Stylish Wedding in the French Countryside :: Isabelle & Loic

jeanni dunagan; french wedding; french countryside; france; european wedding; serans; chateau reception; low back dress; dress with lace trim; dress with lace inserts; floral crown; couple on chateau steps;

Photography by Jeanni Dunagan.

Parisians Isabelle & Loic wanted to leave their city behind for a wedding day in the countryside, but brought their chic sense of style with them to the stunning Château de Serans. (I mean, just look at their accessories – suede platform YSL sandals for her, and an emerald green knitted silk bow tie for him!) Isabelle was so helpful in explaining a lot of the differences between French and American wedding traditions. It’s so interesting to see how what is ‘normal’ for one country is so different to the next, isn’t it? And on top of their traditional choices, she and Loic also included some more unusual ideas you might want to borrow… for something fun and unexpected, how about a sparkler entrance instead of an exit? And if you’re looking to add extra romance to your evening, what about a private first dance? (I’m so excited this is catching on!)

jeanni dunagan; french wedding; french countryside; france; european wedding; serans; blush YSL pumps;

jeanni dunagan; french wedding; french countryside; france; european wedding; serans; bride getting ready; whtie lace robe;

jeanni dunagan; french wedding; french countryside; france; european wedding; serans; floral crown;

jeanni dunagan; french wedding; french countryside; france; european wedding; serans; low back dress; lace insert dress; bride getting ready;

jeanni dunagan; french wedding; french countryside; france; european wedding; serans; low back dress; lace insert dress; bride getting ready;

jeanni dunagan; french wedding; french countryside; france; european wedding; serans; low back dress; lace insert dress; bride getting ready; bride hugging bridesmaid; floral crown;

jeanni dunagan; french wedding; french countryside; france; european wedding; serans; groom shoes; groom silk green bowtie;

jeanni dunagan; french wedding; french countryside; france; european wedding; serans; groom black tie;

The Ceremony

Why did you choose this location for your ceremony? Because we live in the city of Paris, we wanted to have our wedding in the countryside. Serans is located an hour outside of Paris and our château, church and reception buildings were all within walking distance. Église Saint-Denis de Serans was just magical. It was small and sweet…just perfect.

Your ceremony in three words. Religious, Catholic, traditional.

If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently? I was feeling very nervous when I entered the church and I was walking very quickly. If I could do it over again, I would’ve taken my time coming down the aisle.

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How did you go about planning your ceremony? It was important to us to have a traditional Catholic ceremony. We incorporated the traditional ceremonial readings and vows.

Who officiated your ceremony? How did you choose him/her? Our ceremony was officiated by the priest of the church.

Did you include any traditions in your ceremony? All of our guests received communion, as is the tradition in French Catholic weddings.

jeanni dunagan; french wedding; french countryside; france; european wedding; serans; catholic ceremony; traditional french catholic ceremony;

jeanni dunagan; french wedding; french countryside; france; european wedding; serans; catholic ceremony; traditional french catholic ceremony;

What was your ceremony music? We do not have special songs for these in French weddings. (No processional or recessional.) We had Catholic hymns throughout the service, accompanied by a string duo and a keyboardist.

What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? We loved having our family and friends present to watch us say our vows to each other. My favorite moment was when Loic and I exchanged our rings. It was very emotional.

jeanni dunagan; french wedding; french countryside; france; european wedding; serans; catholic ceremony; traditional french catholic ceremony;

jeanni dunagan; french wedding; french countryside; france; european wedding; serans; catholic ceremony; traditional french catholic ceremony; couple laughing during ceremony; floral crown;

Is there anything else that you’d like to share about your wedding ceremony? After the ceremony, our guests greeted us outside by blowing bubbles as we exited the church.

jeanni dunagan; french wedding; french countryside; france; european wedding; serans; catholic ceremony; traditional french catholic ceremony; couple greet guests after ceremony;

The Reception

How would you describe your reception? Our reception was wonderful. We made sure to have plenty of time to spend time with our guests. Since our wedding was in the summer, we planned to spend the majority of the wedding outside. We began with le vin d’honneur (cocktail reception) in the gardens of the château. During part of this time, we took portraits and family photos, then we joined our guests for drinks and canapés.

jeanni dunagan; french wedding; french countryside; france; european wedding; serans; chateau reception; guests walking to reception;

jeanni dunagan; french wedding; french countryside; france; european wedding; serans; chateau reception; mini gazpacho;

Why did you choose this location for your reception? We chose Château de Serans because it is a beautiful space with plenty of room for our guests to mingle. We loved the gardens outside the château and the reception room was the perfect size to host dinner and dancing.

jeanni dunagan; french wedding; french countryside; france; european wedding; serans; chateau reception; outdoor cocktail hour;

What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? It was very important to Loic and I that our wedding represent us. We did not want a showy wedding, so our colors were simple white and pastels. It was also important to us to serve our guests good food, good wine and to spend time with everyone – especially those who traveled to be there with us.

jeanni dunagan; french wedding; french countryside; france; european wedding; serans; chateau reception; outdoor cocktail hour; bride taking selfies with guests;

jeanni dunagan; french wedding; french countryside; france; european wedding; serans; chateau reception; outdoor cocktail hour; grandma and baby;

jeanni dunagan; french wedding; french countryside; france; european wedding; serans; chateau reception; outdoor cocktail hour; couple with grandparents;

