From the very moment I laid eyes on Clem and Michelle’s movie of their destination wedding in the South of France, I became completely obsessed! Set on the stunning grounds of Chateau Rigaud in Gironde, France this beautiful barn wedding is one that every destination couple should aspire to! It’s so obvious that Michelle and Clem put their hearts and souls into their wedding day and it really paid off. From the floral design to the floating balloons and bridal swing, there are a whole host of beautiful but very achievable details that made this wedding so unique and after seeing it, many of you won’t be surprised to learn that Michelle is actually a guest blogger for One Fab Day. Of course, we can’t forget to mention the one and only Rodolphe from Best Day Productions. We know first hand just how good he is as he has been involved in nearly all of our own inspiration shoots to date. He even reduced me to tears on a few occasions after watching the films he had created for us, so I can imagine how thrilled Michelle and Clem were when they first saw their wedding. A very good decision to bring him along we think…

Une fille et un garcon from best day productions on Vimeo.

Amazing, right? Would you like to know a little bit more about this stylish and incredibly good looking pair? Well, Michelle was kind enough to answer some of our nosey questions about planning their destination wedding at Chateau Rigaud..

How did you and Clem meet?

“We met in the Gallery Nightclub in Limerick when we were teenagers. A friend of Clem’s introduced us. We had a stupid gag going where I would pretend I had a twin (Jacinta was my better half) and he wouldn’t know which one I was. I slagged him for looking like/being a Noel Gallagher wannabe. But really we fancied each other. We had a little kiss in another fine establishment that used to be Docs Nightclub about six months after we met but the Shannon divide kept us apart! We eventually got together a long seven years later!”

How did he pop the all important question?

“We got engaged on Christmas Eve. We were living in separate places and had been for two years so I didn’t expect it at all. We had also never discussed getting engaged although we were going out years so it was a great surprise. It was pretty low key but really lovely and romantic. He had three gorgeous antique rings for me to choose from. I cried initially but once it sunk in I couldn’t keep the smile off my face weeks. It was a really lovely time to get engaged as we got to spend lots of time together and celebrate with our families and friends.”

Why did you decide to have a destination wedding?

“My brother got married in Ravello, Italy a few years before we got engaged and it was the most fantastic wedding we had ever been to. The venue and surroundings were amazing, everyone was so relaxed and got to spend lots of time together and of course the sun shone. The formality that sometimes comes with an Irish wedding just wasn’t there. I always thought if I got married I would like to do something similar and Clem was totally on the same page.”

Was it difficult to decide a location?

“We really knew what we wanted it was just hard to find it! We did a lot of looking (online) because we were open as regards what country we would get married in. We focused on Mallorca (because we had been there the previous summer and it has some really pretty, quaint villages plus good flight options) and France. France was our top choice but we initially found it difficult to find venues online. Eventually we found Chateau Rigaud near Bordeaux on and we just knew that was it. It ticked every box – barn wedding, relaxed vibe, really cool house with enough room for our families, devine food, delicious wine, the list goes on. We went to see four venues when we went to France but hands down Chateau Rigaud was the perfect option for us.”

What challenges did you face while planning and how did you overcome them?

“A huge advantage for us was that the owners of Chateau Rigaud (and most of the staff) are English. The owner/wedding planner Anna really understood the type of wedding Irish people are used to and what expectations we and our families and friends would have.The biggest challenges for us were finding a Priest as we wanted a church wedding, organising the transport for all our guests (a drawback of the French countryside!) and convincing my parents that a wedding in a barn would actually be nice!”

So you didn’t need to use a planner?

“No. Chateau Rigaud takes care of everything. They are your planners and they do a great job. You could literally tell them to book whatever they think is best and you wouldn’t have to have any involvement or worry about a thing. We wanted to have a more hands on approach but really took their advice on board as they know best.They also had an super talented in-house florist and stylist, Hayley Sutherland. This was the cherry on top for me because I love styling and really wanted to put my stamp on the day which was going to prove difficult from Ireland. No task was too great for Hayley – she made us a wooden rope swing for a big tree on the lawn, a curtain for the barn door, dyed parfait jars to replicate turquoise mason jars, sourced vintage grape buckets for flower arrangements in the church, sourced a stunning array of flowers and the list goes on. Having the entire team at Rigaud was a huge advantage for us.”

