A Paris Chateau Offers the Best of the City and Countryside

chateau break

No city around the world has such an unimpeachable reputation for all things romantic as Paris, and there can surely be no more unspeakably romantic place to stay in the city than a chateau property. But wouldn’t it be even better to play, rest your head and dine in a chateau that really does offer the finest of both urban and rural surroundings?


One Paris chateau that most certainly fulfils that brief is Château Bouffémont. We are the very definition of a fairytale venue for events and overnight stays – albeit, one that makes the same ample sense to the head as it does to the heart.


What is our noble property’s relationship with Paris?

Château Bouffémont, of course, has not been a private rentable venue for all of its life, having instead once served as the residence of the Marquise of Preignes and Baron Empain. These distinguished individuals were among many of the European nobility and gentry to build or reside in chateau-like properties that were often strategically situated to offer the best of rural and city life.

The 19th-century ‘great and the good’, after all, often had strong business connections to cities like Paris. It, therefore, made sense to live in a prestigious and resplendent manor house in a sufficiently beautiful and tranquil location for hosting guests, while also being close enough for the residents to be able to head into the city whenever circumstances required.

Now, the advantages enjoyed by such lords of the manor can be yours, when you rent our esteemed Paris chateau for your birthday party, bridal shower, family reunion, corporate event or team-building event.

Alternatively, you may be interested in Château Bouffémont simply on account of the opportunity that it affords to book a romantic getaway to one of the most romantic properties imaginable, a mere 30 kilometres away from one of the world’s most legendarily romantic cities.


Whatever your mood, needs or desires, our chateau leaves you well-placed

It is one thing, of course, to rent such an enchanting venue this close to Paris, a city with a reputation as one of the true culture, fashion and recreational capitals and renowned for the most impeccable cuisine, world-beating art and legendary history, as explained by The Telegraph.

However, it is quite another thing to head for the myriad of stimulations and inspirations served up by the French capital, in the knowledge that after your day of urban exploration and discovery is over, you will be returning ‘home’ for the night to a genuinely extraordinary heritage venue.

Château Bouffémont is precisely that property, combining the finest in aristocratic charms with modern comforts, while also being easier to reach than you might think, given that we are just a 20-minute journey from Charles de Gaulle Airport.

With the sprawling 2,200-hectare Montmorency Forest also practically on the doorstep of our Paris chateau just beyond our spectacular manicured French gardens, you really can experience the best of both the countryside and the city during your time as our guest.


There’s no need for it to remain a fantasy

It couldn’t be more straightforward to begin turning your Paris chateau dream into reality; simply contact our team today, and we will get back in touch with you to discuss how we can cater to your bespoke requirements in the finest detail when hiring our unique, luxurious and well-located venue.

10 Essential Ingredients for a Successful Corporate Video Shoot

chateau video shoot location

The filming of a corporate video may be theoretically made easier by a suitably inspirational backdrop – such as that provided by the elegantly furnished function rooms and spectacular manicured French gardens of Château Bouffémont. However, that doesn’t mean you can be anything less than utterly diligent in the approach you take to your brand’s latest video.

It is in such a spirit that we present to you 10 of the ingredients that should be present when you are putting together a corporate video, as can be done at our own video shoot space in France.



  • Detailed planning


It is often said that those who fail to prepare should prepare to fail, and one should certainly never underestimate the complexity of a corporate video shoot. Attention to detail at the earliest stage is vital if you are to produce the best result from your company’s shoot.



  • Clear aims and objectives   


There is little point in reaching for a camera until you have a clear sense of your video’s purpose and how it will be used. Will the video be used as a TV advertisement, for example, or perhaps as an online testimonial or a ‘how to’ video to be posted on a video-sharing platform?  



  • A firm grasp of your audience


The matter of who you will be aiming the video at will naturally be informed greatly by the insights gained during the process of determining your aims and objectives for the footage. Once you know your audience, you will be able to tailor the video’s content to address their pain points.



  • A strong story to tell


The fact that videos tend – by their very nature – to be about images at least as much about text or script, doesn’t mean you can neglect the story element of your video. Indeed, it simply makes a compelling story all the more vital, as you otherwise won’t know what to shoot.



  • A venue that makes the right impression


The question of the best location in which to shoot your corporate video hinges greatly on such factors as facilities and the aesthetic you desire for your video. This is precisely why you need to think carefully about location and how a given venue will support and strengthen your final video, instead of simply settling for whatever venue may be cheapest or geographically closest.



