Destination Wedding Venue: Château de Bouthonvilliers







I had the immense pleasure of visiting Château de Bouthonvilliers when I was on the Artist Holiday. To say I fell in love with Château de Bouthonvilliers would be an understatement. Every evening the château is cloaked in the golden light from the setting sun, so warm and inviting. It is beautiful! If Eduard and family had asked me to stay and work for them, I would have done it, I would have stayed in a heartbeat. What, you need an event coordinator? I'm there! What's that you say? You need some help with social media and marketing and an event coordinator? I'm so your person!! It would have been straight out of Under the Tuscan Sun. I would have stayed and everyone on the trip probably would have thought I was a crazy person.

The Château is about an hour's drive from Paris located in the very charming region of Dunois region, or more precisely in the Perche Göet.

Charming, quaint, delightful, pleasing, enchanting, fascinating...there aren't enough words to dutifully describe this region and the tiny cities in it! Brou, Dangeau, Chartres, etc...they are tiny towns that match each of those descriptions but with so much more...they are filled with culture and history and the nicest people!!!

The château is located in Dangeau. With its charming 18th century symmetrical architecture and lush English-style gardens, the Château has been named a Historical Monument. You can walk through the grounds and see the history....LITERALLY.

The house itself is over 7 metres long and composed of both 16th and 18th century architecture. And in front of the house is a magnificent Blue Cedar that is over 250 years old!

Also located on the grounds is a small round chapel. And looking through my photos it is clear I was slightly obsessed with this little chapel. Originally built in the 16th century as a "dovecot" or a large birdhouse, it was later turned into the family chapel (the 19th century). Birds were a symbol of a person's status and therefore when it was time to turn the dovecot into the chapel, the family rid the building of all its significance. You can see where the holes were filled in and on the top of the building where instead of a cross, there is a dove.


       


Today, the chapel is consecrated and can hold about 50 people for religious ceremonies. Many choirs come to sing as the acoustics in the chapel are wonderful (or so I hear from Eduard).



Beneath the chapel is a wine cellar!
Ask Eduard or Alexia to take you down!
It really is neat!




Inside the home there are 9 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, several living areas, a full kitchen which are all overflowing with pieces of the past that are covered in a light layer of dust which tells the story of how old it truly is. 

From start to finish history surrounds you. You can walk the grounds and see the old buildings or you can walk through the castle and see the antique and timeless pieces of history that fill this grand home!


Across the way and down the drive is where the family lives and where there is even an apartment the family rents. This area (below) is almost like a courtyard and is made up of the old stables (yes, the family has made them into living areas). The little oval shaped objects mounted in the brick are all awards from when the family participated in horse competitions.







Toward the entrance of the grounds is an old building which appears to be nothing at all, but in reality, it leads to the garden which has the vegetables and fruits the family plans to use in farm-to-table events! Alban (I believe the middle child) found currants for us and I ate one! They were growing in the garden. Fresh food! Love it!

The Château is available for renting! With all modern day amenities like a pool, fishing pond, TV, and internet, the Château is oh so welcoming and set up for you to relax all week! The Château can house up to 15 people and you are truly the master of the castle while you stay. 
In addition, Eduard and family have opened up the chateau for events of many levels. I will definitely make my way back to the Château and the charming de Verdun family!


Stop stressing on your wedding day



People ask me all the time what I tell my friends getting married. How do I help them? The best advice I can give to anyone getting married is to hire a wedding planner, trust your vendors, and STOP STRESSING AND LET IT GO. 

YES, I think wedding planners are THE best resource when it comes to allowing a bride or mother of the bride or even the in-laws to let go and truly enjoy the day. I may be a little biased since I am a coordinator, but I was also a bride once and I have several years of experience to back that up. Not everyone hires a coordinator though, or when they have one, they don't always trust them (not sure why you'd hire any vendor if you didn't trust them, just saying). With or without a coordinator, you have to trust your vendors and you have to let go so you can enjoy your day! So if you're not going to hire a planner or you're not going to trust them or other vendors, I've got some tips to help get through your wedding day. 

1.  key elements to preventing stress on your wedding day:
Review & Understand Contracts, Clearly define the Logistics, & Communicate with Vendors


You have to communicate with your vendors.You need to define logistics for vendors - from the time you wake up to the time you and your fiance are back in the hotel room and even after. And you have to review your contracts diligently. 

