Emily in a Bespoke Halterneck Gown for her Elegant Chateau De Puissentut Wedding in South West France

French Chateau Wedding 110

Operations Manager Emily, who works in accountancy, married her love Adam, an Associate Directory within banking, on 11th May last year, at Chateau De Puissentut in the Gascon countryside in Southwest France.

As the couple are both big foodies who are continuously inspired by French cuisine, this drove their initial decision to get married in France. Once they had visited Toulouse, ate a ton of French food and driven through the beautiful countryside searching for Chateaus, they knew without doubt that they had found the most perfect location for their wedding after discovering this magnificent chateau.

Emily had a very specific aesthetic and colourway in mind and spent many hours, days and weeks on Pinterest with the help of her friend Stacey if Navy Tux events who was the couple’s wedding planner, trying to create the perfect mood boards. I always loved the aesthetic of French weddings so, I tried to keep that as the vision.

Bride in a sensuous, backless halterneck wedding dress and embroidered veil.

Chateau De Puissentut

We always knew that we wanted to get married in the South of France but, we never knew in which venue. We spent around a month looking at possible venues that we could visit beforehand, and we had narrowed it down to four chateaus.

We then travelled to the South of France and hired a car so that we could visit each venue and decide where our big day would be held. Chateau De Puissentut was the last of our venues to visit and it stood out from all the rest. Not only was the venue beautiful but the owners, Angela and DK, were incredibly accommodating and completely understood our vision from the get-go of our perfect day. After an in-depth discussion over a cup of coffee with DK and looking directly at the beautiful fields, we knew we had made the right decision of having our wedding at Chateau De Puissentut.

Our planner is also a great friend of mine, Stacey Koks of Navy Tux Events, and she was absolutely fabulous. Stacey helped us in every way possible to plan the most perfect imaginable and we couldn’t have done it without her.

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Chateau De Puissantut
Bride in a sensuous, backless halterneck wedding dress and embroidered veil.

The Dress

I actually designed my own wedding dress and veil and Adam’s Auntie, Sue Bargh, who is a fabulous seamstress made both of these beautifully by hand. I visited a number of wedding dress shops and after trying on a number of dresses, I just felt that I wanted a more personable and unrestricted experience when deciding on a dress and veil. Sue gave me the freedom to run through different designs, look through fabrics and customise both of these pieces exactly how I wanted.

Bride in a sensuous, backless halterneck wedding dress and embroidered veil.

I originally envisioned a specific style of dress that I wanted which was a long sleeved, V neckline embellished dress similar to the Berta Bridal styles however, after trying on a number of dresses similar to these styles, I realised I just didn’t feel like myself.

My style is usually simple so, I decided to try on some simpler styles but which had detail such as a low back, high neck and off the shoulder sleeves which included no embroidery.

Following this process, I decided on a simple but sophisticated high neckline, low back, bodycon dress which included a trail of hand sewn buttons from hip level to the end of the train.

Bride in a halterneck wedding dress and embroidered veil carrying a white and green bouquet.

I didn’t originally plan for a veil but because the design of my dress was simple, I decided that I needed a stand out piece that would compliment my dress which was a beautifully embroidered veil.

This included English poppies as both of our mothers are English, Welsh poppies as both our fathers are Welsh and French lavender which represented the location of our marriage.

My veil was definitely what I loved most, I think because I didn’t originally plan to have a veil but it completely elevated my dress and became the most sentimental part of my look.

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Bride in a sensuous, backless halterneck wedding dress and embroidered veil.

Bridal Beauty & Accessories

My veil was a bespoke piece designed and hand made by my dressmaker, Sue Bargh. The veil didn’t sit over my face, it was placed over the top of my pinned bun.

My shoes were Steve Madden Milano Sandal Bont Patent Heels.

I am obsessed with all Byredo products and Byredo Super Cedar is by far my favourite fragrance. Cedarwood is my favourite ingredient in a fragrance and this is perfectly balanced with a floral rose scent.

