In January 2019, Dez and Shahidah set off to Paris to pursue their mission of finding the perfect wedding venue for their dream wedding in France. The two met in high school, reconnected on a group trip to Toronto in 2016, had gotten engaged in Italy in 2018, and now they were traveling the world again to find the place where they would finally get to say 'I do.'
When the wedding planning had first begun, they knew they wanted a destination, but rather than having a beach ceremony as many do, they sought out other countries. "We chose the Chateau because we wanted our wedding to be different, and we wanted our friends and family to have a once in a lifetime experience. How many people can say they slept in a castle?! " explains the bride Shahidah.
When they were finally able to visit Chateau Challain that January, they immediately fell in love with the architecture, gardens, and the fact that all of their guests could stay on property. Better yet, they loved how the Chateau looked in the winter months, alleviating the stress of asking their loved ones to travel during the hectic and more expensive summer months.
To get their guests excited for their wedded weekend to come, Dez and Shahidah created travel-themed, save the dates and custom laser cut wedding invitations in the silhouette of their beloved 18th-century Chateau. After many months of anticipation, they set off to France one last time, joined by 63 family and friends to seal their love for eternity. The couple opted to give their guests a special first night and planned a masquerade-themed rehearsal dinner using Chateau Challain's accompanying black and white Coach House dining hall as the perfect backdrop for this masked affair. Guests showed up in their most elegant cocktail attire donned in sequins, velvet, and fully-feathered disguises and danced the night away.
The husband and wife awoke the next morning to partly cloudy skies and mild weather - a pleasantry to be expected during this time in the Loire Valley of France. They each got pampered and prepped - Dez with his best guy friends and Shahidah with her sister, mother, and bridesmaids. The couple agreed on accents of blush and mauve, the groom himself having a second jacket made in a satin, double-breasted pale pink. The soft colors complimented the icy tones of the Chateau in the winter and set a beautiful scene for the awaiting bride. As Shahidah anxiously stood on the castle steps, a gorgeously white horse and carriage strolled into the castle gates to whisk her off to the adjacent church. Dez was speechless as he watched his best friend and perfect mate come blissfully down the aisle. They were finally wed, finally husband and wife and now it was time to celebrate!
The newlyweds invited their guests back inside the castle walls for cocktails, canapés, and a fun-filled evening of fine dining, dancing, and surprises. To keep the crowd entertained after dinner, they had a mentalist/magician perform, wowing and awing everyone with his tricks, and surprising many with his chilling abilities. The couple had a trick of their own, changing into their second outfits in time for their first dance as husband and wife. After they gave their dancing shoes the workout they deserved, they invited their loved ones outside for one final surprise: fireworks overtop the Chateau lawns. They kissed underneath the twinkle lit sky, and reminisced about the perfect weekend they had experienced, forever grateful for each other, their love and the support & joy of all of those who joined them.
Thank you very much to the wonderful Shahidah and Hernandez for letting us share their story.
And also thanks to our wonderful vendors, for allowing us to use their art.