I often see brides on Facebook post that they want to get married abroad but don’t know where to start. Understandable as there are so many amazing places around the world. But then they make the fatal mistake of asking for advice. I smile as I know what’s coming next; a barrage of replies, usually from us wedding suppliers, jumping in to say ‘come to my country it’s great’. We are of course all quite right because we all think the country we live in, is the best. However the crucial question is, is it best for you?
There are all sorts of factors to be considered but France has long been seen as a highly desirable wedding destination. There’s its reputation for love and romance, food and drink, in fact there are so many positives to having your wedding here and if you still have any doubts, check out the excellent blog 10 reasons to say I do in France .
Whatever background landscape you want for your wedding France has everything: from the vibrant, romantic city of Paris to medieval hill-top towns with breath-taking 360 ° views; from snow-laden mountains to sun-drenched beaches; from countryside filled with fields of smiling sunflowers or lavender that wafts on the sunny afternoon breeze. France has it all.
When I chat to couples and we talk about what their dream wedding would look like, for each couple that look is totally different. I live in beautiful rural France and I travel all over conducting wedding ceremonies. So I get to visit venues of all types and sizes and there’s something for everyone here. Some couples have a home wedding, others hire an Air b’n’b property and some hire a château; the variety of properties here is amazing. Then this week a couple booked me for a wedding at a venue I’ve not been to before and it made me wonder ‘just how many wedding venues are there in this area?
Now, I love a bit of research, I’m in quarantine at home for the next two weeks and so now is the perfect time to find out the answer! So I used my list of venues and mapped those I know first. Then I went online and discovered even more venues, which left me with lots of little red dots on my map. This isn’t definitive but every single red dot on this map is a venue that hosts weddings! Amazing……..
In amongst those dots there is everything from stunning majestic châteaux like Chateau De La Valouze (which is my local chateau). It’s grand and lavish and you as well as 61 of your guests can stay on site. Or maybe you want something more homely but still quite grand. At the wonderful Chateau La Gauterie you can have 18 guests stay with you in a tastefully renovated family-run château.
Each château has it’s own rich story to tell, some a little gory and some more religious, like the wonderful La Canonerie as you may have guessed an abbey in days of old. All the châteaux are steeped in history but some are also steeped in wine and Chateau Giscours hits the spot as it’s been producing wine since 1552. Then there are others like Chateau Rigaud which is close to the famous Saint Emilion wine-making region and offer wine tours and tastings to you and your guests.
Or maybe you’d prefer to spend time in the heart of the wonderful French countryside somewhere with an air of tranquillity and relaxation. Both Chateau Fengari and Chateau Redon offer accommodation for 20 and 30 people respectively and are set in acres of private grounds; a little bit of heaven.
Or maybe you want everyone to be able to stay on site. There are great venues that can accommodate 180-200 people like the wonderful Manoir De Longeveau or Domain d’essendieras. Here you and your guests can also play golf and if you stay at Longeveau maybe you can have your wedding in the famous underground church in Aubeterre-sur-Drone.
Or if you like your châteaux with a bit of celebrity then in that melange of red dots you can find the wonderful Chateau du Doux which can accommodate up to 70 people and has the most amazing terrasse overlooking the valley and Chateau de Brives ,which is nestled in the vineyards of Cognac and can sleep 16 people. both of these châteaux have featured on Channel Four’s Escape to the chateau DIY.
Then again maybe a château isn’t to your taste at all! There are lots of other options. Some wonderful Air B’n’B properties are happy to welcome weddings. For example the excellent Domaine Les Grande Champs which can accommodate 26 people and has the added bonus of being within strolling distance of the local auberge and restaurant.
Or if you’re wanting an eco-friendly option complete with campfires there’s Quirky Camping which you the opportunity to reconnect and get back to nature. It offers woodland wedding ceremonies and accommodation in the shape of yurts, bell tents, tipis and gites for up to 30 people.
And if none of those float your boat (pardon the pun) maybe you’d prefer to have your wedding day aboard a luxury cruiser as you sail along the Garonne or Dordogne rivers seeing Bordeaux from an exclusive view as you and your guests celebrate. All provided by Bordeaux River Cruises
Whatever your dream venue is, you’ll find it here in France and once you do please feel free to get in touch as I’d love to help you celebrate with a wedding ceremony to match your dream location.