Getting married should be one of the most incandescent occasions of one’s life. We have found beautiful venues to create enduring and wonderful memories.
Manoir de la Foulquetiere – Loire Valley
Who wouldn’t want to get married in the lovely Loire Valley, surrounded by some of the world’s most scenic chateaux? Built in the 15th century, this memoir and its idyllic wedding chapel are set within ten hectares of gardens and woodland, complete with swimming pool, providing ample backdrops for wedding photography to grace the mantelpiece at home. There are nine bedrooms and a reception suite with dining space for up to 150 people, while a catering kitchen gives ultimate flexibility. Two gites and three chalets are also available to accommodate up to an additional 40 overnight guests. Rental includes use of the whole property and floral decorations in the reception rooms, chapel and bedrooms.
The manoir is available for rent at €9,000 for three nights at the weekend or €7,500 for two nights midweek.
Tel: (Fr) 2 54 00 29 56 manoirfoulquetiere.com
Chateau de la Couronne – Charente
This charming chateau is hidden away in the charentais countryside just an hour from Cognac and only 20 minutes from Angouleme, but with its huge bedrooms and bathrooms, four salons, private cinema, 14.5-metre heated swimming pool and two hectares of private grounds, it is unlikely that you will feel the need to venture out. The chateau is available for private rental and wedding packages that include a wedding planner to ensure the dream day lives up to expectations. The owners are English native speakers, too, making things that little bit more straightforward. Flexibility is everything, with past weddings ranging from just 20 people up to 160, and the professional kitchen and spacious dining room provide plenty of opportunity for a good party. The chateau is available for rent at €2,200 a night or €13,500 for a week, and sleeps up to 26.
Tel: (Fr) 5 45 62 29 96 chateaudelacouronne.com
Chateau de Mercues – Lot Valley
Occupying a fairy-tale setting on a rocky promontory above the River Lot near Cahors, this 13th-century chateau just begs for wedding photography. The gardens are a combination of groomed and wooded parkland, affording spectacular views, while a swimming pool, terrace and tennis court complete the ultimate outdoor relaxation package. The Relais & Chateaux property offers a fine-dining restaurant, which has just won its first Michelin star, and a winery. The wedding programmes pay huge attention to detail, such as initial consultation visits and advance menu tastings. The chateau has 30 bedrooms, but can accommodate up to 100 guests for dinner.
The chateau is available for exclusive rent at €6,000 for one night from 3pm to noon the following day Apr, Oct, Nov (€9,000 May, June, Sept; €14,000 July, Aug). Catering packages and drinks packages are available at extra cost.
Tel: (Fr) 5 65 20 00 01 chateaudemercues.com
Chateau de Mazan – Provence
Just 30 minutes from the ecclesiastical splendours of Avignon, this family-run, independent hotel might well appeal as a slightly quirkier wedding destination, for the chateau was once owned by the notorious Marquis de Sade and was the venue in 1772 of the first theatre festival to be held in France. The castle has 25 bedrooms, decorated in a modern and elegant style, some with a private terrace or even a hammam cabin.
There are a further five bedrooms in the house. Landscaped gardens are graced by an outdoor swimming pool and beautiful surroundings, so it is the perfect opportunity to relish the 300 or so days of sunshine a year that the area enjoys.
A wedding package is available at €6,500 for one night’s bed and breakfast accommodation for 12 people, personal wedding planner, photographer and up to three albums, three-course meal with open bar and a marquee.
Tel: (Fr) 4 90 69 62 61 chateaudemazan.com
Chateau de Prye – Nievre, Burgundy
Set within seven kilometres of walls and, in turn, within 150 hectares of wooded parkland, this rambling estate, complete with towers and turrets, swiftly transplants the visitor from everyday life into the setting of Rapunzel, Beauty and the Beast or perhaps Sleeping Beauty.
The enormous guest bedrooms – there are only two suites and three rooms – are furnished and decorated to complement the general atmosphere, while the chateau kitchen, with its vast range and copper pots, is well worth a sneaky peek. The oak-panelled dining room with its views of the park is a delight at breakfast time. Wedding ceremonies take place either in the grounds or can be arranged in the small church at the edge of the domaine. With the addition of marquees and outdoor structures, up to 450 people can enjoy a reception to remember.
A wedding package is available at €4,000 for one night’s bed and breakfast accommodation for 14 people, services of a wedding planner, photographer, three-course meal with two rounds of drinks.
Tel: (Fr) 3 86 58 42 64 chateaudeprye.com
Chateau Les Oliviers de Salettes – Drome, Provence
Set in glorious, rolling countryside, the chateau is surrounded by five hectares of lawns, meadows and woodland, including a plane-shaded 30-metre petanque track. With facilities including a compact wellness centre, housed in an ancient, stone-vaulted winery, as well as two outdoor swimming pools, there is little chance of pre-wedding jitters taking hold. There are 28 bedrooms, with 16 in the main castle and 12 in the bastide, just 25 metres away. The chateau offers a plentiful supply of peace and tranquillity, combined with luxury and comfort.
The chateau is available for rent at €9,000 for two nights (accommodation for 25 guests), including use of a personal wedding planner, marquee, rehearsal, catered three-course meal, cake and bar.