What is your story and how was your proposal:
Lewis and Katherine met in 2012 at a house party in London via mutual friends; Katherine had just moved to London from the US a few months prior to pursuing her Master’s degree, only initially intending to spend a year abroad. Nearly 8 years later and just as Covid restrictions started to ease, Lewis proposed in Devon, England just outside a beautiful 12th-century castle on a hilltop. He’d planned the (surprise) weekend perfectly and they enjoyed the rest of their time horseback riding, going on long country walks, visiting beaches, wine tasting, and golfing.
They had their small civil ceremony at the local town hall in London in August 2022, followed by a small celebration at The Ritz with Lewis’ parents who treated them to a stay there for the weekend. They then held their big wedding weekend in France with all their family and friends in September 2022.
Why did you choose France for your destination wedding:
We chose France in part because we couldn’t decide between the US and the UK (where Katherine & Lewis are from respectively). Katherine also speaks French and studied French culture and art history for many years, and the couple have spent several holidays in France, so they decided it would be an ideal compromise. We chose Château Le Mas de Montet because it is a beautiful fairy-tale château where we were also able to stay with family and the wedding party for the long weekend. We held our rehearsal dinner, wedding day reception and Sunday BBQ pool party at the Château. We also held a welcome party and golf tournament at Manoir de Longeveau, a lovely French country estate down the road where most of our guests stayed.
Our ceremony was held at the Église Monolithe Saint Jean in Aubeterre, a 12th-century monolithic church, and the largest of its kind in Europe. We’re both big lovers of architecture and history, and this was so stunning, unique and different from anything we’d seen so we knew immediately upon visiting that we had to book it.
After the ceremony, we walked all our guests through the charming village to the town square, where we all had a glass of champagne accompanied by an accordion player which was really a magical moment. We then transported guests back to the Château for the formal cocktail reception, followed by dinner and dancing!
How did plan your wedding from overseas:
We had a wonderful wedding planner, Kris Mundell from Marry Me in France. We absolutely couldn’t have done it without him – his knowledge and connections with local suppliers was key and he also was very organised. We had multiple events across several venues throughout the wedding weekend, and Kris brilliantly managed the various moving parts. We also visited France several times in the run-up (visiting venues, food and wine tasting, makeup trial, etc) which we very much enjoyed and treated these trips as little holidays each time.
What is the best memory of your day?
Honestly, too many to count, the entire day was magical and went by in a flash. But one special moment for us was when we made our entrance ahead of sitting for dinner, and all our guests were waving their napkins in the air, and we had so much fun dancing around all the tables. Our two masters of ceremony then surprised us – they’d written a fun song about us and all our guests had the lyrics at their seats; and just as we sat down everyone stood up and sang to us. It was completely surprising, surreal, emotional and hilarious! And we learned later that they’d even had secret rehearsals with everyone the day before, and we had no idea.
What were your inspiration and decoration ideas?
We wanted our wedding to feel elegant and sophisticated yet natural and relaxed. We felt it was important to be sympathetic to the surrounding beauty of the area and our historic venues (the monolithic church, charming town square and historic chateau). Our colour palette was primarily whites with touches of blue and gold, and we enjoyed adding special details that were relevant to us. We had gorgeous white floral arrangements and lots of candles across both venues. Our wonderful stationer Lorraine Burt drew our chateau which we put on the menu cards, and she added delicate gold leaf to each by hand; the name cards were hand-painted oyster shells; the table names were all names of famous artists (Katherine works in the art world and the couple are both passionate about art history); we flew over a fashion illustrator from the UK to hand paint portraits of our guests, we used a gorgeous large vintage gilt mirror as the plan de table, and the list goes on.
If you had to change anything, what would that be?
Honestly – nothing. Of course there were tiny things that maybe weren’t exactly right on the day, but generally we had the best time and we know our guests did too!
Venue: Chateau le Mas de Montet
Wedding church: Église Monolithe St Jean in Aubeterre
Photographer: Mark Ward @awardweddings
Dress: Suzanne Neville
Shoes: Freya Rose London
Bridesmaids: Amsale, From Bella Bridesmaids
Groom outfit: Neal and Palmer. Watch: Rolex
Florist: Jenny Fairbanks Flowers, Our Fabulous Things
Stationery: Lorraine Burt, Caboodle Weddings
Wedding website: The Appy Couple
Photographer & Videographer: Mark Ward, Awardweddings
Makeup & Hair: Linzi Buckley, Skin23
Gift list: The Wedding Shop
Wedding Planner: Kris Mundell from Marry Me in France
Band: Funk Mode Band
Strings: Ensemble Obbligato
Live Fashion Illustrator: Jacqueline Bissett