In September 2012, I had the opportunity to cover the wedding in France in the castle of Château de Challain Yaroslav and Catherine. Personally for me it was the first acquaintance with this country and I wanted to share with you a short story about this trip.
So, France! Country rich history, comfortable climate, fine cuisine and vintage wine. They say that in France there is everything! Bold statement, but judge for yourself: where, as not in France, you can sunbathe with celebrities on the beaches of Nice, and ski and experience the beauty of the local mountains, taste delicious cheese in Corsica, pamper yourself with the best wines of Bordeaux and Burgundy, soak in tons romance, admire the beautiful and fashionable Parisians? The city of Paris with its symbol – the Eiffel Tower is recognized all over the world, and this is already saying something. To enumerate all the virtues of France and for what you can fall in love with it, you can endlessly. My story isn’t about that. Perhaps, I will go to the point, to the description of the very event for which I and my colleagues were in this country.
Organizing a romantic wedding in France is the dream of many loving couples who want to organize a real holiday for the creation of their family. And our newlyweds Ekaterina and Yaroslav are no exception.
Their choice was made by the guys long before the celebration and not by chance. Having officially legalized their relationship in Moscow, our loving couple wanted to plunge into a fairy tale. France was the most suitable place. And it’s not surprising. After all, for many people, France is a symbol of romance and love! Where, how not here so keep the traditions and family values? Immediately after the Moscow wedding, the newlyweds went to the cozy and luxurious place of the French suburb – Château de Challain. But first, first.
Our way was from Prague through Paris.
We all really wanted to escape from the huge Charles de Gaulle airport, take a taxi and take a stroll through Paris. But there was not much time to change. Given the size of the airport, you can easily miss the high-speed train that goes to the final destination of our trip – the city of Angers.
Also between the terminals we had to move on an electric shuttle, in which there was no machinist. Volodya and I joked and remembered for some reason the game Half-Life. And I managed to “snatch” a few pictures along the way.
We found the station of departure of our train. The distance between Paris and Angers is about 300 kilometers. The high-speed train TGV, capable of speeding up to 300 km / h, delivered us quickly and comfortably to Angers by nine o’clock in the evening.
Everyone read something about this French town and for some reason imagined that it would be right here to work. We did not even insist on sending a car for us, as “we found the castle on our own”. Having told this to her fiancée by phone, she paused for a few seconds and said with surprise in her voice: “Guys, how did you so quickly travel 50 kilometers on foot?”
While we wait our car, we had a little time to look around in Angers, the main city of the historical region of Anjou in the west of France. It is worth noting that the city is rich in history and medieval monuments. Perhaps the most recognizable and famous of them is the Angersky Castle of the early 13th century with 17 towers from 40 to 58 meters high.
We even had no doubts that tomorrow we will have to photo shoot here. But, as it turned out, we made a mistake.
Less than an hour we were taken to a village in the Loire Valley. Everyone felt strange feelings. Personally, I felt at least a hero of an adventure film. It was a full moon, there was a huge castle in front of us and we could only visualize it by the light in its windows. Almost nothing was visible on the street. It was difficult to assess the size of the castle, standing right at its walls. Only the sky lit by the moon, against the background of which the angular peaks of the castle towers could be seen, helped to roughly appreciate its height. We were released alone, pointing to the high central door and promising that they would meet us there. We were inside. Somehow it was embarrassing to go to a place where I have never been and do not know anything. Going inside, we stood, as if dead, and then we were really met. It was a dog. She also stopped and looked at us, either with caution or with curiosity. In the doorway of one of the rooms appeared Cynthia – the owner of the castle, and happily welcoming us “Good evening!”. Then we were escorted to our rooms. They gave us a little time to take a breath and we were invited to dinner, where the couple Catherine and Yaroslav awaited us.
We went down to the lowest floor, to the dining room of the castle where our couple were, had supper and, having discussed the plans the next day, decided to go to bed.
Despite the fact that the place was new, everyone was asleep, like the dead. The beds were so soft and comfortable that I personally literally fell into a dream.
We woke up early.
After breakfast in the same dining room where yesterday’s dinner was, we took the camera’s and went to study the territory.
I wanted to have time to shoot with the rising sun, look around and just admire the beautiful views around the castle. And to admire without exaggeration was what!
