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A Springtime French Chateau Wedding

Call me a Francophile, call me a wannabe, but my love of all things French weddings runs deep. Luckily this Bride shares those feelings and set out to plan a destination wedding her guests would remember forever. Once she found the venue, Chateau La Durantie while Internet browsing on her lunch break (see: How to Wedding Plan and Keep a Full-Time Job) the rest fell right into place. Caught The Light came along to capture, and The Vault is your got-to for every last bit.


From The Bride…Sitting here trying to write about the happiest day of my life has created both a mixture of writer’s block and the potential for a novel. There aren’t words to truly describe how incredible you feel the day you wake up and realize you are about to marry your best friend and for all your favorite people in the world to share this with you.

I was never one who dreamed of my wedding as such, but the evening Tim got down on one knee and I realized what was happening after a decade together, I was in shock! Not only for the proposal but at how eventually my inner bride-to-be was unleashed. Working as a Personal Assistant with a background in art, I felt I was fully equipped for the job but wow Wedding Planning in my opinion, is a full time job (especially for you fellow perfectionists out there). What an incredible job it is!

Having shared so much already, both experiences and friends, it was easy for us both to agree on ultimately what the main word for our special day was to be centered around: FUN. We weren’t necessarily interested in themes as such, but I knew in my heart growing up with a mother whose love for flowers was infatuating, that flowers had to be a major star of the show. Spring and the month of May was decided pretty much instantly and off we went, driving around my favorite area of the UK (Devon) and actually where we had got engaged that Boxing Day. We focused ultimately around the idea of the day having the potential to be a long weekend and as I began turning into a Pinterest addict, I realized very quickly how I longed for a romantic and floral wedding in a setting that had grounds and space, but not overly fancy. Nothing seemed to hit the mark until on a fleeting visit, one of Tim’s ushers remarked that he had always imagined us getting married abroad in Europe. Tim and I looked at each other and that was it, Bonjour France! (Tim had lived and worked there for two years whilst I am a full-blown Francophile). A long weekend for our nearest and dearest, guaranteed sun, good food and no stress! (…little did we know!).

When Chateau la Durantie appeared on my screen one lunch break at work I gasped – with only two dates remaining that year, we secured our May Bank Holiday weekend without even visiting! When we did visit a few weeks later, it was love. The Chateau (I felt like Belle from Beauty and the Beast when we entered), the stunning grounds, vineyards, it was perfect. We could totally envisage the garden party style setting that felt like a home from home (the accommodation on site hosts up to around 45!). The planning from them on in terms of colors, décor, flowers, small touches was easy. The building and grounds were so stunning I did not want to be overly fussy and fight with its beauty, but compliment it. Lisa from French Flower Style just knew exactly what my mother and I were thinking when we talked flowers: lily of the valley made up my whole bouquet and was heavily featured all over the venue and in our marquee. I kept the color simple, just white and green and well, romantically fresh I guess? We had stunning displays wrapped around the marquee poles and clusters of spring flowers placed in vases all over. When we walked into the marquee the smell was incredible and I can honestly say it was unbelievably stunning. Lisa really was my flower godmother. I kept the tables classic again with mirrored centre pieces, sprigs of rosemary, and stationery in grey and white with hand written calligraphy place cards. We had small mirror hearts hanging on the chairs and small crystals to echo to beautiful marquee chandeliers dotted around too.

Coupled with flowers and an open bar (ha!), from very early on in the planning stage photography was an incredibly important element for us. I had stumbled across Chloe Browne pretty much within week one and had fallen in love with her stunning style of capturing emotions, details, just love in general. When we met up I fell in love even more. Both Tim and I are not the most naturally relaxed in front of the camera, so not only did we want that perfect person to capture our story, but to also laugh with us and feel like a friend. Chloe did not only do that, but also kept our spirits high and smiles beaming through the bad luck we had with weather. The day before the wedding when we had to set up, it was pretty much a monsoon. The day of our wedding started with cloud and then rain. However, I want to reassure you brides-to-be that this does not mean disaster! No lie, we had not prepped AT ALL for rain, being slightly naïve to the fact that actually the Dordogne region of France is very similar to the UK (rain was likely). My vision of drinks, canapés, garden games and speeches on the grounds was stolen, but this in turn allowed for everyone to stay together, to mingle, laugh and to actually take in the beauty of the Chateau. I also think we have some really unique and special photos with the rain (huge thanks to my wonderful mother for using her head and stocking up on pretty white brollies). I can hand on heart say it did not change anything about the day, I honestly believe it made it even more fun – I don’t think either of us have smiled or laughed more and the whole day I felt like I could burst with love.

