A modern fairy tale in the making at Château Bouffémont

An inspirational setting

Château Bouffémont itself was the main source of inspiration for this unapologetically romantic fairy-tale wedding shoot. The bucolic setting of the surrounding countryside and the majestic Montmorency forest inspired the design for this bridal editorial by J Bennett Design, shot by Sophie Kaye Photography and filmed by Yana Kishko.

Even the stationary by Isidore and Augustine was inspired by the muted stone colours of the château’s iconic terrace completed with a gold floral seal and vellum jacket covered in delicate white-ink floral motifs. The stonework was also an inspiration for the engraver Focus and Light who inlayed a marbled acrylic illustration of the château into white acrylic on a brass tray.

A look fit for a princess

This fabulous natural setting and the historic château call for a bridal look fit for a princess. First in the boudoir where her soft ivory bustier is enhanced with French silk tulle veiling by Blossom and Bluebird and Bella Belle ‘Esther’ kitten heels with delicate tulle bows. Then, for the main event the satin wedding dress by  Monique Lhuillier is both a throwback to the past and resolutely modern with its long-line cape and voluminous sleeves, beautifully accessorized with champagne ‘Frances’ Bella Belle Shoes, a custom Victor Barbone ring, and openwork gold floral statement earrings by A. B. Ellie.

The wedding hair and make-up by Jenya emphasised the romantic theme with a soft bun and trailing curls.

A voyage in time

The design as a whole takes us right back to the 19th-century when the château was built and hosted prestigious events for its previous owners, the Marquise of Preignes and Baron Empain.  A number of features in the reception design evoke times gone by: the traditional chairs from La Maison Option, the tableware and glassware, and the French blue palette offset with La Tavola‘s ‘Topaz’ linens. These are complemented by Jessica Bennett’s floral compositions of soft ivory roses, white lilies, purple freesia, and statice, with peach, purple, and blush orchids adding a touch of modernity.

Ready to plan your own fairy-tale wedding in a magnificent French chateau located just 30 minutes from Paris? Take a look around the château with a 3D Virtual Visit and find out all about our bespoke weddings or specially curated weddings for a stress-free, exclusive experience.

Keep in touch at @chateaubouffemont


Our series “Château Bouffémont Live” features interviews with guests from the world of events and weddings to provide you with expert advice and insider insight.  Many of you will have recently booked your venue for your 2023 wedding and right now will be getting ready to tell your friends and family – so what better time to talk to someone who can walk you through everything you need to know about wedding stationary? General Manager, Sarp Gogebakan, spoke to just the person for the job – Mikyla Marie Manuirirangi of Ink and Press co.

SG: Hi Mikyla, thank you so much for joining us today, before we get into the practical details perhaps you could tell me how you got into wedding stationary?

MMM: Like a lot of wedding vendors, I got into it through my own experience as a bride. When I got married, I became absolutely fascinated with the wedding industry as a whole and the stationary process in particular, as it seemed like the perfect outlet for my creative and artistic talents. So, after my own wedding I looked into it and ending up setting up my own business.

SG: Ok great, on the practical side let’s start with the basics, can you talk us through exactly what wedding stationary couples might need for their wedding?

MMM: There are basically four categories of wedding stationary you will need:  

Firstly, Save the Date Cards, these are particularly important if you are planning a destination wedding or inviting international guests as it will allow people time to plan ahead. As well as the date the card should include at least the general location and any practical details you might have available at this stage.

Next comes the Invitation Suite which includes the main invite card and additional insert cards for any extra events (welcome dinner, farewell brunch etc.) and information on logistics.

Then we can start thinking about Day-of Paper Goods which covers everything you might need on the day of your wedding such as menus, name cards, escort cards etc. This is where you can really have fun creating very personal items to reflect your own love story.

Finally, after the event it’s really important to thank your guests with a handwritten Thank You Card.

SG : What about timings, how long does the design process take and what deadlines do couples need to have in mind to get their invitations out on time?

