If I was to get married again then I would most definitely be looking to get married in a Chateau in France.
The weather is a major factor, this wedding season I did not photograph one wedding where it rained on the wedding day during the ceremony, apart from one, even then it had no real effect on the day as with a bit of forward planning we were able to complete all the photography outside before the rain started.
The choice in France is now pretty amazing with new properties being added to the market every day, the major attraction for couples is the price, every wedding I have photographed at a Chateau in France I have been told by the mother or the father that the price was very reasonable in comparison to a pretty ordinary hotel or venue in the UK. Not to say there are some pretty amazing venues in the UK but for a lot of people having their wedding in a French Chateau has always been a dream, they would never have imagined they would be able to afford a venue as grand as the ones that you see in France.
The language is never a problem even though we are in France, a lot of the owners are English or if not speak perfect English. The venues in France tend to be a lot more flexible letting you choose who you would like to cater your wedding, supply your flowers, your hair and makeup, DJ or band and of course your photographer! I have heard several storied of venues that insist a couple use a particular caterer, wine supplier or flower supplier, if this is going to be YOUR very special day then you want to be able to make those choices yourself and in my experience talking to couples the owners of the Chateau’s in France are very accommodating and can help with several suggestions.
Not only do yo get the Chateau as your wedding venue you get the grounds, the swimming pool and normally plenty of accommodation for your guests, this means that a lot of couples and their families will make the wedding day a long weekend, to be enjoyed with their family and friends, adding a few days afterwards to holiday in France before returning home.
Flights to France are now incredibly cheap making the journey very affordable, some couples have been hiring buses to bring guests over from the UK, a pretty cost effective exercise I have been told.
So the dream is now easily a reality, the resources online are enormous and with social media so much easier, several of my clients from last year made all their initial inquieries via their Instagram feeds, including myself!
It cant be a lot easier, search the large number of Chateau’s from your armchair, make an appointment, fly out to France and have a look to see if it suits you, most people are blown away when they see the venue in person and can’t believe so much is included in the price.
You also have the excuse to return to France to do food and wine tastings, make up trials etc etc, all really good fun especially if you have always loved visiting France in the past.
One thing I haven’t yet mentioned is your wedding day photography, there is probably not as much choice as you would get in the UK, so the good photographers will get booked up 2 years in advance so it is really important that once you have booked your venue to look to book a wedding photographer.