I could literally carry on writing and re-living every gorgeous detail from our day, but I will end with some of my favorite and unforgettable moments. Ladies, cherish the one on one intimate moments you share together – I felt like we were the only people in the world when we were sat together with our Priest at the front of the church, it really is magical. Then again when we journeyed from the church to the venue, squashed into our classic car together, champagne in hand, rain lashing down but giggling and feeling on cloud 9 together tucked in the back. Those were the times that I remember so vividly from the day. I also could not believe how calm I was on the day (I put this down to bridesmaid dresses getting lost en route prior to fittings and French Air traffic Control strikes threatening to cause the whole wedding to be unable to attend!) so getting ready with my mum and best friends in the morning really was special. The look on my father’s face when he came to meet me, the FOB speech which had not only me but grown men sobbing, when both Tim and I slipped down the stairs outside of the church, and our first dance to ‘A Sky Full of Stars’ by Coldplay as Tim free-styled to the max and our lack of any pre dance planning showed (I can hands down say it was the best first dance in the history of first dances, thank goodness Tim did not get his way with his suggestion of ‘I’m a Scatman’).

Any advice? Be wise and always have a plan B for rain mainly to avoid last minute stresses in itinerary updates. Don’t be afraid to ask for help – you are going to need it whether you want it or not! Remember, these are literally your most loved friends and family, they will cherish being involved. However do not worry about a thing as whatever happens, it really is the perfect day. And if you do have a mini meltdown the night before? Make sure you have solid bridesmaids like myself equipped with cucumber slices and reassuring words (such as ‘what would Beyonce do?’)

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Photography: Caught the Light | Floral Design: Lisa Gatenby | Wedding Dress: Balta | Ceremony Venue: St Thomas Church In Excideuil | Reception Venue: Chateau La Durantie | Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Dessy Collection By Vivian Diamond | Hair + Makeup: Kerri Langfield | Groom's Attire: Marks & Spencer | Groom's Shirt: Burberry | Groom's Shoes: Faith from Debenhams | Groom's Watch: DW

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Elegant Wedding in France at Chateau La Durantie

This wedding is a dream. Honestly, every image Peaches & Mint sent over is so beautiful I could get lost in this gallery for days. And I might do just that. Because, in my opinion, it doesn’t get prettier than a classic yet chic French countryside affair in a picture perfect chateau, and I’ll think you’ll agree when you join me in gushing over all the pretty here.

Anna, who’s Russian & Vladan, who is Serbian individually moved to Vienna as children, coincidentally both at the age of seven. Although they had similar circles of friends and for a while even went to school in the same street, life had some time on the road for them planned, before they should finally meet. So Anna went to work in New York after finishing her studies and Vladan was living in London when they both came home to Vienna for a visit to see family & friends. They met aged 24 at a cocktail party of a mutual friend (who later of course became one of her stunning bridesmaids) and made the long distance work until they decided to move back to Vienna and tie the knot. For their weekend long wedding celebration they invited friends and family to join them at La Durantie, a magical french chateau that has been refurbished and maintained with a tremendous love for details. Original pieces & varying decor in every room, it allowed the couple & their guests to be taken in by the French atmosphere & scenery at once! Details: The Location: Chateau La Durantie is a true gem, since it has been refurbished and maintained with such care. It is a dream come true wedding location a few hours away from Paris and sold out years ahead. Vodka & Rakia on the tables: With Anna being from Moskow and Vladan from Belgrad they thought it was a nice idea to put both national drinks on the table for shots. The Flower girls & boys: Are all nieces and nephews of Anna, who came all the way from Russia. Flower girls head wreaths: Stunning head wreaths for all the girls, made such a nice pop of color! Flowers: Florals were done by Lisa Gatenby (French Flower Style), originally from England but moved to France and works her magic with flowers there now The Family Picture: Anna & Vladan planned time during their day to do family formals in the location. Anna changed her dress for this occasion, so the family pictures wouldn’t just reflect their wedding as an event, but their families uniting. The Stationery from Herz & Co ( Stunning and bespoke designed letterpress stationery, with printed fans, coasters (for wine bottle giveaways) and invitations with a bespoke design for their french wedding affair. (It’s a bit my weak spot, but I could photograph them again by end of next week and style it nicer – unfortunately there was no stylist at the wedding and I just lacked the time.. But the letterpress company is here in Vienna and I know they would happily give me the pieces again to shoot them!) Giveaways for bridesmaids: Tiffany bracelets Her Headpiece: “Something borrowed” from one of the bridesmaids. Originally purchased at a small accessory store in Vienna. Dower: He got a Montblanc pen and she got a ring from Cartier The groom: Wore an antique Patek Philipp watch, which was a gift from Anna’s father, cufflinks from Lanvin and a suit from Dolce&Gabanna. His bow tie was from Brioni. Rehearsal Dinner: Beautifully set in front of the castle, with Catering by La Durantie. (Sending you another link for that & a few more pictures you might find useful: Wedding Music: An accordonist & an acoustic band took care of french atmosphere!

