A Luxury 4 Day Chateau Destination Wedding in Loire Valley, France
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In the picturesque Loire Valley of France, amidst the grandeur of Château de Challain-la-Potherie, a love story unfolded that was nothing short of a modern fairy tale. Deni Jacobs, a former Broadway performer from St. Louis, Missouri, and James Hammermeister, a real estate developer from a small town in Alberta, Canada, found each other in the most unexpected way possible – a blind date in sunny San Diego, California.
How They Met
Their story began like any other, but the twists and turns fate threw their way transformed their love into something extraordinary. James made a big move to the US for a job opportunity and tragedy struck shortly after arriving when his wife was diagnosed with cancer, leaving him to care for his twelve year old daughter alone. Meanwhile, Dani was navigating her way through a broken marriage. It was amidst these times of hurt that they were introduced by a mutual acquaintance.
Meeting for dinner with limited knowledge about each other, they found themselves engrossed in conversation, talking until they closed down the restaurant. Following this memorable encounter, Deni had to leave town for two weeks, yet they kept their connection alive through constant texting. Deni firmly believes that this period of continuous communication solidified their love and deepened their appreciation for one another.
Their relationship blossomed over the course of three years. On the anniversary of their first meeting at the restaurant, amidst the breathtaking backdrop of a glacier in Patagonia, Argentina, James chose to propose. He often jokes that if her answer had been anything but yes, he might have jumped overboard; his confidence in their love was unwavering.
The couple, captivated by the enchanting allure of their love story, envisioned a wedding straight out of a fairy tale. Eager to share this magical experience with their guests, they embarked on a whimsical quest to find the perfect venue. Their journey led them across France, exploring six different venues before they arrived at the majestic gates of Chateau Challain-la-Potherie. The moment they laid eyes on the breathtaking castle, they knew it was everything they had dreamed of and more.
What made their discovery truly magical, however, was the delightful encounter with Cynthia, the chateau’s owner and event planner. Her warm and kind-hearted nature instantly won them over, adding the perfect touch to their fairy tale wedding plans. With every detail falling seamlessly into place, their dream of a fairy tale wedding in a castle was about to come true.
Planning The Wedding
James and Deni had lived a rich life, filled with countless experiences that had shaped them profoundly. As they approached their wedding day, their primary focus became creating a remarkable and unforgettable event for their family and friends. They were deeply moved by the commitment their guests made to travel great distances to celebrate with them. Determined to show their gratitude, James and Deni meticulously planned every detail, leveraging their shared meticulous nature.
Their keen attention to detail, a quality that both blessed and challenged them, played a central role. Each day, new ideas flowed, and they dedicated themselves to refining each aspect of their guests’ experiences. Considering the unique preferences and interests of every attendee, they tirelessly worked to personalize the celebration. For James and Deni, this effort was not just about throwing a party; it was a genuine expression of appreciation and a heartfelt endeavor to gift their loved ones an extraordinary and unforgettable wedding experience.
The Brides Wedding Gown
Deni had always held a special place in her heart for Marchesa, considering it her favorite designer. The dresses and gowns crafted by Marchesa embodied everything she adored: a touch of romance, a hint of sensuality, a dash of elegance, and an aura of pure beauty. Her admiration for the brand deepened when she had the incredible opportunity to meet Georgina Chapman during New York Fashion Week. To her surprise and delight, Georgina readily and generously offered to design her wedding dress.
The process of creating a custom-made wedding dress with Marchesa turned out to be a dream come true, despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The experience, though tinged with a bit of stress due to the circumstances, was incredibly fulfilling. The moment Deni finally put on the dress and saw herself in it, all the hard work and dedication poured into the gown felt worth it. She had envisioned a dress that would reflect the regal and fairy tale setting of her wedding, and Marchesa was the only designer who could bring that vision to life. The result was a unique purple ombre dress that perfectly matched the theme of the wedding and reflected her regal elegance.
All The Details of Deni and James’ Destination Wedding
Their love story, marked by trials and triumphs, culminated in a wedding extravaganza that spanned four days, filled with laughter, joy, and an abundance of purple – Deni’s favorite color. The ceremony itself was a beautiful blend of tradition and modernity, made even more special when the couple’s children lit a unity candle, symbolizing their newfound family bond.
The floral arrangements, masterfully crafted by David Kimmel Design, transformed the chateau into a floral wonderland. From the elegant white arch at the church ceremony to the all-purple reception, the flowers were a testament to the transformative power of love and celebration.
Every day of their celebration was like stepping into a whimsical wonderland meticulously crafted by Chez Deni, a delightful French Bistro serving up fresh crepes every morning and overflowing with the most decadent candies, chocolates, and French pastries. Then there was Hammer’s Cigar and Whiskey bar, a haven for cigar enthusiasts and whiskey lovers, stocked with the finest cigars, scotches, and Cognacs.
But wait, there’s more! Imagine archery, skeet shooting, horseback riding, music, wine and cheese tasting, a pig roast, hot air balloons, carriage rides, fireworks, painting classes, and so much more—all carefully thought out with their guests in mind. Each activity was chosen to perfectly complement the stunning castle and its enchanting grounds.
The crown jewel of the festivities was undoubtedly the Casino Royale evening, a night that had everyone buzzing with excitement. Picture this: guests could win millions in our casino, and the catch? Those winnings could be traded for the crème de la crème of French designer prizes. From Givenchy evening bags, Yves Saint Laurent wallets, Louis Vuitton belts to limited edition Dupont lighters used by James Bond himself, the prizes were nothing short of fabulous.
And let’s not forget the breathtaking equestrian show, featuring trick riding and impeccably trained horses, set against the backdrop of a fiery spectacle performed by Cirque du Soleil-trained artists. The guests were left in awe, their jaws dropping in sheer amazement.
Amidst all this splendor, the night was made even more magical by a remarkable band, an endless sea of magnificent flowers in every direction, and a sky lit up by fireworks that exceeded even the grandest expectations. The food was beyond fantastic, and as the evening unfolded, it felt like living out a dream—a fantasy brought to life.
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