MMM: First of all, if you want to work with a specific stationer you will need to contact them well ahead of the event, currently I’m taking bookings 12 – 18 months in advance. The actual duration of the design process will vary from one stationer to another, but personally I like to leave plenty of time so will ask couples ideally to allocate 4 – 6 months to the design process. We also have a specific problem at the moment with issues relating to paper supplies post-Covid, so if a couple wants any very specific materials they will need to order months ahead to be sure of getting what they want. This also leaves time to mail samples of materials etc. which can take some time. In terms of mail dates, I recommend you send Save the Date Cards 8 – 12 months before the wedding (especially for destination weddings) and send Invitation Suites around 10 – 12 weeks to avoid any postal delays or issues. I recommend that for a destination wedding add on an extra 4 weeks to that deadline.

SG: What recommendations do you give your clients in terms of finding design inspiration?

MMM: I always tell clients to look inwards when thinking about their wedding stationary design. Rather than seeing what everyone else is doing and copying that, I want them to focus on adding in personal touches that reflect who they are individually and as a couple so that it really is about them and their love story. I encourage my clients to make mood boards with photos of things they love, places they’ve been, things that are meaningful to them rather than just photos of stationary they like. Then I can draw inspiration from that for the design to make it really personal.

SG: What are the current wedding stationary trends you’re seeing for this wedding season?

MMM: The big trends we started to really see in 2022 and which are definitely going to continue through into 2023 are really interesting combinations of materials – mixing cotton card, handmade paper, velvet, faux leather to give lots of texture, personality and depth to the work. The other trend is for customized shapes for example a card in the shape of a country, a monument or a design motif.

SG: Any final tips for couples currently planning their weddings?

MMM: Yes, start collecting addresses as soon as possible, it really does save a lot of time and hassle when it comes to sending out the invitations!

Keep in touch at @chateaubouffemont

Photography by @Jaimee Morse


The picturesque nineteenth-century, Château Bouffémont located just 30 kilometers from Paris provided the ideal setting for this Franco-Cameroonian wedding, whose central inspiration was bride Johanna’s love of fairytale pastel colors.

For this ultra-romantic wedding, the wedding planners Ceremonize orchestrated a floral extravaganza, with Kahina Events creating an incredible floral design working off the pastel color palette of sky blue, pink, lilac and creamy white with a show-stopping ceremony arch and an explosion of florals in the incredible reception spaces inside the château, the dreamy interiors providing perfect backdrop to their work.

As the photos captured by Daria Lorman Photography show, the bride’s vision was brought to life with great success, exceeding even her own expectations, as the couple and their guests smiled and laughed their way through the day, reveling in the creativity of the top-class vendors that turned this prestige wedding venue into their very own fairytale château for the day. 

The château’s exquisite grounds provided an idyllic setting for an incredible sunset Cameroonian dance performance put on for guests before they enjoyed their gourmet French dinner. Even the croquembouche served was iced in  pastel colors, the attention to detail making this a wedding to remember – not to mention the set played by DJ Randy that kept guests going on the dance floor into the early hours of the morning.

If you want the Château Bouffémont team to help you make your own French château wedding dream a reality contact us  today or request our latest brochure  with full details of our services and more information on our wedding reception spaces, rooms and grounds.

Keep in touch at @chateaubouffemont


Our series “Château Bouffémont Live” features interviews with guests from the world of events and weddings to provide you with expert advice and insider insight. This week Château Bouffémont’s General Manager, Sarp Gogebakan, spoke to one of the most renowned cake designers in Paris – Synie – to talk about what’s hot in the world of wedding cakes this season!

SG: Hi Synie, it’s great to have you here today, we love what you do at Synie’s Paris and are always impressed with your wedding cakes, but before we talk about that tell us how you got started in this field.

SP: I’ve always loved cake since I was a little girl. I actually started out creating recipes, but there is something really special about cake design and wedding cake design in which drew me in. I love the creative aspect, especially with my background in art history, and the fact that you have to draw together all the different aspects of the wedding into this one creation: the cake needs to fit with the wedding design, the couple themselves, the event, their style. It’s a challenge but great fun!

SG: What options do couples have when designing their wedding cake?

