and show-stopping floral centerpieces. Guests got to enjoy each course paired with French wine, and champagne was—of course—in abundance. After dinner the wedding party was brought outside and treated to a huge fireworks display. “I loved the moment of watching the fireworks light up the sky, holding my husband and having everyone we love around us.” The dancing that followed didn’t stop until the sun came up.
And for the honeymoon, Phil had one more romantic surprise for his new bride. “All I knew was to pack for something warm and beachy. We flew directly from France to the Maldives and spent twelve days in absolute paradise.”
Location and Caterer: Château d’Artigny, Montbazon, France; Cake: Synie’s Cupcakes, Paris, France
Event Design and Planner: Fête in France, Paris, France; Floral Design: Frédéric Bertin, Paris, France
Linen and Rentals: Options, Olivet, France; Lighting: Scène de Nuit, Joué-Lès-Tours, France; Stationery: Elephantshoe; Wedding Dress and Headpiece: Pronovias; Veil: St. Patrick; Bride’s Shoes: Christian Louboutin; Groom’s Tuxedo: Saxon&; Photography: One and Only Paris Photography, Paris, France