Photography: Peaches And Mint | Floral Design: Lisa Gatenby | Wedding Dress: La Sposa By Pronovias | Ceremony Venue: Chateau La Durantie | Rings: Cartier Cufflinks | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Mango | Groom's Attire: Dolce & Gabbana | Accordeonist / Musician: Grégroy Chauchat | Band / Musicians: Ma Family Trio | Bow Tie & Cummerbund: Brioni | Bridal Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaid Giveaways: Tiffany | Groom's Watch: Patek Philippe | Hair & Make-Up: Kerrie Langfield | Headpiece: Dudaa Store | Letterpress Stationery: Herz&Co | Sweet Table & Wedding Cake: Trudy Hasker / Chateau La Durantie

Romantic French Château Wedding

It doesn’t get more dreamy than a french château wedding. Effortlessly elegant and dripping with charm, these gorgeous images from Katie Mitchell paint the prettiest picture of why. It’s just another reason why I’ll always treasure timeless affairs like this one, and you can see all the reasons why here.


From Katie Mitchell Photography….I followed my heart from Australia to France in 2013 and now call Paris my home. Having the opportunity to now photograph weddings here in France has been nothing short of a dream and Amy and Peter’s French château wedding was no exception. An Australian couple currently living in Sweden, I was smitten with the sound of their plans from their very first email and just knew we were going to be the perfect fit.

On the day itself I approached the entrance to Chateau La Durantie and I couldn’t quite believe my eyes. It was even more stunning than I had envisioned it would be, surrounded by apple orchards and olive groves. From the moment I walked in the door it was a serious case of inspiration overload (imagine vintage bookcases, marble staircases and piles of baguettes on the dining room table). I couldn’t wait to begin to document all of the gorgeousness around me.

The sense of calm during the bridal preparations was a sign of the way the day was to unfold. Amy’s grandmother’s dress hung delicately in the salle de bain and photos of their grandparents (sadly absent in person but most definitely not in thought) lay on the table. Pastel tones and peonies were in abundance and every little detail spoke of a quiet elegance. As final touches to hair and make up were made the girls sat and chatted over cups of Mariage Frères tea.

The sun shone down on the smiling faces of their guests as Amy and her Dad walked down to the ceremony arm in arm and as Amy and Peter exchanged vows the importance of family was once again evident. We captured some relaxed portraits of the bride and groom in the surrounds of the château as their guests enjoyed a game of pétanque and the champagne flowed. The whole day was expertly organized by wedding planner Charlotte Holmes who was a complete delight to work with.

I loved everything about Amy and Peter’s wedding day and I’m convinced that a château wedding in France is the way to go! Whether just outside of Paris, in central France or down in beautiful Provence, a week of festivities in the countryside together with your nearest and dearest is a perfectly unique and intimate way to celebrate and set the tone for the start of a beautiful life together.

Photography: Katie Mitchell Photography | Wedding Planner: Chateau La Durantie | Florist: Lisa Gatenby | Cake: Trudy Hasker | Bridesmaids Dresses: Review | Caterer: Michel-Jean Maquet | Band: Chateau La Durantie | Celebrant: Sue Ward | Wedding Venue: Chateau La Durantie | Hair & Make Up: Kerrie Langfield