Did you have a style or theme in mind while you were planning and if so, how did you achieve it?

“I would say we wanted to the wedding to have a particular feel and style as opposed to theme. We wanted to evoke a relaxed atmosphere as a priority but we also wanted it to be very beautiful. To sum it up I think the key ideas were to have a wedding that was a little bit bohemian and rustic, chilled out and casual without too much formality but still a stylish and feminine and lots of fun. Chateau Rigaud was perfect for this. Its relaxed atmosphere was one of the main reasons we chose it. The champagne and canapé reception was on the lawn and we had musicians strolling around playing acoustic music. The barn where the meal was served had long trestle tables, was candle lit and filled with pretty relaxed flowers in mismatched jars and vases. As regards choosing colours for the bridal party, flowers and other styling aspects I focused on creating a pretty colour palette of whites, pale peaches and pinks, lavender, greys, greens and blues and used burlap, twine, ribbon and lace and kraft paper stationery.”

What was the best decision you made?

“That’s a tough one. I think it was to go with our gut feeling and doing exactly what we wanted – not necessarily what anyone else wanted. There can be a lot of obstacles in your way with a wedding, especially abroad but we did exactly what we wanted to do. We had conviction in our vision. In the end everyone have a fantastic time but there were a few disagreements along the way!”

Most memorable moment?

“Honestly it was walking into the church. The doors burst open and it took my breath away. The church was candle lit and it was like a dream – I just floated down the aisle! Cheesy and all as it sounds, then seeing Clem smiling back at me at the top of the altar was a fantastic feeling.”

Did your family and friends extend their trip?

“Most of our families and friends extended the trip either before or after. Bordeaux is really accessible for other areas in France which is one of the reasons we picked it. It made us feel a little less guilty dragging people abroad that our guests could double up and take the opportunity to spend some time in France as their summer holiday!”

How far in advance did you send out your invitations?

“We sent the invitations about three months before the wedding. We had sent a Save the Date with details of accommodation and transport earlier so lots of our friends had booked flights and accommodation before invitations went out. I loved being involved in the process of the wedding invitations (thanks to the patience and super-talent of my friend Emily) sending them and getting all the RSVP’s back! That was when it really felt like “We’re getting married!”

Any regrets?

“Lots! But that is just me. Only silly things that we forgot to do, for example we had organised long sparklers for all the guests so that we could have our first dance outside under the stars but if never happened and tons of other silly things like that. We were having too good a time to notice – I guess that’s a good sign! But if I could go back I would have communicated more of what was in my head to others!”

Any advice for couples planning a destination wedding?

“Lots! I had seen myself on camera for a college project before and nearly died so the last thing I wanted was a wedding video. I thought they were stuffy and slightly cringe. Then I came across Rodolphe/Best Day Productions and need I say more. It was definitely one of the best decisions we made to fly him to France even though it seemed a bit extravagant! He captured the day perfectly and the video is something we will always have to remind us of our fantastic day. It is your day as a couple and if possible you should do exactly what you want to do. It’s one really special day.”

Big thanks to Michelle, Clem and Rodoplphe for allowing us to share this wonderful video and for all of the great advice. Keep an eye out on One Fab Day as they will be featuring their wedding photos and I for one cannot wait to see them!

Cinematography; Best Day Productions | Photography; Melissa Lenoir aka Mamazelle | Ceremony; Church in Pujols | Reception Venue, Planners and Florist; Chateau Rigaud | Stationary; Emily Studio | Wedding Dress; Maria Lucia Hohan | Bridesmaid Dresses; Mango and Ivory Lane | Grooms wear; Reiss | Brides Jewellery; Enchanted Atelier and Myrtle Ivory | Bridesmaid Jewellery; Bow and Pearl

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