Previews 250 - Amy and Gabriel's wedding

A Candlelit, Intimate French Chateau Wedding in Brittany

Amy and Gabe married on the 30th of September, 2023, blending American charm with French elegance. Honouring Gabe’s French heritage, they chose to wed in the picturesque region of Brittany, in Western France. With the help of Chateau Bee, they found the perfect venue to host their dream, intimate French wedding. The couple decided on Chateau du Val, a beautiful neo-gothic wedding venue nestled in the heart of Brittany. Featuring a reception hall adorned with crystal candelabras and polished wooden floors, their wedding really exuded a timeless Versailles charm.

Despite a power outage, the couple turned adversity into magic, transforming their dinner into a candlelit masterpiece. Not only did this unexpected twist add a touch of enchantment, but, who’s to say, it might even set a trend as a delightfully eco-conscious practice!

Without further ado, let’s dive into Amy and Gabe’s wedding below as narrated by Amy. And why not imagine Chateau du Val as your dream venue—maybe even with the lights off!

Previews 250 - Amy and Game
Photo by Méa Grenon

Uniting Two Worlds: An Intimate Chateau Wedding in Brittany

“As an American couple, we made the decision to get married in France to honor Gabe’s French family lineage. His paternal grandparents are both from the Brittany region of France, and have their own beautiful love story, which was important to us to incorporate in our day.

We knew we would have a small, intimate wedding, but were surprised and touched to see how many people in our lives were willing to travel for us. We ended up with about 50 guests, mostly from the United States, but also many French family members, who hadn’t all seen each other in quite some time. It was our honor to bring them together.

Preview 187 - Amy and Gabriel's Intimate French wedding
Previews 249
Photos by Méa Grenon
Previews 120

Overcoming Setbacks: Our Unforgettable Candlelit Chateau Wedding

Even with seven months of tedious and careful planning, we expected a few things could go “wrong.” But in our case, it turned out the worst thing that happened actually ended up being the turning point for some of the best moments of the whole night.

The power at the chateau went out during dinner!

It started with a few flickers, each lasting about 15 seconds with a few gasps from our guests, before the lights came back on. We tried to take a few pictures while the room was lit only by candles, but the lights would continue to come back on. At some point, the power was cut off completely.

Dinner went on, and everyone started putting extra candles in the empty wine bottles on their tables. The dining room was beautifully lit and we like to believe it took everyone a few steps back in time.

France 494 - Amy and Gabe
Photos by Dr. Juan Carlos Claros
France 484 - Amy and Gabe's wedding

The balcony doors were opened to let some fresh air into the room. We stepped out to cool off, and discovered our friends found a battery powered bluetooth speaker to keep the music going. Eric Clapton’s “Wonderful Tonight” combined with the mood lighting prompted several couples to start dancing. It was a magical and intimate moment that will live in our hearts and minds forever. 

Jocelyn, the wedding coordinator for the chateau, said the power had not gone out at the chateau in about a decade. All of our guests believe it was just meant to be. Jocelyn, being attentive to the situation, said she had an electrician on the way. We told her not to worry about it; we would rather have the lights off! Although the power did, however, come back on right as we were all heading to the lodge (another building on the property) for the reception. What timing!  

France 488 - Amy and Gabriel's wedding
France 485
France 487
France 500 - Amy and Gabriel's Intimate French chateau wedding
Photos by Dr. Juan Carlos Claros

A Luxurious Chateau Wedding Weekend in Brittany’s Countryside

Aside from our wedding day, we also offered our guests a welcome dinner the night before, and a goodbye galette brunch the day after the wedding. Our wedding weekend did not feel rushed. Perhaps the result of being spread out across three days, and having a smaller guest list. We felt, in France, we found a luxury that would be harder to come by in the United States. The chateau sits in a remote, countryside location away from the hustle of a big city. We were also given the freedom of time, instead of a curfew that you would typically find at American venues. We were able to give our guests a beautiful destination and unique experience, while honoring Gabe’s family heritage. 

