Making French Provincial Style Relevant In A Modern Wedding

Article Collaborators : Christophe Living

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Collaborators Christophe Living

Furniture designer Jean-Christophe Burckhardt of Christophe Living supplied furniture for Sandra Sully’s wedding in 2011 and also designed chairs for the Queen. He tells CW about the allure of the classic French provincial style

When Jean-Christophe Burckhardt received a call at short notice to supply 120 chairs and a selection of his best French provincial furniture for a VIP event at the Sydney Opera House, he had no idea who it was for. That event turned out to be the wedding of Channel 10 news presenter Sandra Sully to her now husband, Commonwealth Bank executive general manager Symon Brewis-Weston. The 47-yearold television celebrity wanted her wedding to be decorated in the finest of white furnishings, and Jean-Christophe, founding owner of Christophe Living, was the man for the job. 

“We supplied 120 chairs and a dozen bar stools, plus two casual seating areas, each including a Louis XV day bed (three-seater sofa), Auvergne chairs and a beautifully carved Louis XV coffee table,” recalls the designer, who is also known for customdesigning a Louis XV armchair for Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, on her 2011 visit to Australia. 

Sandra, who wore an Ellie Saab gown from Rhonda Hemmingway, also requested a carved French provincial side server table with drawers for the podium, a 17th-century French-style rug and Louis VXI round dining table on which to display the wedding cake created by Dimity Scales from Iced Affair. While he didn’t catch a glimpse of the bride on the day, Jean-Christophe did see the marquee reception setting. “It was absolutely beautiful,” he says. “The furniture reflected the casual elegance of the day, which is how Sandra wanted it.” While the French provincial theme is a much-loved style for weddings, it is also popular with couples choosing furniture for their home. “When starting life as a married couple, many people prefer good-quality furniture — something long-lasting, something memorable and, if they chose a French Provincial theme for their wedding, something that relates to this experience.”

A wedding registry is offered through Christophe Living for couples wanting to build their collection of authentic French provincial furniture. “Rather than ending up with a lot of crystal vases and silver that never gets used, I think it’s important for couples to have something enduring that represents their union,” he says, pointing out that bedroom furniture — in particular a luxurious Louis VX sleigh bed — is a particularly apt registry choice. As a memento of your French provincialthemed wedding, Jean-Christophe can also create custom-made pieces such as a Louis XV dining armchair, embroidered with a monogram of the couple’s initials. If it’s good enough for British and Australian royalty, then why not?



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