Destination Weddings in the Loire Valley
Gently flowing towards the Atlantic, the Loire river passes by France’s most romantic châteaux. To marry in the Loire Valley is a dream come true! The green hills and gentle climate combined with the impressive array of possible locations to celebrate your destination wedding in France which were originally built to house royalty, nobility and bourgeoisie make this the perfect region for your marriage.
Regal towns like Blois, Amboise, Tours and Angers are strung along the Loire River like pearls on a strand of silk. The scene of courtly intrigues, castles like the Château de Chenounceau, Chinon, or Chambord will provide the perfect backdrop for your own love story. The fairytale settings of the Loire Valley have inspired writers like Charles Perrault to write Sleeping Beauty or Ronsard to write his love poems to Cassandre, the owner of Talcy. The castles you will visit along the Loire River and further inland are surrounded by tiny villages of quaint stone houses, shops and churches hugging the narrow roads that rush out to embrace expanses of rich farmland and other, even smaller, sleepy villages. Couples dreaming of a castle wedding in France should look no further than the Loire Valley.
The first châteaux were built in the Loire Valley during the 11th century and were quite often simple fortifications guaranteeing the security of the land. As times changed, so did the architecture of these edifices. Fortification continued throughout the Hundred’s Year War, but gave way to extravagant decoration during the Renaissance inspired by Louis XII and François I’s visits to Italy. These châteaux and the expansive manicured gardens that surround them were home and private hunting grounds to France’s nobility for centuries.
Fresh fish from the river, mushrooms and goat cheeses will all be found in your plates when sampling the region’s fine food. A wedding reception in the Loire Valley will take advantage of the rich soil producing a delicious variety of fruits and vegetables. Perhaps the most harvested fruit of all in the Loire Valley is the grape. Towns with names like Vouvray, Samur and Chinon are synonyms for many with the fruity red and white wines; that can be either dry or sweet, produced in the region. Muscadet, Anjou, Coteaux du Layon, Touraine, Bourgueil, Pouilly Fumé and Sancerre wines are also produced in the region! It seems that every town has at least one local vineyard where you can sample wines.
While touring the region’s vineyards why not stop and explore some impressive caves! Typical of the region, is the presence of troglodyte caves – manmade caves produced by miners digging into the hillside to extract the soft tufa stone used in the construction of the châteaux. Many of these caves have been converted into houses or hotels. Others are used today as mushroom or wine cellars, the constant cool temperature is perfect for these purposes.
To the north of the Loire River other discoveries await you. The town of Le Mans with its Gallo-Roman walls and impressively preserved medieval centre will charm you. Chartres and its cathedral will enthral you. Travelling south of the river you will instantly be surrounded by the deep forests and brick château that characterizes the Solonge region.
A unique wedding experience in the Loire Valley is waiting for you. Just over an hour south of Paris you will find yourself in the midst of France’s onetime royal retreat. Take advantage of the opulent architecture, soft light, and expansive landscape of the Loire Valley to create your own happy ending.