At Their Chateau Wedding in France, This Couple and Their Guests Danced Until Dawn

bride and groom kissing in front of french chateau
Oliver Fly

Sarah and Jed met at a tailgate in Boston when Jed was in town for a Boston College football game. The two exchanged some flirty messages over social media before he invited her to New York for a concert a few weeks later. After a few more trips to Manhattan, Jed asked Sarah to be his date for a mutual friend's party—and the couple has been inseparable ever since.

Over the years, the pair made a tradition of going to Paris every spring, and on their 2019 trip, Jed surprised Sarah with a getaway to the South of France. He proposed at sunset on their hotel's walkway, and the couple began planning their October 2020 wedding; ultimately, they postponed the event not once, but twice, due to COVID-19.

About a year after their original date, Sarah and Jed invited 95 guests to join them for a rehearsal dinner at Château de la Gaud and wedding at Château de Fonscolombe, both in Aix-en-Provence, France. Most of the couple's loved ones were able to stay in one of the 50 rooms at the lattermost chateau. "We wanted our guests to be able to appreciate this special place and feel like they were on a dream vacation that we happened to get married [during]," Sarah says.

The couple partnered with Mylene and Geoffrey from White Eden Weddings to help them plan their international celebration from afar. "We worked so well as a team. Any difficult decision we had to make was only hard because all the options they offered were so great!" the bride says. "Even at crunch time and on the day-of, the wedding planning stress was nonexistent."

01 of 27

Destination Stationery

wedding invitation suite with blue calligraphy and drawing of chateau
Oliver Fly

The couple tapped Crème de Papier to create a custom suite on handmade paper, which they used to invite their guests to their destination wedding weekend in Aix-en-Provence. The stationery featured blue calligraphy and a drawing of the Château de Fonscolombe's tower on both the invitation and the envelope liner.

02 of 27

Let's Rehearse

bride and groom kissing on french chateau steps
Oliver Fly

On the day before their wedding, Sarah and Jed hosted an al fresco rehearsal dinner at Château de la Gaud. "The South of France has always been a very special place to us, and we knew right away that we wanted to get married there and be able to share this special place with all our friends and family," Sarah says of the general locale.

03 of 27

Welcome To France

rehearsal dinner setup with one long table in chateau courtyard
Oliver Fly

Guests kicked off the weekend's festivities by dining outside on the property's terrace. White Eden Weddings, the pair's planning and design team, opted for a clean, neutral aesthetic to contrast with the lush French gardens and vineyards just ahead. The single long table was dressed in blue linens as a nod to the wedding's color palette.

04 of 27

Cool and Clean

blue and white rehearsal dinner tablescape
Oliver Fly

All-white settings were punctuated by nacre cutlery, organic white florals from Sisters and B., pillar candles, and handwritten menus.

05 of 27

Dinner Al Fresco

rehearsal dinner with long table setup in chateau courtyard
Oliver Fly

Guests enjoyed a Provençal dinner cooked by the Michelin-star chef in residence at Château de la Gaude—and then took part in an upbeat after-party; they danced along to a strolling live band in the chateau's salons until late in the evening.

06 of 27

Nap Dress Nation

bride getting ready with bridesmaids wearing matching blue floral dresses
Oliver Fly

The couple's Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Nell, made an appearance in the bridal suite; Sarah and her attendants wore Hill House Home nap dresses while they got ready for the big day.

07 of 27

Pearl Drops

bride putting on pearl earrings
Oliver Fly

Sarah redesigned her great-grandmother's pearl earrings—that she and her grandmother wore on their own wedding days—for her own celebration.

08 of 27

Felt Like Me

bride wearing fitted vera wang gown holding asymmetrical organic bouquet with white flowers
Oliver Fly

The bride wore a fitted Vera Wang wedding dress with a folded neckline and cowl back. She didn't exactly enjoy dress shopping; she felt like every dress she tried on was too overtly bridal. "This one was different—I felt like me in it," she says. "I am all about comfort and representing myself through fashion, and this certainly did both."

A wild, asymmetrical, organic bouquet of cream, white, blush, and latte-hued flowers added a splash of color to her ensemble.

  • 8 Things to Keep in Mind While Wedding-Dress Shopping
09 of 27

Cool Shoes

brides white strappy amina mauddi shoes
Oliver Fly

She also donned strappy white Amina Muaddi shoes—and pinned a few sprigs of baby's breath in her hair for a finishing touch.

10 of 27

Sharp in Navy

groom buttoning tuxedo jacket
Oliver Fly

Jed stepped out in a navy Tom Ford tuxedo and shoes. "Jed wanted to wear something different than the traditional black or white tux, so he went with navy," Sarah explains, noting that he polished off his suit with a gold watch that his grandmother gave to him.

11 of 27

Bridesmaids in Marchesa

bride with bridesmaids wearing mismatched marchesa dresses
Oliver Fly

Sarah gave her bridesmaids a mood board of colors and asked them to pick any dress they wanted. Each attendant ended up choosing a Marchesa number, and held miniature versions of the bride's bouquet on the big day.

12 of 27

Tonal Contrast

groom with groomsmen wearing classic black tuxedos
Oliver Fly

Groomsmen wore classic black tuxedos; the color differentiation helped the groom stand out (his navy tux, however, did have black lapels, to ensure his ensemble spoke to his groomsmen's).

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Fountain-Facing Ceremony

wedding ceremony in french chateau courtyard with cast iron chairs facing fountain
Oliver Fly

The pair's ceremony took place in the grand courtyard of the chateau, where cast iron chairs were set up facing the historical fountain and the property's two towers.

