So Louis proposed on the Great Wall of China in September 2014, One of the first things he asked was can we get married in France? and go to Disney Land the next day? What is not to love about those questions following a gorgeous sparkly ring... Our only issue was that Louis runs his family business that operates 6 days a week so to get all his family and mine all in France at the same time was going to require some military precision and alot of consideration.
When we got back from China we started bouncing ideas around and had decided we ideally wanted to get married somewhere where all our loved ones could stay so there would be no travelling around, taxis and people getting separated the next thing was we needed to be close to Paris for our post wedding day trip to Disney, So what does every girl do when they are planning something and need a source of inspiration? Pinterest of course, i spent hours and hours searching for the ideal venue a few kept cropping up that i loved so i used that as a starting point, now the strange thing about destination weddings is that venues can be listed under different names with different websites (for very different rates....) I managed to find 2 venues that we both loved the look of thanks to French Wedding Style Blog (this site was my saviour throughout the whole wedding process) and alot of emailing and googling.
(The image that made me fall in love with Chateau St.Julien)
As i am a little bit OCD i started a file of wedding things, a file of wedding ideas (along with 10 pinterest boards) and i had 2 wedding planners (books not people) and a wedding note book (just to confuse matters of course) but i found them soooo helpful as even though i would class myself as creative i struggled to get a clear vision of our wedding and what it would look like and this really helped, it also helped me explain to other people what i wanted and how i wanted certain things to look.
So after planning and enquiring and breaking it to our families that we would be dragging them all to France, we decided that we needed to go to France and see these places for ourself and make sure at least one of them was what we wanted and so we could really start to get a idea of how our wedding would be.
So one November weekend we decided to book the euro tunnel, a cheap hotel and jump in our car and drive over to France and go check these places out... Now in the UK people have to book and plan weddings years in advance but France is so different most people thought we were getting married 2015!! But we wanted to make sure we secured our dream venue as soon as possible. My mum and little sister came along for the looooooong drive too it was nice to have them as part of the process.
We arrived at Chateau St.Julien first and wow just wow, the 12th Century Chateau is in a small little town down a back street next to a gorgeous gothic church, but as you drive past that church and under the arch way your instantly transported to another world... Now as it was November it was cold and frosty and as we wandered around the 4 storey building there was so much going through my mind; we walked the extensive grounds Tiphaine who manages the Chateau and is also a wedding planner showed us around and told us the history of the Chateau and even though it was stunning i still wasnt sure.... the biggest day of my life and i wanted it to be perfect and really represent us.....
So we hopped in the car and drove another few hours to Chateau De Cheronne, set in gorgeous countryside, with a long winding private drive and perched right next to a picturesque lake it was perfect, our only concern was available rooms in the Chateau as it did not offer as many as St.Julien so we really needed to think about our guest list before setting our heart on a particular place, my only other small concern was that the wedding and party had to take place outside in a marquee, though the grounds were stunning and the marquee was fab i just had this niggling thought of what if it rains.....
So with hundreds of photographs and my head spinning around we headed to our hotel which was near Calais to grab some food and let poor Louis sleep after leaving the UK 24 hours ago he had slept for 30 mins (and thats without the 19 hours he had already been awake for because of work).
The next morning we were up early to catch our euro tunnel home, i spent the whole looong drive home going back and to in my mind over which if any of the venues we had seen were the one....