French Chateau wedding with international flavour just outside Paris

Penned on January 16, 2013 in Real Weddings
Photography by David Bacher

Living in Singapore, but with most of their friends and family still in the UK, Rebecca and Kristian decided on a French Chateau wedding with international flavour just outside Paris.  The couple wanted a wedding that was rustic and not too opulent, but also easy to reach for all their guests, deciding on Chateau des conde only 2 hours from Paris.

Rebecca takes us through their wedding planning achieved over 7 time zones and the wedding weekend: ”  When it came to finding a wedding venue, we originally hired a wedding co-ordinator and asked her for a selection of sites which would fit our criteria. The criteria being within 2 hours of Paris, a Chateau which could accommodate 150 guests on the day, a Chateau which could sleep as many of those as possible and a Chateau which was near enough a town / village which could sleep the remaining guests. This was the first of 6 Chateau’s we saw over a 2 day period 12 months prior to our wedding and we fell in love with it immediately.

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The Wedding was actually 12 months in the planning for us. Living in Singapore and having to co-ordinate with the various suppliers in France, Singapore as well as the UK was a challenge we’ll never forget. The actual big day experience started for us on the Wednesday.

The Chateau kindly allowed us to stay this one night before so that we could check over any last minute details. That afternoon was spent fully exploring the Chateau, all the accommodation rooms and making sure that the welcome packs were ready in each room. You’d be amazed how many last minute room allocation changes you’ll make once you see the rooms in person. Glad we did it, not so glad about running up and down narrow staircases for an entire afternoon!!

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Meeting with the onsite Chateau’s onsite co-ordinator Stephane was a great help, going through the most minute of detail and the local florist was on hand to make any final changes to the decorative we’d discussed. Again, trying to do this remotely across 7 time zones is one thing, having the flexibility to change it whilst you’re on site is such a relief.

That evening, we stayed in the honeymoon suite, the converted Dove Cote, and literally had the whole Chateau and grounds to ourselves. A very eerie and surreal experience, magical none the less. It ended with us falling asleep looking up at stars through the glass ceiling to being woken up at day break with the sun glaring through that same glass ceiling! An Amazing experience.

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The morning of the Thursday continued with ensuring that all the final detail for that evenings welcome drinks and BBQ as well as final detail for the wedding itself the following day had been  completed. It was a tremendous experience that day sitting around, soaking up the setting, having a drink and greeting each guest as they arrived throughout the morning and the rest of the day.

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If was great seeing people having a beer, drinking wine, opening bottles of spirits and talking to each other like they’d been friends all their lives. We think most people called it a day around 1 – 2am, not bad considering!

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The Friday, wedding day, really carried on where Thursday’s welcome BBQ finished. The ceremony wasn’t due till 4pm and we asked all the guest to essentially look after themselves for the morning. Some chose to come to the Chateau, use the pool, mingle and drink, others into the village.

The weather on the Friday could have gone either way and the Chateau staff were extremely helpful and accommodating. The ceremony was originally supposed to take place on the front lawn, but with clouds in the sky and a chance of rain we had the use of the newly erected music pavilion as a fallback.

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We took the decision at 1pm to go with the music pavilion and the staff did an amazing job setting it up. The whole day went smoothly. The photographer arrived nice and early, by midday, with the task of capturing all aspects of the build up to the ceremony as well as the ceremony, dinner, etc.

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The makeup artist from Paris arrived in plenty of time, the hair stylist worked her way through the pre-arranged list of guests who had booked, the band arrived well in time and setup for both their sets, the caterers were on time, the florist completed the setup of the dining hall and ceremony area to exact detail the DJ was there to go through a playlist of songs for the ceremony and wedding. Throughout that, it was great to see guests making use of the gardens, at one stage we had 10 or so setup on a table in the front lawn making their way through wine, cheeses and hams whilst they watched the afternoon go by!! wedding guests in francetoss the bouquet

The choice of Music Pavilion was perfect and very intimate. The floral and decorative arrangements matched the theme of the grand hall brilliantly. The Chateau staff & DJ co-ordinated the timing and songs to the T and it passed off brilliantly. This was followed by a champagne and canapes reception in the accompanying garden.

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Our band played an acoustic set throughout which really helped set the grandeur atmosphere of the setting. The caterers, as well as serving canapes had setup a scallop station, cooking and serving them freshly. All the guests loved this touch. This allowed as a good 2 hours to take photos and for people to relax before the main dinner. The setting couldn’t have been better for the champagne reception, with the lighting, weather, etc.

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Dinner started a little later, but went off without any problems at all. It was great to see people mingling on the tables, enjoying the food, which was absolutely brilliant, and the wines. Dinner was followed by speeches and then a disco. This started with our band playing an initial set and followed by the DJ who followed our styles of music that we wanted playing exactly.

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It always helps to make this clear beforehand and he couldn’t have done more of what was asked. An immense firework show followed around 10.30p, which then led onto more partying and a night time cold buffet and desserts station which gave everyone a 2nd wind. Nothing like snacking on freshly made pancakes in between songs!!

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We actually made it to bed at around 4am, having savoured every moment of it. We finished off on the Saturday am with a breakfast buffet for all our guests before they set off on their various ways. Just a great way to catch up with everyone, reminisce on the previous 2 days and say our goodbyes.

The memories everyone was sharing with us through to jokes and recollections were priceless and the exact way we wanted to end the experience as. On saying goodbye to Patrice and his staff, he advised us that the DJ had to sleep in one of the Chateau rooms as he’s never had to stay so late, or had such a good time. It’s exactly what we wanted everyone to experience, not just our guests but everyone involved!!”

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Rebecca looks just stunning in her Ian Stuart Bridal wedding dress, a stunning wedding venue and I have great admiration for David’s work and his ability to capture not only the details of the wedding, but the intimate moments between the guests and the newlyweds, that make a wedding day so special.

Monique xx

Wedding Suppliers:

Wedding Dress: Ian Stuart Bridal
Grooms Suit: Iris Tailor, in Singapore
Wedding Photographer: David Bacher
Veil: London Bride Couture
Shoes: Jimmy Choo
Florists: Roseline  Chabolle roseline.chabolle@wanadoo.fr
Hair: Lisa Chambers from The Studio, UK
Make Up: Frédéric Leignadier, Poudre Moi fred@poudremoi.com
Caterer: Metsavieres
Wedding Venue: Chateau des conde