Set at an 18th-century chateau surrounded by the forests of Dordogne, France – Camille & Jacob’s destination wedding spilled with personal sentiment, having spent their first holiday together road tripping through the wine regions of France.
A ceremony strewn with Turkish rugs but paired back with wooden chairs and pampass grass in muted shades, a reception of rustic tables draped in simple foliage, an off-shoulder gown embroidered with botanical motifs – the celebration beautifully balanced hints of Bohemia with the elegance of the chateau’s surrounds.
In the evening, an intimate dinner party unfolded under a string of fairy lights in the Chateau’s courtyard, while sounds of a three-piece echoed into the night.
Photography by Paulina Weddings
Names / Camille & Jacob
Wedding Date / 3rd August 2019
Guest Numbers / 98
Budget / $50,000 USD
How We Met
We met on Tinder while I was doing my Master’s in International Development and Jacob was working in Business Development in London. We met for our first date on a Thursday night. The date started in the cocktail bar with a spontaneous dinner afterward and lasted for two days which became a weekly tradition for the first few weeks we dated. Until we moved in together three months later.
Our Engagement Story
We were on summer holidays in Slovenia with our beloved Hungarian Vizsla, Zula, a hyper-energetic pointer, staying at a barn in the middle of the Julienne Alps without electricity and with bonfires every night. On one of the days we went for a walk up the hills behind our barn and as the hot sun was evaporating water from the early morning shower and mists were rising from the lush greenery of the mountains, Jacob went down on one knee and asked the question. Zula was barking and sprinting around in the background.
Marriage to us means…
A life of partnership and love
We got married in the Saint Privat des Pres Chateau in Saint Privat des Pres, a village with 1,000 inhabitants in the Dordogne in France. The ceremony was held under an old tree on the vast grounds of the chateau behind the main house with a view over the forest, a natural swimming pool, and the 18th-century chateau. The reception was on the terrace overlooking the grounds, shaded by the chateau’s own little forest. We chose this location in France as this is where we spent our first holiday together in 2015 when we took a road trip through all wine regions in France and fell in love with Bordeaux and the Dordogne. The chateau itself was not only stunning and dripping with character but also dog-friendly which was one of the most important factors in our decision.
Overall Aesthetic / Style
Rustic, boho with a lot of natural decor such as flowers, greens, and grass.
Paulina took some amazing shots during the whole day. Camille found her on Instagram and immediately fell in love with the style and atmosphere of the pictures. Thankfully she was available so we booked her straight away. We love the pictures as they really show the fun and enjoyment everyone had during the whole day, which was our main concern – to ensure that our guests enjoy the wedding day as much as we did.
Riki Dalal, Juliette dress, A-line with 3D floral accents Han sewn onto the corsage and skirt. Skirt with many layers of fabrics topped with tulle and detachable off-the-shoulder sleeves.
Jimmy Choo, Miranda heeled sandals in mint green with a wide heel so very comfortable and elegant.
Flowergirl / Pageboy Outfits
Bought off Etsy, a-line princess dress, tea-length in white with chiffon lace short sleeves.
Classic gold bands with our names and the date and location of our wedding engraved inside.
“I love wildflowers, so it was an unstructured mix of wildflowers, foliage, eucalyptus, garden roses and Dahlias in peach and apricot shades.”
Stationery / Invitations
We had Camille’s cousin design the invitations, table cards, name cards and menus. Inspired by French boho art deco with flowers and greenery.
Favors / Bonbonniere
Canele’s, which is a small pastry with rum and vanilla (typical for Bordeaux). They are believed to originate from the Couvent des Annonciades made by nuns in Bordeaux in the 15th century.
Flowers & Bouquets
I did a lot of research on Instagram and Pinterest and wanted something fairly free-flowing and fresh. I love wildflowers, so it was an unstructured mix of wildflowers, foliage, eucalyptus, garden roses and Dahlias in peach and apricot shades. We chose similar colors for the bride’s, bridesmaids’ and flower girls’ hair. Chairs at the reception had pampas grass displays, the groom and groomsmen had white roses for the buttonholes and our centerpieces were filled with green foliage and a few flowers scattered in the middle. The colors matched my bouquet.
I got ready with my bridesmaids, mum and half-sister. Jacob was getting ready with his best men. Our closest families stayed with us at the chateau in their own parts/apartments and we visited them all in the morning during breakfast. Everyone went to the natural swimming pool for a bit and then I started getting ready with the girls while Jacob and the best men still stayed outside flying a drone and enjoying the sun.
