When deciding on where to get married, a destination wedding – or a wedding abroad to you and me – may seem like much more hassle and expense than doing the deed in Ireland.
However, we’re advising you not to dismiss it out of hand – particularly a destination wedding in a gorgeous French château. It might seem like a pie-in-the sky dream, but it’s actually not as pricey as you would think, and hassle-wise, the expert teams in place sort everything, from flowers, to cakes to music.
So with that in mind, we've compiled seven unbelievable château wedding venues in France, guaranteed to make you want to say oui.
1. Crillon le Brave
This is where my husband and I went for our honeymoon,
and it was so beautiful and otherworldly it made us wish
we had fecked off to the South of France to get hitched. In fact, it's so bloody gorgeous it inspired me to
write this piece so you can at least consider it.
The way the hotel is built is cool; it’s actually made up of
houses in the tiny village of Crillon le Brave, so the rooms snake around the cobbled
While the terrace overlooking the pool is a pretty magical place to eat, the
real winner here is the view: when the sun starts to set on the surrounding
Provençal vineyards you'll
actually wonder if this is in fact real life.
2. Château Rigaud
Château Rigaud bills itself "a chic château amid the Bordeaux vines", which is making the wine lover in us come over a little faint.
This rustic beauty, complete with gorgeous gardens and a swimming pool, is the ultimate venue for the best house party of your life.
With the option to have your reception outside, you and up to 150 guests can gather outdoors at dusk, beneath twinkling fairy lights, to tuck into fresh produce grown on-site and cooked by the house's professional chefs.
Real fairytale stuff.
3. Mas de la Rose
Orgon in the South of France is home to this sprawling 17th century hamlet, located just up the road from the picture perfect village of Eygalières.
Everything about the 25-hectare estate is pure Provence, from the purple fields of scented lavender to the olive trees.
You can hire the whole château exclusively for your reception, ceremony, dinner and dancing, while a poolside brunch the following day is the perfect call for all those sore heads after imbibing too much local vino.
4. Château de la Ligne
While you would be hard pressed
to find a château wedding venue that didn't have the wow factor, this Bordeaux stunner is definitely leading the charge.
The house’s majestic Orangerie, catering
for between 30 and 180 guests, will blow you away – we’re talking Gothic arched
windows, original plasterwork and heaps of natural light.
And handily, it opens right onto
the château's gardens, which can also be used to host your ceremony or
5. Château de Lartigolle
Set on gorgeous grounds and featuring a swanky swimming pool, this insane 18th century estate in Pessan, South West France has more luxury than you can shake a stick at.
The gaff itself is amazing; it's stuffed with antique furniture, and even features a huge underground cellar where you can host the coolest reception, like, ever.
And the bonus here is the sheer choice on offer. The château has heaps of indoor and outdoor venue options for your bash, whether you have 20 or 120 guests.
6. Château de la Varennes
Chateau de Varennes, in Southern Burgundy, is pure romance.
These guys have made outdoor weddings an art form, with beautifully dressed tables, an outdoor dancefloor (can you imagine?) and atmospheric lighting. While if you prefer to eat indoors, the Orangery is an equally gorgeous alternative.
Catering 200+ guests, you can start your dream day with a cocktail reception on the terrace of in the gardens by the pool, and wrap it up with an al fresco meal as the sun sets on the estate.
7. Château du Doux
This stunning château is set on a hill overlooking both the Dordogne valley and the medieval town of Beaulieu, in South West France.
Originally built to entertain foreign dignitaries (a bit like yourselves), the venue is a pure pleasure house, designed to cater for up to 100 lucky guests.
You can rent the gaff exclusively for two days to a full week, and can choose to have your meal outside or in the amazing wood panelled banquet room.
And to make budgeting easier, the website features a nifty online calculator so you can tot up the cost of your bespoke package.