We thought we would start our new blog with one of our favourite French chateau weddings of last year. A truly fairytale affair in more ways than one, and like all good fairy stories it has a once upon a time, strangely enough, in a bowling alley. We'll let Sherri tell the story about her fairytale French chateau wedding in her own words…
"Ken and I met at the most inopportune time, amidst a stressful divorce. I was working all sorts of crazy hours to make ends meet and he was the owner of a company that I was working for. We smiled in passing but nothing more. The thought of starting a new relationship was the absolute last thing on both of our minds. Ken was throwing a party after one of his sales meetings on an evening when I was waitressing. We chatted exchanged glances and after my shift was over he asked me to come join them in some bowling activities.
We were completely engaged with one another and soon realized that we were the only two left close to 2am. He walked me to my car and said goodnight. A few months had gone by of endless texting, when we finally had dinner. Sushi, which happened to be both of our favorite foods. And after this day we were inseparable."
He took me on our first official date, I was in complete awe of how special this man had become to me in such a short period of time. We spent that whole weekend together, getting to know each other, cooking meals together and talking about our lives and just wondering exactly where the both of us were going to fit in to each other's daily life.
Being a step parent is hands down a grueling thankless job (in the beginning that is). There were many disagreements, tears that were shed and long nights of deciding whether or not this was going to work. With all odds against us we marched on and are now here to tell our love story.
After 8 years of dating we got engaged in Madrid Spain. Ken's daughter Maya was studying abroad and we went to visit her and to celebrate my birthday. Of course in the back of my mind I was wondering if Ken was going to propose on this trip. I searched for a ring for months but never found one hidden. He had a nice dinner planned at one of the best French restaurants on our first night. We had champagne ate escargot and talked about how far we've come in our relationship. And out of the blue before our dinner was served he stood up and knelt on the floor and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. Although it didn't quite go that smoothly, there were tears shed moments before but those don't count right?
When we arrived back home I started to plan our wedding. The more and more Ken and I spoke about our wedding the more we wanted to do something different, something more intimate. We both came up with the thought of getting married overseas. At first I was opposed to the idea, I mean not everyone can afford to fly over and spend enough time to make it worth it. And having everyone share this time with us was important to us. Ken came up with the idea of renting a place for a week and having our friends and family just pay for their flights. With a new plan set in motion the internet was our best friend. We searched for weeks for places to stay that would hold 50 plus people. At the end of our research we had 7 Chateaus to visit. We planned a trip to France and spent 2 weeks driving the country side in search of our perfect venue. The first stop was not exactly how they portrayed it to be online and with that said we moved on.by Author
Each place we stopped was better than the last. And at the end of our week, exhausted from driving and moving each day we arrived at what would be the most magical place we've ever set eyes on. Driving down the last strip before our arrival you could see the tips of the chateau in the trees and the excitement began. Pulling into the driveway we both knew this was it. Without taking the tour of the property we knew. After meeting with a member of the staff we made a decision to have our French wedding here at Chateau Challain.
It took a year of planning which was made quite easy because of such an amazing planner. Cynthia made our vision come to life. So on the week of July 25, 2017 Ken and I got married in front of 54 of our closest friends and family in the most beautiful wedding chateau in the Loire Valley.
The rehearsal dinner was a glamorous Gatsby affair, where our guests dressed to impress. We hosted this glam party in our newly renovated coach house building where their guests where treated to fine french cuisine, and entertained by an authentic jazz experience.
Wedding planner: Cynthia Nicholson
Flowers: David Kimmel
Gatsby band: Jazz at Midnight
Wedding band: Shine
Photography: Janis Ratnieks, STJ Creative Photography
Video: Alexander Znaharchuk
Mixology Cocktails: Sebastian at Esprit Cocktails
Stationary: Monumental Designs
Vineyard trip: Le Fesle
Performance: Enigma Art
Wedding Suit: Valentino Tailors
Great Gatsby Suit: Valentino Tailors
Ring: Mallove's Jewelers
Shoes: Paul Evans
Wedding Dress: Modern Trousseau
Head Piece: White Dress by the Shore (Included my grandmothers broach as the pin to hold it to my head
Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Ring: Mallove's Jewelers
Great Gatsby: Aidan Mattox
Shoes: Jimmy Choo
Headpiece: Vintage shop in LA