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VAUVILLE, FRANCE — If the French adage “mariage pluvieux, mariage heureux” (“a rainy wedding means a happy marriage”) holds true, the sun should shine for Alexia Landeau and Guilhem de Castelbajac.
“It’s a good omen,” offered the Oscar de la Renta-clad bride of the rainy day, just before making her entrance into the picturesque church of Vauville as guests stood on tiptoe hoping to sneak a peak.
The ceremony, held Saturday near Deauville in Normandy, wasn’t a complete washout, however. As Landeau, an actress, and de Castelbajac, the artist son of French designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, exited the church, they encountered a meteorological marvel.
“A little California sunshine,” joked the groom, nodding to the black clouds looming overhead that had parted just in time. He then led the procession of guests up a winding, candlelit path to the Haras de La Londe, the Landeau family’s private estate, for the reception.
“It’s breathtaking here,” sighed film director Alexandra Shiva. Indeed, thatched cottages, picket fences, rolling hills and a selection of picture-perfect farmyard animals surrounding the hilltop chateau created a fairy-tale setting. “Even the donkey is dressed for the occasion,” Shiva said, referring to one animal decked out with a bow tie.
Los Angeles and New York’s film set mixed with French movie aficionados and fashion’s finest at the wedding. Shiva chatted with actress Ione Skye and Fernanda Niven.
“I cried when I walked into the church,” confessed Landeau to French director and actress Julie Delpy, who last week presented her latest directorial project, “Two Days in Paris” (in which she costars with Landeau), at the Cannes Film Festival.
“In our next film together, she plays my mother,” said Delpy. “But, of course, it’s only a flashback.”
“She’s the only girl I know who would jump into the Seine to save her dog,” Marc Landeau, father of the bride, said during the wedding speeches, relating an actual incident.
“I was up all night working out the speech,” said Tatiana von Furstenberg, who, on top of writing her first feature-length film, penned an ode to the bride, her best friend. “She would consult me on what to make him for dinner and whether to share the bed with him every night. I speak of her dog, Webster, of course,” von Furstenberg reminisced.
Ties between the von Furstenbergs and the Landeaus can be traced back a generation. “Alexia’s mother caught my wedding bouquet,” recalled Diane von Furstenberg. She talked with British actress Tara Summers, who stars in the television series “Boston Legal” and is working on a new film, “Love Lies Bleeding,” with Christian Slater. “He lent me a bunch of DVDs that marked my adolescence, and I realized he starred in most of them,” she said with a laugh.
After dinner, curtains were pulled back to reveal a multiple-layer wedding cake before Landeau whisked his daughter around the room for the evening’s first dance. Then, de Castelbajac kicked the party up a notch with Hypnolove, the Toulouse, France, band that performed at his last fashion show.
“Let’s dance!” enthused the designer, who spun guests around on the dance floor to the techno beats. “It has been a fantastic day.”