It is going to be an incredible week for FWS and we are starting off with a rustic French wedding at Belle vie de Chateau, expertly captured by CHRIS+LYNN Photographers. The beautiful Belle vie de Chateau has stolen our hearts in the enchanting real wedding of Josie and Nick.
The Proposal, Josie: “Nick surprised me for my 29th birthday by whisking me off to Paris for my first pair of designer shoes (Louboutins!!!) we spent the day sightseeing and in the evening we sat in the park behind the Eiffel Tower looking up at the stars and the illuminated Eiffel Tower and Nick asked me to marry him – it was all so surreal and even the next day I kept asking him if it was real and if I could tell people. Nick had said he would never get married so it was a huge happy surprise!”
Bride Josie takes us through their wedding planning and big day: “We chose to have a destination wedding because we wanted a relaxed informal vibe to our wedding which we would struggle to get in the UK. We also wanted to be able to spend more time with all our guests, and having a wedding weekend abroad meant that we were able to do that. Because everyone was on holiday the mood was great and guests got to meet and mingle the day before the wedding.
We got engaged in Paris so we have a special love for France. After looking online at what felt like hundreds of different chateaus, we narrowed our search down to just one, THE ONE. We knew as soon as we visited Chateau de Malliac (also known as Belle Vie de Chateau) this would be our wedding venue. It was charming & rustic and just magical; it took our breath away!”
About the day photographers Chris+Lynn say: “Part of the charm of this location was that the chateau was both rustic and elegant – this matched the vibe of Josie & Nick’s relaxed wedding exactly! The ceremony location was a beautiful setting for photography with a beautiful old tree & chateau turret at the end of the aisle. The gardens, the old ruins of an abbey, and the nearby sunflower field allowed us to create portraits with a real sense of place.”
About the wedding, bride Josie: “Our wedding style could be described as rustic vineyard chic. We had a color palette of mostly neutral pale pastels with some lavender & light blue. My bouquet was white roses (my birth flower) and lavender with lots of foliage, as well as looking great it smelled amazing, and the smell of lavender takes me back to that day.
Lavender was also a nice touch on all the tables – the tabletops turned out exactly how we wanted: the place setting were beautiful, the flowers looked gorgeous, and the lamps that we had purchased from the UK and had guests drive them over were well worth all the effort.
Another element we loved was the food. Our caterers were fantastic and understood that we wanted a simple buffet with local produce, containing French and English dishes that were not too fussy and therefore created us a Gascon Farmyard themed buffet and dressed it up with old crates. It was a homemade farm-to-table feel and taste. We also had a two tier chocolate wedding cake, with white chocolate icing. This was the ultimate cake for the chocolate fanatic Groom!
The guests pitched in the day before and the day of the wedding, moving barrels and furniture and putting up hanging lanterns to help create the perfect setting. Nick and I handmade the smaller details for the wedding, such as the wedding invites and the name tags, and table plan, we found vintage pictures of destinations that have a special meaning to us for the tables names.”
Favorite Wedding Moments
Nicki: ” Amongst my favourite memories are – seeing my bride walk down the aisle & my brothers best man speech but the whole day was fairytale perfect.”
Josie: “One of my favourite memories of the wedding was when Chris and Lynn took Nick and I away to do some couples photos and we finally got to have a catch up about our day, what we had been up to and how we had been feeling. We talked for ages and completely forgot we were being photographed as we wandered around the chateau grounds.”
Another is when my mum did a mother of the bride speech; she said she was so nervous but as soon as she stood up she owned that mic and she was so funny, made so many toasts, and made me cry a lot! We really loved the angle of the photos Chris & Lynn took of her speaking with the two of us framing her.
And of course, the ceremony. I think my favorite photos are the ones of Nick and I standing at the end of the aisle, with the old tree and the chateau turret in the background, framed by the barrels and flowers. We both smiled from ear to ear for the whole ceremony and that is reflected in the photos.”
Advice & Tips from Josie and Nick:
“The best idea we had whilst planning our destination wedding was to get a wedding planner. Beth from Marry me in France was available with short notice for a contacts and suppliers package which meant that she was able to put us in touch with all of our vendors but that we were able to negotiate costs and requirements. She touched base with us often and was able to answer questions and make suggestions.
Her wedding co-ordinator Laurence was amazing – she was a real star! She wouldn’t let us lift a finger during the wedding day and took care of all the logistics of setting up and herding guests, and appointing jobs to other people. Towards the end of the night as the bar staff left, she got behind the bar pouring drinks and still had time to DJ and dance with us!
One tip is that all your guests will want to help out so I would recommend writing a list of things to do before you get there so that when someone offers to help or asks what needs doing you can easily delegate, it will make the wedding weekend a lot easier!”
Rustic French Wedding at Belle Vie de Chateau Snapshot
Venue: La Belle Vie de Chateau en Cascogne | Photographers: CHRIS+LYNN Photographers | Planning: Beth Stratton from Marry Me in France | Bride’s Attire: Dress by Mori Lee | Shoes by Jenny Packham | Belt and Head piece from Confetti and Lace bridal store | Bridesmaid’s Attire: Dress by Lipsy | Flowers: Provided by Marry me in France | Cake: Provided by Marry me in France | Caterer: Provided by Marry me in France | Entertainment: Provided by Marry me in France | Hair and Makeup Ally B