SP: The options are limitless! We really can work to incorporate anything the couple wants into their cake. For example one groom loves apple pie so we created a customized flavor with apple, cinnamon, crumble to mimic the pastry. The same goes for the decoration, we take inspiration from all aspects of the wedding, for that particular cake we used the clip in the bride’s hair to create a decoration of gold-edged flowers. The key is to ask couples lots of questions and to look at the wedding dress, the stationary, the venue, as well as asking them about their taste and style, you never know where you will find the inspiration so it’s good to cover all bases.

SG : What about flavors? Do you have any advice on choosing flavors for your wedding cake?

SP: I always tell couples to think about what they really like, but in actual fact most couples want to go with flavors they know the majority of their guests will enjoy, so in the summer it’s often vanilla and summer fruits – raspberries and strawberries – sometimes with champagne. In the winter it’s usually richer flavors like hazelnut, chocolate and caramel.

SG: There are a lot of different options for wedding cakes ranging from the most traditional to the most modern, what fun things have you been asked to do with a wedding cake and what are the key trends for this season?

SP: One thing I have been asked for which I think it going to become more popular is to incorporate a couple’s pets into their wedding cake design. So, this year I had a cake which had pawprints on it and next year I have an order which will incorporate three cats ! In terms of the trends we are seeing this season, florals are still very big and there are a lot of white-on-white designs which play with texture. Next season I think the textural aspect will stick but there will be more color and probably more painted cakes.

SG: Dessert buffets are still very popular, is this something you recommend for couples or is it a bad idea?

SP: It really depends on how important dessert is to the couple themselves. If they have a sweet tooth and like to eat lots of cake then it’s a great idea. When it’s well done a dessert buffet table can become a decorative feature in itself and this is where you can include a croquembouche or macaron pyramid or anything else you particularly enjoy.

SG: You’ve often worked on cakes for weddings held at Château Bouffémont in the past, if you were to make a Château Bouffémont cake what would it be like?

SP: I absolutely love Château Bouffémont – it’s a great wedding venue, the space is amazing, it has incredible views, it’s light and airy and the staff are all so helpful and friendly when I deliver my cakes. So, if I was to make you a customized cake I think I would start with a pistachio base as a nod to the green room which is absolutely beautiful. Then to balance it out I would add in a more acidic note like raspberry and a bit of crunch to finish it off. The decoration would need to be bright and airy like the spaces in the château so it would be very delicate.

Keep in touch at @chateaubouffemont

Channel your inner-Marie-Antoinette!

From historic figure to an icon of modern pop culture – Marie-Antoinette is synonymous with France, its history, and the decadence of the court of Versailles. She has also inspired fashion for centuries, so why not channel your inner-Marie Antoinette in a wedding design with bold bright colours that really stand out from conventional wedding palettes.

The design for this styled shoot captured by Daria Lorman Photography works perfectly in the sumptuous setting of Château Bouffémont which provides the ideal backdrop for a history-inspired wedding with a modern touch.

Decadent yet stylish

The floral design by Floret is key to bringing to life this decadent yet stylish look which uses a colour palette that is girly in the extreme: reds, through every shade of pink, to the deepest purple. Florals are used across the whole wedding design to great effect: on the cake by Sweet Creations Cakes, the tableware, the stationary by Graphikkart and of course the bridal gown and accessories.

Fashion inspiration

Fashion stylist Estelle Monnot drew on the iconic fashions that Marie-Antoinette has inspired throughout the centuries, dressing her bride in a magnificent wedding dress by Fericci entirely covered in floral patterned lace, also used on the shoes by Jimmy Choo complete with the famous bows of this Queen of France. This all-white ensemble is enhanced with soft-coloured jewellery by Myrtille Beck which allows the hair, make-up and flowers to take centre stage.

Let them eat cake!

A Marie-Antoinette inspired shoot would be nothing without a truly special wedding cake which here takes up the colour palette in edible form. The tablescape brings a modern touch to the historic inspiration with its transparent candelabra, block-colour flower design, and two-tone cutlery offsetting the more traditional tableware and chairs.

