Photographing a Chateau Zen wedding in the South of France invited us to completely step into a new world. We didn’t understand what we signed up for with Caro and Ben’s French destination wedding until we started driving deep into the south of France on an ancient Spanish road leading into the Madieres valley.  Speckles of golden sunlight flickered through passing trees with faint impressions of massive rock cliffs, rich greenery and in the distance a chateau nestled in the cliffs above a “meandering” calm river. A feeling of deep peace started to overcome us. Time slowed down. Our escort, Lucie (the bride’s cousin) said to us in the sweetest charming French accent, “You know… we are headed to a very special place.” We will never forget the soft smile on her face as she said, “This… is the beginning of the end of the world.” 

What happened over the next 4 days blew our minds and made us seriously consider getting a second home in France. Caro and Ben’s family (many of whom flew overseas) and friends immediately welcomed us in like-life long friends. They kissed our cheeks at every greeting. Conversed with us late into the night. And we dove deep into every activity capturing every moment with our cameras. From early morning yoga, hiking in the Cirque de Navacelles valley, jumping off cliffs through waterfalls into the river, picnicking on cliff rocks, white water rafting, enjoying gourmet breakfasts and dinners, jaw-dropping hour douvres, multiple champagne toasts (luck had it that some of the family was from Champagne), raw blunt jokes, to the most moving ceremony, crazy late dancing, and the most profound bride & groom dance we’ve ever seen encircled by everyone holding candle lights. We laughed and cried with tears that we didn’t even know existed! 17 hrs later and 18 thousand photographs we finally put down our cameras and surrendered to the dance floor singing and swinging with everyone clinking our goblets way into the early morning hours at 5 am. This unbelievably unique group showed us a new level of emotional vulnerability, quality time, and how fragile life reveals itself when it comes time to say goodbye. We love you Caro and Ben and everyone who shared this Chateau Zen wedding experience with us.

Fearless photographer award winning photo of a bride and groom emotionally touching hands for the first time with their eyes closed moments before their wedding ceremony at Chateau Zen in Montpellier France.

Wide angle perspective of an award winning wedding photo of a bride and groom walking through the Cirque de Navacelles valley in the South of France for Chateau Zen Wedding. Bride and groom swimming in nearby rivers before their Chateau Zen Wedding in the South of France near Montpelier Guests swimming in nearby rivers before their Chateau Zen Wedding in the South of France near Montpelier Groom and friends swimming in nearby rivers before their Chateau Zen Wedding in the South of France near Montpelier Groom and friends swimming in nearby rivers before their Chateau Zen Wedding in the South of France near Montpelier Bride and groom celebrating with wine before a Chateau Zen Wedding in the South of France near Montpelier Bride and friends practicing morning yoga before a Chateau Zen Wedding in the South of France near Montpelier Bride and friends practicing morning yoga before a Chateau Zen Wedding in the South of France near Montpelier Bride and bridesmaids doing yoga the morning of a Chateau Zen wedding in the south of France Happy bride getting ready before her Chateau Zen wedding in the South of France near Montpelier Groom shaving for his Chateau Zen Wedding in the south of France near Montpelier. Creative photo of bride getting ready for her Chateau Zen Wedding in the south of France. Beautiful portrait of a bridesmaid girl while getting ready for a Chateau Zen wedding in the South of France near Montpelier Creative photo of bride getting ready for her Chateau Zen Wedding in the south of France near Montpelier. Creative photo of groom getting ready for his Chateau Zen Wedding in the south of France near Montepelier. Creative photo of groom getting ready for his Chateau Zen Wedding in the south of France near Montpelier. Fun photo of bride getting ready for his Chateau Zen Wedding in the south of France near Montpelier. Creative photo of bride getting ready for her Chateau Zen Wedding in the south of France near Montpelier. Beautiful bridesmaids laughing together with bride getting ready for her Chateau Zen wedding in the South of France near Montepelier. Beautiful bridesmaids crying together with bride getting ready for her Chateau Zen wedding in the South of France near Montepelier. Beautiful bridesmaids crying together with bride getting ready for her Chateau Zen wedding in the South of France near Montepelier. Bride getting her dress on for her Chateau Zen wedding in the South of France near Montepelier. Bride getting dress on for her Chateau Zen wedding in the South of France. Bride getting ready for her Chateau Zen wedding in the South of France near Montepelier. Bride laughing with best friend and mother before her Chateau Zen wedding in the South of France near Montepelier. Bride with best friend before her Chateau Zen wedding in the South of France near Montepelier. Emotional groom with emotional father moments before his Chateau Zen wedding ceremony in the South of France. Groom being led to be with his bride without looking before their Chateau Zen wedding ceremony in the South of France near Montepelier.Emotional moment of bride and groom touching hands without looking before their Chateau Zen wedding ceremony in the South of France near Montepelier. Bride and Groom seeing each other during their Chateau Zen wedding ceremony in the South of France near Montepelier.

Bride and Groom seeing each other during their Chateau Zen wedding ceremony in the South of France near Montepelier.

