Destination wedding in Southern France
Hosting a destination wedding in Provence is probably the best decision for those couples looking for a romantic and authentic experience. Weddings in Provence are laid-back, poetic, and very nature-inspired. Most of the times, these are multiple-day celebrations where a garden welcome party slowly transforms into a pool after-party.
If your dream is to have an open-air wedding with a dinner under the skies, then there is probably no better place than Provence to make it happen.
The climate is great, with almost no rain during the summertime. It is important to understand that it might be very hot between July and August, however. Not to forget a local phenomenon called mistral – strong wind that can sometimes make staying outside very uncomfortable.
Generally, it is recommended to host a wedding in Provence between late April and late June. During these months, the weather is typically warm and sunny, without heatwaves that make staying outdoors impossible.
Wedding venues in Provence
There are several types of venues available in Provence. The most famous (and the most expensive ones) are chateaux that have been transformed into 5-star hotels.
Chateau de La Gaude, Chateau d’Estoublon, and Chateau de Fontscolombe are all gorgeous properties that are likely to seduce you with their elegant architecture, beautiful gardens, and amazing restaurants.
These properties would usually host destination weddings between April and June, and between September and October, and would privilege seasonal clientele in July and August.
Most of the time, couples are requested to book the whole property for at least two nights, which means that you would need to advance fees to cover the accommodation of your guests. It is possible to get a partial refund though when people book their rooms though. When organising a wedding in a luxury hotel in Provence, the use of the hotel’s restaurant to ensure the catering of your wedding is mandatory.
In general, you can expect to spend around 130k€-170k€ on the venue rental for two nights, and meals, including your celebratory dinner, should you decide to work with the chateau-hotel like one of those listed above.
When looking for a perfect venue for your wedding in Provence, you will also find beautiful mas, traditional Provencal villas that are full of charm. Often, hosting your wedding in a mas is way more affordable and less restrictive in terms of catering, as you will have a list of companies to choose from.
If Provençal chateaux are ancient aristocratic demeures, mas used to belong to wealthy entrepreneurs. These properties are less rich, but at least as charming as chateaux, and they provide the same level of comfort. You might not have a 5-star service though if you decide to rent a mas for your wedding though, but you and your guests will find all you need, including transportation and babysitting solutions, should you work with a good planner.
Transportation in Provence
The biggest problem of hosting a destination wedding in Provence is transportation. Your venue is likely to be located within 1 hour – 1,5 hours driving distance away from either an international airport in Nice or Marseille, or from a big regional city like Avignon or Aix en Provence, where your guests are likely to travel from if they decide to stop over in Paris.
Your guests are unlikely to find an uber or taxi easily in Provence, which means that they have to rent a car if you don’t organise transportation for them. And as people travel at different times and from different cities, it might be tricky. We strongly recommend booking a grouped transportation from a pick-up point of your choice, so that your guests could have options when they make their travel arrangements. Depending on your RSVPs, you can book one or two trips, on the day of the welcome event and on the day of the wedding, so that your guests can arrive in advance, drop off their belongings, check-in, and get ready if needed.
English speaking wedding vendors in Provence
There is a certain number of English-speaking vendors in Provence, but don’t hesitate to work with professionals that reside in different areas. It is very common for Paris-based photographers, videographers, beauty artists, and wedding planners to travel to Southern France to work at bigger events. If you are looking for a particular competence or a particular talent, don’t hesitate to source your pros nationwide. After all, you want to be surrounded by pros that share your vision and whose talent resonates with your vision, so don’t let the distance decide for you. Your guests will be traveling overseas to attend, and wedding professionals can definitely take a 2-hour train to help you to create the wedding of your dreams.