A whirlwind weekend in France. I think I can safely say I felt every emotion possible on this amazing weekend. From the excitement of driving to the airport and boarding the plane, to fretting over my efficiency of packing my camera gear. But nothing could compare to the stress of picking up my hire car at the airport and attempting to drive out of Charles De Gaulle airport... twice as I got lost, whilst also hitting the door with my hand every time I wanted to change gear. Alas, I found the exit and joined the dual carriage way in nose to nose traffic as public transport had gone on strike that weekend. By this point I was deep breathing and trying to pay attention to my sat nav as it pronounced French roads in English.
After about an hour, I was out on the open road heading south through the deserted country side and quaint villages towards Burgundy. As the sun was setting and I swept around tree lined bends and vast open landscapes, I thought to myself - this is it, I've done it; my first destination wedding!
The sat nav ceased as I had arrived. Led down a bumpy back street road with no lights at around 10.30pm, I thought I had ended up somewhere completely wrong. At the end of the path, the huge walls and gates of Le Chateau De Mailly awaited me. With the sound of laughter in the distance relief filled my body and Emma was there waiting for me. I had a quick tour, was shown to a spare room where they managed to find a bed for me and of course showed me where the cheese and bread was for an evening snack incase I was peckish (lunch and dinner for me by this point!).
I woke to sun light creeping through the French shutters, I gained my bearings and soon realised I had balcony doors. I flung them open to the most incredible view and warm September sunshine! Feeling like Lady of the Manor, I was overwhelmed and never wanted to leave! I quickly called my parents, as it was my dad's birthday, over looking 'my kingdom'.
Excited for the day ahead, I quickly got myself ready and joined the wedding guests for coffee and toast before heading to meet Emma for bridal prep. The whole day was filled with sunshine and smiles. With all the guests staying on site they had well and truly settled in for a little holiday with the family.
The ceremony was set outdoors overlooking the rolling hills in the midday sun. It was pretty toasty by this point, so much so that the ring didn't fit properly and needed a little help! Nevertheless, it was a beautiful ceremony. Conducted by a local celebrant sharing their love story, with friends also being involved with readings and tales to add. Tears and laughter were all around.
The afternoon was relaxed with garden shenanigans, dinner, music and a pool party - of course Emma & Christian were forced in!
What more could I have asked for on my first destination wedding?!
And believe or not - the wedding cake was transported safely all the way from Hampshire!!!