Queen for the day

You too can be Queen for the day in your very own French château. The Château Bouffémont team is ready and waiting to help you bring your wedding vision to life so don’t hesitate to contact us for more information or to set up a virtual tour of the château.

Keep in touch at @chateaubouffemont

CHÂTEAU BOUFFÉMONT LIVE! All You Need To Know About Wedding Photography with Kristine Grinvalde

Our series “Château Bouffémont Live” features interviews with guests from the world of events and weddings to provide you with expert advice and insider insight. In this episode, Château Bouffémont’s General Manager, Sarp Gogebakan, sat down with renowned destination wedding photographer Kristine Grinvalde who gave us her expert advice on how to really enjoy your wedding planning and wedding day experience and ensure you come away with wedding photos to last a lifetime.

SG: Hi Kristine, thanks for joining us today, we love your elegant, timeless photographs and are thrilled you could join us today, so could you start by telling us about yourself?

KG: I am a destination wedding, portrait and editorial photographer from Riga, Latvia although I work extensively in Paris and in Italy. I’m very much inspired by travel, fashion, interior design, architecture, nature and destination wedding photography brings all these elements together in most magical way. I actually have a background in finance, so that helps with the organisational and logistics side of the work – it’s a good balance with the creative side.

SG: What are the key things a couple need to think about when choosing their wedding photographer?

KG: Before you even start contacting wedding vendors it’s important to define an overall wedding style and the story you want to tell as a couple. You can do this by writing down key words about what inspires you in your life to make sure your wedding planning is true to who you really are. The photographer and the wedding venue will then fit into this style.

Word of mouth is the most common way to find a good photographer, but it’s not one-size-fits-all so make sure you look through one or two full wedding galleries before making this important decision not just the main show pieces presented on the website. It’s really vital that you have an introductory call or meeting with the photographer, you’ll be working very closely together so make sure you vibe together!

SG : What advice can you give to couples ahead of the wedding in terms of preparing for their photos, is there anything they can do to make sure they get the best photos on the day?

KG: Firstly, you need to know what you want. It’s really important that you have in mind your wedding day priorities and tell your photographer what these are to ensure you get meaningful photos, special lifetime memories. An experienced photographer will forward plan but they can’t read your mind so communication is key. They will also need to know about any special moments, people, surprises or issues within the family to avoid any faux-pas on the day.  Plan the timeline in collaboration with the photographer and allow plenty of time so not to feel rushed during the day. It also means you can relax then if something goes wrong or the schedule gets delayed. Most of all you need to strike a balance between getting beautiful couple portraits and enjoying your time with your guests. If both are priorities, consider doing a couples session or engagement lifestyle session a day or two before the wedding.

SG: What about for people who don’t like having their photo taken, how can they take the stress out of the experience?

KG: The key is to trust your photographer to guide you and of course voice any concerns you may have beforehand. Having lifestyle or engagement portraits taken a day or two before the wedding is a great option to help the couple become more comfortable in front of the camera and build their confidence. I also strongly recommend you have your photographer at the welcome event the day before the wedding, this will really help get the best photos on the wedding day itself as both the couple and the guests will feel more relaxed around the photographer, more themselves.

SG: What about the organisation on the wedding day – do you pre-prepare the list of photos you’ll take and how do you decide who will be in which photos?

KG: I usually plan the prime photo locations ahead of time, based on the wedding timeline which we will have worked on together. I personally prefer not to work with a shot list as I think it is restrictive and stops me capturing the moment in the most natural way, so I prefer to discuss with my couples what are the most important moments for them and they trust me to capture their day in a unique way. If you want formal family photos then a shot list will help and it is also useful to designate a contact person amongst your guests who can quickly locate the people needed for each photo.

SG: Well, that’s a lot of great advice for our couples! Finally, before we wrap up, you’ve worked on weddings at Château Bouffémont in the past, what do you like in particular about the venue?

KG: Château Bouffémont is not only a beautifully preserved historical venue with very welcoming staff, but also has great diversity – from elegantly appointed suites with stunning views, to the light, airy and elegant Grand Salon, to the smaller salons and state rooms, each with different lighting and moods. The terrace overlooking the pristine green landscape and grand staircase, and twin terraces to the side all offer great opportunities when planning your wedding day – with multiple ceremony and reception locations which can cater to every taste.

