How to plan a Paris destination wedding at a French chateau next spring
Happy Monday, Cakies! This lavender-inspired spring wedding by Daria Lorman Photography gives off that gorgeous French countryside feel while being just 13 miles from Paris, making for the perfect romantic elopement locale. Chateau de Santeny is a 19th century castle, which helped the team dream up a fairytale backdrop for their elegant lavender design.
Thanks to Linda of A La Francaise Events for sharing her top tips for pulling off a wedding like this. She’s even got the scoop for those of you wanting to achieve that French vibe here in the US.
Prettiest lavender bouts as part of Esther Lamarche‘s phenomenal floral design. The crew brought the Provence lavender fields to Paris by placing lavender sprigs throughout.
Linda tells it, The chateau offers bright and elegant lounges, marble fireplaces, vaulted crown molded ceilings, towering windows, antique parquet flooring, decorative artwork, crystal chandeliers, a spiral grand staircase, and a romantic fairytale exterior façade. The chateau’s splendid decoration matched perfectly the couple’s aesthetics and provided an incredible backdrop for their photos, which was the most important part of their elopement.
How to plan a Paris destination wedding at a French chateau
1. Hire a pro. Selecting a wedding planner who can speak French and English, understands the local market, and understands American culture is very important. Fortunately, the owner of this chateau speaks English, but many of the local vendors do not and many websites to locate the top vendors are in French. Ideally, a beautiful venue like Chateau de Santeny should be complimented with excellent French cuisine, elegant décor, and world class service. Luckily in France, vendors are very well trained and price points typically are more competitive than large American cities. A good wedding planner can help couples navigate the many options to find the best vendors given the venue and aligned with their budget and expectations.
Now THAT’S a floral arch.
2. Transportation. Transportation is very important. This venue and many chateaux are typically located in the countryside outside of large cities. This chateau does not have a large parking lot, so having buses will alleviate stress; however, it can be difficult for buses to navigate the narrow roads and parking lots in the smaller villages. Not all bus companies are accustomed to driving in these small villages as many just drive between large cities. Choosing an experienced transportation company will reduce the risk of guests arriving late and make their rides more enjoyable. Unlike many chateaux, this chateau is just a 40-minute drive from the center of Paris which makes it a great option for people that want to stay in Paris during their visit and those who want to use Uber/Taxis. Other chateaux can be 1.5-3 hour drive outside of Paris. Also, be sure to factor in traffic as Paris can be very busy during rush hour and weekends as it is the most visited city in the world and is the commerce center of France.
Their reception location on the lawn offered a pristine view of the chateau’s grandeur…
Ivy Cousin made the prettiest stationery for this French elopement.
And the spring wedding cake by Sweet Creations was hand-painted in soft hues and adorned in delicate sugar flowers.
3. Accommodations. As chateaux are in the countryside, it’s important to reserve guest accommodation well in advance. Hotels near chateaux tend to be smaller and can be far away from the venue. By reserving earlier, you can reduce transportation cost and logistical challenges. This Chateau does not have hotel rooms, but given its close proximity to Paris, guests may prefer to stay in Paris the night of the wedding. Regardless, I recommend blocking some hotel space near the venue for those guests wanting to stay near the Chateau.
Film by Selim Mahieu.
Planning your dream French wedding here in the States? Be sure to zero in on what French details you’re after—something with a countryside feel? A Parisian experience? And choose a location where you’ll be able to organically emulate that style.
Photographer: Daria Lorman Photography / Videographer: Selim Mahieu / Venue: Chateau de Santeny / Planning & Design: A La Francaise Events / Floral Design: Esther Lamarche / Hair & Makeup: Anissa Renko from The French Beauty / Stationery: Ivy Cousin / Cake Designer: Sweet Creations / Macarons: La Durée / Rentals: Vaisselle Vintage & La Maison Options / Candles: Creative Candles / Linen: La Tavola Linen / Ring Box: Voeu du Coeur / Wedding Dress: La Mariee Capricieuse / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: La Mariee Capricieuse / Bride’s Shoes: Dior / Groom’s Attire: Sandro / Accessories Della Bella Gioielli