  • A ‘recce’ to the intended shooting location


Even the most seemingly insignificant or subtle visual touches or background noises can impact on the suitability – or otherwise – of a given corporate video shooting location. It is therefore strongly advised that you pay a visit, if possible, to the venue prior to the actual filming dates.



  • The most appropriate narration


Is there a particular style of narration that you feel would best suit the intentions you have for the video or your company’s wider brand ‘voice’? Perhaps you’re thinking of utilising a voiceover, text titles or talking heads? Remember that each of these can have a very different effect on the feel of the resultant corporate video.



  • A well-defined style


You won’t want your corporate video to end up with an overall ‘style’ that feels rather different to what you had in your head prior to filming, all because you failed to define that style properly from the beginning. Are you interested in taking a cinematic or documentary approach, for instance, or would you prefer something more ‘down to earth’ and ‘humble’ for your brand?



  • A budget that you stick to


The limits of your budget will shape what approach you take to your corporate video, so this is something that should be absolutely clear to everyone from the earliest stage.



  • A clearly stated deadline


Specifying a deadline before filming starts will help to instil urgency and assist you in your efforts to formulate a realistic shooting schedule. Your deadline should be realistic and not overly rigid, but not so loose that you risk overspending and your video shoot never being truly finished.


Get in touch with our experts in corporate venue hire today

Could the enchanting setting of Château Bouffémont help to make it the best choice of video shoot space in France for your own brand’s requirements? If you suspect the answer to this is “yes”, don’t hesitate to contact our corporate team to learn more.


5 Ways to Infuse Your Wedding Dress With the Finest French Style

chateau wedding

Such is the strength of the French signature wedding dress style – blending classicism, ease and a nonchalant sensibility in a manner you might have long regarded as inimitable – that it’s unsurprising so many brides nonetheless seek to emulate or at least borrow elements of this aesthetic.

Indeed, when you are looking to host the most memorable chateau wedding in France at a sumptuous Parisian venue like Château Bouffémont, it may seem borderline uncouth not to appropriate at least some aspects of the legendary French bridal style.

So, here are just a few of the ways you can make it possible for your own gown – as advised by leading wedding dress designers.  


Consider a two-piece

There surely can’t be many French wedding gown styles that are more evocative of this utterly romantic, but also laidback country’s sensibility than the two-piece.

As Lauren Crispin of the bridal company The Mews Bridal has observed, quoted by the Coveteur website: “The French are very good at the two-piece. It’s actually a very chic style – I’m a big fan of it. It’s a little bit different, and the brides love that they can wear the top again.”


Aim for laidback simplicity, rather than the latest extravagant celebrity styles

If there’s any kind of bride who is unlikely to rush into a bridal designer’s outlet while furiously demanding that the recent wedding dress of a Hollywood star or British royal is replicated for them, it is the French or Parisian bride.

Instead, a certain simple, but quirky aesthetic is frequently beloved of such wives-to-be. As Paris-based bridal designer Laure de Sagazan explains, according to Vogue: “French brides love the idea of being unique and a bit offbeat. It’s rare that a bride comes to me saying that she wants the same dress as this celebrity or a dress she saw in a magazine. They search for singularity.”


Pay attention to the finest details

Parisian brides may like to keep things rather more understated than the comparatively flamboyant or risqué styles favoured by many a ‘bridezilla’ in the UK or US, but they do expect high standards from their dress in another sense: the level of scrutiny given to every aspect of the design.

On this subject, Crispin has commented – this time in an InStyle article – that “the French have an unparalleled attention to detail, a standard of work they completely set for themselves… every intricate detail is executed with precision and passion that reflects everything they stand for.”


Say no to the strapless look

One other intriguing aspect of the French approach to bridal style is an aversion to the strapless dresses that are often so popular elsewhere, which appears to be down to a preference for a more ‘down to earth’ and effortless vibe among Parisians.

Crispin again: “We don’t have any strapless [dresses] here. The strapless is the tricky one, I think – I feel like you should look like yourself on your wedding day and wear something similar to what you would normally wear… none of the French do strapless at all; they’re all about feeling comfortable and looking effortless.”  


Embrace the veil

In the words of Paris-based wedding gown designer Delphine Manivet, “Parisian brides are not at all against wearing a veil and they actually seem to like this tradition a lot. It can bring a magical thing to the dress.”