Keep in touch at @chateaubouffemont

Wedding poetry in motion at Château Bouffémont

Where better to tell a class love story culminating in a romantic French chateau wedding with a modern touch than the idyllic setting of  Château Bouffémont?  What could be better than a historic wedding venue set in pristine gardens covering three hectares of land, niched in the surrounding countryside, but just 30 minutes away from the centre of Paris and its international airports and rail links?

Wedding planner Aurélia Boulenger certainly felt it was the number one choice when choosing a venue to stage this wedding inspiration photoshoot captured by fine art photographer Claire Eyos. “This is a chic and natural wedding inspiration. We were inspired by nature itself, more specifically by all the greenery we have in the beautiful castles in France.”

Nature inspired every single detail of this elegant and romantic wedding design concept, from the dainty flower arrangements by Floret Florals, to the floral pattern on the wedding ceremony dress by international designer Georges Hobeika, the bride’s earrings by Nicola Bathie, the stunning handmade white-on-white wedding cake by Synie’s Paris  and even the wedding stationery from Silent Word Studio.

The overall feel is resolutely modern, elegant and chic without falling into the trap of overdoing the florals and creating something twee, the team shows perfectly how nature’s bounty can be used to inspire modern brides and grooms planning their French château wedding.

So, if you are looking for the perfect wedding venue in France for your destination wedding or a location for an inspirational photo shoot, don’t hesitate to contact our team today to discuss your requirements and how we can help you make your dreams come true.

Keep in touch at @chateaubouffemont

Photographer: Claire Eyos 
Wedding planner, designer and stylist: Aurélia Boulenger 
Makeup & Hair: Reina Kim 
Florist: Floret Florals 
Cake: Synie’s 
Stationery: Silent Word Studio 
Bouquet Ribbon: Lancaster & Cornish 
Bridal Prêt-à-Porter Dress: Georges Hobeika 
Ceremony Earrings: Nicola Bathie 
Bride Shoes: Bella Belle 
Rings: Marthan Lorand 
Suits: Rives Paris 
Bridal Shop: Metal Flaque 
Reception Dress: Inbal Dror 
Reception Earrings: Stephanie Browne 
Venue: Château Bouffémont 
Rentals: Vaisselle Vintage 
Rentals: Maison Options 
Female Model: Charlotte Depaepe 
Male Model: Camille-François Nicol 

Château Bouffémont Live! Stress-free Wedding Planning with Marie Chicchirichi

Our series “Château Bouffémont Live” features interviews with guests from the world of events and weddings to provide you with expert advice and insider insight. As the 2022 wedding season gets into full swing, Château Bouffémont’s General Manager, Sarp Gogebakan, spoke to lawyer-turned-wedding planner Marie Chicchirichi about how to take the stress out of wedding planning, and how to decide if you really need a wedding planner.

SG: Hi Marie, we’re so pleased to have you with us today, can you start by telling us a little bit about yourself and what attracted you to wedding planning as a career?

MC: So, I actually got into wedding planning when I was organizing my own wedding. I couldn’t find the right wedding vendors and services to create the experience I wanted and realized I probably wasn’t the only person in this situation so I decided to train as a wedding planner. I specialize in destination weddings inspired by nature and by the wedding venue, from which I draw a lot of inspiration for the wedding style, colours and design.

SG: Couples often ask us if they really need a wedding planner: what are the advantages of using a wedding planner?

MC: The main advantage is to be supported and advised throughout the process. Your wedding planner will tell you what order you need to do things in, which vendors to choose to achieve the desired result, will guide you step-by-step through the process, and manage things on the day. A wedding planner will think about all the details a couple might forget and will take the stress out of the planning. They can also suggest innovative ideas to make the day really special. Using a wedding planner also means you will keep to your budget.

SG: Let’s talk about the different planning stages, what information do you ask couples for when you first meet with them?

