Chic Weddings/Destination Weddings

Intimate & Romantic Chateau Wedding in France

My goodness, today’s wedding is beautiful.

As you may have seen from our teaser this morning, Liv & Jesse tied the knot with an intimate (and insanely romantic!) destination wedding at Chateau de Courtomer, in Normandy, France.

Liv, a blushing bride in her Monique Lhuillier gown, is also the talented designer behind Enchanted Atelier by Liv Hart (one of our all time favourite accessory brands!), so as you can imagine, her day was always going to be a stylish affair.

With the help of the fabulous Lindsay of House of Hannah, Liv & Jesse created an elegant, fine art style celebration, with an abundance of florals (styled with Liv’s florist mom, June), beautiful calligraphy, and of course, that fairy tale chateau setting.

But along with all that style, comes a whole lot of substance too. As you’ll hear from reading their highlights from the day, Liv & Jesse’s wedding was about so much more than photo shoot-worthy florals and a wedding dress straight off a runway. It was about creating happy memories; a coming together of two families (on a bridge in Paris no less!), sitting together by candlelight over fabulous food until the small hours of the morning, and cycling together through the French countryside.

And we’re just so honoured that Liv & Jesse are sharing those memories with us – along with their exquisite images, by the ever-gifted Laura Gordon Photography.

Enjoy!

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Beautiful & Intimate Fine Art Wedding by Laura Gordon Photography 35

Our Love Story

We met in Denver, Colorado while Jesse was going to college and we quickly became inseparable friends. Very soon thereafter, we realized there was much more to our relationship and started dating.  

Jesse started his career in New York, after graduate school, and he took me on a surprise weekend trip to Cape Cod. 

The morning that he proposed we had stopped by a cute little coffee shop by the water and we were walking around the town. We found our way to a beautiful little beach, at least at the time I thought we stumbled upon it.  But it turns out that it was all part of his plan. 

When we got to the beach he put his arm around me and told me that he loved me and I told him that I loved him too. He then said, “no, I really love you.” All of the sudden I had this feeling that he was about to propose and then he got down on one knee.

He opened a box with the most beautiful ring and I, of course, said yes! I found out later that he and my Mom and Dad had been secretly designing this custom made ring together for weeks.

I love that man!

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Beautiful & Intimate Fine Art Wedding by Laura Gordon Photography 39

The Dress

The day we returned from our engagement, I couldn’t help but look for a dress.

I have been in the wedding industry for several years and I have seen so many different dresses. Monique Lhuillier is one of my favorite designers, and my dress was literally the first dress I saw once I started looking.  I loved the cut of the dress and the pink/gray tone to the fabric.

It felt like me. 

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The Setting

Then we started looking at locations for our wedding. We knew that we wanted it to be a time that our closest friends and family could spend time exploring a beautiful place and celebrating together.

I asked Jesse where his dream location would be and he jokingly said a castle in France. So I looked it up and was thrilled to see how reasonable it actually was.

I wasn’t exactly sure what we were looking for initially but we knew we had found it when we saw Chateau de Courtomer. It is stunning!

Our entire party could stay there and everyone would have a private suite with en suite bathrooms.  It was located just two hours outside of Paris in the gorgeous and historic French countryside in Normandy. 

The venue also has a breathtaking dining room that easily seats 25.  

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Favourite Moments

We planned a few days in Paris with our families before we headed out to the countryside in Courtomer. 

Our parents had not met yet and it was really exciting that they met on the bridge along the river Seine in Paris! We all strolled around Paris together and found a truly storybook little restaurant and all sat around a long table together and talked for hours.

It was an amazing night.

We all walked around the city the next day before heading out together to the venue.  We rented cars and enjoyed the gorgeous drive through Normandy. 

Once we arrived at Chateau de Courtomer, we could not believe how perfect this location really was.  It is everything that we were hoping for and actually so much more.  It has been beautifully restored and cared for.

The first morning we received a basket of fresh eggs from the loving property caretaker, Madame Lecul. She was so kind and such a joy for us!

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Our wedding day was a dream.  The day went by so fast.  It was supposed to rain that day but instead is was such a sparkly beautiful sunny day and the sky was the most beautiful shade of pink by that evening. 

There are so many great memories from our wedding day. The best of all was the moment we were married! 

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Also, before the wedding, my soon-to-be husband had the sweetest hand-written note delivered to me while I was getting ready.

My mom put a beautiful cross bracelet around my wrist before my dad walked me down the aisle to marry my love.

It was so amazing to see so many people that we loved in this beautiful location as I walked down the aisle and then all sat around a table to an epic dinner together.

We ended up having a six-course dinner that lasted until 1am! We had so much fun sitting around a table together enjoying the evening and the extremely delicious food.

Perrine created two wedding cakes for us. We had a traditional vanilla wedding cake and a French croquembouche. They were both perfect.

I loved walking by the kitchen earlier that morning and hearing Perrine singing as she was cooking. 

After dinner, my dad and I danced to Patty Griffin’s “Heavenly Day” and then Jesse and I danced to Chris Stapleton’s “More of You” at our very late night reception.  We all celebrated together until early the next morning. 

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Beautiful & Intimate Fine Art Wedding by Laura Gordon Photography 51

The Photography & Film

We worked with the amazing artists Laura Gordon and Josh Gooden, to capture our wedding photography and cinematography.

I have worked with Laura for many years in the wedding industry and was thrilled to have her shoot our wedding.

I had also seen Josh’s epic cinematography work and was honored to have him capture everything.

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The Styling

Our event designer was Lindsay Moynagh from House of Hannah events in Ireland.

Although she is located far from us in the US, it seemed like she was right here due to our bi-weekly Skype appointments. We talked about every detail for months.

Lindsay created our created our stunning paper suite that included an invitation with a hand-drawn sketch of Chateau de Courtomer on the top, program, menus, and place cards. She created our gorgeous event design, tablescape, and worked with my mom on the floral design.

My mom is an extraordinary artist and floral designer and dreamed up the beautiful florals for our wedding. It was such a gift to us to have my mom have her beautiful craftsmanship in our wedding details. 

Lindsay connected me with the very talented makeup artist, Kathryn O’Neill.  She is so kind and a pleasure to be around on your wedding day. 

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Beautiful & Intimate Fine Art Wedding by Laura Gordon Photography 66

The Catering

We started looking for a catering company in France and the Chateau recommended chef Perrine Desse to us.

We worked out the details of the menu options over email. Since Perrine lives in France, we were not able to sample her food in advance but felt assured that she came highly recommended by the venue.

We wanted our menu to be a local dining experience. We asked Perrine to create a few of our favorite things and options for guests but we also asked her to guide us with some traditional French wedding favorites. 

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The next day we took out bikes, available through the venue, and rode around exploring the French countryside together. 

It was unbelievable how beautiful it was. When we arrived back to the chateau we sat around a fire and spent time talking and laughing with our families. 

We are all already planning on going back next summer!

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