Oh, and if you have a coordinator, it is imperative that you give him/her copies - how else will they do their job? 

What if your contract is for chairs to be "delivered", but not set up? How is a bride, let alone one from out of town, supposed to know what "drop" versus "deliver" or "setup" even meant? Who is going to set them up? 

For one wedding we did it. We set up over 200 chairs in prep for the ceremony. It had to get done, but we also had to invoice the client for manual labor that wasn't included in the original contract. Without us, our client would have had family setting everything up. Do you really want them sweating on your wedding day? 

How do you know you are telling your vendors what you really want? Do you know what "dropping" means? How about the difference between a cabaret table and a highboy? Or how do you know you're getting what you wanted on your wedding day? How do you know if you missed something or a vendor missed something? 

Hiring vendors you trust with great reputations 
is a HUGE step to preventing stress on your wedding day. 
You know they will make it happen no matter what.

But you still have to review and have on-hand your contracts. 


I love flowers. Just love them, but when you have a contract there are a specific number of flowers, and if you're not careful, you can miss something. For example, during one wedding as I was pinning boutonnieres on the groomsmen, I realized two boutonnieres were missing. My client had been really busy and hadn't shared many, if any, contracts with me. I have next to no clue how many boutonnieres you wanted. After calling the florist, I learned they weren't on the contract, I quietly spoke with the groom about the missing items and got approval to request the items. I'd pay the florist and the couple would be invoiced later. Yes, the florist's team was back within the hour with the needed items. 

I've even seen where a band began to wrap up an event at a certain time but they weren't supposed to wrap until an hour later. You can bet having the contract on hand helped, but the damage was already done. It took 15 minutes to discuss the contract. The break interrupted the flow of the reception and guests were already leaving. How are they supposed to know the band wasn't wrapping up at the right time? 

Make sure what you want is in the contract. 
Then confirm several times (especially the month of). 

But having your contracts and reviewing them is not all of it, you have to read in between the lines and you have to think about the logistics behind those contracts. 

Logistically speaking, a blank canvas is not always an easy wedding. I love a blank canvas as much as the next planner, but do you know what it takes to fill in the canvas? A great example of a blank canvas several years back was the New Orleans Opera Guild (it's now managed by Pigeon and they'll handle a lot of these logistics). 

It is truly a gorgeous setting and exemplifies the traditional New Orleans uptown historical home! Inside provides all the charm needed for a cocktail hour or dessert break while the outside yard provides the perfect backdrop for your ceremony and reception. But it is a home. And there are a lot of logistics that go into having a wedding at the Opera Guild. Logistics require coordination. What if it rains? Where does the caterer cook? Where will the band go? Are there enough plugs? What about dancing? Where do people park? What is allowed where when decorating? It can be a lot! So you plan....a lot!

For a wedding that will take place in any outdoor setting, I would always plan for rain.

ALWAYS.  

Just do it. Put the tent on hold the minute you book it. 





It's so important to review your contracts and match up what you have or want with what is actually on the contract. If you are not going to review them or you're not able to communicate as much as you'd like with your coordinator, you should definitely expect the unexpected. Not that a missing boutonniere was going to ruin your day, but the escort or father or reader without it may feel a little slighted. We don't want that do we? Do you really want to pull out contracts on your wedding day? Or have your parents do that? You're supposed to be enjoying this day, so hire a planner and make sure he/she has all of your contracts and you've reviewed them multiple times. 

You know that saying, what you don't know can't hurt you? 
Well what you don't know can hurt...and it can cost money.

2. You have to be detailed....very detailed, &
You have to Communicate....a lot 


If you have a vision, you should definitely go for it! If it's an elegant garden wedding with a sit down dinner, cocktail hour and then reception with dancing under the stars, I'm all about making that happen. It's just a matter of pulling it together and making sure everyone else knows what you want. 

Assigning seats? Yes, it is going to take time and being very detailed. This means your guests will need to first tell you if they're coming, and second, what they want to eat. You need to have every person accounted for in your guest list. You have to match every person with a meal and a seat. You need a well-developed floor-plan. Every table will need a number and you need a method to share with your guests where they are sitting - place cards. And then you need to share this information with your caterer.  

