Michelle Parrott, 37, married Rob O'Connor, 36, at Chateau Lagorce, France, in May 2012. She says:

"Rob proposed when we were on holiday in Provence. We decided then that France would be the perfect place to host our wedding. French wine, cheese, sunshine - what's not to love?"

"I bought my wedding shoes before I'd even thought about my dress. They were a limited-edition satin pair with a Swarovski-crystal heel. It was love at first sight even though I couldn't walk in them - in the end I only wore them for 40 minutes! I had two other pairs, wedges and flats, to change into."

MORE REAL WEDDING INSPIRATION

"I found dress shopping to be an overwhelming experience - I'm a fashion designer so had very firm ideas about what I wanted. I worked closely with designer Lisa Redman - I loved the experience so much that I'm setting up my own wedding-dress design business.
We visited the venue four times in a year, on holidays and mini breaks, to help us plan. We had to compromise on the guest list as a few people couldn't travel."

"To legally marry in France you have to live there for at least 40 days in a year. Because we were unable to do this, we had a low-key ceremony the week before at Chelsea Old Town Hall, followed by lunch and then bowling."

WEDDING FLOWERS GALORE! 

"The flowers were arranged by us, using vintage vases I'd collected. We chose blue hydrangeas, pink and purple sweet peas and lavender for scent."

"My top tip: For a wedding abroad, hire a planner who can speak the language."

Photography by Dasha Caffrey; www.dashacaffrey.com