Most of our American guests planned trips around the wedding and continue to tell us that our wedding is one of their favorites they’ve ever been to, and that it was “one for the ages.” We feel this way, too! 

Previews 236
Previews - Amy and Gabriel's French chateau wedding
Previews 231
Previews 240 - Amy and Gabriel's chateau wedding
Photos by Méa Grenon
french wedding galettes
Photos by Dr. Juan Carlos Claros
galettes crepes wedding brittany
Photo by Dr. Juan Carlos Claros

Unveiling Our Dream Team of Vendors for the Ideal Intimate Wedding

We found the majority of our vendors on our own, rather than immediately going with suggestions, and believe we put together the most perfect team for our day. Our photographer was Méa Grenon, who quickly felt like a friend to me after our first phone call. A second photographer, Dr. Juan Carlos Claros, is a friend of ours who took photos as an invaluable and treasured gift to us. Pierre-Alain Mouton, our videographer, exceeded our expectations with a nearly seven minute video capturing countless special moments throughout the day and night.

Discover the fantastic wedding video of Pierre-Alain Mouton here:

Our DJ was Arnaud Klein, who made sure not only the music, but the technical side of things, was taken care of. Our food was handled by the chateau, which took a lot of stress off of finding a caterer. My hair and makeup artist was flown in from the UK. Gabby, who has a calm and reassuring presence, made me feel beautiful, special and confident. A close friend officiated our wedding. 

Previews 022 - Amy and Gabriel's wedding
Photos by Méa Grenon
Previews 030 - Amy and Gabriel's wedding
Previews 108 - Amy and Gabriel's wedding

We hired Jon Rebbeck to perform on his saxophone during our cocktail hour and for the first hour of dinner. Not only was Jon kind and professional, he also saved the day when it came to our first dance. We mistakenly did not think about how our first dance would be played. Jon came to the rescue and allowed us to put our thumb drive in his computer to play the music through his speaker system. Jon was also willing to perform music that other saxophonists we interviewed said would be too challenging. We lucked out in finding him! 

Photo by Dr. Juan Carlos Claros

We took a risk deciding to get married in France, knowing we would not be able to see the venue we chose ahead of our big day. With help from Ingrid from The Chateau Bee, we knew we were picking a venue that had been vetted, and that truly did exist. Ingrid was attentive and quick to respond to all of our questions. She even helped me find someone in France who would preserve my flowers for me. I would expect to have to pay for the services Ingrid provides, and it was a blessing to have free access to someone with a passion to help couples find their venue.

Seven Months to Forever

To any couples looking to get married in France: We pulled this off in seven months without a wedding planner. You can do it too. Your friends and family will travel for you, and you will have the most magical memories to look back on for a lifetime!”

Previews 183 - Amy and Gabriel's weekend wedding
Photos by Méa Grenon

Find Your Dream Wedding Venue with Chateau Bee

The tale of Amy and Gabe’s intimate French wedding weekend weaves timeless elegance, unexpected magic, and heartfelt moments into lasting memories. Why not choose Chateau Bee to help you embark on your dream French journey. And if you’re not sure yet about what your ideal French wedding venue is, explore our array of enchanting wedding locations in Brittany and beyond.

If your planning an intimate “I do” or a grand luxury extravaganza, Chateau Bee pledges meticulous attention to detail, free and personalised customer service, and a commitment to turning your vision into reality. If, just like Amy and Gabe, you’re dreaming of a genuine French wedding experience, we will be by your side to make it happen.

Feel free to contact us on 00 44 (0) 1481 234 442, email or use our easy contact form. Contact Chateau Bee today to choose your dream French wedding venue!

Bella Chateau Bee

A Candlelit, Intimate French Chateau Wedding in Brittany by Bella Dean

Foodie, yogi and travel lover!