Ceremony & Reception Decor
Boho style flowers, table cards hanging off the old gate of the chateau, fairytale lights strung over the tables in the courtyard of the chateau where dinner took place. The party itself was in the old barn of the chateau which was also decorated with fairytale lights, boho style furniture such as barrels and chairs.
We booked the venue through MarrymeinFrance and our planner was Laurence Beal, who planned everything with us from scratch. She had all the necessary contacts and helped with all the important and less important decisions. We met her once a few months before the wedding for food, wine and cake tastings. The preparation time was exciting even if exhausting but with her help, it all went incredibly well. The day itself was just perfect with no hiccups or stresses.
We had a three-tiered, semi-naked vanilla sponge cake, filled with raspberry coulis, fresh raspberries and vanilla buttercream, topped with lemon curd and more vanilla buttercream.
We had an amazing roaming band called The Sparks for the reception, dinner and first bit of the party. Then one of the best men was our DJ (Deja Bruh) for the remainder of the party.
Food & Beverages
We had plenty of canapés during the ceremony and a seafood station with oysters and prawns. During the reception and sit-down dinner we only served champagne, wine and beer, and then cocktails later on during the party. Dinner and drinks were served at the tables and we had a bar later in the barn, as well as a midnight snack in the form of Croque’s Monsieur.
We stayed at the chateau so we did not have to travel. We arranged pick-ups and drop-offs for our guests.
We went to Bhutan and the Maldives for our honeymoon which was a perfect mix of adventure and nature. In Bhutan, we went hiking, sightseeing and camping and then it was pure relaxation and luxury in the Maldives. Both places are a must-go but especially Bhutan – it blew our mind, it is such a beautiful place full of spectacular mountain views, beautiful local architecture, art and incredibly friendly, joyous people. We went on a four-day hike in the Himalaya’s where we camped on the side of the Himalayan mountains (in summer so it was very warm during the day) and got caught in a rainstorm one night which flooded our tent. It was a real adventure and a once in a lifetime trip.
We used John Lewis in the UK which actually wasn’t great, as the availability of gifts was very limited and the return/exchange very difficult. We would recommend people to look for other options. We had a mix of people buying from the registry, giving us money and choosing their own gifts. All were lovely and we’re incredibly grateful, although the biggest gift was that everyone made this huge journey to France. Our guests came from Poland, Germany, Israel, and the UK to spend this amazing weekend with us.
Binny Baker, she was recommended to us by our wedding planner and she was really great. Very easy to work with and helped us through designing the ceremony. Camille is Catholic and Jacob is Jewish so we wanted a non-religious wedding with some traditional aspects such as readings, blessings, or the breaking of the glass. Binny helped us to find the right balance and we loved it.
We asked Camille’s cousins to read a Polish poem which they translated into English and they read in both Polish and English. One of the best men also read the Seven Blessings, a Jewish traditional blessing. they did it in Polish and also translated into English. We didn’t have vows but did a speech together during dinner next to our best man, maid of honor and Camille’s mother.
Sources of Inspiration
Mostly through long conversations about how we imagine it to be and agreeing what’s most important for both of us.
A Memorable Moment
One of the moments was during the ceremony when Zula came running through the middle of the aisle, all wet from swimming in the pool to say hello to everyone. It was a very welcomed and funny surprise. Other than that the dancing and especially Jewish dancing was a lot of fun and all parties/guests had a blast. When we were choosing the venue and visited about seven in two days, thinking back we totally remember that we were both stunned when entering Saint Privat des Pres and it was clear from that moment we would choose it.
One Thing I Wish I Knew Before Starting My Wedding Plans…
It really is a big effort and there are more small things to think about than you initially imagine. However, it is really worth it, all the hard decisions, stress and long evenings of planning! It was the best day of our lives and we love thinking back and remembering celebrating with all the people who we love and care for.
If I Could Give Other Brides-to-be One Piece of Advice…
Don’t stress about every detail as neither your guests nor do you really notice on the day if the font on the menu is right or the flowers on the table are white or cream-coloured. The whole journey should be a fun experience and will be a great memory to think back on. It’s a once in a lifetime occasion to get everyone together and celebrate.
Photography / Paulina Weddings
Bride’s Dress / Riki Dalal
Bride’s Shoes / Jimmy Choo
Flowergirls / Etsy
Hair / Debbie Willes and Angela Pittman
Makeup / Amy Fear
Florist / Angie Steadman
Cake / Jane Bedford from Cupcakes 16
Catering / Rob & Dave, La Porte Verte
Celebrant / Binny Baker
Wedding Venue / The Majestic Chateau
Honeymoon Destination / Bhutan and Maldives
Entertainment / The Sparks
Gift Registry / John Lewis
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