Guest blogeuse: Seductively French - Marchak Paris

My recent interview with Marchak at their private salon in Paris, France defined for me what sets this jeweler apart from the others. This intimate line adds unique and delicate details to their creations, while the history and legacy of the Marchak name embodies its genesis. What’s in a name? For the House of Marchak the name is everything, as it not only demands continued prestigious creations devoted to their client’s expectations, but also the respect to uphold their Tsar-like reputation, homage to their Russian roots.

"He had nothing to begin with but reached the heights of fame and he was soon called 'the Cartier of Kiev', then outright rival of illustrious Faberge", speaking of founder Joseph Marchak explained by Countess Dominique de Blanchard, head of development at Marchak.   Due to the Russian Revolution, the Marchak family fled to Paris to start a new life, smuggling with them under their clothes the last of their creations, and those of Faberge.  As a personal favour requested by the Faberge family, the virtuous Marchaks brought with them some valued Faberge jewels over to France and kept their word by returning them to the awaiting rightful owners of Faberge (who had also fled from Russie about that time).

For almost 150 years now, Marchak has been creating objects for royalty, chiefs of state, and collectors. “All official gifts presented by Tsar Nicolas II in Kiev for the 300th anniversary of the Romanov’s Royal House bore his signature,” proudly explains Blanchard of Joseph Marchak. 

House of Marchak continued with a noble clientele when in the 1960’s King Hassan II of Morocco commissioned them “to create and elaborate the official and private gifts. For example, the nephrite jade display unit given as a gift by the King to Mrs. Charles de Gaulle,” reveals designer Marie Christine de Ribet with a worthy smile as she shows me the momentous photos.  I study the black and white photos on the walls of the hallway leading to their Russian red salon. I share her reverence as I stare at a picture of President Dwight Eisenhower holding a hunting gun bejeweled by Marchak and gifted to him by King Hassan II. The President peering down the barrel as if aiming to shoot; just his way of admiring the meaningful gift. King Hassan beside the President as he stands in this position, both formally dressed in a suit and tie in a stately office. I gaze at this photo and feel like I have experienced a part of this history. This is the feeling you have when you wear Marchak.

Designer Ribet explains how sometimes a significant gemstone is purchased, not for it’s scale, but rather for it’s beauty, even if there is no placement for it within a design at the time of purchase. The House of Marchak prefers these rare and unique stones of quality, not necessarily the size. Gems are kept away, sometimes for years, until Ribet is inspired for it’s destined home within a design.  Although they may make a piece of jewelry up to five times, the colors and sizes will always vary, thus each a one of a kind.

Designer Ribet explains how sometimes a significant gemstone is purchased, not for it’s scale, but rather for it’s beauty, even if there is no placement for it within a design at the time of purchase. The House of Marchak prefers these rare and unique stones of quality, not necessarily the size. Gems are kept away, sometimes for years, until Ribet is inspired for it’s destined home within a design.  Although they may make a piece of jewelry up to five times, the colors and sizes will always vary, thus each a one of a kind.

Today, Marchak is owned by descendant Dr. Daniel Marchac, a renowned surgeon in France. As one of the final heirs to Joseph Marchak in Paris, his desire as owner of Marchak Jewelers is ultimately personal; to preserve the respected heritage of an imperial Russian name as a high-end internationally acclaimed bijoutier. In honor of their ancestry, Marchak opened a boutique in Moscow at the luxury Hotel Ukraina. You can also find some Marchak treasures through select jewelers in China, South Korea, and in the U.S. The Parisian salon is by appointment only, so when visiting, please give my regards to my new friends there. 

All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love.
–Leo Tolstoy
By Slavica Monczka from Seductively French


Hors de Prix

“But charm is more valuable than beauty. You can resist beauty, but you can’t resist charm.” Hors de Prix - Priceless


Musique du jour

A beautiful acoustic French song by the beautiful Carla Bruni entitled Quelqu'un m'a dit. 


Celebrations in the beautiful outdoors

 Photographe: Ashley Rose
Before the honeymoon take-off! Magnifique!

Celebrations in the outdoor settings can be beautiful and give a sense of 'freedom' for guests to move around especially kids.  A stunning venue is a must while remembering some very important pointers to stay fabulous!

Make your guests comfortable.
Think about what the weather will likely be at the time of day and month of the year of your outdoor wedding. Sunny and hot? Don't leave your guests uncomfortably melting – have your ushers give guests ice-cold bottles of water as they are seated. Consider printing your wedding program on a fan so that guests may cool themselves.

What's your back-up plan? 
What will you do if it rains? The ideal outdoor wedding location has an indoor location waiting just in case. Many brides and grooms opt to have their ceremony outside and reception inside. In a pinch, the tables can be scooted to the back of the room during the ceremony. A tent is another option, but only for light to moderate rain storms. 

 Photographe: Sarah Lambersky
Beautiful Parisian setting in the outdoors.

Expect wind conditions.
Many outdoor weddings suffer from windy conditions. Avoid light fabrics like chiffons and china silks in your dress and the bridesmaid dresses. Tell your hairstylist that you'll be having an outdoor wedding so she/he can plan a style that won't leave you looking like Cousin It! Men in the wedding party should use pomade or other styling product. Again, tell your guests in a printed insert so that they can plan accordingly. And of course, make sure your tent will stand up to gusting winds or find an indoor backup plan.