I kept it really simple with the jewellery I wore and only ever wanted a gorgeous pair of earrings as a had my hair pinned up. I recall looking for months and finding nothing before remembering that my mother-in-law had these beautiful pair of rutilated quartz earrings that she bought from Harrods years before.

She kindly lent me these for the day which were the perfect addition to my wedding wardrobe.

The Bridal Party

My bridesmaids wore satin green slip dresses from Warehouse that are sadly no longer available. They also wore white two strap heels from Public Desire. They wore the green aventurine necklaces from Daisy Jewellery

My flowergirl wore the Estelle dress from Monsoon and a pair of white sandals. The page boys wore beige linen shorts and white shirt from Next. Their sandals were mini boys brown RI cage sandals from River Island.

Shot of the back of a bride in a backless halterneck wedding dress with her bridesmaids in pale green satin dresses from Warehouse.

The Groom

Adam wore a beige linen/cotton mix suit purchased from Hawkes and Curtis. He also wore Le Labo – Santal 33 aftershave which was a wedding gift that I bought Adam especially for our wedding day.

Fragrance is something extremely memorable; people have scents that take them back to a memorable time or experience and this was definitely the case with this fragrance. Even when he wears this fragrance now, it takes us both back to our big day.

Groom and groomsmen in pale suits.


Our floral designer was Phill Greenwell of Maison De Shuppes. We chose neutral and pastel colours such as cream, lilac, pale pink and greenery for our flowers to tie in with the current aesthetics of the Chateau, we didn’t want anything too bright to veer away from the simplicity of our wedding décor.

We had hints of bright orange for the groom and groomsmen which really stood out against the neutral suits. Our flowers were absolutely beautiful and working with Phill was a blessing, we had a few calls and he completely understood our vision for the day.

Bride in a halterneck wedding dress in arms wtih her father making her way to the wedding ceremony with her bridesmaids in pale green dresses.
Outdoor wedding at a French chateau. Bride wears a halterneck silk wedding dress.


My father walked me down the aisle behind by bridesmaids and flower girl. I walked down the aisle to Elvis Presley – Can’t help falling in love with you.

Bride in a halterneck wedding dress with her father walking to the ceremony.

We hired Kevin Baker who is a Celebrant based in France who carried out the ceremony/marriage part of our wedding.

Groom weeping at seeing his bride arrive at the ceremony.

Both of our rings were actually heirlooms from Adam’s parents. Maureen (Adam’s mother) worked for Boodles for 22 years and they both owned jewellery stored across the UK. Maureen passed down her beautiful medium platinum waterfall ring as my ring and Adam’s father (Lee) had a gorgeous platinum band that he passed down as Adam’s wedding ring.

Outdoor wedding at a French chateau. Bride wears a halterneck silk wedding dress.

Adam’s initial vows were a take on ‘The Fresh Prince of Bell Air’, he tailored this and basically rapped a journey of our relationship. I didn’t expect anything less as Adam’s a complete joker but, he ended it with lovely heart felt vows. It started something along the lines of; ‘Now, this is a story all about how I met Emily in Sychdyn town and I’d like to take a minute just sit right there, I’ll tell you how we became the perfect matching pair.’

My vows were made into poem form, I am not usually one for heartfelt emotional words so, I really wanted to open up to Adam and create my vows into something that was outside my comfort zone. I have included an extract from my vows below; ‘Relationships are tough, some win and some lose but, as Shakespeare once said, the course of true love never did run smooth. I may be a tough cookie and you, soft as a brush but in reality, we balance one another like savoury to a sugar rush’.

We didn’t have any readings at our wedding.

Bride and groom kissing at their outdoor wedding at a French chateau. Bride wears a halterneck silk wedding dress.
Bride and groom being showered with confetti. Bride wears a halterneck wedding dress and low bun.