However, fellow designer Elise Hameau has said that French brides who do opt for a veil “usually want it very precious, in silk tulle with the Calais lace – something that they’ll be able to pass on from generation to generation.”

There is certainly no shortage of ways to inject a few doses of French sensibility into your wedding dress, as can be an especially good strategy when you are planning French-style nuptials at a suitably French venue – such as our own fairytale property, Château Bouffémont.

Why not enquire today about how we could play our part in making your dream Parisian wedding a reality at our resplendent former noble residence?

5 Jaw-Dropping Features of the Resplendent Château Bouffémont

Chateau Wedding

If you are even contemplating staying overnight or holding an event at a French chateau, you will naturally wish to choose a property that draws the eye and woos every person who sees it.

This is why, when you select the historic stone-built Château Bouffémont as your private venue for such purposes, it’s reassuring to know that you can experience all of the below…  


The stunning estate

It is customary for many a French chateau to be set in spectacular manicured grounds. However, even by those standards, the five acres of verdant greenery surrounding Château Bouffémont have to be seen to be believed.

After all, there aren’t too many French chateaus that can offer such jaw-dropping gardens as ours over not just one, or even two, but three levels, exuding the French classicism that informed the entire design of our estate.


The extensive terrace

Where is the finest spot from which to survey the entirety of the estate during your short time as lord of the manor at Château Bouffémont?

That may come down to individual taste, but the noble stone-built property’s 120-square-metre terrace certainly affords quite the place to relax with your favourite tipple as you gaze across our extensive gardens and contemplate how to idle the day away.  


The halls and living rooms

If the sight of the outside of our fairytale venue would already seem to leave you spellbound enough, you simply have to see how the magic continues inside.

Such tasteful, historically sensitive touches as crystal chandeliers, authentic wood panelling and fine fabrics across prestigious spaces like the Dandy Lounge, Grand Salon and Salon des Anges serve as a testament to the remarkable skills and judgement of the Italian architects, Augusto Busnelli and Marco Allievi.  


The suites and guest rooms

Château Bouffémont comprises nine prestigious suites and rooms that are capable of accommodating as many as 27 guests.

These beautifully furnished spaces also demonstrate how adept our venue is at blending aristocratic charm with modern comforts such as flat-screen televisions, radios, telephones, the Internet and Wi-Fi.


Its location in the heart of the Montmorency Forest

One could scarcely choose a more desirable setting for a French chateau than the Montmorency Forest. As the website of the suburban railway service SNCF Transilien explains, this natural area is an invaluable green lung of the Val d’Oise region, 90% of its surface being covered in sweet chestnut trees. It is also an excellent playground for the more active type, with such activities as walking, mountain biking and horse riding all taking place here.

It is also from here that the visitor can easily reach the cosmopolitan delights of Paris, which is situated a mere 30 kilometres from the French chateau.

Many of the world’s most renowned art galleries, museums, historical sites, theatres, restaurants and cafes await your discovery in the French capital. So if you have day trips in mind, why not read the Paris tourist office’s own advice about the many great things to see and do in the city?

Such ingredients as the above all show that Château Bouffémont can be depended on to take the breath away of everyone who encounters this sought-after former residence of the Marquise of Preignes and Baron Empain. Contact us today, and you will soon be able to experience it for yourself.

5 Historical Paris Landmarks That You May Have Never Known


A trip to the City of Lights will never be solely about immersing oneself in the artistic treasures of the Louvre, marvelling at the intricate Gothic detailing or flying buttresses of Notre-Dame Cathedral, or even revelling in sumptuous interiors during your downtimes in the prestigious chateau.

That’s because, with its distinguished history stretching back to the third century BC, as well as the ease with which it can be explored on foot, Paris will always serve up fresh and undiscovered delights to the sufficiently curious visitor.

Here, then, are just a few of the unsung Parisian landmarks that are well worth incorporating into your itinerary during your time in this incomparable art, historical and fashion capital.


Paris’s oldest house

As outlined in this Architectural Digest article, you will find what is reputed to be the oldest stone house in the city at 51 rue de Montmorency in the 3rd arrondissement. It was built in 1407 by the alchemist and manuscript seller who was also its most famous occupant, Nicolas Flamel, and it is even rumoured that he carried out experiments here.