How is the caterer going to know where to drop food if all of these details are not worked out? 


Sharing contracts or going through all the checklists or even making checklists, 
won't make a difference if you can't accept that you cannot control everything.  



The most important thing to preventing stress 
(with or without a wedding planner) : 
ACCEPT 
that you CANNOT CONTROL EVERYTHING

3. Stuff happens and either you're going to let it ruin your day or you are going to let it go


Rain....it happens. Reiterating what I said before, if your day has any portion happening outdoors, place a hold on a tent immediately. Seriously. Then as you approach the wedding day it's time to consider the weather more and more. And even if the rain comes and goes during the week or weekend or even day of, there could still remnants left over. 

Unless your dance floor is under a tent, it will get wet if it rains. Is it going to stop you from having your first dance? 

Or maybe you're getting married in a courtyard and you really want the ceremony outside and it's not raining 20 minutes before the ceremony? Been there. Yes, it does rain in courtyards too. This is south Louisiana which means it will be be HUMID after the rain. Sometimes you can even see the steam rise from the ground. Don't be afraid to use your plan B. Head to the ballroom where there are decorations and dry chairs and air conditioning. It will be beautiful and all that matters is you marry the love of your life.  

Okay, so it's not raining on the day of the wedding, but it rained during the week? You've planned out your first look perfectly. It's going to be at this gorgeous plantation with lush grounds and beautiful flowers, what if it rains? Do you really want to walk on the grounds because your heels will sink and your dress could get really dirty. Best to use plan B. 

I understand. You planned this day and have thought about it for a year or more. You picked your venue for a reason. You really want to see the green of the golf course & have the open breeze & dance under the stars. It's gorgeous! But if your decorator & your coordinator are both shivering under the exposed tent, then you may want to start thinking about a way to keep guests warm.  

If you consider several factors, plan B is sometimes best: 
hair & makeup, wedding party, guests & vendors

Buy some Heaters and put the walls on the tent. 






I could go on and on, but I won't bore you or anyone else with that many stories. I'm sure you get the point. 

4. You can let it go - trust me


You've hired vendors and you have reviewed and understood your contracts or better still you have a coordinator who has all of that done, it's time to LET GO. 

Do you know what you see in these last few photos? You see happy couples. You see couples who planned and wanted a certain vision and day, but on that day they had to adjust. They let it go. They allowed me and all of their other vendors to do our job, and they were able to just enjoy every minute of their weddings. Things may not have gone as originally planned, but it didn't stop any of them from enjoying every second of their day. 


It is your day. 
Try to let go of the details. 
Try to smile.

Trust your vendors. You have one chance to enjoy it. Don't pass it up because something changed. 





If you're planning your wedding and would like some help, we'd love to be on your team and make your day all that you want it to be! Give us a call or shoot us an email! We cover everything from Baton Rouge to Grand Isle and can start at the beginning or help at the end or even just a consult in between. It's your day! We are there for you!

Jackson Square Wedding: Sandra & Larry - Beautiful Couple inside and out


It was an absolutely beautiful day in Jackson Square when Sandra & Larry exchanged vows and committed their lives to each other. Completely unlike any couple I've worked with before, I am not sure if they are more in love with each other or I am in love with them. 

Sandra and Larry were a destination couple coming from Chicago, Illinois. Even though I only really met them when they finally came to town for the, I know I was truly blessed to be among them and their friends for this very special day. 

They seem so simple and old fashioned and cute and quirky and appear to have absolutely no apprehensions. Both Larry and Sandra knew what this day was about and what it meant to each other. It was all about keeping it simple. And so they did. 

There wasn't a huge crowd or a plethora of decorations. It was just the beauty of Jackson Square and their very close family and friends. Sandra made the bouquets and bouts and they brought down many of their own decor. They even walked or took pedicabs from their hotel to the ceremony and reception and back to the hotel. 

Sandra prepped at the Intercontinental Hotel on St Charles. Her friends did the hair and makeup. They were married in Jackson Square by Helene Goldstein and then walked their way to the Original French Market Restaurant for their reception.  


































Coordination by It's Your Time Events, New Orleans Wedding Planning & Design
Photography by Eddie of Marroquin Photography
Cake by Bittersweet Confections