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With engagement season in full swing and couples starting their wedding venue search, it was the perfect time for the next installment in our series “How to plan a wedding in France”: How to find your wedding venue in France.

How to find your wedding venue in France

The wedding venue is the cornerstone of planning your wedding in France. Venue search and selection is the very first wedding planning topic we work on with our couples, and we have learned a lot about how to guide you to finding just the right setting for your celebration.

French château and gardens

We’ve planned weddings in many, many, many(!) different areas of France and we love being able to provide such a broad array of options to our couples. After all, the perfect wedding venue is only perfect if it’s right for your vision!

Paris Wedding Venues

Paris is always a good idea, and many of our couples are completely in love with the city (we can’t blame them!) Our favorite Paris wedding venues are private mansions or luxury hotels.

Private mansion in Paris wedding planned by Fête in France Paris wedding floral decoration planned by Fête in France

Pros of a Paris wedding

  • Our favorite venues in Paris offer the best of the Parisian ideal: exceptional interiors with soaring ceilings, ornate chandeliers, marble fireplaces, gilt detailing; and sophisticated, elegant food and wine.
  • Paris is a major tourist destination and many major cities offer direct flights at least once a day.
  • There are plentiful hotels and apartment rental properties, offering accommodation for all levels of budget.
  • You won’t need to worry about occupying your guests outside of the wedding festivities – Paris has an incredible variety of activities and sights to enjoy.

Cons of a Paris wedding

  • Paris is a beautiful city, but it is a city. The wedding venues we love tend to be havens of peace, but once you’re outside, there can be crowds, traffic, noise….
  • If your vision is for an outdoor or garden wedding, it’s best to look outside of Paris.
  • A Paris wedding isn’t particularly more expensive than a wedding outside of Paris, but it does tend to have fewer events & activities. If you’re interested in a wedding weekend and lots of together time with your guests, you might prefer a venue outside of Paris.
  • Our favorite Paris wedding venues tend to be best for up to 120 guests. If you’re expecting a large guestcount a château or countryside venue might be the better choice.

Château, Villa and other French countryside Wedding Venues

France is not a huge country, but it is incredibly varied in its landscapes. Scattered around the country are the famous winemaking regions of Champagne, Bordeaux, and Burgundy, as well as lesser known winemaking regions in the Loire Valley, Provence, and Côtes du Rhone just to name a few. There are some areas that are flat expanses, but much of the French countryside terrain features lovely, rolling hills. And of course there are the mountain regions of the Alps and the Pyrénées. There is extensive coastline, ranging from the rocky cliffs of Normandy and Brittany, to the surf beaches of southwestern France, to the chic boardwalks of the Cote d’Azur (French Riviera).

With all of this choice, how do you even narrow in on where to focus your search? One starting point is to think about the ambiance and feel of the day. Are you planning a formal affair, or a more laid-back atmosphere? Is dining under the stars high on your wish-list? Is there a particular type of activity you’d like to organize for your guests?

Before going into some of the specifics about the different types of countryside venues, a bit of insight into their pros and cons:

Pros of a French countryside wedding

  • French countryside wedding venues lend themselves to wedding weekend festivities. If the venue has three distinct areas for the rehearsal (or welcome) event, the wedding day, and the brunch, so much the better! If not, we suggest keeping the wedding venue a surprise for the wedding day, and finding an offsite venue for the rehearsal (or welcome) event.
  • The countryside venues we favor have accommodation on site, the more the better. That said, unless you’re having an intimate wedding, it’s unlikely that all guests will be able to stay on site.
  • Countryside wedding venues usually allow you to pick your own caterer. This give you the flexibility to pick a classic caterer or a specialty caterer, as formal or laid back as you prefer.

Cons of a French countryside wedding

  • Logistics are the main downside of a countryside wedding. We tend to recommend venues that are reasonably easy to get to, but even “easy” can mean multiple means of transport (planes, trains and automobiles!)
  • Even if there is accommodation on site, in most cases some guests will have to stay off site. So there are also the logistics between the wedding venue and local accommodations to think about.
  • A countryside wedding usually means there’s more thought that goes into what happens outside the wedding festivities. Some couples feel more of an obligation to plan additional meals and events to keep guests occupied and entertained.

French Château Wedding Venues

Classic Loire Valley château

Château wedding venues can range from exceptional venues such as the Château Vaux-le-Vicomte, to other historic properties such as this former Cistercian Abbey, to classic venues such as this Loire Valley château. Château venues come in different shapes and sizes, from different periods in history, with different amounts of accommodation on site.

French château venues are usually located on extensive grounds. The setting is perfect for a beautiful outdoor ceremony followed by a cocktail hour in the gardens. French châteaux also have large indoor reception spaces with beautiful high ceilings and other lovely architectural details.

If there is a particular historical period you prefer, your search may lead you to certain areas of France. For example, the romantic châteaux of the Loire Valley date from the Renaissance onwards. If you prefer the medieval period, you might like the château fortresses of the Rhone Valley.

