Louise & Phil got married in a lovely old church on a hill amongst the vineyards of Bordeaux in the sunny autumnal sunshine. Their celebrations continued at Chateau Riguad, a complete haven that oozes charm inside and out; the views are breathtaking.
Louise wore a stunning Lusan Mandongus wedding gown that has so much detail and sparkle I think I included almost every image in the post so you could appreciate it’s beauty from EVERY angle, I was literally swooning with every click, not to mention her to die for Jimmy Choo Shoes and gorgeous Jenny Packham headband. What a classic beauty.
Their wedding breakfast layout is also out of this world, with a crisp white and green neutral colour palette and a beautiful candlelit ambience; I want to be there right now and I bet you will too!
The Brides Fashion & accessories
Louise The Bride: I thought that choosing a dress would be easy, but I actually found it really difficult! I tried on about 70 dresses, (I became slightly obsessed) as wanted to try different styles and shapes. I drove my Mum and sister nuts when it came to choosing ‘the one’ as I had whittled it down to two dresses that were completely different in their style which made it harder to choose. In the end I opted for a more traditional style from an amazing designer called Lusan Mandongus, who uses the most incredible lace in his designs. It was actually the first dress that I tried on from Teokath in Canterbury, so I should have trusted my instincts that first day!
Accessorising was easier – my bridesmaid Katie lent me her beautiful art deco diamond ring as my something ‘borrowed’. I had sparkly Jimmy Choos that were perfect party shoes, and wore a simple headpiece from Jenny Packham with a full-length veil, also from Teokath.
As we got married in France I decided to do my own make up after a tutorial from an amazing make up artist in London, called Jessica Kell. As well as being my bridesmaid, Katie also doubled up as my hairdresser! We had some practice runs beforehand and on the day she did an amazing job!
The Grooms Fashion & Accessories
Phil knew that he wanted a suit that he could wear again, but in his typical laid back style he left the decision until 4 weeks before the wedding! He decided on a blue Spencer Hart suit and waistcoat. His tie and spotty pocket square were from Reiss.
My dad passed away 3 years ago so I didn’t want a wedding in the UK, which is why we started looking in Europe. We spent a long time researching venues as we wanted to find somewhere with a late license, so that the party could go on as long as possible. I stumbled across Chateau Riguad when reading through wedding blogs and the moment we saw it, we thought that it was incredible. We were a little worried about asking people to fly over, but everybody jumped at the chance of a weekend in France!
When we started planning the wedding there were 3 keys things that stood out as most important – the food, the party and the music. Chateau Riguad ticked all of these boxes. With enough space in the main house for all of our family to stay as well, it became a weekend event rather than just a day. Anna and Andrew, the owners, encourage you to treat the chateau as your home for the entire weekend, and the team that looked after us were just amazing, with breakfast and afternoon tea and cakes served daily, as well as our own bar in the house, which was where we found most people over the course of the weekend!
Another huge draw to have the chateau as our venue is that it has the most amazingly beautiful church on its doorstep. We fell in love as soon as we saw this magnificent building perched high above the vines, with the most scenic views of the area. Planning the service with Rev. Paul Vrolijk was one of our highlights as he is the nicest man who bought warmth and humor to our service and helped to make it really personal to us. Via our wedding planner we booked a fantastic musical trio that kindly learnt two pieces specifically for us. The church has the most beautiful doors at the back which were opened as we made our exit – the weather was so amazing on the day the bright lights flooding in against the muted colours of the church really did make it look as though we were walking into our future – and with ‘let’s go fly a kite’ being played by the trio, it was a really special moment!
As the venue and the grounds were so beautiful we wanted to keep things neutral, and natural, so that the Chateau could speak for itself. I love flowers, and so wanted these to be the central decoration but in a relaxed style rather than overly put together. Working with our florist, Heidi, we opted for lots of white flowers with a hint of blush white O’hara roses and tinged Astilibe, with lots of greens brought out by the foliage.
