Château Wedding in Provence, France
May 5, 2023
Photos courtesy of
Brittanie and Dan’s love story began in an unexpected place—boarding school. As high school sweethearts, they formed a deep connection that has stood the test of time. Their journey eventually led them to plan a destination wedding in the enchanting region of Provence, France. In an interview with Destination I Do, the couple shared their reasons behind choosing a destination wedding, the challenges they faced, and the unique elements they incorporated into their special day.
Engaged in October 2019, they found themselves longing for their friends and family, who were scattered across the country. The couple had recently relocated to Portland, Oregon, and amidst the pandemic and lockdown, they yearned for the days when they could easily connect with their loved ones. Their desire to reunite with everyone and create a memorable experience for their guests led them to plan a destination wedding in Provence, France.
“Provence abounds with natural beauty, and like many others, we were charmed by its picturesque hilltop villages, vineyards and gorgeous valleys,” the couple says. “It is an alluring, romantic landscape, and exudes a sense of rural elegance.”
Coordinating the movement of 80 guests from Paris airports to the TGV train, and then to Avignon and various Provençal hotels required careful planning. To resolve this, the couple took the same route as their guests and provided detailed instructions. They also joined their guests on the train, ensuring a smooth transition from the station to the awaiting shuttles. Their wedding planner’s expertise and organization skills, along with the use of a group chat, simplified travel coordination and eased any concerns.
The couple discovered their venue, Château Martinay, through their wedding planner, Stéphanie.
“It’s an amazing property perfect for entertaining and combines the service you’d expect at a hotel with the privacy of a vacation rental,” Brittanie says. There are spacious patios, pathways through the woods and fields to explore cozy interiors and a beautiful pool area.”
With its ability to comfortably accommodate 26 guests, Château Martinay was the perfect choice for Brittanie and Dan, who wished to spend quality time with their loved ones.
For decor, the couple aimed to create a natural and elegant atmosphere that would highlight the beauty of the chateau and its surroundings. Lush greenery and black accents adorned the banisters, balconies, entryways, and tables, lending a refined and cohesive look. The black decor complemented the couple’s attire, with Brittanie wearing a stunning black gown and Dan donning a black tuxedo.
“We worked with a local design agency in Aix-en-Provence to create custom invitations, reflecting the green and black theme and natural motifs,” the couple says.
The ceremony took place under a majestic oak tree, discovered during a pre-wedding site visit. It resonated with the couple’s shared love for natural preservation and conservation.
Collaborating with their closest friends, they designed the ceremony to reflect their values. Brittanie’s lifelong friend, Johnna, officiated the ceremony, while Dan’s friend, Kayla, read a love poem by Pablo Neruda. In a display of solidarity, Brittanie and Dan walked each other down the aisle, celebrating their unwavering bond.
“We walked down the aisle to the instrumental version of A$AP ROCKY’s L$D,” Dan says. “While the parents were all oblivious, our friends certainly had a chuckle when they recognized it.”
For the reception, the couple prioritized exceptional food and drink, opting for a varied cocktail hour followed by traditional French cuisine. Forgoing the first dance, Brittanie and Dan used the time to connect with each guest individually.
For others hoping to follow in their footsteps, the couple shared some advice (probably the best advice we’ve ever gotten from a couple). So, heed these words:
- “Clearly communicate all relevant information ahead of time on your wedding website, and reiterate to your guests where they can find this information. No detail is too small – load up that FAQ page.”
- “In terms of tools, we utilized GSuite (Google Docs and Google Sheets) to facilitate planning and record-keeping. For international payments, I found Wise to be the fastest and most trustworthy option for transferring funds.”
- “Provide suggested or recommended activities for your guests, but don’t dictate their schedules – this is a vacation for them, after all. During the pre-wedding site visit, take some time to explore the surrounding area so you can recommend specific things to do and stand behind your recommendations (i.e. don’t send guests to tourist traps).”
Vendors: Photographer: Karol R. Photographie; Wedding Planner: Stéphanie Fayolle of WEP in Provence; Welcome Reception Venue: Château Pesquié; Ceremony Venue: Château Martinay; Florist: Atelier Provence; Stationery: Crème de Papier; Hair: Weddings by Alejandra; Makeup: Ylva Langenskiold; Gown: Elie Saab; Shoes: Gianvito Rossi; Groom’s Clothing Designer: Lanieri; Caterer: Brunet Frères; Band: Caroline Mayer; DJ: Basile Imbeault; Videographer: Rouge Wedding; Furniture: Be Lounge; Transportation: Provence Panorama