I really do love being part of the wonderful Love My Dress team, and every time I set about writing up a new real wedding feature, I so look forward to looking through the photographs – every single wedding is different and every one an absolute pleasure to work on. However, just occasionally a wedding pops up which is the true embodiment of my ‘other’ wedding (you know, the one you would have had if you had picked a different season, a different country or a totally different style. I have at least four ‘other’ weddings). Today’s gorgeous nuptials are so very charming that I can’t wait to share it with you.
Communications consultant Katie married accountant Greg on the 27th of June this year on a boiling hot summer day at the stunning Chateau de la Bourlie, a family-owned property in the heart of the Dordogne. I am completely in love with the flower arrangements and the glorious weather. As a huge castle geek, this stylish but relaxed French wedding couldn’t have taken place in a more dreamy location and I also really like that the couple sourced their suppliers as locally as possible.
“We wanted a day that was as relaxed, and as typically French as possible. Bourlie is beautiful and so we decided to keep everything natural. The flowers I chose were local lavender and very typical of the local area and the wine came from a tiny vineyard close to the chateau. Our chef was also local.”
Photography by Casey Avenue Photography
Our beautiful bride wore a David Fielden frock which she purchased from Angelica Bridal in Islington. I just love how incredibly feminine and delicate this dress is- it has a definite element of Hollywood starlet about it thanks to the satin and the plunging back, yet the lace also makes it wonderfully romantic.
“I wanted my dress to feel very natural and look a little different. The relaxed style worked well with the French theme and it was very light to wear in thirty degree heat!”
Katie accessorized with a Pronovias veil and a beautiful handmade headband from Etsy, fabulous dancing shoes from Rachel Simpson and a long rose gold chain from Links of London, borrowed from her bridesmaid Holly.
The bridesmaids sparkled in evening dresses from Adrianna Papell, while the little attendants wore gorgeous outfits from Next– the girls glittering like fairies and the boys looking tres chic in little shorts and braces. Greg looked smart in a grey three piece suit, worn without a tie due to the heat of the day which looks lovely and relaxed.
“Greg moved to London from South Africa around 10 years ago and about the same time I moved into a flat in South West London with my best girl friends. People used to joke that it wouldn’t be long before I got together with a South African or an Aussie. One St Patrick’s Day night out a couple of years later, I bumped into Greg and that was it.
I couldn’t believe it when my rugby playing accountant organised a surprise trip to Italy in August 2014. He’d conspired with one of my great friends at work to wangle some time off without me suspecting a thing and we got engaged in Siena, Tuscany.”
Katie walked through the trees towards the ceremony location accompanied by her Dad, to the sound of the couple’s friend Steve playing his acoustic guitar.
“I loved walking down the tree-lined isle with my dad, behind my bridesmaids, and seeing Greg for the first time. Saying our vows in the shadow of Bourlie was also really special.”
“We got married legally at Chelsea Old Town Hall the week before our wedding in France. Our ceremony was conducted in the grounds of Bourlie and we had a blessing afterwards in the small family chapel. A very good friend of our family travelled from the UK to conduct the blessing, which made it extra special.
It was very important to me that the vows followed a traditional church service, so we followed the traditional marriage ceremony – even thought it was a blessing outside.”
Lucky Katie’s rings were made by a talented family member- how lovely to have that personal connection.
“Greg’s cousin Nick Martin is a fabulous jeweller in Cape Town and he organised and made both of my rings. They are very fine burnished gold with a simple diamond- different and perfect.”
The happy couple chose the talented Hannah Walker from Casey Avenue Photography to capture the big day, and she certainly didn’t disappoint. She has captured the hazy heat of the day and the joyful atmosphere with such skill that you almost feel you were there yourself.
“I believe it was fate that we met Hannah. I had booked another photographer who unfortunately rang to say he could no longer cover the wedding due to becoming quite ill, three months before the big day. Someone at work recommended a photographer who in turn passed on Hannah’s name.
Everyone should have a Hannah at their wedding. She was wonderful from the minute we spoke on the phone and I LOVE her style of photography. The pictures capture the happiness, laughter and joy and I still watch her ‘fusion’ blend of images and film most days.
I was actually quite nervous on the morning of the wedding and Hannah was there in the background, laughing with my friends and mum and coaching me along, all the while taking beautiful photos without me really noticing. Perfect.”