Check your sound system.
When you picture your dream wedding at the beach, you're probably not hearing the roaring of the waves, the rushing wind, or the local kids running and screaming around you. Look into renting a sound system with clip mikes for the bride, groom and officiant. Your DJ or band may be able to easily arrange this for you.

One of the bonuses of an outdoor wedding is the natural beauty around you, lessening your need to decorate. But you still need to do some work. Visit the site a week before your wedding to make sure the grass is mown, the ground raked, and the flowers have bloomed. If your wedding is at a public park, you may want to ask the groomsmen or friends to do this the morning of your ceremony. If it's been an especially cold season, you may need to supplement the flowers with some potted bulbs from a florist. Other decorations you may want to consider include an arch or trellis to focus the ceremony and frame the bride and groom as they say their vows; strings of lights or lanterns in the trees; luminarias; torches; or farolitas.

Serve fresh food in the outdoors.
Does your caterer have experience planning an outdoor wedding menu? Make sure they're planning things that will keep well outdoors in the heat. Avoid things like mayonnaise salads or dishes which must be served cold.

Quench that thirst.
Since alcohol is dehydrating, consider serving a variety of lemonades, teas and punches. Be sure to have plenty of ice and water around as well. For a fancy cocktail, why not serve a classic mint julep or a mojito? The mint will refresh and cool your guests.

Shoo fly!
Be sure to put out citronella candles or a bug zapper so that your guests won't spend the whole ceremony swatting at the air. 

Perfect sun-time.
Consider timing your outdoor wedding for sunset where your guests will see you take your vows surrounded by the warm glow of the sun. Those having a daytime outdoor wedding should orient the ceremony so that the sun will be on guests' backs rather than in their eyes. 


Don't forget to contact your city parks department or other local government to get a permit for an outdoor wedding. Be sure to ask about rules concerning trash removal, candle or torch lighting, and pre-wedding photography.

Source: Nina Callaway


Wedding bells in Paris - Locations

Vaux le Vicomte
(The most brilliant wedding for couples favoured by gods: Vaux le Vicomte is a sumptuous masterpiece of beauty and elegance. The ceremony takes place in the "Salon des Muses", decorated by painter Charles Le Brun. After the photos session in the gardens, designed by Le Nôtre who also designed the gardens of Versailles, the couple and their guests will enjoy their weddding lunch in the "Salon des Muses", which is kept for the exclusive use during the event.)

Paris, the City of Love.  Stunning architecture, chic restaurants and ultra-luxurious hotels.  Sounds like your cup of tea, non?  Oui, bien sur.  

There are, of course, a variety of cafes, bars, shops, and markets, from relaxed and comfortable to fast-paced and chic, which ensure that the delicious foods of France will be available for your wedding ceremony and celebration.  From the fancy Alain Ducasse and Guy Savoy dining places to the lively and fun Scheffer and Le Baron Rouge restaurants, you will have your choice of a variety of places to host family and friends or to have your own, more private romantic meals in Paris. 

(Mr and Mrs Jacquemart-André's sumptuous residence in the heart of Paris, dating from Napoleon III, is one of the most beautiful examples of the refinement and culture of the French aristocracy.
Its unique reception halls host the most elegant private parties in Paris. Enjoy the atmosphere of the lovers' city in this most exclusive of the sites for weddings.)

The city also provides a wide array of cultural experiences, including jazz and classical music festivals, world-renowned bike races, film showings, and seasonal celebrations.  A variety of theatrical entertainment is also available in Paris.  

As far as reception locations, there are many options in Paris as to where you might hold your wedding ceremony or reception: you will be able to choose from many parks and gardens, places of worship (both catholic and protestant), mansions and galleries, and museums.  A large number of these venues are available for reservation, all at different rates, and some at varying times during the year.  Wedding halls are also available, but French law requires that, for official civil ceremonies, at least one member of the engaged couple holds residence in the city for at least forty days prior to the wedding.  

 Palais le Marois
(The France-Amériques Association is located in a magnificent "hôtel particulier" (Le Marois) built in 1863, under Emperor Napoleon III, close to the Champs Elysées. Its elegant salons host exclusive receptions and they are the traditional meeting point of diplomatics and leaders of the worlds of business and cultural institutions.
From an intimate wedding with 20 guests up to a large reception with 300 people, private salons are a unique frame for an elegant event.)

Whether you choose to hold a simple vow renewal or an official ceremony, your wedding celebration in Paris will be surrounded by the romance of the old and the excitement of the new in this city of soaring cathedrals, romantic rivers, and exquisite cuisine.  From the grand and majestic architecture of the Champs-Elysées district to the small-town charm of the artistic Montmartre area, the many offerings of Paris will contribute to a lovely and memorable wedding ceremony for you. 


Jeff Leatham for Four Seasons Paris

Jeff Leatham is the artistic director of the Georges V hotel in Paris. Jeff Leatham creates big and masses many. His rule must be simplicity of bloom and many of them. I have never thought to strip the foliage completely down but I think the way he has massed these just blown roses is gorgeous. I am sure the beauty is in the many dozens of stems.... - French Essence


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