We decided to get married in the Poitou-Charentes region situated in south-western France. We picked this region because my mum lives near Poitiers in a little village called Nalliers, very near to Saint Savin. So for me this part of rural France has always held a special place in my heart. I wanted to get married abroad but to have a lot of input into the planning and all the fine details of my wedding, which is sometimes impossible without knowing the area and being able to fly back and forth easily. It was also very important to us that our guests would be able to easily get there without breaking the bank. The regional capital is Poitiers which has a small airport with good links to the UK along with the city of La Rochelle & Limoges making this part of France easily accessible.
I wanted to find a venue where we could hold events leading up to the wedding, where guests could stay but still have their own space, a venue ideally with a pool as the weather would be quite hot in June, a place that would be a stunning backdrop to hold the wedding celebrations, somewhere intimate, rustic and magical. A place everyone would remember.
Chateau St Julien was an established wedding venue with full facility rental, which included use of all the sixteen deluxe bedrooms, banquet facilities, kitchen, detached cottage and 56 acre estate. They basically gave you the keys and were also available to help with any planning details. This romantic Chateau situated in the French countryside featured a storybook setting ideal for wedding parties of up to 50 guests, or wedding receptions of up to 200 guests when used in conjunction with their banquet hall.
Saint Victor La Grand’ Maison at this time was very new to the wedding game, The manor house had 5 bedrooms available to rent and 4 self catering gites in the grounds. It had a lovely half exposed barn, beautiful gardens and two swimming pools. It is a stunning venue and every room has been dressed to the highest standard. It also now has a second huge barn which has been renovated purely for wedding receptions.
We ended up going for Saint Victor La Grand’ Maison which at the time had only done one wedding previously so it was a bit of a blank canvas. But we loved the idea of being one of the first weddings held there and our main guests having either a beautiful room in the manor house with us or their own self contained gite. The two swimming pools were also a big pull as we booked the entire venue for a week and a lot of our guests were making this their holiday.
We used the venue for lots of events leading up to our big day. Like a big afternoon tea in the manor house for all our guests a day before our wedding. Evening meals and drinks in the barn each evening. Of course our perfect wedding day and lastly a big BBQ the day after our wedding.
It was perfect and everyone had a great time.
Being a wedding photographer detail is very important to me and I loved having so much input in everything. Both venues are stunning and a photographers dream to photograph! Luckily enough I am actually photographing a wedding at Chateau St Julien this summer and I cannot wait.
I often fly out to France to photograph weddings especially in this region. So if you are looking for a great photographer with local knowledge get in touch as I’d love to hear from you and am more than happy to share my experiences & recommendations with you as I know how hard it can been finding the right suppliers.