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A Fairytale French Wedding by Hu O’Reilly Photography

“The ceremony was magical and I smiled and laughed the whole way through. What a great way to start our married life!”

The couple: Sarah Lynch & Stéphane Chassagneux
Length of engagement: 1 year | Wedding date: 11th July 2015
Wedding location: Vaugrignon Castle, Loire Valley, France

Photographer: Hu O’Reilly Photography



We met… We met during a camel excursion in Morocco whilst on holidays. I was out there for a week with a friend of mine. Stéphane had decided to travel alone for a week also. We spent most of the holidays together and have never been apart since.




Our proposal… Stéphane proposed to me during a weekend he had organised. I was told we were going to a theme park but we ended up in the Savigny Castle in France where Stéphane had booked a room for the weekend. We were sitting down for dinner in a private room located in a small tower off the castle facing the whole park. He got a ring placed on a plate under a silver dome which was used to serve what was meant to be some appetisers before dinner. Then he knelt down to propose to me, I began to cry with happiness! Stéphane proposed with a silver Tiffany band and a week later we flew to South Africa for our summer holidays where we met a jeweller who helped us design and then made my solitaire diamond engagement ring. The whole trip was magical!




My hair and makeup… A childhood friend of mine who was coming to the wedding is a professional hairdresser and took care of my hair as well as the bridal party. I had my hair loosely curled and attached to the side in a chignon. A local makeup artist came to the house on the day of the wedding and took care of my makeup.



My dress… I chose a lace dress in a bridal store in Dublin and got it tailored and adjusted by a seamstress in France. It was exactly as I wanted.









His suit… Stéphane chose his suit in a specialised store in France and got it altered and adjusted by a local tailor in France.








Our ceremony… Our ceremony took place in the garden of the château under two large oak trees and near a small stream. Our wedding was celebrated by a Catholic Priest who is a friend of Sarah’s. He travelled over especially for the wedding. The altar was an arch which was decorated in fresh flowers. We chose to include readings about love and friendship that were read by friends and family.





What our bridal party wore… The bridesmaids wore full length two tone ivory and blush pink lace and chiffon dresses with a belt detail to match my dress.The best man and groomsman wore tuxedos with blush pink bow ties to match the bridesmaids.





Our wedding theme/colours… We chose blush pink and white as our colour theme and requested the men to wear black tie suits. We aimed to combine both Irish and French traditions for example we served Irish beef fillet steaks with French red wine from Burgundy and we had both Irish and French traditional wedding cakes.




We chose our photographer because… We chose Hu O’Reilly as our photographer as I had worked with his wife and had seen his beautiful work from previous weddings he had done. We met Hu a few times personally and they visited us in France. We did not hesitate to think of him for our wedding, a gentleman and a true professional.




We chose our venue because… At the time we we living in a region of France where we were fortunate enough to have a large choice of castles as wedding venues. We chose Vaugrignon Castle because it had beautiful gardens and big old oak trees with a creek trickling by, it was calm and magical for our outdoor ceremony. The castle dining room was classic French style, also the castle had enough rooms to have both our immediate families and wedding party to stay for the weekend.





Our menu… We chose to combine Irish and French traditional food. Stéphane, having been involved in the Irish meat industry for years imported some prime Irish fillet steaks that we served with the beautiful red burgundy wine ‘Gevrey-Chambertin’. Of course, we also included French cheeses along with traditional Irish wedding cake for dessert which was made by Sarah’s mother.




My favourite part of the wedding day… Sarah: Arriving at the château in a white 1960s Jaguar car and being greeted by my brother, after which my dad and I walked through the woods to the gardens before walking down the aisle. There was a special moment when my dad and I were looking at the guests and just taking that moment to cherish for ourselves, after which I got to be with Stéphane. For me the ceremony was magical and I smiled and laughed the whole way through, what a great way to start our married life! Stéphane: Getting ready with my two best friends before the ceremony – it’s a memorable time for a groom, minutes before he sees his bride. Then Sarah walking towards me with ‘Air on a G String’ by J.S. Bach being played by the quartet. It was hard to hold back my tears.



My piece of advice for other brides… Try to stay in the moment! You will be swept along with all the joy of the day and it passes by so quickly so if you can, remember to take a few moments every now and then with your new husband just to take it all in together!

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Pamela Mahon

Pamela Mahon

Pamela enjoys writing about all things decor (she loves buying it too) and has a not so secret addiction to stationery.

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