Rachel Kavanagh, 30, married Shane McGill, 42, at Bastide Le Castelet, Côte d'Azur, France, on 8 June 2013. She says:

We looked long and hard for somewhere to host our whole day - the ceremony, cocktails, dinner and dancing. This private house, Brigitte Bardot's former holiday home, had it all, and allowed us to move guests around for each part of our day.

Our 'church' was created beside the boules area, where fresh lemonade was served before the ceremony. Guests sat in a semi-circle facing the aisle, which was a long white carpet with vases flanking both sides. During the vows, our little boy escaped from his nanny and ran down the aisle clapping, to the delight of our friends.

The light Mediterranean menu was relaxed and informal, and in keeping with the south of France. We all shared starters of pear and gorgonzola shortbread, and courgette beignet with vegetable turnovers.

We had more than 250 tealights in the Japanese pond. I love candlelight, so I used lots of lanterns in the pool areas. When darkness fell, it looked magical.

For our first dance, our guests welcomed us with sparklers in one hand and a shot of Jägermeister in the other.

My father and husband are Irish and so insisted we had a Guinness bar at the drinks reception. However, none of the catering companies provided it in France, so my husband found an Irish bar in Cannes and collected a keg of it on the morning of the wedding, on his way to the venue!

My top tip: Make sure that you take your time to walk up the aisle. I practically ran down it because I was so nervous, and wish I'd had a second shot to do it right.

Photography by Alban Pichon; www.pichon.com