Planning a destination wedding can be daunting for some couples and planning a wedding in a completely different country can be overwhelming. Today we have a real wedding from a couple that planned their wedding in the South of France from their home in Kelowna, Canada. Photographed by Foto Verdi, this DIY real wedding is full of details and advice on how best to plan your destination wedding…

From the bride: “We met when I was working part time in the summer. Andy was in his third year of University studies and I was going to enter my first year University program. We started dating shortly after we met. We went to Bermuda for our one month anniversary. Andy’s father at the time lived and work in Bermuda. It was during that first trip that we just knew. We were so happy and had so much fun together. Afterwards, we maintained a long distance relationship for 4.5 yrs while we were both in University in far apart towns. We took many vacations throughout our relationship.”

Foto Verdi

Foto Verdi

Foto Verdi

Foto Verdi

“Andy proposed to me when we were in Kelowna. We had been dating for 5 yrs before he popped the question. I had a feeling he was going to propose during our trip to Kelowna. We had been talking about it for a while and shopping for a ring together. At first, I thought he would propose in the hotel room on the first day we arrived. He didn’t. Then I thought he was going to propose at the really nice restaurant we ate at for dinner. he didn’t. For sure, I thought he would propose after dinner in the hotel room. He went to sleep. the next day, we went to a garden recommended for tourist to see. We were alone and Andy got one one knee and ask me to marry him. He was super nervous even though he knew I would say yes. As a result, it was the fastest proposal. It felt like he got down on one knee and bounced back up immediately.”

Foto Verdi

Foto Verdi

Foto Verdi

Foto Verdi

“Both Andy and myself are very laid back. My bridesmaid help choose our wedding venue. My father in law went to see our venue as he lives in England and it was a closer commute for him than for us from Canada. I didn’t browse through any wedding magazines for any ideas. The only time we use online resources was for finding images for my wedding hairstyle and for finding activities for our guest during the four days at the chateau. We use Frommers, Fodors, Lonely Planet and other travel guides to help plan places to see.”

Foto Verdi

Foto Verdi

Foto Verdi

Foto Verdi

Foto Verdi

Foto Verdi

“I brought my wedding dress from a small independently owned clothing boutique in Queen Street, Toronto. When my sister got married, all her bridesmaids including myself had brought our bridesmaid dress from this shop. The owner designs all the dresses in the store. I purchase my stilettoes from Nine West. It was not my first choice but definitely the most affordable footwear. One of my coworkers had help my find a fur shrug through kijiji for $15. I also had one made for $100 and the general consensus was the cheaper shrug looked better. Andy had brought a new suit when he was the best man for his brother’s wedding, which he wore for our wedding. He brought his dress shirt and shoes from the Hudson’s Bay Company.”

Foto Verdi

Foto Verdi

Foto Verdi

Foto Verdi

“The lead up and the very beginning of the wedding day was very stressful. Many of our wedding guests did not know each other. We wanted to be good hosts and ensure that everyone had people to hang out with and things to do. It wasn’t until our photographers did private photos of us, did we really calm down and start to really enjoy the day. We had a ton of fun that day. It was perfect. We also got very lucky with the weather. It had been raining days leading up the wedding but we caught sunshine.”

Foto Verdi

Foto Verdi

Foto Verdi

Foto Verdi

“Planning a wedding abroad was very difficult. I would of love to seen our wedding venue ahead of time. But we relied on Trip Advisor and it’s high ratings to help us choose this chateau. We were so happy with it. I would also have liked to fly in earlier, not the day before the wedding, to have a hair trial. Again, I got very lucky. My hair dresser did a fantastic job. I was really happy with her. But I have heard horror stories from friends regarding their hair and make up artist the day of their wedding. Overall, both my and Andy are more laid back. We were not as picky about centrepieces, color themes, etc. We tried to make it as simple as possible for us. Our main concern was ensuring that all our wedding guests had activities to do.”

Foto Verdi

Foto Verdi

Foto Verdi

Foto Verdi

“A destination wedding is such a wonderful way to bring your friends and family together. It is so difficult to organize a trip that includes such a large group as everyone is so busy. A wedding is a wonderful way. Some of our guests had complaints regarding having to travel but in the end, everyone had so much and was so glad they came. After the wedding, a core group of eight of us went traveling in France together. Others who left early all regretted not coming along.”

Vendor details

Photography: Foto Verdi | Film Lab: Richard Photo Lab | Stationery: DIY | Groom’s suit: Hudson Bay Company | Groom’s wedding ring: Tiffany | Venue: Le Chateau de Reignac, Reignac-sur-Indre, France | Bridesmaid’s dress designer: Mod Cloth | Bride’s dress designer: Custom from Fashion Crimes | Bride’s Shoe Designer: Nine West | Bride’s wedding ring: Tiffany

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South of France destination real wedding

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