French Villa Wedding Venues

Historic provence villa French wedding venue

French villa wedding venues are typically located in what we broadly refer to as “the South of France”. The villa style can be very elegant but tends to be more of a laid-back refinement. One example is this lovely villa near Aix-en-Provence.

Villa venues usuall have up to 10 guestrooms on property. This allows the immediate family or your wedding party to stay on site with you. Villa venues also have lovely green spaces, however they often do not have indoor reception spaces. In this case, a tent is usually required as a backup in case of inclement weather.

French Countryside Wedding Venues

French countryside wedding venues can be located anywhere in France, and can loosely be described as manors or estates. They can be located in the middle of vineyards in the Southwest such as this wine estate in Gascony, or amid the rolling pastures of Normandy such as this Normandy manor.

The properties can range in size, accommodation capacity, and reception configuration. They can offer great value for money, but in general these venues can be considered “off the beaten path”. That said, they are worth the trouble of getting to!

How to find your wedding venue in France

For more tips on how to find your wedding venue in France get in touch! We’d love to help you find your French wedding venue!

Looking for a wedding planner in France to guide you through your wedding planning journey? Tell us about your vision!

Postscript:  I was delighted to have a recent chat with our past bride, Leslie. Her personal blog has gotten traction among couples embarking on their own wedding planning journeys. A recent post of hers gave a bit of insight on planning a wedding in France, with input from yours truly.

The beautiful countryside of the Southwest of France was the setting for Emmie & Jon’s French château wedding. The globe-trotting couple has lived in Beijing, Montreal and San Fransisco, but their true love is for France. The first time they visited our beautiful country together, there was an immediate connection. They kept coming back, and each time it felt more magical. It felt natural for them to host their wedding in the country they loved so much.The relaxed yet elegant château wedding venue they chose is located in a region known for it’s food and wine. The rambling property is surrounded by vineyards which produce wine as well as the region’s famous Armagnac. The château also has the feel of a family home with plenty of accommodations on site, so friends and family were able to stay together and enjoy the grounds for the four days of festivities.The château and grounds have several spaces perfect for a wedding weekend of festivities, which allowed us to create a different ambiance for each event: beautiful ivy-covered courtyards, a rehabilitated barn with two big high-ceilinged rooms, a swimming pool, and a massive garden.The bride was stunning in an elegant strapless Vera Wang gown and loose chignon updo, and the groom dapper in a black tuxedo and velvet slippers. After the “I dos” the bride added chic accessories for her reception look, donning puffy tulle sleeves, golden dangly earrings and letting her hair down.

The floral decor was inspired by fall colors with warm tones mixed with greenery. The bouquets, arch and flower arrangements all had a lot of texture, with an elegant combination of fresh and dried flowers.For the cocktail, we invited guests to another part of the garden, where they could spread out between the trees and relax on lounge furniture set up on the grass. A live band played folk and pop music to add to the perfect late summer ambiance as the sun set on the vines behind the domain.

The dinner took place in the main courtyard, under garlands of lights which created a warm and intimate ambiance. The couple enjoyed their meal surrounded by friends and family and their moving speeches. After champagne flowed for dessert, the bride and groom surprised their guests with fireworks, before leading them to dance late into the night.

Contact us to see how we can help plan your own French countryside château wedding!

As seen on Magnolia Rouge.

Planning & design: @feteinfrance
Venue: @chateaudemalliac
Flowers: @fleurs-de-mars
Photographer: @marionhweddings
Videographer: @moonandbackco
Hair stylist: @ciaracoiffure
Makeup artist: @sannimakeupartist
Caterer: @lacostetraiteur
Tableware and rentals: @maison_options
Band: @chelseychantelle

There’s nothing dreamier than getting married in France. However, figuring out how to style your French wedding can be quite challenging. After all, when its capital is known as The City of Love, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all of the wonder that France has to offer.

To help your wedding find its je ne sais quoi, here are the top three wedding styles to consider for your French fête!

Parisian Wedding

Apart from being associated with all things love and romance, Paris is a city that prides itself for its undeniably chic way of life. From hosting the world’s top fashion shows to housing some of the most illustrious artworks, the French capital is the perfect setting for couples with a sophisticated sense of style.

In this regard, hosting a Parisian wedding calls for a venue that focuses on classic and refined interior design — think grand ballrooms with gold detailing that’s filled with gorgeous flower displays. It’s important to note though this wedding style refrains from going over-the-top, with décor effortlessly complementing the elegant setting.

Parisienne brides prefer figure-hugging, floor-length wedding dresses that are either made from silk or lace fabric. Bridal makeup and hair is polished and chic whether it’s full-on glam or a more subtle look. But whether wearing the bride’s hair down or in a chignon, bridal looks are usually completed with a stunning headband like this floral gold one featured on Elle. And given the elegant setting, grooms in Parisian weddings go for a classic tuxedo and bowtie.

