Destination Weddings in Bourgogne
Guarded by more than 600 chateaux, Burgundy’s wide valleys and broad plateaus are home to world-famous vineyards and numerous monuments of great historical and artistic importance. Celebrating your wedding in Burgundy, surrounded by such beauty, is like a dream come true.
Burgundy is a delightful patchwork of forests and farms, tiny villages and cities. Nearly all of Burgundy is covered by forests (almost one third of the land) or by farms and vineyards (almost all of the remaining two-thirds of Burgundy). Burgundy is also home to larger communities like Auxerre, Dijon, Nevers and Macon which boast thriving industries as well as rich cultural lives with excellent museums and theatres as well as lovely boutiques.
It is said that grapes and wine were first brought to Burgundy by the Romans in the third century AD. During the middle ages monks took over and perfected production of wine in the region; wine was used during religious ceremonies and offered to guests. The Cluny monastery had a vineyard in Chambertin, the Saulieu collegiate in Chablis…
If you are seeking romance and beauty for your wedding in France, you will naturally be drawn to the region called the Côte d’Or (literally the Golden Slope) found between Dijon and Chalon-sur-Saône. This is where you will find villages with enticing names such as Gevrey-Chambertin, Nuits Saint Georges, Pommard, Meursault and Beaune which are home to the vineyards that produce Burgundy’s world-famous wines. These wines have been made using almost exclusively pinot-noir grapes since 1395! Thirty-two of Burgundy’s thirty-three grands crus (the highest quality wines) come from this region and can be sampled on site at any of the vineyards. As many of these wines improve considerably with age, you will enjoy opening bottles of wine bottled the year of your marriage celebration in Burgundy for years to come.
While many would argue that the region’s liquid gold can be found in a wineglass, others would evoke the waters of Burgundy. In addition to numerous lakes Burgundy overflows with canals, rivers and streams. These flow towards the Atlantic Ocean by way of the Loire, Yonne and Seine rivers or towards the Mediterranean Sea via the Saône River. With over a thousand kilometres of calm navigable waterways gently cruising down one of the region’s canals or rivers is one of the most unique and enjoyable ways to discover Burgundy.
Burgundy is heaven for Epicureans! Your wedding reception in Burgundy will be remembered for years. The city of Dijon is famous for its mustard, currants, gingerbread, and escargots (snails). The region also produces delicious specialities like anis-flavoured candies, honey, sausage and twenty-seven different types of cheese. You will enjoy offering staples of traditional French cuisine like Coq au Vin or Boeuf Bourguignon, cooked using local red chambertin wine, as part of your wedding reception in France!
Like any other region in the world, the buildings of Burgundy are a reflection of the landscape and natural resources that surround them. Until bricks became more widely used near the end of the 18th century, most houses and farms in the southern part of Burgundy were a half-timbered style with a wooden frame and using a sort of mud for the walls.
Traditionally, buildings in the north and west of Burgundy are built of stone. Seemingly countless chateaux and manor houses, abbeys and cloisters are built using local Burgundy limestone. Following the A6 highway, you will see the Château de Couches, d’Epoisses, Chastenay, d’Ancy-le-Franc and many, many others. This was the home of the Dukes of Burgundy, who ruled this extremely rich land until it became a part of France in 1479. Their presence can be felt by the apparent luxury of these stately residences.
It seems that Burgundy is covered with as many monasteries and abbeys as châteaux. The roots of monastic life first took hold of Burgundy during the fifth century. Construction of monasteries and abbeys continued steadily throughout the middle ages and renaissance. The power and influence of these different communities was felt throughout Europe. The architects of the Cluny monastery, founded in the beginning of the tenth century, had profound effects on Romanesque architecture by considering, for the first time, the effect the physical design of a structure has on its acoustics. While many of these buildings have been converted into hospitals, farms, factories or schools, several communities continue to exist and welcome visitors either for a short visit or for a longer retreat.
Several of the buildings you will see in Burgundy boast a unique architectural feature typical of the region. Seen on the roofs of châteaux, churches and the famous Hospice de Baune, are beautifully colored tiles laid in intricate geometric patterns. Some may speculate that the designs on these roofs are a message directed to heaven, others may see simply an extravagant decorative element whose colors bring to mind the colors of the earth and stone of Burgundy. Many of these unique settings are available for your wedding ceremony or reception in Burgundy.
Burgundy will also surprise you offering a broad range of unusual attractions. In 1822, Nicéphore Niépce took the world’s first photograph from his window in the village of Saint-Loup-de Varenne just a few miles from Chalon-sur-Saône; you too can look out Niépce’s window where that photograph was taken. In the town of Montjalin, automobile enthusiasts can visit a museum entirely dedicated to cars driven by heads of state, presidents and popes between 1945 and 1970. For those looking for a more ethereal destination, the ‘Temple of a Thousand Buddhas’ in the tiny town of La Boulaye is a must.
The Burgundy region of France will take over a special part of your heart. The diverse and rich culture of the region will delight your senses as much as the local cuisine and wines. Memories of seemingly endless vineyards and canals, tranquil churches and monasteries, sumptuous chateaux and manor houses, delectable foods and wines will be a part of your vast collection of wedding souvenirs fondly remembered for years to come.