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.
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!
Photographers: Jos & Tree
Accolades & Recognition:
Two Fearless Awards were awarded to photos from this wedding. Checkout Tree’s photo of the bridesmaid girl hugging Caro here. 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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