The French Riviera is long famed for its glorious beaches and glamorous clientele and old Hollywood style. But thanks to Grace Kelly, it is also known as the ultimate destination for the most luxurious and regal of weddings.
When it comes to royal nuptials, the 1956 wedding of the Prince and Princess of Monaco stands out as one of the most glamorous affairs. With the help of stylist and concept designer Marie Christelle Berthelot Wehrli, photographer Nora Mancini decided to replicate the theme of Grace Kelly’s wedding in a styled shoot at the iconic Carlton Hotel in Cannes – the same hotel where Kelly stayed when shooting “To Catch a Thief” with Cary Grant.
To set the scene, the shoot started in the extraordinary Grace Kelly Suite on the 7th floor of the Carlton Hotel. Her son, Prince Albert II, dedicated the entire floor in her honor in 2011 and the Monegasque Royal family donated photos and portraits of Kelly from their private collection to adorn the floor. With its Iroko wood floors, silk fabrics and Hermes bath products, the traditional décor of the suite conjures up the classic elegance of old Hollywood cinema.
To start the shoot, they chose the Brigitte gown by Swiss designer Modellati. The satin A-line skirt, wide waist-band, sweetheart neckline with high-neck rose lace overlay was clearly inspired by the iconic Helen Rose gown worn by Kelly. And just like the Princess, the model’s hair was drawn up into a full bun draped in a cathedral length veil.
The second gown, from the 2014 Elie Saab bridal collection, has a gorgeous skirt of flowing tulle with a lace bodice adorned with 3D floral applications. The deep V back meets a sweet ribbon bow that trails down into the tulle skirt. The model’s hair was pulled into a bouffant ponytail toped with a bejeweled hair clip from Zoro Boutique.
For the reception décor, they chose a classic all white color scheme with sparkling accents. Mercury glass vases added a vintage flair to centerpieces bursting with all white florals including roses, hydrangeas, ranunculus and peonies with teardrop crystals dripping from the sides. Matching candlesticks provided a soft glow while golden goblets added a bit of warmth to the otherwise monochromatic color scheme.
The four tiered wedding cake, by Swiss confectioner Sprüngli, was draped in smooth white fondant with a cascade of hand made sugar flowers. Each layer was piped with details reminiscent of the bridal gowns and the base was surrounded by lush white hydrangeas.
The entire shoot brings a more contemporary approach to the royal wedding while still showcasing the timeless elegance of Kelly as well as the beauty and glamour of the Côte d’Azur. Thanks to their beautiful work, Grace Kelly’s wedding to Prince Rainier will continue to inspire brides worldwide who want an elegant, iconic wedding fit for royalty.
Venue: InterContinental Carlton, Cannes / Photography: Nora Mancini / Concept, Planning & Scenography: Marie Christelle Berthelot Wehrli / Model: Michelle Riz à Porta via Biba Model Agency / Dresses & Hair Accessories: Zoro Boutique & Modelatti / Hairstyling: Natanja Fleckenstein / Make-up: Gorica Atanasova / Floral Designer : Tabea Maria & Lisa Käser‐Braun / Jewelry: Meister / Wedding shoes: Lele PyP / Stationery: Stephanie Greter / Wedding cake: Sprüngli / Rentals: Options