GET MARRIED IN CHARENTE : Introducing A Romantic New French Wedding Venue From Brides in France
If you fancy saying “oui” under the clear blue skies of the Charente countryside, dining à la gastronomique, then dancing until dawn under a blanket of stars, Le Couvent des Cordeliers in Verteuil is the ideal French wedding venue for your special day. This historic property is tucked away a few hours inland from the Atlantic coast in the Poitou Charentes region with a fantastic climate and great accessibility. Suitable for a handful of select wedding guests, you can wine and dine, swim, punt on the river, relax, sunbathe and hold the ceremony in their very own ancient chapel on site.
It’s peaceful and sophisticated here; a beautiful converted convent on the banks of the river Charente in one of the region’s most picturesque tourist villages. The bedrooms are all en suite with sumptuous bedding, views of the river – complete with a fairytale Chateau in the distance. This romantic French wedding venue is just a couple of hours drive from La Rochelle airport and 45 minutes from Poitiers airport plus there’s a regular Eurostar service from nearby market town, Ruffec for easy arrival of wedding guests.
Last month Love French Style was asked to come up with a wedding theme for a photo shoot organised by Brides in France at this beautiful wedding venue. Charlotte Wise from Soul Images, based in the UK photographed the shoot and her passion for wedding photography shines in every photo – she has an incredible talent. I chose to try and recreate the rustic French wedding trend that was so popular for weddings in 2015, using natural colours, vintage linens, hand tied flowers and an overall romantic Provence wedding theme.
The vintage French linen napkins with monograms are from a collection at my Etsy shop where I source, repair and up-cycle vintage linens found at French brocantes. I’m a big fan of outdoor mirrors for reflecting natural light and adding to that magic wedding sparkle.
Fresh lemons and church candles bring colour and a nice Mediterranean feel to the table setting. This and the fresh, homemade lemonade for little guests gives a prairie feel that’s styled but relaxed.
A large antique candelabra was added to the centre of the natural wood table to bring focus and a pretty centre point. I’m so pleased we added it, it made all the difference. Be brave and bold when designing your table settings. If in doubt, employ a wedding stylist who will help you work out what will work best on your big day – sometimes our ideas just need a little tweak and helping hand.
I’ve seen the French cheese wedding cake look really striking at so many rustic French weddings and couldn’t wait to try out a mini version for the shoot. With the help of Lisa Gatenby at French Flower Style, we set about making a beautiful cake with a variety of French cheeses including the lovely heart shaped brie in the middle. Lisa carefully arranged rosemary and lavender to decorate the cake that we displayed on an Olive Tree chopping board. Yum!
Lisa Gatenby is a sensitive, artistic florist who has worked in the business most of her life. She loves nothing more than natural, premium quality flowers to work with but will create flowers to suit any wedding design. This simple bouquet is so beautifully reminiscent of lavender fields in Provence and dries well so can be kept for many months after the wedding day.
Above, a model wears a natural bridal crown crafted from lavender, rosemary and wildflowers. Three stunning models pose below in front of the convent wearing beautiful vintage inspired dresses by Jenny Packham and Claire Pettibone from a collection at www.harrogatebridalcollection.com courtesy of owner Hayley Hoyle.
The hair and make up was soft and natural in keeping with the setting with simple, elegant sprigs of flora and fauna for colour. Emma Willett, founder of Brides in France and Emma Louise Hairstylist explains why she opted for a natural look with delicate details.
” This season has been all about loose waves and floral crowns. I wanted to create some natural looks that were not too polished but fitted nicely with our outdoor rustic theme. “
Getting married in a hot climate might be a cause of anxiety for some brides to be. Our talented make up artist in France was Claire Jones from Vata Beauty. She’s a skin specialist but also an expert at dressing brides in the right makeup for hot, continental weather. She likes a natural look and offers this advice for choosing bridal makeup –
” The best bridal look is one that enhances your natural self, after all you will be looking back on these photos for years to come. Fashions come and go but your wedding photos will be with you forever. Professional MUA’s are trained and experienced in photographic make up and will create a perfect, camera ready look so that your captured images can be cherished for a lifetime. “
Choosing the right wedding photographer is so important, after all you will be looking back at these photos for years to come. Think about where you would like to be photographed to ensure you get the shots you want. Charlotte Wise from Soul Images favours natural shots saying it should be a true reflection of your day –
” When you look back at your wedding photographs, you should be able to feel exactly as you did in that moment. Capturing your day in a raw, natural and romantic way will make sure that your memories remain timeless and truly about you and your unique love story. Nothing flashy, no effects, just beautiful storytelling of the love between you both. Photographs are the lasting part of your day, so find a photographer who you click with as a friend. They will blend in and truly capture the essence of your story.”
Planning for your wedding in France can seem like a daunting task but with the help of Brides in France you’ll get access to the country’s top hair stylists, French wedding photographers, make up artists and florists to create the day you dreamed of – without any language barriers. There’s so much to consider, like transport, food, wine, jewellery, flowers and pampering. The couvent can also arrange hire of this stunning vintage car which looks just as romantic in the flesh. It’s all about adding the extra details to make your wedding perfect. If you’re unsure of the legalities, Emma Willett of Brides in France has lots of helpful advice here.
There are many wedding ring businesses out there but Edith and Kiveen really caught our eye. They’re a London based jewellery design business who provided us with the beautiful bespoke wedding rings and bridal jewellery on the shoot. Nicola Mumford, their founder and head designer will design new pieces from scratch using gemstones and metals of your choice or transform family heirlooms into more contemporary jewellery. So, now you really can wear your beloved grandmother’s wedding ring or earrings with a modern twist on your big day.
I hope you enjoyed the rustic French wedding inspiration, look out for my next bridal blog coming soon. Thanks for reading from all the team…