Emotional groom seeing bride for the first time during a Chateau Zen wedding ceremony in the South of France near Montepelier. Emotional bride seeing groom for the first time during a Chateau Zen wedding ceremony in the South of France near Montepelier. Emotional groom seeing bride for the first time during a Chateau Zen wedding ceremony in the South of France near Montepelier. An emotional Chateau Zen wedding ceremony in the South of France near Montepelier. Emotional groom sharing vows during a Chateau Zen wedding ceremony in the South of France near Montepelier. Guests looking through a back window in on a Chateau Zen wedding ceremony in the South of France near Montepelier. A Chateau Zen wedding ceremony in the South of France near Montepelier. A happy bride during a Chateau Zen wedding ceremony in the South of France near Montepelier. Parents of the bride seated during a Chateau Zen wedding ceremony in the South of France near Montepelier. Wide angle view of a gorgeous Chateau Zen wedding ceremony in the south of France near Montepelier. Window view of a gorgeous Chateau Zen wedding ceremony in the south of France near Montepelier. High view of a gorgeous Chateau Zen wedding ceremony in the south of France near Montepelier. Bride and groom exiting a gorgeous Chateau Zen wedding ceremony in the south of France near Montepelier. Ecstatic moment between bride and groom during a gorgeous Chateau Zen wedding ceremony in the south of France near Montepelier. Ecstatic moment between bride and groom during a gorgeous Chateau Zen wedding ceremony in the south of France near Montepelier. Ecstatic exit with the bride and groom during a gorgeous Chateau Zen wedding ceremony in the south of France near Montpelier.

Fearless Photographers award wining photo of a young French girl hugging a bride during a Chateau Zen wedding in the south of France near Montpelier.

Emotional photo of a groom hugging his best friend during a Chateau Zen wedding in the south of France near Montpelier. Emotional photo of a father hugging a bride during a Chateau Zen wedding in the south of France near Montpelier. Emotional photo of parents with a bride during a Chateau Zen wedding in the south of France near Montpelier. Emotional photo of parents hugging a bride and groom during a Chateau Zen wedding in the south of France near Montpelier. Emotional photo of a cousin hugging a bride and groom during a Chateau Zen wedding in the south of France near Montpelier. Bride and groom walking through the forest moments after their Chateau Zen wedding in the South of France near Montepelier. Happy bride and groom photo in the mountains following their Chateau Zen wedding in the South of France near Montepelier. Happy bride and groom photo walking through the streets following their Chateau Zen wedding in the South of France near Montepelier. Bride and groom walking through the  Cirque de Navacelles valley during their Chateau Zen wedding in the South of France near Montepelier. Bride and groom with veil flying during their Chateau Zen wedding in the South of France near Montepelier. Happy bride with friends in Cirque de Navacelles valley during their Chateau Zen wedding in the South of France near Montepelier. Friends circling in a blur around bride and groom in Cirque de Navacelles valley during their Chateau Zen wedding in the South of France near Montepelier. Friends walking with bride and groom in Cirque de Navacelles valley during their Chateau Zen wedding in the South of France near Montepelier. Bride and groom entering their Chateau Zen wedding reception with family and friends cheering them on in the South of France near Montepelier. Bride and groom walking around their Chateau Zen wedding reception with family and friends at a long dinner table in the South of France near Montepelier. Fathers speech at a Chateau Zen wedding in the South of France near Montepelier. Emotional speeches by the father of the groom to the bride at a Chateau Zen wedding in the South of France near Montepelier. Emotional speeches by the father of the groom to the bride at a Chateau Zen wedding in the South of France near Montepelier. Emotional speeches by the father of the groom to the bride at a Chateau Zen wedding in the South of France near Montepelier. Happy guests partying late into the night at a Chateau Zen wedding in the South of France near Montepelier. Happy guests partying late into the night at a Chateau Zen wedding in the South of France near Montepelier. Happy guests partying late into the night at a Chateau Zen wedding in the South of France near Montepelier. Fun crazy party guests with fun hats and sunglasses during a Chateau Zen wedding reception in the South of France near Montepelier. Happy bride and groom dancing late into the night at a Chateau Zen wedding in the South of France near Montepelier. Bride and groom laughing together with light flare wrapping around them just after their first dance at their Chateau Zen wedding reception in the South of France near Montepelier. Bride and groom first dance at their Chateau Zen wedding reception in the South of France near Montepelier. Award winning photo of bride and groom first dance surrounded by guests holding candles during a Chateau Zen wedding in the south of France near Montepelier.

Photographers: Jos & Tree

Huge thanks to Yanick and Magali at Chateau Zen who made this setting possible. Marion Carpentier your way with hair is absolutely gorgeous. Manon Amiel your makeup was timeless. All the bridesmaids’ dresses by Cymbeline were so lovely. The hairpiece by Les cerises de Mars and earrings and necklace by Julie Vos was the perfect touch. Exquisite flowers by La Couturière de la Fleur. DJ Cévennes Location Sono and Julien where do you find and play such music?!!! We don’t even know where to begin describing the food by Jean-François, Auberge des Gorges de la Vis.  And the Saturday Brunch by Sylvie Aubert, Le Logis Gourmet!!! Everything made from scratch and never made more than once?!!! Sylvie, you are from another planet!

Accolades & Recognition:

Three Fearless Awards were awarded to photos from this wedding. Check out Tree’s photo of the bridesmaid girl hugging Caro here and the priceless photo of Caro and Ben “not” seeing each other for the first time. Jos’ photo of Caro seeing Ben for the first time during their ceremony was also given a Fearless award. Fearless photographers panel of expert curators selects the very best wedding photos (about 2 out of every 100 submissions!) as Fearless Awards. This final first dance photo was also awarded by MyWed and ISPWP for the “all about light” category. It was also recently voted in by Fearless Photographers members as one of the top 12 best first dance photos.

Check out their love shoot engagement photos in Paris.

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