The aptly named Fairytale Chateau was the perfect, truly romantic location for Cat & Andy to say I do, overlooking the dreamy hills of Cazenac in the South of France. They held their outdoor ceremony under a gorgeous canopy of leafy tree's, followed by an al fresco reception in the quaint courtyard. Both filled with rustic decor and gorgeous bright dahlia blooms. Bride Cat's backless, Rime Arodaky 'Vesper' wedding dress literally leaves me breathless. Cat talks about WOW moments and I definitely had one when I saw her in this gown. Her best girls wore fabulous white high street dresses and her stylish groom rocks a light blue Reiss suit, perfect for keeping and looking cool in the heat. If anybody needed extra help keeping cool and shaded, there was a wealth of fabulous favours on hand too. Such a beautiful destination wedding. Come see....

The Proposal

Cat The Bride: December 28th and Andy mentions those 4 special words that every girl dreams of "will you marry me".  We were skiing preparing for New Year's Eve but I had one thing in my mind, let's get home and start wedding planning. Friends of ours had been married in a beautiful vineyard just outside of Nimes in the south of France, we had both suggested if we were to get married then the French can put on an almighty wedding.

Wedding Planner

Back in the UK a quick Google search produced a website "marrymeinfrance" MMIF for short, we touched base with Beth the owner and fortunately MMIF were in attendance at the National wedding fair in London's Olympia in the not too distant future, the excitement started to build. On meeting the team of Beth and Louise Ham at the wedding fair we instantly knew these guys were up for the job. Discussions about venue started, what did we want, what was the end result we wanted to achieve? Well I'm sure most brides say I want romance, emotion, scenery and a place where we can relax with family and friends - The Fairytale Chateau was a unanimous reply from both parties. Louise ended up being our wedding planner but more about that later.


A brief visit to the Chateau in Autumn enroute to Portugal was enough to decide this is the one, in fact I think we were there for 10 minutes after meeting Adam the owner and taking in the amazing chateau, beautiful bedrooms, 3 additional out buildings and the most amazing view across the Dordogne. We could start to visualize our friends and family relaxing, larking about in the pool, the most amazing setting in the trees for our ceremony and the courtyard for our wedding breakfast. Deal!  Lets get this on!!


Fast forward a year and now things start to get real after numerous emails with Louise (our wedding planner) we agree to meet late October 2014 to plan every detail over 2 days. What happened next was simply breath taking. Louise meets us a few hours from the chateau to go and meet the chef. When your wedding planner says to you on route don't be put off if the restaurant is quiet or even empty! I could see the stress in Andy’s eyes, oh no!! On arrival Josh is sat waiting for us (having closed the restaurant just for us) we get escorted into the most amazing setting, a typical French old fashioned farm house with a table setting for 3 in front of an open fire WOW, the food was simply unbelievable. We had left timings a little late so we had booked Joss on Louise's recommendation, this set the scene for the outstanding planning we were about to experience. The next day off to the chateau, they say life's not about how many breathes you take but about how many moments you can be part of that take your breathe away, on entry to the chateau that day I can say "there's one" !!  We planned every last detail,  if Carlsberg did wedding planners!! You get the picture. So we agreed on 4 days at the chateau arriving on the Thursday, all guests will settle into their rooms or out buildings and then we'll get together for pizza, Friday after the boys play golf & I go off to pick the flowers with mum, we will have a hog roast. Saturdays the main event, and then Sunday pool shenanigans nursing the hangover and then a BBQ in the evening.

The Dresses

So back in the UK and its dress shopping, my sister stumbled on a Paris designer Rime Arodaky on Instagram, thank you sis the Vespa dress I choose and fortunately gifted by my parents was the most amazing piece I have ever worn. Bridesmaid dresses were from Warehouse. Andy is a little easier to shop for so a quick trip to Reiss and its a one stop shop shoes, suit done! 

DIY & Decor

I'm a designer by nature and wanted to put my own stamp on the day, to be honest I didn't need too but I wanted to and Louise embraced my sometimes randomness and creativity with both hands - we pulled it off. Each guest that stayed in the chateau received a wooden name sign on each door and a welcome bag that contained lots of goodies for the weekend. For our favours, Each guest had a small kraft box full of magic beans, when you plant them they grow with a personalized thank you message, and also a shot of Patron Café! I arranged all the stationery and decorations in UK in the months running up to the wedding. My Dad helped to cut the wooden name stands and I hand painted signs and speech bubbles for the photobooth. Each table had a quote from a movie, the guests had to guess what movie it was from. Homemade Lavender and Cucumber mist sprays for the guests to cool down with, Paper parasols and straw panama hats for the guests to have to keep them cool and shaded. Kraft fans were handed out for the service that incorporated the wedding program and our Instragam hash tag. Selfie Sticks were on hand for everyone to capture their own moments of the day. Our must have for the weekend were the Giant swans! They were worth every breath it took to blow them up!


The day itself was "c'est magnifique". Our celebrant Christine was truly sensational. We had worked with Christine to prepare our vows, after filling in a simple questionnaire, Christine delivered something that on first reading made us both cry. The surprise she delivered at the end of the ceremony will stay in our memories forever! Sorry!! I can't say any more as I don’t want to spoil others special moments but let's say there wasn’t a dry eye and people mention that particular moment over and over. Joss delivered an amazing, in fact a standing ovation from our guest, wedding breakfast.


Sat eating dinner I'm thinking what else could we pull off, well the evening entertainment, at first we were up against it budget wise but after stumbling on Brightlights we decided we had to find the money to hire these and boy are we pleased we did. The dance floor was full from start to finish.


The day was captured by the amazing Jon Dennis from S6 photography, you know when you want someone to snap away, blend in and create perfection?!? Well this guy is all of those and so much more. Not only have we captured the most amazing day of our lives but also we have met someone who we now call a friend, thanks Jon your work will live with us forever.
Lorna Shaw

Written by Lorna Shaw

Dress Designer: Rime Arodaky - Vesper | Bridal Boutique: The Mews Nottinghill | Jewellery: Rosantica 'Apache' ear cuff | Wedding Planner: Marry Me in France (MMIF) | Venue: The Fairytale Chateau | Bridesmaid Dresses: Warehouse | Grooms Suit: Reiss | Band: Brightlights

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