I get excited by every enquiry in my inbox – you want me to help you celebrate your love, in front of the people you love? Yes please! - but I do a double squeak when I see an enquiry for a destination wedding celebrant.
A destination wedding celebrant is a celebrant who is based in the same country as you, and travels abroad for your wedding the same as you (but don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be with you - I’m not going to request we sit three in a row on the plane!) One of the huge benefits of working with a celebrant at home, rather than the country you’ll be travelling to, is that you can meet and get to know them on home turf. It’s a great way of simplifying planning a wedding remotely, because you don’t have to fly abroad to meet the person who will marry you face to face.
Sarah and Alex sent such an enquiry, asking if I was available to be their destination wedding celebrant for their April ceremony in the South of France. Yes, yes I was, was my reply, and you can see the results below!
A dreamy South of France wedding
Sarah and Alex chose the Château de Lartigolle as their wedding venue, a stunning boutique-style country house in the region of Gers, around an hour away from Toulouse. Of course, all Châteaus by nature are pretty dreamy, but Château de Lartigolle is particularly so. Their ethos is, quite simply, "Celebrate Life" which I think pretty much sums it up…as that’s what I’m all about too!
The ceremony was outside, with the chairs set out in a space that was nestled between some trees. The weather was bloody fantastic, and suncream was required. (Here’s your resident destination wedding celebrant / weathergirl, reporting for duty: the South of France was *very* nice in April!) I stood in front of a gorgeous structure covered with flowers and greenery, looking back on the Château itself, and Sarah and her bridesmaids walking out and down the vintage-rug-lined aisle to meet Alex at the top. The guests, and the couple, looked out on the rolling greenery of the South of France.
After the ceremony (more on that below…what kind of a destination wedding celebrant would I be if I just left it at that?), confetti throw and cocktail hour, it was time for food. Guests were shown to the tables, which were set outside the Château in a horseshoe shape, with the courtyard as their backdrop.
As dusk descended, Sarah and Alex cut their Croquembouche. It’s a popular alternative to wedding cake in France, and it was SO delicious! The first dance took place under trees and twinkly lights, and guests danced the night away in the Courtyard. The night finally ended in the venue’s old wine cellar, which is now a cavernous club. The day after, sore heads and full hearts were nursed with a pool party and BBQ at the Château.
A fun-filled, heartfelt ceremony
Sarah and Alex’s ceremony was a long time coming. They got engaged in Vietnam in 2019…and we all know there's been a few hiccups for wedding planning since then! Though they had a small legal ceremony in London in August 2021, they wanted a wedding day which they could share with their nearest and dearest, and it was a joy and a privilege to be the destination wedding celebrant they chose for the task.
As a humanist celebrant, every ceremony I conduct is unique, and every script personal to the couple. With this in mind, we worked together to fill their script with nods to their particular love story.
For example, Sarah works for charity and Alex is a lawyer, and we started off his vows with the Sworn Evidence oath you’re asked to say in court! Woven into the script were memories and quotes they’d given throughout the process, such as when I asked Alex to describe Sarah, and he sent a Game of Thrones meme. There’s a first time for everything…but also, he’s right, she does look like Ygritte!
But we made sure there were heartfelt moments amongst the hilarious, too. I mentioned their sincere answers to what they loved about each other, and the Bucket List they’ve drawn up together for their future adventures. Alex’s friend Linden and Sarah’s sister-in-law read What is a Marriage? by Joanna Miller and Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton.
We also celebrated their gorgeous little boy, Xander, with a gift, to give him the place he deserved in the ceremony. The couple’s new surname is Wild, so they exited the ceremony to Wild Thing.
Have you considered a celebrant for your destination wedding?
If you’re thinking about getting married abroad, you might not have thought about who’ll lead your ceremony yet. But I’d really recommend a destination wedding celebrant…and not just because I am one, of course!
For starters, you want a wedding ceremony that’s as special as your surroundings. You deserve a ceremony that celebrates you as people, and a celebrant who gets to know you for this exact reason. You dream of a wedding that’s unforgettable; and that includes the ceremony.
If that’s the case, then a destination wedding celebrant is the perfect choice, and I’d be honoured to chat to see if I’m the right one! Check out more info on how I work as a destination wedding celebrant soon on my dedicated webpage, or you can get in touch here (aforementioned squeaking from me imminent…).
Thank you, Sarah and Alex, for asking me to be your destination wedding celebrant, and also to Farwood Photography who is responsible for the gorgeous photos. Check out the gallery below for more inspiration for your South of France Château wedding.