A Tinder Couple and their Chateau La Durantie Wedding in the Dordogne

Regular visitors to Love My Dress might already know about the wonderful women that is Helaina Storey Wedding Design. In fact, as well as publishing her own articles full of advice and wisdom, we featured her very own chateau wedding on Love My Dress.

Today it’s a real privilege to share the marriage of Mr and Mrs Askew, who worked with this super-talented lady to create their very own magical, French celebration at the same chateau. So, let’s head across the Channel to the beautiful Dordogne region of France.

Photography Alice Cunliffe Photography

Mr and Mrs Askew invited their closest friends and family to join them for a five-day summer celebration, in which wed in an outdoor ceremony at the resplendent Chateau La Durantie, Dordogne, France on 1 August 2018. The couple, a plasterer and social worker, met on Tinder and worked with Helaina Storey Wedding Design to realise their elegant, family-friendly day.

Inspired by the soft, romantic blush tones of the bride’s Naomi Neoh gown, they added in splashes of gold, fresh foliage and divine floral hoops for a pretty, summery style.

“This venue is simply magical. The building and grounds are just the most beautiful setting which largely contributed to my decision. In addition, the property sleeps almost 60 guests and this enabled our wonderful family and friends to enjoy five fabulous days together.”

“After months of talking we met outside the London Dungeons and the date proved to be full of laughs. We met the following day at the Natural History Museum, Stuart with his son Sidney and me with my son Charlie. The second date proved to be as perfect as the first and within three months we had all moved in together.”

“Shortly after, our son Jenson was born (this is a high speed romance!). In February 2017 Stuart took me for a weekend stay at Hever Castle and he asked me to marry him. Shortly after, the venue was booked and I began the planning process with the most fabulous wedding planner Helaina Storey. She worked with me and Stuart separately to organise the most exciting romantic surprises and was able to promote amazing services.”

To suit their own styles, the grown-up bridesmaids wore a variety of long gowns in shades of green and cream from Dessy and Jenny Packham, chosen at The Bridesmaid Boutique. Shoes were from ASOS and the finishing touches were sparkling Swarovski earrings.

For an unusual look, the bridesmaids carried pretty, wild floral hoops, styled by Heidi at Flowers In The Vines. She also put together Mrs Askew’s own hand-tied bouquet of roses, wildflowers and foliage with its opulent gold ribbon.

“I asked for wild and that’s exactly what I got.”

Hair and make-up artist Alison Jenner Hair was on hand to pamper the girls, and she created the perfect look for the bride; a soft, romantic up-do with relaxed braids. Her make-up was kept natural but lashings of mascara made her eyes really stand out.

“Alison was fabulous! One of my favourite moments was having my make-up done by the fabulous Alison and hearing ‘Our Song’ being played outside of the window. I went to the window to find my wonderful man had organised a singer to play his guitar and sing to me while I got ready for our special day.”

The elegant, romantic colour palette of cream and blush stemmed from Mrs Askew’s super-flattering Naomi Neoh ‘Clementine’ gown. The gown features an ivory chiffon gown with delicate straps and a deep V-front and back layered over a blush pink petticoat with a sweetheart neckline.

I love this design which combines pure elegance and sophistication with a soft, relaxed look.

“Romantic and understated! I wore the dress; the dress didn’t wear me.”

“I love colour! I searched and searched for my dress and never thought I would end up purchasing a blush Naomi Neoh dress. The dress really became my inspiration; to me it said soft and romantic.  As the planning processed started an obsession with gold started to emerge!”

To complement the circle train, the bride added a long, fine Liberty In Love veil and gold drop earrings and headpiece by the same company. She slipped on a pair of shoes from Rachel Simpson Shoes and finished with Valentino Valentina fragrance.

The beautiful high summer weather meant that the ceremony and drinks reception could  take place outside. The bride and her father made their way through the chateau’s gardens to a soundtrack of Jennifer Rush’s ‘The Power Of Love’, to where Mr Askew was waiting against an incredible floral hoop of flowers and greenery. The ceremony was led by celebrant Lisa Lister.