The building underwent restoration in 1900, and its ground-floor space is now the Auberge Nicolas Flamel Restaurant.


53 rue Volta

This Marais property was once thought to be the city’s oldest house, its architecture having suggested to many observers that it may have been built in the 14th century. In 1979, however, as detailed by the Travel France Online site, archaeologists found documents dating the property to 1644.

The house is therefore now thought to have been constructed specifically to resemble a medieval design, and it’s fair to say that it continues to inspire great affection among the French, and is absolutely worth the detour.


39 rue du Chateau d’Eau

There aren’t many more unusual architectural sights in Paris than what has been declared the city’s smallest building, wedged between two 10th arrondissement buildings and constructed to resolve a property dispute.

Measuring a mere 3.3 feet wide and 16.4 feet tall, the structure was initially a shoemaker’s studio incorporating an upstairs live-in studio, but has since become an apartment.


Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume

While there is no shortage of buildings in Paris that have a rich association with fine art, there are surely few with a stronger and more intriguing heritage in this regard than the Galerie Nationale de Jeu de Paume.

The rectangular structure housing the museum can be found near the Place de la Concorde, in the northern corner of the Tuileries Gardens, and was constructed in 1861, during the reign of Napoleon III. At first, it housed real tennis courts, but between 1940 and 1944, it stored Nazi plunder, including masterpieces from the collections of French Jewish families.

From 1947 to 1986, it served as a museum of impressionist art prior to the opening of the Musée d’Orsay, and in more recent years, it has been a gallery of modern and postmodern photography and media.


The Abbey Bookshop

If you are a Canadian, British or other English-speaking visitor and consider yourself a bibliophile, there could surely be a no finer destination in Paris than the Abbey Bookshop, which has been a fixture of the Latin Quarter since it was opened by Brian Spence in 1989.

While the more than 35,000 books piled to the ceilings are certainly a major attraction – with many not exactly the kind of tomes you can find on Amazon – the handsome building in which it is based, the 18th-century Hotel Dubuisson, is scarcely any less a draw.

As you can see, there are many more historical charms to be encountered in Paris than the Eiffel Tower or the Arc de Triomphe! Don’t forget, too, that you can even rest your head overnight in a building of rich heritage in its own right, in the form of the fairytale French chateau near Paris, Château Bouffémont.

5 Creative Ideas for an Exciting Corporate Event


It can be tricky to think up ideas for corporate events that will be memorable in all of the right ways, while genuinely furthering your organisation’s broader objectives.

Here at Château Bouffémont – an enchanting private venue for such events on the outskirts of Paris – is perfect for organising activities within a wide range of settings. You can find some suggestions below to assist in making your next corporate event one to remember. 



A gourmet activity

It is sure that there are a few members of your team who have always fancied themselves as a potential Bake Off champion, so why not put their culinary credentials – and that of your other workers – to the test?

With the broad assortment of gourmet activities that CHÂTEAU BOUFFÉMONT is able to host in its extraordinary grounds ranging from cooking classes to chocolate workshops, we’re sure there will certainly be an event that you could hold to bring out your employees’ gastronomic skills.



Something artistic

As creative as both brilliant and abysmal cooking can be, it may be that you also have a few adept artists, photographers, singers, floral designers or even perfumers on your team.

Events such as the singing lessons, floral design and photography classes that are pleased to be able to host at the spectacular stone-built residence could be ideal for drawing those abilities out, while also enabling everyone to bond in an atmosphere of fun.

As the Creativity at Work site explains, the arts and creativity bring various benefits in team-building and your wider organisation, so you shouldn’t be dismissive of them.



Horse riding

As your staff can soon find out, horse riding isn’t something that only the most discerning enthusiasts of all things equestrian are able to do.

We can support with arranging horse riding classes with professional instructors to ease your team into the basics, all within the expansive countryside that is open for exploration, by virtue of our advantageous location in the heart of the Montmorency Forest.



More intense sporting activity

While endurance event series such as Tough Mudder have gained considerable popularity in recent years among those seeking a more intense kind of team-building event, there are many different sports that your staff could pursue as part of a suitably tailored group activity.

That is no less the case when you choose Château Bouffémont for corporate venue hire in France. You may not have known, for instance, of the priority access that we can provide for your workers to the highly exclusive Paris International Golf Club, where such activities as tennis and golf can be experienced with the benefit of excellent facilities.



