Would you like to marry the love of your life in an exceptionally romantic location under sunny skies? Do you want to celebrate your most beautiful day all weekend long? In the 'Destination Weddings' series, House of Weddings puts a foreign wedding region in the spotlight every month. Read our tips for your belle histoire in the French Provence!
Foto (boven) door Gert Huygaer
A wedding in Provence
In the south of France lies a Mediterranean region between mountains and sea, where a subtropical climate gives you a romantic, relaxed atmosphere and special light. The Provençal lavender fields, sunflowers and olive trees were once a source of inspiration for Cézanne, Van Gogh, Matisse and Picasso, and now they may form a beautiful backdrop for your wedding. Enjoy 'du pain et du vin', your guests and each other at long tables among the vineyards!
How to get there?
Provence is only ten hours away by car from Belgium, and the TGV will take you to Aix-en-Provence, Orange, Nîmes or Avignon in about five hours from Brussels or Lille. You can also choose to fly: the main airports are Marseille, Aix-en-Provence or Nice. You can rent a car ( well in advance) for your local transport, and encourage your guests to rent a car together or you can arrange a shuttle bus for them.
Where do you party and sleep?
Perhaps you are looking for a party venue and an overnight stay for you and your guests. Some important questions to consider in advance:
- Approximately how many guests will we have?
- Do we ourselves want to stay overnight at our party venue?
- For how many guests do we want sleeping arrangements at the party venue?
In Provence, you can choose from a range of typical party venues and accommodation. If you like an authentic rural atmosphere, choose a Mas, a Bastide or an old Moulin. If you like timeless elegance, choose a castle.
Not every location offers sleeping facilities. The more guests you want to have sleeping, the more expensive your location will be and the more likely it is that you will have to think in the direction of a 'hotel'. The average party room with sleeping facilities offers about 5 to 10 bedrooms. Your other guests may have the option of choosing from 2 or 3 nearby hotels or B & B's, depending on the price they decide to pay. The more your guests stay together, the easier it is, for example, to put in a shuttle to get everyone safely to their hotel at the end of the party night.
Some of our favorites:
- Mas de la Rose
Set in a 25-acre park, planted with pines, olive trees and lavender, Mas de la Rose in Orgon is the ultimate backdrop for a wedding party where you live the Provençal dream for a weekend. Mas de la Rose has 11 rooms and provides catering with vegetables from its own vegetable garden. Nearby there is plenty of sleeping space for your additional guests.
- Domaine des Escaunes
In the village of Semhac, near Pont du Gard, Belgians Marc and Patricia are running the picturesque Mas Domaine des Escaunes. The idyllic gardens and historic courtyard are the perfect setting for a wedding celebration. The domain has 22 rooms and provides its own catering. Your ceremony can take place by the pool or in the nearby chapel.
- Château la Dorgonne
In the Lubéron region lies the organic wine domain Château la Dorgonne with authentic Bastide, in the middle of a mountain massif with beautiful olive trees, fields of roses and lavender. The Belgian Parmentier family will give you a warm welcome and guarantee a wonderful weekend, with a picnic among the vineyards and dinner on top of the hill.
Tip: our favorite florist in Provence is definitely Maryline of Il Etait Une Fleur... Instant happiness with Maryline by your side!
What to eat
Provençal cuisine is deliciously light and fragrant, and the choice of local ingredients is abundant. Strawberries from Carpentras, melons from Cavaillon, asparagus from Lauris, lamb from Sault, olives and truffles from Vaucluse.... Dishes like ratatouille, aïoli, pistou and bouillabaisse or bourride bring the sun to your plate!
Are you already receiving your guests on Friday evening? Then provide a fun, casual formula such as the Table Vigneronne. A richly filled table with small dishes and local products such as cheeses and charcuterie, always with appropriate wines.
On the wedding day itself, the ceremony is usually followed by the reception or Vin d'Honneur. Serve a sparkling wine or local Pastis, and choose local appetizers based on tomato or truffle tapenade.
For your wedding dinner, go for a deliciously casual barbecue, or lamb on a spit. Or do you prefer to call on one of the many fine caterers or gourmet chefs in the region?
(c) Wedding planning & styling: Nuptiae Fairytale Architects - Fotocredits: Inge Rottiers
You can not wait to get married in Provence? Then read the tips below for an unforgettable wedding celebration!
- The only legal way to get married in France is if at least one of you has French nationality or resides in France. No worries, a symbolic wedding ceremony is of course possible.
- Keep in mind some minor cultural differences: in France, for example, it is unusual for food to be passed around during the reception, and bar tables are rarely set up. Discuss your wishes and expectations with your caterer.
- Dancing under the stars? Even during the hottest months of July and August, it often gets quite cool in the evening. Better keep your dance party indoors.
- "We're getting married in the sun. It can also rain in Provence, and in spring and autumn the strong Mistral wind sometimes blows. Always foresee a "Plan B.
- Not every wedding professional needs to be located in Provence. Many of our own quality label approved partners are happy to travel with you to the sunny South!