LB HOne of the best things about being a wedding photographer is that no two weddings are the same.  In this case, there were a number of things that set this one apart.  The first and most notable, was that it took place in France.  Having not left the UK to cover a wedding previously, this alone was quite exciting.  I always try to check out a venue prior to the wedding day, but adding a flight into the equation did make that slightly more tricky than is usually the case.  The solution, of course is simple.  Add an extra day on at the beginning!

My first sight of the Chateau in glorious summer sunshine made me realise just how lucky I am to do what I do.  Chateau Clerbise is stunning.  The buildings are set in substantial grounds and include a number of converted outbuildings where guests can be accommodated as well as the main Chateau.  It’s not full of bling but it couldn’t be more charming.  Lindsey and Benito had decided to do things slightly differently and to invite their guests to spend not just a day, but a whole week with them in France.  I’m sure they didn’t need much convincing.  Just to add a little extra exoticism, Benito is Mexican and was lucky enough that a good number of his friends and family were able to make the journey for the wedding.

The only box I failed to tick on visiting the Chateau was meeting the couple, who were running last minute errands elsewhere.  I did, however, meet Andrew, the English owner of Chateau Clerbise.  He was kind enough to tell me about the history of the place.  Most fascinating in the context of the wedding was that when he bought the property, he was confused by a significant mound of earth in the grounds.  Two weeks of excavation revealed the floor and end wall of a chapel, and it was here that the ceremony was to take place.  I was told that they were keen take a trip to the nearby town of Pons for some photographs, so made my way there for a reccie too.  Quintessentially French town; perfect!

And so to the big day.  Having both the bride and groom on site really helps when it comes to capturing the bride and groom preparations.  With the groom’s preparations invariably quicker, I began the morning with Lindsey and her team.  Having only spoken to Lindsey, I didn’t even know what she looked like.  Needless to say that she and Benito scrubbed up pretty well.

The day went like a dream and we found the streets of Pons pretty much deserted when we visited after the ceremony.

I suspect that the group had been together for a week may have had something to do with it, but there was a really relaxed feel about the day from start to finish.  This really was a special experience, if you’re thinking of getting married abroad, this was a great advert for it.  Viva destination weddings!

Contact Chateau Clerbise Charente France Destination Wedding Photographer Olivier Burnside 07805204036