Exploring the cultural riches of Paris

Given that Château Bouffémont is, after all, situated a mere 30 kilometres (18.5 miles) from the City of Lights itself, it would be practically churlish not to organise a corporate event that embraces Paris’s broader cultural treasures in some manner.

Indeed, you may wish to ask our team about the discovery tour that we can provide of the French capital’s most resplendent theatres, museums and other landmarks.

Another option is for you and your team to simply ‘go it alone’, perhaps by exploring hidden gems such as those detailed on the salutfromparis website, encompassing some of the city’s most underrated parks, gardens, shops, markets, itineraries and more.

Why not contact the Château Bouffémont team today for a more in-depth discussion of how we could serve the specific requirements your brand has for its next corporate event?

The Questions You Should be Asking Your Wedding Planner

Henry Wedding

The wedding planner that you pick will have the immense responsibility of ensuring that every aspect of the organisation of your big day goes smoothly. You should, therefore, expect to ask a lot of questions to each person you are considering for this all-important job.

Here are just some of the questions to ask that will help you to narrow down the candidates.  



Will you be available on my wedding day?

This may appear to be an obvious question, but you would be surprised to hear of how often it isn’t asked until the couple realise the true situation all too late. In fact, you should be asking this question before any other, to ensure you do not waste any time considering someone who isn’t free.

If you are strongly interested in working with a particular wedding planner and can be flexible with your dates, you could ask them to give several dates when they will be free within your desired range, so that you can determine when both they and your preferred venue will be available.



Have you organised weddings at this venue before?

Your chosen wedding planner having overseen nuptials at the specific venue you have in mind is a big plus, as they will therefore probably know the venue staff, layout and logistics. This, in turn, should help to make the planning process that bit smoother.

Alternatively, it may be that the person in question has planned weddings at similar venues, which can be a great advantage, too. It could enable you to ask them a little more about their approach to organising weddings in such settings.

This way, if you have an unspeakably romantic French chateau wedding at such a fairytale venue as Château Bouffémont in mind, you can be sure of the planner achieving a ‘vibe’ that you will love.  



How do you deal with difficult family members?

There are various ways in which you could phrase a question like this. The key is to uncover evidence of how the wedding planner customarily responds to those unexpected disaster situations that could put them under a lot of pressure. You won’t want to discover that your chosen wedding planner becomes easily flustered or angry in such a situation on your big day itself!

However, you should also gain a sense from this person that they have a foolproof backup plan in mind for such difficult situations and will be organised enough to hopefully ward off any catastrophes from occurring in the first place.

Don’t simply presume that disasters like those told by nine wedding planners for this recent article for Cosmopolitan won’t happen to you; being ready for worst-case scenarios is vital.



How do you prefer to communicate?

Different wedding planners often have very different methods of operating, and you will want to be sure that your chosen wedding planner’s process works well for you.

The wedding planner that you have in mind may be based largely in Paris, for instance, which may seem ideal if you are getting married somewhere like the refined stone-built Château Bouffémont, situated a mere 30 kilometres away.

However, you may be a resident of the UK who will not be visiting France until the wedding, which will not be helpful if your Paris-based wedding planner is never in Britain and prefers to discuss their ideas with you face-to-face, rather than via email or over the phone.



For how long have you been a wedding planner?

We’re not attempting to suggest here that an experienced wedding planner is automatically preferable to an inexperienced one.

However, if the person you choose has spent several decades in the industry rather than just a few years, they will have had greater opportunity to develop connections with vendors that could translate into a better wedding for you.

While it’s important not to become too stressed out by the process of selecting a wedding planner, you should also not underestimate the difference that the right person can make – not least because, as explained by Loverly, working with a wedding planner can bring unexpected benefits.

5 Reasons to Choose our Chateau for your next Corporate Retreat

chateau corporate retreat

Organising corporate retreats can be invaluable for enabling your employees to bond in a face-to-face setting. The benefits can be especially strong if these employees usually work in segmented teams based in disparate locations. However, the venue that you choose can prove crucial to your retreat’s success.

It is imperative that the venue you select ticks an array of particular boxes – and an unorthodox choice of venue can do so especially well. Here are several reasons why CHÂTEAU BOUFFÉMONT has strong merit.


Your workers can relieve stress resulting from day-to-day tasks

Sometimes, employees can become so preoccupied with their daily routines that they don’t give themselves sufficient time to step back and take in the bigger picture of their firm’s future.

