Images by Rebecca Goddard Photography.
Set in the heart of the Loire Valley, Château de la Ruche (as seen on Channel 4’s ‘Escape to the Chateau DIY’) offered the perfect setting for this shoot. With its rustic stone barns and outbuildings, it combines the romantic beauty of the French countryside with a more cool and contemporary feel. The Chateau is the epitome of laidback luxury, with its elegant style set amongst acres of beautiful fields and meadows, and Rachel, Wedding Planner at Mirabella Weddings, wanted to bring this to life with an understated yet elegant look.
Notes from the Wedding Planner
We wanted to really reflect the laidback luxury style of the Chateau – combining sophisticated French style with the natural beauty of the grounds. We were really keen to keep it fresh and modern, showing that not all barn or countryside weddings need to be traditional or rustic!
French style is so understated yet oozes romance, so we opted for a delicate colour palette to not only tie into spring but to also reflect the subtle-but-chic style we were looking to create.
As it was spring, we opted for plenty of pale greys and blush tones to give a soft, romantic and feminine feel. However, for contrast we used darker accents of deep purples and burgundies, through the florals, stationery and glassware, to bring a richness and depth to the colour palette. An understated yet elegant colour palette, perfect for the setting and to tie into the neutral tones of the stone barn backdrop.
Being France, fashion was of course key! We opted for a beautiful dress from Jesus Peiro. Its clean lines epitomised understated French chic, yet we loved the full skirt and oversized bow to add a touch of femininity and impact. A pair of nude suede heels from Jimmy Choo completed the look.
For hair and makeup, we wanted to give a nod to classic French style whilst also creating something quite striking – a simple up-do and natural makeup from Storme Makeup & Hair created a sophisticated yet stylish look. That French style is just so timeless and works so well for those looking for something really elegant and classy.
A pair of earrings from Victoria Percival Accessories were the perfect finishing touch – with the hint of sparkle adding not only a touch of glamour and elegance but also giving a more contemporary feel.
We wanted to create an elegant yet stylish look – tying in the romance of the French countryside setting with a slight modern twist.
To bring in a more contemporary feel we opted for matt grey concrete-style plates, which we paired with delicate, dove-grey linens to soften the look and add a more feminine touch. We used classic French glassware against pops of deep mauve to add depth and interest. Both colour and texture were so important to achieve the look and feel we were after. Rustic French barn meets 21st century!
These tied in to the deeper tones of the stationery – Palepress London created beautiful burgundy place names with hand-lettered vellum bellybands, which contrasted against the menus.
Our florist was the wonderful Liz from Blue Sky Flowers. We wanted soft, delicate tones and seasonal flowers which would tie the look into its surroundings. Ruffled white ranunculus and blush roses were perfect for creating a feminine and romantic feel, whilst jasmine added texture and scent.
As it was spring, Liz foraged fresh blossom from the many blossom trees surrounding the barns, and we also used small sprigs to decorate each place setting. The white blossom was the perfect contrast against the dark burgundy of the place names and really helped to subtly bring the whole look together. We really wanted to create something which tied in to the beautiful French countryside surrounding us so tapping into seasonal and locally foraged flowers really helped to achieve this.
There’s often a big assumption that countryside or barn weddings mean rustic or ‘twee’ – but we wanted to prove this doesn’t need to be the case. By adding a few small, subtle details such as tableware choices or bridal fashion, you can really add a more contemporary feel. We wanted to create something stylish and sophisticated – seamlessly blending classic French style with modern design to appeal to today’s couples.
Whilst it is important to acknowledge your venue and surroundings, we wanted to show that you can easily put your own stamp on things and bring your style to life through carefully chosen details. Work with the season and the setting – but don’t be afraid to bring in a subtle nod to your own style too.
Venue Château de la Ruche
Photography Rebecca Goddard Photography
Planning & Styling Mirabella Weddings
Flowers Blue Sky Flowers
Hair and Makeup Storme Makeup & Hair
Hair Accessories & Jewellery Victoria Percival Accessories
Stationery Palepress London
Silk Ribbons Bertie & Fred
Tableware CMA Hire