Wedding Photography at Chateau La Durantie...
Holly & Mark's Chateau La Durantie Wedding...
I know it looks like my life is one big jolly, rocking around ludicrous wedding venues, taking piccies. Well, it's not really, but it is today!!!!
The truth is, I'm genuinely excited to tell you about Holly and Mark's destination wedding I photographed in France.
Before I get into the nitty-gritty of Holly and Mark's Chateau La Durantie wedding, let me introduce myself for those that haven't come across my photography before. I'm James, a wedding photographer based in the Cotswolds, UK. Wedding photography has taken me on the most fabulous journey, to incredible venues all over the UK and internationally, much like this one – Chateau La Durantie.
Photographing Destination Weddings...
France's Dordogne region has some of the best wedding venues. Chateau La Durantie is known as the best of these. If not the best wedding venue in France full stop.
Shooting all weddings is a mad buzz. Nothing makes me feel more alive. However, weddings abroad, especially when the weather is perfect, is like no other buzz I know. To top it off, not only am I in France, in a beautiful chateau, but I'm also in France in a beautiful chateau with a mega group of people from Cheltenham who are also my mates.
Perfect. But Pressure on!
Destination weddings are always so much fun to photograph because everyone is in holiday mode, people want to let their hair down and have a good time. Simple. Holly and Mark's wedding was like this, but more so. Cheltenham people are proper party people - I knew this would be a mad one 12 months prior and I was not wrong.
Before I carry on, I will get serious for a moment. Destination weddings like this are daunting, and without determination and the bit between your teeth, hard to pull off. However, I've got a tip for you team! Holly has built a little something (not quite a business, but getting there) Instagram page "The Chateau Bride" to help source French suppliers for brides-to-be. Why not give her a follow if that's one of your worries (or to look at more photos I couldn't squeeze in here). The truth is Chateau La Durantie is a dream venue. It's worth a bit of extra effort to have the wedding to die for and trust me Holly will help. Win-Win.
The mad thing is even though Chateau La Durantie was built in 1840 (older than my Nan), it's been recently renovated, so it feels old but fresh, new but old, traditional yet contemporary. God knows how they pulled it off, but bravo. Nailed it! Not forgetting to mention the 12 acres of private gardens, a pool, tennis court, football field and even fruit orchard. This wedding venue has it all.
The chateau itself is a masterpiece – antiques everywhere, high ceilings and big windows that let loads of light in. It just oozes French luxury, yet has that lovely warm home feeling. Can you tell I like it...?
Holly and Mark's French Wedding...
The whole day was boom. Boom boom. Boom boom boom! The boys spent most of the morning in the pool buggering about. Easy to shoot really, while the girls took it far more seriously(ish) up in the master bedroom. Both had a great vibe; the girls won this for me, though. Baguettes on the bed - classic!
Holly and Mark's ceremony was held outside, with the most fantastic celebrant Piers Lane. I would seriously recommend him - he even won an award for Celebrant of the Year for Yorkshire and North East by the Wedding Industry Awards in 2020.
Early evening we had the most beautiful sunset ever, but the light was dropping fast, and there were too many shadows around the chateau, so I grabbed H&M and drove them at not quite 100 hundred miles an hour to a nearby sunflower field I spotted before I arrived in the morning. We grabbed the last 10 minutes of sunlight. I loved those sunflower shots, not just for what they look like, but the adventure we had getting them. Funnily enough, every other sunflower field in France bar that one had died off, so what are the chances.
Back at the wedding, Mark got rinsed by the best men in their speech. The DJ and swimming pool (which of course ended up with someone in it at the end of the night!) made for the best party ever, as well as the surprise fireworks display. The wedding had it all.
What a venue, what a party, what a vibe. I feel so lucky to have been a part of it all. Thanks for reading team!