MC: When I meet a couple for the first time I need to find out if their vision of their wedding is something I can help bring to life or not, so I try to fully understand their needs to produce a proposal aligned with their vision. I’ll need to know exactly where they want to get married, how many guests they want to invite, whether they want a religious or non-religious wedding ceremony etc.

SG: What about on the wedding day itself, what is your role on the day of the wedding?

MC: My main role is to be available to the bride and groom, as a kind of personal assistant, my team and I are also there to welcome the vendors and the guests, to make sure everything runs as planned and to time – which is very important. We handle any unforeseen events so the bride and groom don’t have to worry about anything. We also act as the master of ceremonies telling people where they need to be and what they need to do at each stage of the day.

SG: One thing a lot of our couples ask us about is the timings for each part of the wedding, can you tell us a bit about how you manage this both before and on the day?

MC: So, first of all I ask the couple what they want, then I cross reference this with the vendors to establish what is feasible and how the logistics will work. Of course, the starting point is what the couple want, but it needs to be able to work in practice. Typically, a wedding will start the day before with a welcome dinner, on the day it will kick off with welcome drinks, followed by the ceremony, then a cocktail hour before the evening reception, and the next day there is usually a farewell brunch to wrap up the festivities. For the wedding day timings, I start with the start time for the evening reception and work backwards to reverse schedule the day.

SG: The 2022 wedding season is ramping up, how are your couples feeling about 2022? Are you seeing any specific trends emerging for weddings this year?

MC: This year, most of the couples I’m working with are simply very happy to be able to get married! Their focus is really on enjoying their special day and making the most of their loved ones. They are keen to grasp every opportunity to spend time together. So, this means some of our couples have actually increased their guest list and in some cases upped their budgets to be able to do more on the day.

SG: Finally, what are your top tips for couples preparing for their wedding right now?

MC: My advice to couples is to be yourselves both in the preparation and on the day to make sure your wedding day is meaningful and special to you. I also urge them to let go on the day because it will be over in a flash, so trust the professional vendors you have chosen to get the job done and don’t worry about the details. Finally, I would say that couples should focus on the essentials, especially if they are planning a last-minute wedding, and of course I recommend that they get professional support from a wedding planner, it will save a lot of time and effort!

Keep in touch at @chateaubouffemont

Château Bouffémont Goes Green

Green is an unusual choice for a wedding color palette but this wedding inspiration shoot at Château Bouffémont designed by Details Depres and Laura Andrea Wedding and shot by Aude A Deux Ailes shows how it can be used to create a truly amazing look in this modern take on a traditional estate wedding.

The shoot tells the story of the wedding of a Sino-French couple Jialin and Jean-Charles at a classic French chateau. Jean-Charles offers his bride a replica of the jade pendant that her grandmother always wore. This token of his affection is the centerpiece of the shoot and the color scheme that runs through the wedding design.

From this starting point, shades of green from pale mint, through to dark emerald and striking jade are used across all aspects of the wedding design.

The wedding flower design by Histoires Sauvages offsets the various shades of green with white, salmon and soft orange flowers mirroring the bride’s peach skin tones and the color of her engagement ring. This creates perfectly-balanced flower compositions including the wedding bouquet and the decoration for the cake table and reception tablescape which also features rich green table runners and candles for a truly refined and elegant look.

The wedding stationary from Promesse Graphique also makes use of this vibrant green and pays tribute to this outstanding luxury wedding venue, featuring a bespoke imprint of Château Bouffémont.

Even the Synies’ Paris wedding cake celebrates this unconventional color, with its jade icing enhanced by an airy wrap-around finish of white and gold petals. 

The color scheme is perfectly suited to a fine art wedding set against the backdrop of the muted tones of Château Bouffémont’s exceptional architecture and the natural greenery of the surrounding gardens and countryside. It gives this French chateau wedding a fresh, contemporary look thanks to its unique, unusual choice of colors.

Planning your own French chateau wedding? Make sure to request our latest brochure for full details of our wedding services and rates with bespoke exclusive hire options starting from 8,300 Euros.

