I hope that you had a fabulous weekend and ready to join me for a truly wonderful week on French Wedding Style. Starting with a spot of vintage glamour for your today in Kate and Craig’s Loire Valley wedding featuring a drop dead gorgeous silk Jenny Packham wedding dress and captured by Matt Parry.
Set at the Le Chateau des Grotteaux in the heart of the golden triangle of the Loire castles – Chambord, Blois, Cheverny – Grotteaux the Castle, the smallest of the great castles, has been renovated and provides a stately backdrop for today’s vintage glamour wedding.
Bride Kate takes us through their love story and planning a wedding in France: “Craig and I met through a dating website just over 5 years ago. Our first date was after work in crowded bar in London. The following day I flew to France to spend Christmas with my parents who were living out there at the time. Little did I know that we would be getting married nearby in a few years’ time.
French Wedding Style – Photography © Matt Parry Photography
In 2011 Craig proposed during a weekend trip to Barcelona with a beautiful ruby ring. We set about finding a wedding venue straight away, hoping to do something a bit different. We wanted a small wedding with a focus on good food and good wine. An outdoor wedding really appealed but not always possible in the UK!
We knew the Loire Valley well, so set about finding suitable venues. After a lot of internet research we booked a weekend of chateau visits. Le Chateau des Grotteaux was a last minute addition that we just managed to squeeze in before flying back. As soon as we saw it we knew it was the perfect place for us to get married. Craig is a keen fisherman and so I really wanted to have the wedding ceremony near water. Behind the chateau was a little stream framed by a huge weeping willow. All we needed was sunshine.
The chateau owner recommended local suppliers so it was lovely that the caterer was based in the local village, the wine came from the vineyard down the road and the florist was his good friend. I met our fabulous photographer, Matt Parry, at a wedding fair. Hating having my photo taken, I really liked Matt’s contemporary reportage approach. Luckily for me his parents lived in France and was happy to combine his summer visit with a detour to photograph our day.
I found my dress one lunchtime in a shop around the corner from work. I hadn’t been engaged long nor tried on many dresses but as soon as I put Jenny Packham’s Alessia on I knew I had to buy it. My husband tried on more hire suits than I did dresses! The veil and shoes were a little more challenging and I ended up ordering them from the US.
Art Deco was a big influence on the decor and came from watching Agatha Christie’s Poirot as a little girl. The 1930s style and a colour scheme of ivory and gunmetal seemed to work well with the elegance of the dress and chateau; a little touch of red complemented my engagement ring. I spent a lot of time looking online and at Martha Stewart weddings to get style ideas and diy tips.
Our wedding took place over a long weekend at the chateau. Friends and family helped to decorate the day before and we had a big barbeque by pool in the evening. The morning of the wedding was spent running around setting up and trying to avoid bumping into each other before the ceremony. We were staying in a beautiful converted chapel in the chateau grounds. I remember looking out of the window onto the reception area to see the best man and ushers in their suits. Suddenly it all felt very real.
The sun shone that day and the ceremony was lovely by the river. In typical french style the meal went on all evening and the wine flowed. The caterers even made us a traditional croquembouche wedding cake and surprised us with a champagne fountain. We danced late into the night and I believe some brave guests took a midnight dip in the pool!
We are delighted that we chose to get married in France. Going abroad for the weekend meant that everyone was relaxed and in a holiday mood. Finding someone to officiate our ceremony was our biggest challenge but luckily a friend of parents stepped in at the last minute. We felt we had exactly the day we wanted.”
A beautiful venue and a stunning chic bride gets me every time!