French Wedding Venues So Romantic Your Family Will Forgive You
Every time I imagine the wedding of my dreams, the groom’s face is blurred, but the backdrop is crystal clear: his silhouette stands out against a sparkling part of the Côte d’Azur, a place that first learned the meaning of thunderbolt (thunderbolt).
The details of exactly where we’ll be, how we’ll get there, and how many people we’ll be celebrating with are a little hazy — not to mention there isn’t exactly a groom in the picture yet. But that doesn’t stop me from ogling online French wedding sites from time to time.
Destination weddings are divisive – they tend to be more expensive and require navigating through airports, foreign trains, etc. – but in truth, if your marriage is not an excuse to lovingly compel your family and friends to finally go out with you in France, then when is it?
Of course, the practicalities of it all can be extremely stressful – especially if you’re trying to manage it all from overseas – but there’s a unique thrill to deciding what kind of backdrop you want for your big day ( the rocky cliffs of Eze? A lavender field in Provence? The Eiffel Tower?).
Maybe you’ve already saved 200 Pinterest folders or a Bride Wars-inspired scrapbook full of wedding inspirations that you’ve been collecting with a passion since you were a kid. However you envision your wedding, finding a venue begins to shape the details of the day: how the air will smell, how many lawn chairs you can fit, if it’s just hard enough to get to your least favorite cousin texts his regrets and instead sends that fancy new blender you’ve been coveting.
Whether you dream of saying “yes” along the Mediterranean, high in the Alps or overlooking a vineyard in Champagne, we’ve rounded up some of the most romantic wedding venues in France.
Castle of Vaux-le-Vicomte, Paris
If you have a small fortune to spare and are looking to get married in a castle that is relatively easy to get to, this 17th century stunner fits the bill (very expensive). Less than an hour from Paris, the Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte inspired Versailles, which should give you an idea of the level of grandeur we’re talking about. Commissioned by Nicolas Fouquet, Louis XIV’s finance minister, the historic space is a famous – and reputedly exclusive – wedding venue for celebrities such as Eva Longoria, who performed her wedding ceremony here in 2013. there is enough room inside the high castle ceiling to carry out the ceremony of your dreams (orchestras, ice sculptures, towers of Champagne, etc.), the main attraction is the extraordinary French garden. Illuminated by thousands of candles, it’s a fairy tale place to say “yes” under a sumptuous firework display.
Ducasse sur Seine, Paris
While strolling along the banks of the Seine, you have certainly seen the revelers passing by on river boats loaded with white tablecloths and glasses of Champagne. One of the boats notably houses a gourmet restaurant imagined by the starred chef Alain Ducasse and the on-board chef Pierre Marty: Ducasse sur Seine. The 100% electric boat, which frequently hosts wedding ceremonies, is a unique and romantic way to get around the city of love while celebrating your own love story.
The Lavender Estate, Provence
It’s hard to imagine a more ethereal backdrop for a wedding than the rolling lavender fields of Provence. Aesthetics aside, think of the heavenly scent of it all! Just north of Marseille, this bucolic setting includes a magnificent old stone barn, a courtyard and a garden for a ceremony for up to 100 guests. There’s a lovely guesthouse sleeping 6 on the property, while tents can be pitched in the grounds for guests (or there’s a string of 5-star hotels in town if camping isn’t not the atmosphere).
Chateau Eza, Eze
Marrying with a backdrop of the shimmering Mediterranean is a dream idea – one that comes to life at the exquisite Château Eza, a 400-year-old 14-room hotel perched high above the French Riviera, in the almost painfully charming medieval village of Eze. The former home of a Swedish prince, the property features an on-site Michelin-starred restaurant and stunning sea views.
Grand Chateau, Provence
Nestled at the foot of the Alpilles is a picture-perfect 19th century chateau. An avenue of secular trees stretches to the place, which has retained its original charm with lovingly restored period rooms while offering all the modern comforts you expect (wifi, cozy mattresses, etc.) . There are two restaurants on the five-star property, as well as an on-site spa, bocce court, and tennis court for guests to enjoy before or after the ceremony. The magnificent space can accommodate a ceremony of 250 people and 50 beds, distributed in 21 rooms, suites and a chalet nestled in the woods.
Sophie Dodd is a travel and lifestyle writer who covers hotels, wineand all things France. She writes for Travel + Leisure, people magazine, French and more. Follow her adventures in Brooklyn and beyond on her instagram Account.