However, allowing your workers to retreat to the Château can afford them the time to do exactly this. With the building set amid Montmorency Forest and spectacular manicured gardens, the members of your team can be spared irritating distractions while they put together their new game plan.


There’s the opportunity to explore somewhere new

Often, we travel for leisure purposes because it lets us explore exciting new places. A corporate retreat at a significant distance from a familiar setting can also psychologically benefit your workers, as Inc. reveals – but where can you find interesting but unchartered territory?

The answer: right here at Château Bouffémont. Your staff can spend time admiring the refined decor and beautiful fabrics of the stone-built residence, which includes five grand reception halls and nine suites.


Château Bouffémont is easy to reach

Despite what we have urged about choosing a venue that will enable a fresh and unexpected experience, settling for a venue in an overly obscure location can prove counterproductive. You have to consider, for example, how easily your employees will be able to make the journey.

Fortunately, you can enjoy the best of both worlds at the chateau – as, despite its secluded setting, it remains just 30 kilometres from central Paris and 20 minutes from Charles de Gaulle Airport.


You can escape the office in more ways than one

While it is standard practice to hold retreats in staid conference rooms, you are not obliged to follow this practice yourself. In fact, it could hinder your team’s attempts to think creatively, Inc. implies.

You wouldn’t reap maximum returns from a retreat if you took your workers away from an office, to merely somewhere else that feels like an office. Fortunately, the chateau, with its aristocratic charm and magnificent heritage features, can spare you a ‘work from work’ feeling.


There’s a pleasing scope for spontaneity

In a Fox News article, Janet Fallon of the Washington, D.C.-based public relations company PR Options advises that those organising a corporate retreat forgo a bland space in favour of a “visually busier, interesting space to get the creative juices flowing”. Your staff could be easily kept busy themselves at the chateau.

Opportunities here for playing golf and tennis and trying dancing or cooking help to explain why Château Bouffémont is perfect for a corporate retreat – and our own chateau, especially so. For more information on how Château Bouffémont can help organise your corporate retreat or to download a brochure, click here.

How to have an Intimate Destination Wedding in France

Intimate Wedding

It is unsurprising that so many couples wish to tie the knot in France, which is, after all, perhaps the country on earth to be most indelibly associated with romance. However, whatever your own preferences or plans for your special day may be, it is vital to be well-informed with regard to the legalities and other practical aspects of formalising your union overseas.


What kind of venue do you desire for your big day? 

France is such a frequently dreamed-of wedding destination in part due to its abundance of highly distinguished and enchanting venues.

A French chateau wedding is surely the archetypal romantic occasion, as we have good reason to appreciate here at Château Bouffémont, on account of the many enquiries received in relation to hiring the magnificent heritage property for ceremonies and receptions.

While France is blessed with a variety of wedding venues to cater to different aesthetic tastes, it is also crucial to consider the logistics of your special day, including travel connections and the ease, or otherwise, with which your intended guests will be able to reach your chosen venue.

This is another factor that often heightens the appeal of such a well-situated venue as Château Bouffémont, which can be found in the heart of Montmorency Forest, a mere 40-minute journey from central Paris, and 20 minutes from Charles de Gaulle and Paris-Le Bourget airports.


The legal dimension of getting married on French shores

As explained by such online sources as TransferWise, there are many elements and rules that one must follow if they wish to hold a marriage ceremony and/or reception in France.

Some of the legal requirements for a wedding in France – such as for both parties to consent and be at least 18 years of age – may seem easy enough to meet. However, one frequent barrier to those wishing to officially marry in the country is the need to provide proof of residency in France for a minimum of 30 days prior to the application being made, for at least one of the parties.

It is for this reason that many couples ultimately elect to have a legal wedding in their home country, followed by a religious or symbolic ceremony at a French venue of their choice.

This was the approach taken by Natalie of the Weddings Abroad Guide website, who explained: “My husband and I ‘secretly’ got married in the United Kingdom prior to our wedding in France and had a Humanist wedding ceremony on our wedding day in France.

“Our civil ceremony in the United Kingdom was purely to take care of the legalities and our wedding day in France is when we considered ourselves married.”


All of the intricate touches required for a very special wedding

When you are interested in holding a destination wedding that will warm the hearts of everyone present and leave positive memories to last a lifetime, you can scarcely hope to select a more suitable venue than Château Bouffémont.