The couple chose wedding planners Marry Me in France to help them arrange the big day from their home in the UK- an excellent idea if you are thinking about a wedding abroad, as local planners have a huge amount of ‘on the ground’ knowledge. Apart from liaising with the venue, planner Becky also arranged the catering, flowers, evening entertainment and even Katie’s hairdresser.
“Both Becky and the owner Beth were incredible; I particularly miss Becky and our chats.”
The wedding breakfast took place outside in the lavender scented grounds of the chateau- absolutely breath taking. With the glassware glinting in the sun, and later, the candlelight, and the crisp white linens it genuinely looks like something from a magazine shoot.
“Being able to throw a relaxed party with amazing food and wine for friends and family, who immediately said they would travel from all over the world to be with us, was important from the start. France has always been special to us. I holidayed as a little girl in the Dordogne and Greg asked my dad if he could marry me during a family holiday close-by.
Getting married in France meant friends and family could stay locally and spend some time getting to know each other before and after the wedding. We just couldn’t have done that in London. My mum meeting my new mum-in-law from Melbourne for the first time; my sister and her two children spending time with Greg’s sister from Melbourne with her two girls and my new littlest sister from Johannesburg travelling to be with us all made for such special times in the French countryside. We’ll never forget it.”
The décor was kept simple with lots of candles and amazing flower arrangements dotted around the venue. After all, when the venue is this beautiful it really doesn’t need much more in the way of decoration.
The gorgeous stationery, hand-painted with an image of Chateau de la Bourlie, was the work of Katie’s talented younger brother; a graphic designer and art teacher. With the lavender border and lace edging it really is picture perfect.
The couple finished the meal with the dramatic cutting of a croquembouche wedding cake- the perfect French flourish.
The evening’s entertainment was provided by MONK, arranged through Marry Me in France, and Katie and Greg had their first dance to ‘Fly me to the moon’ by Frank Sinatra- a classic and timeless track. They look like they’re having so much fun as well!
Words of Wedded Wisdom
“Stick to your image of what you want the day to be. Lots of people worried that France was too far away but we knew it would all come together. Being in France and having a relaxed time with dear family and friends who will never be all together again in the future was 100% the right decision. Stick to your guns and don’t panic!
My biggest piece of advice is to invest in a fab photographer. You won’t regret it for a moment.”
Thank you so much to Katie and Greg for sharing their beautiful day with us, and to Hannah for capturing the day so perfectly from behind her lens. For another delightful wedding beautifully shot by Casey Avenue Photography, have a look here, and for more weddings in la belle France, have a browse through our archives here. Is anyone thinking of a David Fielden gown for their own wedding day? If so, you might also want to have a look at the gorgeous array of David Fielden gowns we have featured previously, for inspiration, or just to admire!
Photographer – Casey Avenue Photography
Venue – Chateau de la Bourlie
Wedding planners- Marry Me in France
Wedding dress – David Fielden style 618805 from Angelica Bridal in Islington
Veil – Pronovias
Bridal Headdress – Avigail Adam
Shoes – Rachel Simpson ‘Ginger’
Accessories – gold headband from Etsy, borrowed necklace from Links of London
Perfume – Chloe
Bridesmaids’ dresses – Adrianna Papell
Accessories – Fresh lavender flower crowns
Flower girls + Pageboys – Next
Rings – Christopher Reid
Catering – Joss through Marry Me in France
Hair stylist – Arranged via Marry Me in France
Entertainment – MONK through Marry Me in France
Stationery- Created by Katie’s younger brother
6 thoughts on “A David Fielden Gown for a French Chateau Wedding”
A stunning wedding from start to finish! I can see why Shona enjoyed writing about this so much and why she’d have it as one of her ‘other’ weddings. Since being part of the LMD team I think my number of ‘other’ weddings grows by the week!! I want them ALL!!! 😉 Here, I love the thought of all the distant family having a chance to meet and spend proper time together, as Katie says, they may never have reason to meet like that again so what a great excuse to celebrate for days! Congratulations Alex and Katie xx
Erm, yes, me too Katie! I’ve gone from having a few ‘other’ weddings to about a hundred- oops! Isn’t this a beauty? You can almost feel the heat from those photos….
Such a beautiful wedding. Is it possible to share the Etsy shop where that gorgeous headband is from exactly?
Unfortunately Katie didn’t give us the details of the specific shop, but I’ll see if we can find out… S xx
Thank you so much! I have been searching high and low for something like that for my wedding!
Hi Lauren, the headdress is the Blooming Floral Crown Goddess Headband by Avigail Adam. You can find a link to Avigail’s website in the credits at the end of the feature.