We chose Jonathan Continente to photograph our wedding, because his style of photography was exactly what we had imagined for our big day, his photos were professional but extremely personable and intimate. Once we had spoken with Jonathan and he completely understood that we didn’t want our wedding photos to be forced, we wanted them to be completely natural and captured effortlessly throughout the day, we knew he was the perfect person.

I would most definitely recommend Jonathan as a photographer, not only was he amazing to work with and blended in perfectly throughout our day, he captured every moment and more that we could of wished for.

How They Met

Myself and Adam met when we were younger and had been in a relationship for six years prior to getting engaged. We got engaged on the Queens Park Bridge in Handbridge which is a five minute walk from our home over a bottle of champagne and traditional fish and chips. It was completed unexpected from my part but, it was perfect.

We were engaged for three years prior to getting married, we were originally supposed to get married in May 2021 however, COVID prevented the original plans and we pushed our wedding back to May 2022. Nevertheless, it was worth the wait!

Bride in a halterneck wedding dress holding a glass of chapaign with her groom in a linen shirt and beige trousers.

Reception, Decor & Detail

Our wedding cake was a beautiful pièce montée filled with vanilla, pistachio, chocolate and lemon choux pastry profiteroles and topped with spun sugar around the tower.

We kept things simple and French so left a lot of the venue as it was with a focus on flowers and family. For the ceremony which took place in the Pigeonnier, we had hanging baskets of flowers and simple seating to keep it all about the couple.

The venue also have a barn used for the evening which was decorated with vintage rugs, fairy lights and rustic furniture making it the perfect place to let your hair down into the early hours

We actually stumbled across a gorgeous patisserie when visiting Toulouse which I cannot recall the name of, it was run by a lady called Ann-Marie who created our masterpiece.

Croquembouche wedding cale


We hired Aquarius Strings for the evening entertainment. Our first dance track was Helium, by Sia. This was extremely difficult for us because we never really had a ‘song’. We’re both fairly strong and independent individuals but, everyone has their down days and we always spoke about how when one of us isn’t feeling so strong and positive that, the other would pick you up and carry that weight.

Unknown to anyone else, there was an occasion in our evening do where we selected ‘Honey’, by 070 Shake to be played which is one of our favourite songs when were together. We have spent so much time dancing and joking around to this song with one another in the house and at events so, I would say this really was our ‘first date’ track and it felt even more special because we weren’t centred in the middle of the dancefloor whilst everyone was watching, we were just in the midst of our wedding party spinning each other around and laughing. It was great fun.

Favourite Moments

If I personally had to choose, it was in the morning when the remainder of our suppliers were arriving to complete the finishing touches, our guests were getting ready and having welcome drinks and Aquarius Strings were playing the most beautiful string covers in the courtyard. This moment felt like a fairytale and I couldn’t believe the day had finally come.

We wouldn’t have changed a thing, we originally had doubts of having such an intimate wedding of only 24 guests but in the end, it was perfect. There really isn’t anything that we would of changed.

Artistic black and white photograph of bride in a backless halterneck dress holding her veil that is flying in the breeze.
Bride in a halterneck wedding dress flashing her thigh.

A Note from The Couple’s Wedding Planner

Navy Tux Events

Emily and I met in her previous job whilst I was running an event for the company. We clicked instantly, bonding over our taste in music and maybe a tequila or two so it was a natural fit when she approached me to help with planning their wedding. From the very beginning the brief was clear: simple yet timeless details in the french countryside with incredible food, wine and music which they stayed true to throughout.

Groomsmen throwing the groom into a swimming pool.

We created a tablescape that featured a lush green runner with flowers by the wonderful Phill at Maison des Huppes, adding touches of sage, candles, soft fabrics, crystal glassware and delicate stationery gave the setting an elegant but understated feel that summed up the couple. Emily and Adam are huge foodies so we didn’t lose sight of how important the menu was for the week! Soren delivered the most relaxed and authentic meals, from the Bridesmaids brunch to the grazing table, canapes and even late-night croque monsieur as they danced the night away!