14 of 27

Hundreds of Roses

white roses lining wedding ceremony aisle
Oliver Fly

Blooming cherry trees framed the white stage that served as the altar; hundreds of white roses flanked either side of the aisle, the entrance of which was marked with two large arrangements.

15 of 27

Here Comes Nell

cavalier king charles spaniel wearing white floral collar
Oliver Fly

Live violinists played Avicii's "Wake Me Up" as the wedding party made their way down the aisle. Nell reappeared during the service: She trotted down the aisle, accompanied by the groom's two brothers, while wearing a white floral collar. "All she wanted to do was jump on Jed at the altar, but she had to take her seat in the front row, whining," Sarah says.

16 of 27

Vows and Berets

bride and groom exchanging vows beneath blooming cherry trees
Oliver Fly

The couple's mutual friend, Michael, officiated their ceremony. "We completely trusted him and looked forward to his speech!" Sarah says. "He started in French, making it very obvious he couldn't speak a word of it (to uproarious laughter from the guests) and then continued in English." The highlight of the pair's non-religious service was also facilitated by Michael; he whipped out berets for the couple to wear—and then Sarah and Jed noticed the groomsmen had donned them, as well.

17 of 27

Celebratory Recessional

guests tossing white flower petals during wedding ceremony recessional
Oliver Fly

The newlyweds made their way back up the aisle as musicians played Coldplay's "Viva La Vida" and guests tossed white flower petals into the air.

18 of 27

Cocktails and a Show

bartender balancing drink on cocktail spoon
Oliver Fly

During the cocktail hour, guests mingled on the lawn and enjoyed passed appetizers including white truffle croque-monsieurs and avocado and mimolette quesadillas. They also enjoyed the duo's signature cocktails—one was tequila based, while the other had vodka—along with wine and Champagne, courtesy of the chateau. "The great bartenders truly put on a great show!" Sarah says. "Not only did they serve delicious and beautiful cocktails, but they also provided some entertainment."

19 of 27

Find Your Seat

escort cards displayed on table decorated with blue and white table runner and white floral arrangements
Oliver Fly

Escort cards were printed on white paper and displayed on a table decorated with a blue-and-white runner, vintage vases, and neutral floral centerpieces. Arrangements of white roses—like the ones seen on the ceremony aisle—were displayed underneath the station, as if they were growing up from the ground.

20 of 27

A Tent in a Park

wedding reception in crystal open air marquee tent on chateau lawn
Oliver Fly

Sarah and Jed hosted their reception in a crystal open-air marquee tent on the property's park. Chandeliers and disco balls were suspended from the rafters, and cherry blossom trees and white roses surrounded the structure's entry point.

21 of 27

Soft Touches

wedding reception space with crystal chandeliers and blue and white decor
Oliver Fly

A mix of long and round tables topped with ivory floor-length linens were paired with French country dining chairs. Blue fabric was draped from the ceiling for ambience.

22 of 27

Punchy Numbers

wedding reception blue and white tablescape
Oliver Fly

Table numbers were printed in a blocky font, and offered a modern contrast to the otherwise classic stations.

23 of 27

Pops of Blue and White

wedding reception place setting with blue and white patterned plates and napkins
Oliver Fly

Each spot was set with blue-and-white patterned plates and napkins, blue handled gold flatware, and gold rimmed glassware. Centerpieces featured white, cream, and blush roses, and were filled in with a mix of greenery. Latte-hued taper candles in gold holders were the finishing touch.

The couple wanted to do things their own way, so on their big day, they served a five course sit-down meal—and saved dancing for later. During dinner, the best man, maid of honor, and father of the bride shared heartfelt speeches.

24 of 27

Accent Tier

tiered wedding cake with blue floral pattern and champagne glasses with white flowers
Oliver Fly

The couple served a three-tiered lemon wedding cake—made by Made in Cake—with raspberry filling; its middle tier featured the same blue design seen on the dinner napkins.

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25 of 27

Disco Dance Party

bride and groom having first dance beneath disco balls
Oliver Fly

After dinner, guests made their way to the chateau's restaurant, which was transformed into a disco-themed night club. Sarah and Jed shared their first dance to "Higher Love," the Whitney Houston and Kygo remix. "The lyrics, the music, and the feeling—it's what we feel together as a couple. We wanted to share and spread that to everyone at our wedding!" the bride says. The couple's good friend, DJ Betto, along with an electric guitarist, kept guests on the dance floor until 5 a.m. To keep the party going, the couple had a pizza food truck at the ready; guests grabbed late-night snacks, and then returned to the dance floor.

26 of 27

Mini Dress Moment

bride wearing off-white strapless vera wang mini dress dancing with guests
Oliver Fly

Sarah changed into an off-white, strapless Vera Wang mini dress with a bubble hem during the reception. "The second I saw this dress in a Vera Wang ad, I started hunting it down at a trunk show," Sarah says. She paired it with comfortable converse high tops, so she, like her and Jed's guests, could party all night long.

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bride and groom kissing in front of cheering wedding party
Oliver Fly

Photography, Oliver Fly
Rehearsal Dinner Venue, Château de la Gaud
Wedding Venue and Catering, Château de Fonscolombe
Event Planning and Design, White Eden Weddings
Videography, MG Image
Flowers, Sisters and B.
Invitations and Paper Products, Crème de Papier
Bride's Attire, Vera Wang
Bride's Shoes, Amina Muaddi
Bride's Hair and Makeup, Un Brin D'Audace
Groom's Attire, Tom Ford
Bridesmaids' Dresses, Marchesa
Music, Incanto Musique; DJ Betto
Cake, Made in Cake
Rentals, Maison Options; Latini Design; JoliBazaar; Nuage Design
Favors, Une pincée de Provence
Lighting, Phos Event
Bartending, DNA Bartending
Technics, South Prod

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