A FAIRYTALE CHATEAU WEDDING IN THE FRENCH COUNTRYSIDE
Ailsa and Kevin got married at the weekend at the spectacular Chateau de Courtomer, a stunning country house in Normandy. It was the most beautiful wedding EVER and the sun shone all day long!
"Wow Andy, we honestly have no words! The photos are so amazing and capture the weekend so beautifully! Thanks for making this experience so special!"
Getting ready at the Chateau
Ailsa got ready in one of the many sumptuous drawing rooms with her bridesmaids, and the atmosphere was so relaxed. Ailsa's wedding gown was gorgeous and suited the regal surroundings perfectly.
Kevin got ready upstairs at the other end of the Chateau. I’ve never seen a groom graft as hard as Kevin. He was running around all morning, sorting things out, organising, fighting fires, basically making sure everything was going to plan. Ailsa may have fired a few text messages in his direction, just to keep him on his toes…
It was lovely to see all the family of the bride & groom running around, helping to organise, decorate, cut flowers, bag confetti and generally getting stuck in! This was such a team effort.
A Grand Dining Room Ceremony
The ceremony was a beautiful service in the grand dining room; a beautiful room inside the Chateau, all polished wood and floor-to-ceiling windows. Smiling guests sat in vintage wooden chairs that needed little decoration. As they made their vows, the bride and groom stood beneath a beautiful wooden arch decorated with fresh foliage. The team involved with dressing the venue did such a fabulous job.
During the ceremony they had all the guests pass their rings around to warm them. It was a beautiful way of involving everyone in the ceremony and such a personal service. The ceremony was delightfully conducted by one of Kevin & Ailsa's close friends. A miracle really, as the lad bashed his head on a door frame a few hours earlier and had to have a rather nasty gash glued up! He is one tough bloke 🙂
An Afternoon Reception in the Chateau Grounds
The reception was out in the garden at the venue. They chose Chateau de Courtomer because they could have the place for the whole weekend and they just fell in love with it. Kevin & Ailsa went for a vintage, rustic, chic outdoor theme, which contrasted so perfectly with the grandeur of the Chateau behind us. The attention to detail and the food was just incredible! I’ve never seen so much gorgeous food served at a drinks reception and I must admit I may have eaten rather too many canapes…smoked salmon… cured ham… beer… Put it this way, Kevin & Ailsa know the way to a photographer’s heart!
For dinner they had exquisite French cuisine under the stretch tent, which was loved by all the guests. To finish off there was a fabulous selection of French cheese and apple brandy shots for everyone! The first dance was a good old traditional wedding shuffle, and they finished off the evening with an absolute raucous party. I stayed until midnight and loved every second!
An Exclusive French Wedding Venue
I love shooting destination weddings because they’ve always got such a great atmosphere. Imagine just being here with your family & friends, nestled away at an exclusive venue in the most stunning part of France, as the sun warms your cockles and the drinks warm your heart!
I mean, just look at this venue! Absolutely enchanting.
I felt at times that I could literally point my camera in any direction and something beautiful, memorable or wonderful would be happening.
The funniest part of the day was seeing the bride & groom's little dog Louis running around. He was wearing a little bow-tie with a big doggy smile on his face!
Planning a Destination Wedding in Northern France?
After nearly 1000 miles of driving, a brush with border control, struggling to find a cash machine (they call them DABs!) and learning at the last moment that French toll booths are also on the wrong side of the road, I feel I'm a bit of an expert at this French chateau wedding thing. Honestly.
In reality, if you'd rather have someone who ACTUALLY knows how to plan a first-class wedding on foreign shores, look no further than Fanny at Artis Evenement. What an absolute star she was and what an energetic and enthusiastic team of experts she has!
If you’re planning a destination wedding in France or anywhere else, please get in touch! I want to do this all over again!
Ailsa and Kevin’s wedding was everything I love about weddings and just the happiest occasion. It was my absolute honour to be part of the family for a few days and I wish them all the very best for the future.
Guys, thanks for bringing me to this quiet paradise, for welcoming me into your French, Irish, Welsh, English tribe, for the cold beers & the best smoked salmon in all of France. Most of all though, THANK YOU for trusting me with these memories.
I hope you enjoy this small preview of a Chateau de Courtomer wedding!
Incredible Suppliers with a Passion for Exquisite Weddings
Planner & Venue Dressing: www.artisevenement.fr
String Trio: Aquarius Strings
Chateau de Courtomer Wedding Photography in Normandy by Wedding Photographer Andrew Keher.
An Incredible Wedding Venue in Normandy
Chateau de Courtomer was originally built for Count Antoine de Saint-Simon, the Marquis de Courtomer. It was completed just before the French Revolution! The chateau and 350-acre estate remained in the same family for many generations. It was most recently purchased and restored by Elisabeth Bonner, an American from New York. It is now available to hire as an astonishingly elegant wedding venue and home away from home for any kind of celebration.
For nearly 15 years the property has been renovated and now combines the grace and style of France’s past with the modern conveniences of today. The result is a stunning wedding venue with the warm atmosphere of a welcoming family home. It’s easily large enough for to host large wedding celebrations (especially if an outdoor ceremony is opted for) yet intimate enough to make everyone feel relaxed and cosy. The chateau is centrally-heated (although in summer you hardly need it) and all rooms have ensuite bathrooms and there are plenty of rooms for all your guests.
Chateau de Courtomer is just a few hours west of Paris by car or train and within easy reach of the Normandy coast. You and your wedding guests can relax locally and explore the Chateau’s private parklands and gorgeous rustic outbuildings (honestly, you can’t get rustic French texture like this anywhere else, it’s instagram porn!). These buildings bear witness to chateau life - the glacière for making and keeping ice, the spring house where the chateau laundry was washed, the Orangerie which was built to grow exotic fruit, and an exceptional 17th-century Protestant chapel. The bride & groom can even have their evening reception/first dance at the Orangerie for a different feel, it’s really beautiful.
Although the Chateau is magnificent by itself, don’t forget to explore the surrounding countryside. Your wedding guests have an ideal base to explore Normandy’s rich history; you’re only two hours from Mont Saint-Michel, Giverny, the Chateaux of the Loire, and the D-day beaches. Well worth a visit.
This is quite simply one of the best wedding venues in France for couples who want stunning surroundings, individuality, bespoke ideas, intimacy & complete privacy. I love it!