Keep in touch at @châteaubouffemont


Photos are a huge part of our daily lives, we take, post, share and send photos every single day. But on your wedding day those photos take on huge importance, they will be the lasting record of one of the most important days in your life, which means choosing your wedding photographer and getting your wedding photography right is a key part of your wedding planning. So how can you make sure you make the right choice and end up with the best wedding photos possible?

Château Bouffémont met up with Paris-based fine art wedding photographer Jérémy Froeliger to get his expert advice on the question.

CB: As an experienced wedding photographer what are the key things a couple need to think about when choosing their wedding photographer?

JF: I have been shooting weddings now for eight years so I can tell you that there is one thing couples – and even wedding planners – nearly always forget to do when selecting their wedding photographer: ask for a complete photo gallery.

A lot of couples base their choice of photographer on their website or Instagram, that’s a great place to start, but remember they will always have chosen to publish their best photos and what you see there is not necessarily representative of all their work. With a full photo gallery you can see their photos from lots of different types of weddings and at different points in the day – the preparations, ceremony, meal, evening event etc. When you view the gallery check that the style is consistent and corresponds to what you really want.

Obviously, it is also really important to then meet the photographer and make sure you get on with them.

CB: How far ahead in their planning do couples need to be when they contact their wedding photographer?

JF: There’s no fixed timing, but when I first meet with the couple I will need to have at least a rough idea of what kind of wedding they are planning, so it’s good if they have the basic information to hand: location of the wedding, how long they want the photographer for, the number of guests, and which vendors they have already selected.

The number of guests allows us to work out if a second or even third photographer might be needed and I always ask about the vendors because that helps get a feel for the style of the wedding and also means I can help the couple find any services they might still need from my network.

CB: Is there anything a couple can do to prepare for having their wedding photos taken?

JF: Actually there is – drink lots of water the day before!  It really helps to get your skin looking great for your photos. Otherwise, the main thing you can do is be as relaxed as possible on the day. The timing of the photos can help with this, very few couples are naturally at ease in front of the camera, but as the day goes on they become more relaxed, so I recommend you schedule the couples photos later on in the day, just before the evening dinner. I always remind people that they will never be as beautiful as on their wedding day, they will have the best hair, the best make-up and the best emotions – and that’s what really makes great photos, the emotion.

CB: How do you as the photographer help to make sure your couples get the best wedding photos possible?

JF: It depends on the couple: people who are very comfortable don’t need any direction, so I tend to just let them interact and the photos come very easily.

The interaction is key for people who are not so comfortable, they need more direction but I get them moving about, interacting with each other, and they revert to their usual behaviour as a couple. They forget they are having their photo taken and that’s when you get the best shots. The more relaxed and confident they feel the better the photos, which is why it’s so important to choose a photographer you feel comfortable with and trust

I also really recommend that couples do a first-look photo, sometimes couples are worried that it will take away from the ceremony but the two are complementary. The private first look between the bride and groom is very intimate, whereas the arrival of the bride at the ceremony is more public, so the emotion is different.

CB: The 2022 wedding season is about to really ramp up, what wedding trends are you seeing for this year?

JF: Every season has its trends and for 2022 I definitely think that intimate weddings are still very popular – now by choice not by obligation. I really enjoy these weddings, because an intimate wedding is a great option for spending more time with each of your guests

I’m also seeing a shift in what clients want from their wedding photographs they are really looking for more playful and fun wedding photos, in a style that’s joyful and dynamic. That’s a really interesting trend for photographers as it allows us to have more fun too!

CB: Finally, what recommendations do you have for couples preparing for their wedding right now?

JF: I would say the key thing that couples should think about coordination on the wedding day. If they don’t have a planner they may end up being solicited all day long to answer people’s questions and sort out minor logistics. If they want to make the most of their wedding day they should at the very least assign roles to key family members, the best men and bridesmaids etc. Ideally, they should have someone on hand to coordinate everything, like you do at Château Bouffémont. 

I also recommend that clients ask selected vendors to recommend other service providers in their network. If the different vendors involved in the wedding know each other and are used to working together it makes the coordination much easier.

Floral designer @lindachampenoiswedding
Videographer @tuan.nguyen.films

Keep in touch at @châteaubouffemont