Groomsmen throwing the groom into a swimming pool.

One of the things Em spoke about was a vision of getting ready in the chateau on the morning of her wedding while listening to their guests in the courtyard below alongside a string quartet. We brought in the perfect duo from Aquarius Strings who set the tone and made such a special moment come true. Later in the evening once guests had moved to the barn, Aquarius Strings surprised Em with a rendition of one of her favourite RnB songs although I’m not sure she’ll fully remember this as it was around the exact time the Best Men decided to carry her husband out of the room and throw him in the pool!

Groomsmen throwing the groom into a swimming pool.

Emily and Adam showed their playfulness throughout the wedding which was a sign of how comfortable they were in the vision they had created. I did have a moment’s hesitation when Adam first mentioned that he planned on rapping the Fresh Prince lyrics as his vows as I needed to get the celebrant and quartet on side to play into the moment, but he knew that Em would find it hilarious and it didn’t take away from the emotional words that followed.

Groomsmen throwing the groom into a swimming pool.

There is a moment where Adam’s groomsmen carried him out of the barn and straight to the pool where they threw him in. I stood aside watching Emily who found it hilarious, knowing that at any second she was going to join in the fun and sure enough, she dived right in, only to be caught and spun around by her husband both with the biggest grins on their faces. Those are the moments that weddings and marriages are about- forgetting the rules and just being your most authentic selves creating moments you’ll never forget.

Groom and groomsmen jumping into a swimming pool.

I’d like to add a special mention for the best and sweetest flower girl and page boy who the couple absolutely dote on- they carried out their duties to perfection as their family watched on proudly. The team of suppliers involved in creating this wedding were nothing short of a dream and I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people who made everything flow seamlessly.

This wedding will always have a special place in my heart for how authentic and genuine every single moment was, from the small number of guests to the secret songs that only they knew the true meaning of. If there’s one thing I remind all of my couples to do, it’s to focus on themselves and create a day that is full of moments that mean the world to them so that they have the memories to last their lifetime.

Groom and groomsmen jumping into a swimming pool.

Words of Wedded Wisdom

Don’t stress and if you do stress trust me, everything will work out and it’s all worth it in the end.

I would always suggest sticking with your gut feeling when deciding on plans and a vision for your big day, I’m so happy that I never veered away from my original vision because I think it can fog what you originally had in mind. It’s so easy to look at other couples weddings and start thinking about ‘oh but, I don’t have this and I never did that’ but, it’s not about anyone else and their vision, its about you two and exactly what works for you and your big day.

Bride and groom embracing in a cornfield at goldenhour. She wears a halterneck gown.

I spent a lot of time on Pinterest looking at wedding inspiration as opposed to Instagram or pages, I felt there was a lot more variety in ideas on Pinterest whereas certain Instagram pages or websites would have specific looks only that I wasn’t really looking for.

Our original budget was between £20,000 – £30,000 and we spent around £28,000.

We tried to keep the costs reasonable because it is so easy to overspend and start changings and purchasing additional things prior to the wedding but, we were both fairly controlled when it came to our budget.

Bride and groom in a swimming pool

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Additional Credits

The below suppliers and venues are featured in this article, but are not part of the Love My Dress Wedding Directory.

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Annabel View all Annabel's articles

Founder of Love My Dress. Passionate Podcaster and Editor. Annabel lives in rural North Yorkshire with her husband and business partner Philip, their two daughters and menagerie of furry hounds. She loves photography, meditation, walking, being outdoors and star gazing. She is fierce when it comes to championing talent within the wedding industry and when she's not working on Love My Dress, she supports her husband Philip in the running of the family's sustainable flower farm and floral design business, Moonwind Flowers. In 2013, she became a published author.