Category Archives: CB LIVE!


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


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

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