The castle of Château de Challain with its adjoining territory really turned out to be a luxurious place for a wedding. Completed as a private residence in 1854 by the design of the famous Parisian architect Louis Visconti, and striking with its grandeur and luxury, the castle is rightly called “a pearl in the Gothic Anjou”. The design of the castle uses the classic arrangement of one rectangle and four towers at the corners of this rectangle.
The interior of the castle is built in the same neo-Gothic style as its facade.
Of course, these are spacious rooms with large fireplaces, bulky furniture made of natural wood, carved panels, original glass and forged decorations.
The current owner of Cynthia castle was in a rather dilapidated state more than 10 years ago. But this hard-working, hospitable and always smiling woman and her assistants managed to breathe new life into the castle and recreate the old charm and grandeur.
And this does not go unnoticed. Throughout the year, various corporate and family events are regularly held here, as well as wedding celebrations. Often, the castle is booked for a week, or even longer.
The French themselves very seriously approach the choice of the venue for their wedding and solve this issue long before the celebration. From the chosen place depends the style of the wedding, its image, the feature of the accommodation of guests. A quiet, cozy and picturesque place for many is the most acceptable option than a noisy. For example, it may be an old estate, a manor with vineyards, or as in our case – a luxurious castle in a small village.
A nice feature of the wedding celebration in Château de Challain is that you do not have to think about all sorts of organizational trivia. Management of all aspects of your desires in accordance with your budget will be carried out by your wedding planner and concurrently the owner of the castle – Cynthia.
Do not worry about where to look for a make-up artist and hairdresser, which salon to appeal to and how to get to it. Everything is already thought out and included in the general order package. The team of these important for the bride assistants will be on time in one of the rooms of the castle.
While the bride was assembled by a professional French make-up artist along with her assistant hairdresser, i traditionally could not ignore all kinds of details of the wedding.
Here in France it is accepted that the bride chooses in the salon the style she liked in the catalog from different samples of wedding dresses. After that, they begin to sew the dress, taking into account additional wishes and features of the figure of the bride. In the same salon, you can choose accessories for your outfit.
At the groom all is easier. The costume can be buyed in a specialized salon.
By tradition, just before the wedding day, the couple are separated. At least one day the future husband and wife should spend without fuss, in thoughts with themselves, weighed once again all the pros and cons before such a responsible step.
The most exciting moment of the wedding day of Yaroslav and Catherine – the wedding – took place in a church located on the adjacent territory of the castle.
In the presence of albeit not so numerous, but the closest guests, the newlyweds swore in eternal love and thanked the Creator for meeting each other.
The ceremony took place in French.The couple who were coming out of the church were expected by relatives and guests, showering them with rose petals.After the church ceremony, all returned to one of the glades of the castle, where the buffet was waiting.
Each guest finds his place at the table according to the cards with names and seating plan. This is important for the newlyweds. Guests should not be bored and the seating plan ensures the distribution of guests by age and interests.
For centuries, there has been a French custom of decorating a wedding with original compositions of real flowers. Each flower is symbolic and has special significance for the newlyweds.
Dinner begins with an aperitif the French drink – champagne. The dinner menu is ordered in advance, and the dishes are served to the table in strict order. The dinner itself lasts only a few hours.
The fact that the kitchen will be excellent, there is no doubt. The French regard cooking as an art, and cooks are considered to be poets. They are sure that the recipe for a dish is only the basis, and its uniqueness, each hostess should make a “highlight” at the time of preparation. Just at the “right” French wedding, there is almost no possibility of getting drunk. The number of bottles of wine is limited, and strong drinks sometimes do not serve at all. The French are very proud of their cuisine and extremely scrupulous in everything. Be sure – a gastronomic holiday will be provided to you! Guests are entertained by musicians, creating background music.
Newlyweds can express gratitude to each guest for the fact that they came to share their joy, coming up and thanking each individually.
After dinner, dances begin, which last until dessert.
Our couple solemnly cut their wedding cake, distribute pieces to guests.After that, the dances continued until two or three o’clock in the morning, and we gladly joined the guests, completing our busy and interesting working day.
And then again the high-speed train, again Paris and the return plane to Prague. It was a wonderful trip.
See you somewhere else!