With so many beautiful destinations within easy reach, deciding where to hold your destination wedding can prove tricky. Rachel Overall, owner and founder of Mirabella Weddings, luxury wedding and honeymoon planning company, tells us her top 5 reasons why France should be top of your list for your destination wedding.
Get married in a castle
First and foremost, the chateaus. Whether you’ve always dreamed of taking a helicopter to your turreted castle, or you’re after a more understated, rustic affair, the array of jaw-droppingly beautiful venues is endless (and can make choosing one rather tricky!). Packed full of features, from glistening chandeliers to wide, open staircases, each chateau oozes its own personality and character – and can offer the perfect setting to add your own style, embellishing with floral features and detailing.
Whatever your style, there is something just so timelessly elegant about a French chateau wedding, not to mention seriously classy. Not only do the chateaus themselves offer the most beautiful backdrop to your celebrations, but the majority are set within magnificent gardens, allowing for incredible outdoor ceremonies, or starlit celebrations dancing away under the night sky. Could you get anything more romantic?!
With most offering exclusive use, you can also ensure you and your friends have the run of the place, and can enjoy your own private castle for a few days. The perfect choice for a luxury destination wedding!
The regional variety
It’s safe to say that France has something for everyone. If sunshine’s your thing, head to the south and bask in the warm rays of Provence – obligatory glass of rosé in hand. The Champagne region around Reims and Epérnay offers the perfect excuse to celebrate in style with endless supplies of bubbles – not to mention stunning scenery. If you’re after something a little different, why not consider the Loire Valley, or even Beaujolais? Both still remain relatively under the radar yet have a wealth of beautiful venues set amongst the green vines covering these wine regions. For something more cosmopolitan, there is nowhere better than the city of love – Paris.
No matter whether you’re after a rural retreat, beachside party or something classy and cosmopolitan, it’s certain there is somewhere in France for you.
Let the party continue
With many of the chateaus able to accommodate a large number of guests, this makes the perfect excuse to extend the period of exclusive use and draw out the celebrations. The best part of a destination wedding! Whether you want some more informal celebrations in the days before, or an epic post-wedding poolside party with your friends, there’s no reason the fun has to stop when the clock hits midnight. The ‘friendmoon’ is becoming an increasingly popular trend in the world of weddings, with many couples wanting to kickstart married life with their friends and family by their side before going it alone – and with so many chateaus able to be hired exclusively for extended periods, it’s a no-brainer.
A food and wine lover’s heaven
It goes without saying, but France is the perfect option for foodies and wine buffs. Whether you’re after low-key feasts of local delicacies or Michelin-starred gastronomic delights, food is always a priority in French weddings. And with such an array of wines to accompany, your guests certainly won’t be going hungry, or thirsty! Versus the UK, dining options can offer great value for the level of quality, with wine in particular getting you a lot more for your money, from crisp champagnes through to robust reds.
Consider tapping into the popular trend for grazing tables with a relaxed display of local meats and cheese, breads and fruits – a great idea for relaxing with family and friends the night before the wedding. On the day itself, French wedding breakfasts are normally a drawn-out affair, with a number of exquisitely-designed courses to delight your guests, as you sit, eat, drink and chat throughout the evening. And when it comes to desserts, there’s nothing more spectacular than a giant croquembouche tower.
Easy accessibility for you and your guests
France offers some of the best connections within Europe, whether by road, rail or air. Not only does this make life far easier for your guests to attend, but the availability and affordability of transport makes planning meetings and venue visits prior to your wedding far easier – important considerations during the planning process. New rail routes are opening up all the time, making travel ever easier – with Eurostar now offering direct routes to Avignon right down in the south of France, and plans to open a line to Bordeaux in the not-too-distant future. Add to the mix regular crossings through the tunnel, and numerous flights to the regional airports, and you have a number of options to hand for you and your guests.
With so many reasons to choose France for your destination wedding, the only hard part is choosing where! For help with planning a destination wedding or to find out more, visit www.mirabellaweddings.co.uk for more information.