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Wednesday, September 12, 2018

A French Destination Wedding

Words by Kinsley Brown
Photos courtesy of Katelyn James Photography

Erin and Kyle are no strangers to travel. It’s getting to choose the destination that’s rare. “Since both of our families live far away from Baltimore, we spend a great deal of our vacation time visiting family,” explains the couple. “We had been longing for a European vacation for many years and just hadn’t had the chance.” As it turns out, the couple’s wedding was the perfect opportunity to ask their loved ones to return the favor and hop on a plane to celebrate.

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The couple had been following a friend’s renovation project on a Montmoreau-Saint-Cybard, France B&B over Facebook and quickly decided it was the perfect fit for their wedding away. “Les Mirandes had it all – gorgeous views, an in-house gourmet chef and a completely authentic experience,” say the newlyweds. “It served as our home for seven days, our ceremony venue and reception venue.” Choosing to host their wedding in a rural, French manor meant the couple relied heavily on the B&B owners and their wedding planner for vendor referrals.

The couple spent the morning of their wedding enjoying breakfast in bed and some quiet time alone. “It was wonderful to have this time together before a day of non-stop activity and excitement,” says the bride. When it was time to say “I do,” they exchanged vows in Les Mirandes’ front drive in front of its antique, iron gates. Following a traditional French Champagne reception, the newlyweds and their 22 guests sat down to a three-course dinner on the terrace. To cap-off the evening, the group moved to the manor’s historic barn for dancing and enjoyed a croquembouche covered in sparklers for a late-night snack.

One unique decision the couple made was to opt-out of hosting their wedding on a weekend. “Our decision to put our wedding in the middle of the week allowed for guests to travel freely and participate in events as time allowed. Before and after the wedding, they visited England, Germany, Spain, Portugal, the Swiss Alps, Monaco and other regions of France.”

When we asked Erin and Kyle what advice they would offer other destination wedding couples, their answer was practical and straightforward. “Give yourself plenty of time. Overall, our wedding week was an incredibly relaxing experience. We had plenty of time to rest and didn’t feel rushed for time or the pressures of greeting and hosting the several hundred guests that would have been present had we hosted a stateside wedding.”

Vendors: Photographer: Katelyn James Photography, Wedding Planner: Abigail Wells-Davies, Ceremony/Reception Site: Les Mirandes, Florist: Laure with Les Fleurs de l’Or, Stationery: Blackbird Letterpress, Gown Designer: Romona Keveza from Garnish Boutique, Groom’s Clothing Designer: J.Crew and Collared Greens

This article first appeared in Destination I Do's Spring/Summer 2017 issue. You can order a copy here.

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