When I first began shooting professionally, I packed up and spent the summer in Paris. I suppose you could say that Destination Weddings have been part of my work since the beginning. They still hold a special place in my work. I’m so happy to share this incredible love story in this remarkable castle.
As I drove up to this castle I had one of those ‘is this real life?’ moments. Those moments kept accumulating as the day went on.
This Chicago couple gathered their family and dear ones for a weekend wedding at the Chateau de la Flocelliére. The castle, that sits just south of Cholet in the Loire Valley, was built as a fortress back to the 11th century with family history that can be traced from 1050. French culture and nods to the past are present in every room from curtains to wallpaper to framed relics. The castle is filled with charming antiquities and feels like standing in a fairy tale. The grounds are well cured and include some ruins dating back to the Revolution.
I spent most of the morning with Julia in the grand suite on the top level for getting ready, popping down to get Tom has he was getting ready later in the morning. An emotional first look took place in the sprawling gardens. The ceremony was just behind the castle and included a violinist, a series of readings and personal vows to one another. The grooms father officiated. Dinner took place in the decorated lower foyer and was in traditional French style with multiple courses and wine pairings. The room echoed with toasts, laughs, fellowship and celebration throughout the evening. A towering dessert with sparklers, macarons and cake was brought out by the chef himself in honor of the bride and groom. Dancing carried on through the night in the library.
Julia + Tom’s story was one I won’t forget. Here are some of my favorites from the day. Shot entirely on my Leica M 240.