We had flowers in glass jars placed on our long trestle tables in the barn for the reception, as well as lots of candles. The back wall was lined with silver candle sticks, which gave the barn a really magical feeling over dinner.
At the church we kept things simple with rose heads and candles at the altar. My bouquet was made even more special with the addition of a picture of my Dad in a broach given to me as a gift from my parents best friends, of whom Keith, who gave me away, was my Dads best man on his wedding day.
Our invites were all hand designed by Phil. Our best man made the wooden wedding date tags for the invites as well as our name place settings. We spent a long time debating what to give for favors, and in the end decided to save costs by making them ourselves. We wrote each guest an individual ‘limerick’ that was specific to them, which people seemed to really enjoy.
The Wedding Party Fashion
My older sister and one of my best friends were my fantastic bridesmaids. We bought their dresses from Bridesmaids of London. I knew that I wanted them to wear long dresses, but other than that was quite happy for them to choose a style that they would find comfortable, and hopefully something that they could wear again. We opted for grey, lace, dresses and my Mum found some silver headdresses that we had altered and fitted to the belts of the dresses to add some sparkle in the church.
We didn’t want the best men and ushers to all be in matching suits, so we were happy for them to wear their own outfits and Phil gave them ties, pocket squares and socks so that they would have a little something to single them out on the day. Our Scottish ushers looked fabulous in their kilts!
As my gift to Phil I booked a band to come and play in the evening, but kept it as a surprise until the day. I knew how much he wanted to have live music for the party, but when we opted for a wedding abroad, we knew that due to expense we would need to forgo this. I felt really bad as Phil and his best man spent hours putting together a playlist for the party, but thankfully he was really pleased when the band started playing as we entered the reception room! The band, Brightlights, were fantastic, they really got the party going and kept our guests on the dance floor until after 2am – we cannot recommend them enough!
Food is a specialty at Chateau Rigaud with Steve, the head chef, producing the most amazing food for the entire weekend. The chateau has beautiful grounds with their own vegetable and herb garden, which they used produce from for the wedding breakfast.
The canapés were truly works of art and were enjoyed with music by a local accordionist. We also had an oyster and scallop bar, chilled soups and mini barbecued sausages to keep hunger at bay. Our wedding feast was confit of salmon for starter, Beef fillet in a red wine jus for the main, and a selection of chocolate desserts, washed down with local French wines and Cremant. We had a cheese board later in the evening, to keep peoples dancing energy up, and pain au chocolates handed out at midnight. The celebrations continued on the Sunday when our guests returned for a really relaxed Sunday lunch on the lawn, with slow cooked pork and chicken served with the most amazing salads and quiches to feed the hangovers! We also served our wedding cake on the Sunday, which was a delicious chocolate cake made by the Chateau team, with homemade cake toppers – a cute addition!
Choosing the right photographer was really important to us and we spent a lot of time researching to find the right person. David was the perfect find, a really talented guy who completely understood the style we were after straight away. Meeting him before the big day put us at ease, and we totally trusted him to capture some really special moments. Having David, and his assistant Mark, around on the day was a pure joy, like two extra friends at the wedding and we couldn’t be happier with the results. We can’t talk highly enough about David, do not hesitate to book him!
Phil’s friend Ben is a really talented Director/camera man who kindly agreed to video our big day. The whole wedding weekend was so much fun and we felt really lucky to have so many of our friends and family spend the weekend with us in France. The planning was enjoyable in parts, stressful at times, but super fun in getting to read RMW every day for inspiration!
Photography by Modern Vintage Weddings
- Dress Lusan Mandongus
- Bridal Boutique Teokath Canterbury
- Headpiece Jenny Packham
- Shoes Jimmy Choo
- Grooms Suit Spencer Hart
- Grooms Accessories Reiss
- Venue Chateau Riguad
- Wedding Planner Sarah Thomas at And Then We Got Married
- Florist Heidi Lee at Flowers in the Vines
- Bridesmaid Dresses Bridemaids of London
- Band Brightlights