The noble stone-built property offers an extraordinary setting of manicured French gardens that lends itself beautifully to the most endearing photography. On the inside, meanwhile, you will find the opulent furnishings and crystal chandeliers that practically define the most intimate and charming of wedding venues.

Combine these elements with the exacting service characterised by the highest level of attention to detail, and you may have the ideal venue for your own intimate French chateau wedding.

10 French Traditions to Embrace at your Wedding

traditional french wedding

Getting married in France is a dream of many couples. This is in largely because of the many
fascinating wedding traditions that have contributed to the country’s reputation as the
epicentre of romance.


If, however, you are interested in not only tying the knot in France but also embracing the finest
French traditions for this most special day, here are some ideas that you may like to incorporate into
your own ceremony.


1. A non-bride-centric approach

To those familiar with the phenomenon of the ‘bridezilla’ – a term used in reference to brides
perceived to be self-centered and unreasonable – the comparatively little focus placed on the bride in
traditional French weddings may be surprising at first. French marriages tend to emphasise, instead,
the two families that are brought together by the union.


2. The wedding procession

One custom on a French wedding day is for the groom to approach his bride-to-be at her home to
‘collect’ her prior to the ceremony. As the bride, her father and musicians lead the procession,
children stretch white ribbons across the road to block their path. The bride cuts the ribbons to
allow her passage, thereby also symbolising her ability to overcome the obstacles of married life.


3. La mairie

This is a legal requirement that has effectively taken the form of a French marriage tradition. Those
wishing to legally marry in the country must be married by the mayor at a town hall, with the doors
remaining open to reflect the ‘public’ nature of the event and – traditionally – provide potential
objectors to the marriage with the opportunity to do so. The SmartExpat website provides more
details on the legal process of tying the knot in France.


4. The wedding armoire

A traditional French bride’s ‘wedding armoire’ is her cupboard or chest, which is to be filled with
linen or clothing – or to use the native term, ‘trousse’. Such items are often hand chosen and
embroidered by the bride and her mother with her married initials, and are meant to serve the
bride’s needs during her married life.


5. The grand entrance

It is the groom and his mother who typically walk down the aisle first to mark the big entrance after
all of the guests are seated. It is only after this that the bridal party arrives, including flower girls
scattering petals, boys carrying the ring and finally, the bride and her father. The couple then sit on
red velvet chairs for the exchange of vows.


6. La noce

This is a term covering all of the wedding-related festivities involving the wedding party and guests.
One tradition formerly involved the guests – or ‘noce’ – following the newlyweds to the various sites
visited on the day, such as the church, drink reception or dinner location, while making the
maximum possible amount of noise. Today, a car procession following the bridal vehicle – with the
horns blaring en route – is more typical.


7. La voiture balai

What can be directly translated in name as the ‘broom car’ serves the purpose of following the
bridal and guests’ cars between locations, to ensure everyone reaches the party safely. A quirkily
and unmistakably French vehicle – such as the Citroen 2CV – is often chosen for this role, and may
be heavily decorated with pans or tins that trail behind it during the journey.


8. The cake

Traditional French weddings do not have a wedding cake as such, but instead what is known as a
croquembouche, which essentially takes the form of a pyramid of balls or choux buns filled with
vanilla cream or custard, and held together with toffee. Alternative offerings may be chosen, such as
conical creations consisting of macrons or other French pastries. Paris-based wedding planner
Kimberley Petyt has provided further information on what you need to know for your own French
wedding croquembouche on The Good Life France website.


9. The champagne tower

Few French wedding traditions are more enthusiastically embraced by those from overseas than la
fontaine à Champagne! This extravagant sight takes the form of a pyramid of flutes or coupes, with
the Champagne being poured into the top glass and subsequently filling all of the glasses below. As
you might imagine, it is best advised to entrust the construction of such a tower to capable and
experienced professionals.


10. The fairytale chateau venue

There can surely be no finer French wedding tradition than the backdrop on which one ties the knot,
not least because this is so often a resplendent historic chateau, such as the extraordinary Château
Bouffémont in its enchanting setting of manicured French gardens.

When you seek the most unspeakably romantic chateau to rent in France for your special day, you
could scarcely hope to make a more tasteful choice than our own aristocratic property – not least
because we are also in such close proximity to Paris, the City of Lights itself.