Images by Anneli Marinovich Photography.
There’s something super romantic about a destination wedding… The idea of running off into a foreign land with your nearest and dearest, watching sunsets, drinking wine and generally basking in a rosier glow. Sounds pretty fabulous right now doesn’t it?
But what about the logistics of actually finding a great venue to call home for an extended destination celebration?
We have Josh from La Vue France here with some fab tips!
Notes from La Vue France
I’m lucky enough to meet with lots of lovely couples at the beginning of their adventure at La Vue France in the quest of finding the perfect venue! But what is the perfect venue? Is it the address, the décor or the facade of the building? Before looking at flights and planning to view as many venues as physically possible within 24 hours, there are a few things you should consider.
Choosing the right location may seem an obvious one but I don’t mean coastal, vineyard or countryside setting – I’m referring to closest airports, nearby hotels, and the surrounding area. It’s very important to start your search based on actual flights from the airport that the majority of your friends and family would be departing from. Also think about the time of year and how many flights leave/arrive in a week.
Embrace the surroundings, if the venue is within an area specifically known for something such as a famous wine or Cognac, then use this and build it in to your wedding plans. For example; we offer a pop up Cognac tasting experience during the drinks reception which guests love!
Buy your favours locally or simply arrange a day trip for those arriving a day earlier, after all if the venue has been booked based on its location then you should really show this off.
Accommodation in France is full of extremes in standards, the rooms at our venue are, of course, gorgeous but then what about the over spill? We suggest taking control of your guests accommodation so you can also put on local transport for those staying outside of the venue. Find one other location and, if you can, book out the whole place. You can then simply organise a shuttle to and from the venue which allows everyone to feel part of the celebrations.
Rural France does not seem to cater for this very well at all so be warned – there are no taxis on the spot, buses can be arranged (but do leave plenty of time to do this) and be aware that the prices are higher than the UK. A 20 minute journey could cost anything from €300 to €600 depending on the make of the vehicle and location within France.
So to summarise; flights, alternative accommodation and transport are all make or break situations when looking for a venue. If you take all of the above in to account during your search then this should lead you to a particular area and therefore your ideal venue.
Next… Start to think about how you want your venue to look. Are turrets, moats and historic statues your kind of thing? Or would you prefer a more understated, stylish and comfortable stay? It’s always best to really have a grasp of your style before you set off on an epic road trip around the French countryside. Imagine looking at the photos after the big day – what do you want to see?
Take everything in to account – the view, the variation of locations you are able to use within the venue, interiors, food, styling on a day-to-day basis and most importantly the location.
If you’ve decided on all of the above, create your shortlist of venues and organise a Skype call with the owner or wedding coordinator. Talk through your ideas and try to gauge whether you think its the place for you and, more importantly, whether you can see yourself working with the person for 9+ months! If everything feels right then book that flight, hire the car and get there ASAP before someone else does.
Your A-Team are the suppliers you choose to help create your wedding day and, in my opinion, the relationship you have with your suppliers is even more important if planning a destination wedding!
From the main contact at your venue to the makeup artist and florist – these people become your trusted team, the people you lean on when you are overwhelmed and stressed. They should be chosen based on experience and how you get on with the individual and never solely on price. If you trust the supplier, which is a must, then you should trust that they are charging a price that is fair for both their service and quality. A very successful supplier recently told me that she doesn’t offer discounts, no matter what, as she values her work – I admire that so much as it shows her confidence in the product and therefore the service she will deliver.
Food & drink
Don’t be fooled by thinking that this is cheap in France because it’s France – it’s simply not the case anymore.
Of course wine is still cheap but just know what you are buying and drinking as there are lots of bad options, just like anywhere in the world. The same goes for food – France has amazing producers all across the country but this comes at a price, if you get it right then the food and drink should be a talking point. Steer away from traditional plated fancy meals and encourage your venue/caterers to serve the meals on platters to encourage conversation – this is a new concept for France! If you’re getting married in a region known for a specific product then allow your guests to experience this.
Most importantly go with your gut throughout the process, if you don’t get responses in the manner you would like or if you don’t have a good vibe from a specific supplier then don’t stand for it and move on to the next. This is the most important day of your life and therefore should be treated with respect by everyone lucky enough to be involved. The process should be fun and seamless and if it’s not then you’re working with the wrong people.
At La Vue France I have created a space in which everyone from all ages and backgrounds will feel relaxed but spoilt. The interiors are calm and comfortable. Every single corner of the venue is used across 3 days and from the first enquiry I create relationships with our couples to ensure they know that myself and everyone at La Vue has their best interests at heart!
Don’t be scared to plan a destination wedding – if you get it right you can have a 3 day celebration for the same price of a 24 hour wedding in the UK, just know what you want and don’t be afraid of voicing that!
Good luck and get in touch if you would like to discuss weddings La Vue!
Venue La Vue France
Photography Anneli Marinovich Photography
Styling & Floral Design Flowers By Passion