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Rachel and Sam’s Wedding at Chateau du Bijou

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A Stylish Weekend Wedding at Chateau du Bijou

This stylish couple met by chance 5 years ago, and, after a romantic engagement, Sam and Rachel decided to celebrate their marriage outside of the UK and immediately started looking for the ultimate wedding venue in France.

Having both had a passion for all things French since they were young, the couple knew that hosting their wedding abroad in France could be perfect in terms of location; easily accessible from the UK and a great adventure for family and friends flying in from all around the world. It didn’t take long for Sam and Rachel to find Chateau du Bijou - a hidden gem of a weekend wedding venue in Chomerac, Provence. The couple had encountered the Bijou Collection of wedding venues in the past, as they’d attended a wedding at Bijou's Notley Abbey. As they’d experienced Bijou’s style, food and service in the UK, they knew that their wedding could be just as wonderful in France. Sam and Rachel popped down to check out the Chateau du Bijou and its surroundings on a sunny September weekend and chose to book a date for the following July. They knew that this would give their guests plenty of time to plan their travel arrangements, and when it came to wedding planning, the couple were re-assured that Bijou's specialist Wedding Planning Team would help them sort all of the details relating to their destination wedding.

Planning a Weekend Wedding in France

As soon as they returned to the UK after booking Chateau du Bijou, Sam and Rachel started planning their summer wedding weekend. They knew that they had to think about entertaining guests from Friday evening to Sunday morning so got to thinking about their guest list and all things French! They familiarised themselves with Bijou’s proprietary online wedding planner and thought about a plethora of menus that they wanted to serve their guests.

The couple wanted to incorporate a relaxed yet luxurious vibe to their weekend wedding so started planning the finer details; including rustic table décor, personalised signage, music and wedding attire for a sunny outdoor celebration.

Rachel chose a flowing gown with a plunging neckline, teamed with Manolo Blahnik heels during the day (comfortable wedges at night) and a chunky gold necklace. Sam chose to wear a pale blue linen suit as he knew that linen would feel lighter under the hot summer sun as they had planned to celebrate their vows outdoors. Rachel’s bridesmaids looked simply stunning in strappy blue, French inspired dresses.

The Big Day: Early July 2017

Sam and Rachel, along with their close family and friends, arrived at Chateau du Bijou on the afternoon before the big day – giving them enough time to explore the house and grounds, settle in and enjoy a rehearsal style dinner ahead of the excitement the following day. On the morning of the wedding, the atmosphere around Chateau du Bijou was buzzing. The Bijou Team prepared the outdoor ceremony and reception tables as guests enjoyed the garden and pool ahead of the evening celebration. Booking their ceremony for 6pm meant that Rachel and her best girls had all day to prepare their hair and makeup. There was no rush. Everything was timed perfectly and with such a huge wedding venue enjoy, there was very little chance of bumping in to Sam, who was somewhere on the other side of the Chateau, getting himself wedding-ready with his family.

basket of sunflowers at Chateau du Bijou

As Sunflowers are popular and readily available in Provence, it made sense to feature them in Rachel’s bouquet, around and about the venue and at the wedding reception. The bride hired a local florist to decorate her home-from-home for the weekend and create her stunning yellow bouquet.

At 6pm, guests were seated and ready to witness a unique celebration, basking under the summer sun. The bride followed her bridesmaids in blue down the aisle and the couple shared vows in front of their 80 international guests. Post-ceremony, the celebrations began. Exquisite canapés were served along with plenty of French fizz. A rustic banquet table had been laid beautifully on the patio; an ideal spot as it offers Chateau du Bijou as the back-drop and incredible views over the gardens and hills in the distance. Lemons and lanterns decorated the table and guests got a glimpse of the feast that was to come, via beautifully printed menu cards.

A fine dining menu was served and Bijou staff ensured that every glass was full to the brim at all times. As the sun set down on the wonderful wedding party, the atmosphere at Chateau du Bijou was sublime; the newlywed couple knew that they’d made a brilliant decision by choosing to host their wedding in France. Their friends and family couldn’t stop complementing the couple about the venue as it was so nice for them to be attending a wedding so different and unique to a traditional British style. It was relaxed, it was fun and most importantly, uber romantic!

After a multi-course meal, the newlyweds danced on the patio with their guests until the early hours of the morning. Chateau du Bijou is large enough to accommodate 40 overnight guests, who gathered together the following morning to enjoy a sumptuous, home-cooked breakfast before heading back to the train station, airport or rest of their holiday in France. Some guests chose to stay in local hotels or Airbnbs which were just a short taxi ride away from Chateau du Bijou.

A quote from the bride and groom: “The Bijou Team did everything to make us, our family and friends feel totally at home throughout the duration of our wedding weekend at Chateau du Bijou. The venue is outstanding, the grounds are incredible and the staff were top-notch. From the moment we arrived for our visit, the staff put our minds at ease. Planning a destination wedding can sound daunting, and with both of us in full time work, we were slightly nervous as to whether we could still have full in-put on every element of the day. Bijou made this easy. They were brilliant to work with in terms of communication and we found their online planner invaluable. We celebrated our dream wedding abroad at Chateau du Bijou – Thank you so much to everyone at Bijou for making this happen.”

Wedding Suppliers

Wedding Venue: Chateau du Bijou
Wedding Photographer: Kerry Morgan Photography
Wedding Florist: Marigold Fleuriste
Wedding stationery: Potesta Designs
DJ – Bijou DJ

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