Do you have any budget tips for other brides? In France, we spend our budget mostly on food, wine and fashion! We also hired an American photographer, Jeanni Dunagan, because we liked the soft look of her photos.

jeanni dunagan; french wedding; french countryside; france; european wedding; serans; chateau reception; low back dress; dress with lace trim; dress with lace inserts; floral crown;

jeanni dunagan; french wedding; french countryside; france; european wedding; serans; chateau reception; low back dress; dress with lace trim; dress with lace inserts; floral crown;

jeanni dunagan; french wedding; french countryside; france; european wedding; serans; chateau reception; low back dress; dress with lace trim; dress with lace inserts; floral crown;

jeanni dunagan; french wedding; french countryside; france; european wedding; serans; chateau reception; low back dress; dress with lace trim; dress with lace inserts; floral crown;

Did you have a first look? Why or why not? In France, we have un mariage à la mairie (legal ceremony) before getting married in the church. So Loic and I saw each other before our wedding, but in France we do not really have a “first look”. After our mariage à la mairie, we hosted a brunch for close friends and family prior to getting ready for our church ceremony.

What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? The planning of a wedding can be stressful and arguments can be common, so it is important to make concessions with your spouse. Compromise!

jeanni dunagan; french wedding; french countryside; france; european wedding; serans; chateau reception; low back dress; dress with lace trim; dress with lace inserts; floral crown; couple on chateau steps;

jeanni dunagan; french wedding; french countryside; france; european wedding; serans; chateau reception; low back dress; dress with lace trim; dress with lace inserts; floral crown; couple on chateau steps;

jeanni dunagan; french wedding; french countryside; france; european wedding; serans; chateau reception; low back dress; dress with lace trim; dress with lace inserts; floral crown;

jeanni dunagan; french wedding; french countryside; france; european wedding; serans; chateau reception; low back dress; dress with lace trim; dress with lace inserts; floral crown;

What was the best advice you received as a bride? Be cool and enjoy. Also, it is important to delegate some responsibilities to others who are willing to help you (such as your close friends or family.)

jeanni dunagan; french wedding; french countryside; france; european wedding; serans; chateau reception;

jeanni dunagan; french wedding; french countryside; france; european wedding; serans; chateau reception; escort display mismatched photo frames; pink florals;

What type of cake or dessert did you serve? We had a dessert table with a variety of sweets. We also had a croquembouche made of macarons.

jeanni dunagan; french wedding; french countryside; france; european wedding; serans; chateau reception; macaroon tower;

Please tell us about any fun details from your reception. We entered our dinner reception along with our temoins (our witnesses – French weddings do not have bridesmaids or groomsmen) carrying sparklers! We ran in a line through the tables accompanied by music!

jeanni dunagan; french wedding; french countryside; france; european wedding; serans; chateau reception; sparkler entrance; couple enter recpetion with sparklers;

Isabelle told us, “after we were seated for dinner, my mother welcomed our guests and gave a lovely speech welcoming Loic into our family, followed by a toast. Between courses, we visited guests at their tables and all shared toasts and stories. Some of our friends even planned a special song with a dance! After dinner, we had a fun night of dancing and champagne.”

What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? Our favorite part was at the reception right before dinner was served. The atmosphere in the room was amazing; everybody was so happy and excited. It was a perfect moment.

jeanni dunagan; french wedding; french countryside; france; european wedding; serans; chateau reception; tall candelabras; guests pouring wine;

Did you include any traditions in your wedding? At our reception we had a fontaine a champage (champagne tower) which is a tradition in French weddings.

jeanni dunagan; french wedding; french countryside; france; european wedding; serans; chateau reception; champagne tower;

jeanni dunagan; french wedding; french countryside; france; european wedding; serans; chateau reception; guests twirling napkins; guests toasting;

jeanni dunagan; french wedding; french countryside; france; european wedding; serans; chateau reception; champagne tower;

What was your first dance song? We did not do a first dance. Our preference was to allow our guests to begin dancing first to ensure they were having a good time. Later in the evening, our photographer did take us aside to a quiet corner for a romantic dance with just the two of us. We enjoyed having pictures of this special time.

jeanni dunagan; french wedding; french countryside; france; european wedding; serans; chateau reception; couple hugging; flower crown;

Colors

Style

Al Fresco

Season

Summer

Location

Europe

Vendor Credits

Photography: Jeanni Dunagan / Ceremony Venue: Église Saint-Denis de Serans in Serans, France / Reception Venue: Château de Serans in Serans, France / Floral Design: La Ferme du Grand Chemin / Dress: Rime Arodaky / Shoes: Saint Laurent / Veil, Headpiece: Luna Bea / Jewelry: Cartier / Suit, Bow Tie, Shirt: The Kooples / Shoes: Finsbury / Stationery: Wood’s Faire-Part / Hair, Makeup: Amandine Perez / Ceremony Music: Bertrand Lacoste / Reception Music: Night Events Paris / Catering, Cake, Dessert: Grand Chemin Traiteur

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