“Lisa was amazing! She encouraged us to write what marriage meant to us and she read them out on the day. This provoked a lot of emotion, as we both wrote about our family joining as one and how it is important to each of us to love and support each other’s children throughout their lives.”

The chateau had plenty of room for the groom and his groomsmen to get ready here too. He chose to wear custom-made Moss Bros trousers and waistcoat in blue, worn with a lighter blue shirt and a soft gold tie. His finishing touches were a gold pocket watch and chain, and he rolled his sleeves up for a relaxed, and cooler, look.

 “We had our rings custom-made by Kim Wood Jewellers in Sandwich, Kent.”

After the couple had been declared husband and wife, the entire party relaxed on the chateau’s terrace and gardens where there were plenty of drinks, canapés and games, all impeccably styled by Helaina Storey around a ‘Gentleman’s Lounge’ theme.


Have you noticed the impeccably calligraphed signage and stationery? It was handmade by Megan Riera Lettering, who also made the gold-scripted marble place settings which acted as favours.

The wedding breakfast, provided by La Table D’Aline, was held in an airy, open-sided marquee, decorated with yet more flowers, golden cutlery, tapered candles and hanging foliage. One of the main focal points has to be this beautiful three-tiered cake in gold, blush and cream.

“My cake was a three tier, 24 carat gold leaf beauty! The fillings were strawberry, raspberry and passionfruit. Helaina Storey designed the cake for me and I had no idea what it would look like until my wedding day. I was not disappointed.”

Photographer Alice Cunliffe travelled to the Dordogne to record the day for the Askews and wow… Alice’s airy and elegant fine art style, and a wonderful use of natural light, is so well-suited to the overall vibe of the wedding.

My favourites are those of the newly-weds and the incredible floral hoops.

“This lady is an amazing wedding photographer! She was able to put two people that were very nervous and are naturally camera shy at ease. She is wonderfully creative and took the time to really understand what we wanted… romantic, soft, natural photographs! She managed to make herself quite invisible throughout the day taking pictures that allowed me and my husband to enjoy our fantastic wedding day without the need to constantly pose. Alice is an amazing photographer and I felt very lucky to have booked her.”

Dordogne Wedding Music provided music throughout the day and into the night, and the couple celebrated with a first dance to ‘Something About the Way You Look Tonight’ by Elton John.

Words of Wedded Wisdom

“The ‘little details’ made our wedding; the hand-painted invitations, the flower hoops, the marble place settings, the big flower hoop back drop, the hand-scripted door hangers and the cocktail stands!”

“These small touches were appreciated by all of our guests and added a real touch of class. However, these things can’t be rushed. You need time to research and get creative and honestly when it’s all over you miss the organising….so enjoy it.”

“I surprised my new husband the following morning when I snuck a hot air balloon into the chateau grounds and we had a croissant in the sky as the sun came up. Our budget was around £25,000 and we came in at £27,000 (we also decided to put on a big catered BBQ on arrival for our guests a few days prior to the wedding. Helaina really helped to stretch my budget.”

Mr and Mrs Askew, I am head over heels for your beautiful French wedding day so thank you so much for sending in your photographs to us. I’m so glad you had chance to spend five glorious days with your friends and family and enjoyed time as newly-weds too. Alice Cunliffe, many thanks for your beautiful work.

So, lovelies, if you’re looking for even more inspiration for a summer wedding, we have lots of destination weddings here to enjoy. To find out more about the wonderful Helaina Storey, please do browse her Little Book listing here.

Ele x

Credits & Thanks

Eleanor Crossland

Eleanor Crossland View all Eleanor's articles

Ele lives in the Lincolnshire countryside, close to the beautiful coast. A qualified Pilates teacher, she loves fitness, yoga, Pilates and has a healthy addiction to baking, writing and travel.