A Classic Wedding at Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild Inspired by First Love

Yan Qiao and Charles Dequeker were attending school in Nice, France when they first met in September of 2010. For Yan, her first impression was that Charles was a “cute and friendly classmate.” For Charles, it was more along the lines of love at first sight.

Just over seven years later, the couple was enjoying a trip to Iceland in November 2017. Charles booked an Icelandic opera show, followed by dinner at a romantic restaurant where he proposed.

Planning a Wedding at Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild

When it came time to start planning a wedding at Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, Yan and Charles were thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate with several talented vendors. Located in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Villa Ephrussi is one of the most beloved wedding destinations in France, and the couple knew it’d be the perfect location for their celebration.

“We went for décor that reminds you of first love. It was classic and pure.”

“Our favorite part of the planning was selecting and working with all the vendors, as they are amazing and inspiring,” Yan shares. “Since we met in Nice and spent many years of precious student life together there, we always wanted to host our wedding around Nice.

The Villa de Rothschild is a premium venue for dream weddings, and you can hardly top it in terms of its iconicness, climate, convenience, and the quality of wedding vendors.”

Wedding Décor and Guest Experience

Planned by Maia Organisation, Yan and Charles’ wedding and décor was inspired by a concept rather than a tangible object.

“We went for décor that reminds you of first love,” Yan explains. “It was classic and pure.”

To highlight the innocence and purity of “first love,” Miss Rose by Perrine created an effortlessly elegant floral design scape consisting of all-white calla lilies and roses for the dinner tabletops.

The understated décor was a fitting complement to the villa’s grand setting, creating the exact ambiance and guest experience that Yan wanted – “lovely, friendly, a bit extra, but not overwhelming.”

“The garden of Villa de Rothschild has magnificent flowers cultivated by their gardener,” she adds. “We hosted the cocktail hour and dinner in the garden, so we naturally had those flowers as a backdrop. We were grateful to the guests for being in our lives and wanted to treat them to an unforgettable night.”

The Wedding Celebration

When the big day arrived, the bride and groom enjoyed a two-hour pre-wedding photo session with their wonderful photography team. Since the photo shoot began at 4 p.m., they were able to take full advantage of golden hour in the South of France, capturing some gorgeous snapshots.

The couple’s outdoor wedding ceremony began at 7 p.m., with the celebration space lighting up the night sky. Yan walked down the aisle wearing a beaded off-shoulder wedding dress by BERTA, and the couple exchanged vows under a circle arch of roses.

After the ceremony, guests enjoyed a cocktail hour that featured a music fountain, creating a halo around the stage. The newlyweds made their grand entrance to “Kill This Love” by BLACKPINK, and sparklers were passed around when it came time to cut the cake – a decadent croquembouche with macarons. The night’s entertainment also included fire dancers, and the bride changed into a dress by Rebecca Valance for the afterparty.

Just as one would expect from a Villa Ephrussi wedding, the party lasted until 4 a.m. and beyond, as the couple returned to their accommodations at Four Seasons and enjoyed more champagne.

For their honeymoon, Yan and Charles are planning a trip to Japan and South Korea.


Location: Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild; Planner: Maia Organisation; Floral Design: Miss Rose by Perrine; Production & Entertainment: Riviera Organisation; Caterer: Helen Traiteur; Cake: Lucille Pâtissier; Invitations & Stationery: MarryMe by Amoretti; Wedding Dress: BertaPre-Wedding Shoot & After Party Dress: Rebecca Vallance; Hair & Makeup: Cecilia Zhao; Cinematography: The Wedding Filmmakers; Photography: Tobiah Tayo