Judith & Daniel / France
One of the best chateaus in France
Le Mas de Montet
There are so many beautiful chateaus in France to pick for your wedding. But for Judith & Daniel, it was Chateau Le Mas de Montet that they fell in love with, located near Petit-Bersac in the Périgord region of South-West France; it felt like a perfect place to laugh, drink good wine, eat tasty food and of course get married!
I decided to stay in a market town called Ribéraca, a short drive to the venue. I had a couple of days free before the wedding, and it felt like a great place to relax, devour some pain au chocolats and explore the breathtaking countryside with its meandering rivers flowing through the gorgeous quaint towns that is why so many people venture to the Périgord.
The day of the wedding had finally arrived, and as I drove down the long driveway of Le Mas de Montet, with its giant oak trees guiding my way I could start to see why the couple picked this venue for their wedding, it is magnificent. A stunning renaissance style chateau that it is hard not to fall in love with it. If you had to tell a child to close its eyes and imagine a chateau, then I reckon this is what they would conjure in their young minds.
I love the way that nature is very much entwined with the chateau, from the incredible oak tree towering next to the building, it definitely feels like it's a protector of sorts. To the climbing plants covering the old walls, it has a beautiful way of feeling like it has always been here and will be here for many years to come!
Both Judith & Daniel are doctors, a profession which must take up a lot of their time, but they also had a new baby girl who arrived just in time for the wedding! I don't know how they found the time to organise a wedding as well as having a baby and working as full-time doctors but hats off to them. They certainly didn't disappoint.
As the guys had a quick beer on the lawn of the chateau in their robes, Judith and her bridesmaids got ready in the bridal suite as they entertained the new arrival in between applying mascara & spraying hair. The wedding staff were starting to build the rows of seats for the ceremony & guests were playing games on the lawn before going to get ready. This is precisely why I love chateaus in France for weddings. Such a relaxed vibe for everyone.
The ceremony slowly crept forward, the guys helped each other with their bow ties and made their way to the lawn of the venue to meet all the guests for the day. Judith put on her Sassi Holford dress, gave her daughter a hug and made her way down to meet her dad so that they could both walk down the aisle together as the cello player serenaded their entrance.
I think outdoor wedding ceremonies are some of my favourite things to document! I get to move around freely to capture both those full epic photographs but also get close to see those more intimate moments between people. The couple picked one of their friends to be the honorary vicar, and it was great to see him in his element! I don't think many people can randomly conduct a wedding, but he made it fun, yet still romantic for the two of them. Also, Chateau Le Mas de Montet is a perfect backdrop for exchanging your vows, it felt like everything fell in place flawlessly.
After the drinks reception on the courtyard of the chateau, everyone made their way inside for the speeches. I always love photographing this part of the day, you really see emotions on everyone's faces, whether it be happiness or sadness from a lost family who can't be here to witness the day; it is always a privilege to document these moments. Just have a look at the images of Daniel's speech, and you'll start to see what I mean.
As a wedding photographer, you always have to be aware of light and especially the best times to whisk the couple away for photographs towards sunset, and it can be a gamble sometimes on working out the best time in between courses or waiting until everyone has finished. Lucikly for me the risk this time paid off, and I returned with the couple to the large oak trees at the entrance of the venue for some glorious golden hour photographs. The light was something quite magical in its own right, but with the couple entirely in love at centre stage, you really can't go wrong.
As the sun fell behind the distant landscape, we all made our way back to the party to begin. I imagined that this crowd would be up for a good time and they didn't disappoint, from the very first moment the couple made their way on to the dance floor I didn't see an empty room the entire night! It got to one point later in the night after the alcohol had taken over, the ushers were climbing the beams of the room, it felt like the whole building would come down! Literally...
Well, that's enough from me, If you're searching for chateaus in France for your wedding then definitely check out Le Mas de Montet! If you like this one, then I would recommend Laura & Suzie's Chateau de Lisse wedding or Aisling & Ciaran's wedding at Le Manoir Du Bout Du Pont. If you're planning a wedding in the country then go check out my France destination wedding photographer page.