rose petals and church

Who can claim to know all the ins and outs of a reception, all the ways of organising a wedding - particularly in wedding venues in France, such as a chateau? The scope is enormous; the only limits are our imagination: age-old traditions, seduction and excess, fever and flames, costumes and lights, food and wine, music and rituals!

Let us not forget that before the wheel, man invented masks and celebrations! The principle of a "roving" wedding reception, wending its way around the chateau grounds, will surely appeal, encountering pockets of heavenly fragrance - lily, fig, teak, rose and jasmine – and flickers of fire in the night.

Chateau de Vallery, a wedding venue with accommodation, can explore ways of organising your wedding reception without the professional guidance of a wedding planner in France. Your wedding becomes a journey, a journey through time and space. Time will stand still exclusively for your celebration, for a spiritual journey into the pale light of dawn. The estate is yours alone.

The following pages will guide you. They offer a suggested programme for your fairytale wedding in France, extend a warm welcome to wedding planners, and provide plans of the halls and interactive seating plans to be downloaded, as well as thorough information on bedrooms at the chateau and accommodation nearby.

The Road to Happiness...

(Countdown to a summer wedding)

Wedding Day -330

Announce your news to your parents and close friends. Choose your attendants - best man, ushers and bridesmaids. Because those who've known you all your life deserve to share your joy.

Wedding Day -300

The Venue. 17 questions to ask yourselves. Answer "yes" to at least 14 for peace of mind...

  • A well-conserved, authentic and romantic setting far from the bustle of the city?
  • Are their enough decent bedrooms on site and nearby to cater for everybody?

  • bridal suite in the dovecot Charlotte de Montmorency bedroom

  • Are you free to choose your service providers (caterer, band, DJ, wedding planner, etc.)?
  • Is there a room big enough at the venue for all of your guests plus a dance floor plus a band?
  • Can you switch to a different room for dessert or for the first dance?
  • Is there enough furniture and is it included in the cost of the room hire (table, chairs, buffet tables, etc.)?
  • Can your venue cater for that moment of spirituality at the heart of your event, no matter the weather (church, chuppah, ceremony conducted by an officiant or witness in a park or gallery, etc.)?

  • chuppah in the Grande Galerie canopy blossomed into an outdoor theater

  • A venue dedicated exclusively to your wedding... so that the only guests are those invited to your party?
  • Is there a perfect spot on the estate where you can gather your guests on the eve of your wedding, then lead them from one discovery to the next, from one room to another, on an itinerant drinks party, and then enjoy brunch in yet a different setting?
  • Are there enough facilities to entertain your guests? Pool, tennis court, wine tasting in vaulted cellars, rose garden, strolls through the forest, historical tours, etc.?

  • heron, fish, april and love heated pool in the heart of the chateau one of bridleways in the forest

  • Are you free of time restrictions?
  • Can you dance and put the world to rights until dawn?
  • If you're planning your reception in a garden or a marquee, do you have a fall-back plan in case of rain or strong winds?
  • Is the infrastructure satisfactory (area for the children, Wi-Fi, cloakroom, toilets, spacious and discreet car park, kitchen for the caterer, cold storage, cellar for storing your wines, heating indoors and for the pool, etc.)?
  • When you visited the venue, was the quality of service up to your expectations? Do you have plans and maps of the estate and the rooms?
  • Is the website sufficiently explicit? Does the rental contract include the entire estate, the furniture, the bedrooms and the lighting without any cut-off time?
  • And the final criterion, which is difficult to quantify: can you see yourself in that setting? Does it tick all the boxes for you? Will it add the extra soul you are hoping for on the best day of your life?

  • booklet 30x30 bridal fireworks in the grounds of the chateau

    Wedding Day -250

    The Caterer. Book entertainment to amuse your guests during pre-dinner drinks.
    DJ, photographer, band, video cameraman, firework technician, hairdresser, make-up artist.

    hair and makeup for the bride and her wedding witness caterer's preparations for a wedding in the kitchen of the chateau cocktail set the scene Vallery's church

    Civil, religious or secular ceremony. Bridesmaids and Page Boys. Take out an option on accommodation near the venue.

    Wedding Day -200

    bride down the stairss rehearsals of an orchestra before the wedding reception flowery Grande Galerie

    Guest list. Save the date. Bride's dress (keep it secret). Floral arrangements. not forgetting the bride's bouquet, the buttonholes and the petals.

    Wedding Day -100

    Wedding procession in the carriage in front of the chateau first dance in the Grande Galerie arrival from the church in the grounds of the chateau access map to Vallery Guy Savoy's invitation invitation - artist : Jean-Jacques Grand invitation - illustration : J.J Grand

    Remember to practice that first dance.
    The invitation should indicate the dress code, name places to stay, state the address of the venue, provide instructions on how to get there, and stipulate a reply-by date. Choose stamps in your wedding colours! The marriage contract signed before a notary. The wedding bands with your names engraved inside. Book the honeymoon! Open your wedding list. Sugared almonds. A prestigious car or horse and carriage? Conjurer ?

    spectacle in the grounds after a wedding dinner

    Wedding Day -60

    witnesses band children outfits wedding menu

    If you are not using the services of a wedding planner, ask your friends and family for help and ideas. One of your attendants could be responsible for paying service providers, another could take charge of the seating plan, someone else could allocate the bedrooms, etc. Final fitting of the wedding dress and accessories. The groom's outfit.. The future bride can help her groom make a matching choice, as she alone knows what she'll be wearing! Trial runs with the hairdresser and make-up artist. Buy throw-away cameras, or polaroid cameras, to be placed on the guests' tables.

    Wedding Day -25

    wedding menu - illustration : Dimitri Signolle

    Allocating bedrooms; the seating plan; the menus.
    Use a seating plan system with movable names, so that you can easily cater for any last-minute changes. Find a pretty container to use as a wedding card box.

    Write the speeches and a personalised welcome note for each bedroom. Send all service providers, and your attendants or witnesses, a copy of the Run Sheet so that everyone is perfectly synchronised. Order the wine and the champagne. Get it delivered directly to the venue, where it will rest in the cellar. Send your Run Sheet to everyone concerned. Use a different colour code per service provider so that each one knows what they - and the others - need to be doing and when. If you are not using walkie talkies, make sure that all cell phone numbers are included on the Run Sheet: caterer, florist, photographer, video cameraman, wine waiter, band, sound technician, firework technician, etc. Contact the Mairie (Town Hall) to get the banns published.

    Wedding Day -10

    Stag night and hen night.

    J- 1

    hum hum

    Relax... preferably at the venue!

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