French Countryside Wedding

If you prefer something that’s more laid-back, then you should consider having a wedding in the French countryside in regions like Normandy or Provence. Instead of being surrounded by ornate details, this wedding style will have you and your spouse tie the knot embraced by nature in the gardens of the venue.

French countryside wedding rehearsal dinner planned by Fête in France

Photo: 2 Brides

Not to mention, a French countryside wedding incorporates a lot of rustic elegance in its styling. When it comes to the reception, for instance, your guests can enjoy a lovely dinner outdoors with long banquet tables. Plus, they’re typically adorned with multi-coloured floral arrangements and glass candleholders to highlight the beauty of the countryside.

French countryside wedding bridal style

Photo: 2 Brides

For bridal looks, it’s best to choose a dress that evokes French nonchalance. To this end, a feature on Brides about French bridal designers points out that a simple crepe de chine sheath dress meets understated sophistication. What’s more, a guide to dresses for petites by Pretty Me highlights how sheath dresses have a fitted silhouette that will accentuate every inch of the bride’s body. This way, she’ll feel comfortable and confident on her big day. Hair and makeup are simple, as a long veil is a key accessory. Meanwhile, grooms can go for suits in earth tones to complement the venue.

French Château Wedding

Last but not least, if you’re planning to go all out for your fête in France, then a château wedding is the right style for you. From breathtaking façades and perfectly polished gardens, it’s the ideal venue for couples who envision a wedding that’s filled with weekend festivities. The vast (and impressive) space is great if you have guests coming from different parts of the world.

château wedding is a weekend-long affair with its happenings, such as a welcome event, rehearsal dinner, and next-day brunch, in addition to the wedding ceremony and reception. But what really sets this style apart is that it maximises French elegance with lavish elements everywhere. Case in point: Instead of using traditional paper for a wedding at the Château de Villette, the team opted for marble coasters in gold calligraphy.

The colour palette for this style normally focuses on neutrals with pops of color, greenery, and touches of gold. Brides can wear whatever their heart desires, but intricate lace or embellishments make an exquisite touch. For grooms, they take their cue from the venue, opting for black tie at formal château venues or suit and tie for rustic châteaux

Article written for feteinfrance.com
Author: Renee Jordan

2018 gave us incredible summer weather – even in places that have a bit of a reputation for being rainy. So it was with great delight that for L&A’s Normandy summertime wedding we had an abosolutely perfect day.

Preparations took place at the chic seaside Grand Hotel in Cabourg and then guests were brought inland to a beautiful private garden tended by the indomitable Madame & Monsieur Noppe. Their gardens, a labor of love over the past +25 years, was the site of the ceremony. During the planning, we had spent hours one day searching out the perfect spot based on the amount of space needed, the position of the sun and the amount of shade!

Guests enjoyed another part of the gardens during the cocktail hour and were then led to the rustic-chic reception space, where beautiful tables set with Lily Paloma’s gorgeous centerpieces brought the garden feel inside. A gourmet meal was served including the Norman traditions of a trou normand (palette cleanser) of apple sorbet and apple brandy, and of course a delicious selection of cheeses. Given the couple’s backgrounds, American (on the bride’s side) and French (on the groom’s side), they had not one, but two wedding cakes: a tiered wedding cake, with sugarpaste decoration inspired by the floral motif on the bride’s dress; and a traditional French croquembouche, or tower of cream-puffs held together with caramelized sugar and always presented with sparklers and great fanfare!

The couple deeply wanted to encourage conversation between the two sides of the family, so to overcome the language barrier there were two interpreters present at the wedding to translate the speeches in real time and help facilitate conversation with the guests. The couple also had the wish to have dancing take place outside. Any open-air plan is sure to make a wedding planner nervous – even moreso in a region that’s known for being green and lush (=rainy!) Fortunately it was clear, sunny and warm in the days leading up and on the day, allowing the dancefloor and band to be set up under the stars.

The wedding day was just one of three days of celebrations organized for the couple and their guests. To kick things off, a welcome dinner was planned at a Michelin-starred restaurant in the charming town of Beuvron. And to cap off the festivities a next-day brunch took place in the elegant ballroom of the Grand Hotel. All in all a perfect wedding weekend for this lovely Franco-American couple!

Florals: Lily Paloma | Rentals: Options | Photo: Ian Holmes | Video: BKT Films | Hair & Makeup: Sanni Sorma | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Celebrant: Love Gracefully | Invitations: 5×7 Designs | Wedding menus & Calligraphy: Studio French Blue | Cake: Synie’s | Wedding Entertainment: Jazz Around Midnight | Design & Planning: Fête in France

   

Located near Tours, this château-hotel has all the grandeur you would expect of a classic French château. A perfect venue to privatize for a wedding, the château features an elegant grand salon for the wedding reception and several indoor and outdoor spaces perfect for the ceremony and cocktail.

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