Chateau de la Motte Husson is the home of Dick Strawbridge, his wife Angel Adoree and their children. Their journey renovating the 1864 Chateau, and launching their wedding and events business, has been documented on Channel 4’s Escape to the Chateau.
Charlotte and Richard’s wedding was a hybrid of English charm and French quirks. We asked Charlotte some questions to find out about the planning and inspiration for the special day…
Q. What was the theme/style for your big day?
A. We wanted the day to feel very relaxed and for people to remember the wedding through the food, ambience and details. Angel specialises in creating interest and style everywhere you glance, from old fashioned games and trinkets on the tables, to personalised notes on old fashioned typewriters and cocktails poured from teapots. There is old English charm mixed with French quirks from the area. All the wine and food was sourced locally and had an English/French theme. Wine glasses were replaced by vintage teacups all sourced by Angel. The favours were vintage French linen personalised with our guests names. The wedding colours were soft blush pinks and gold for a soft, romantic look. Pinterest was used to source ideas and I had always wanted to use a giant Jenga set as a guest book, I think its a lovely idea to have a guest book you use every year. This went along with all the vintage games Angel placed around the Chateau which included a coconut shy, a helter skelter (in the nursery for the children), croquet, tandem bicycles, boules and fishing rods for the moat. We even had an outside cinema and bar in the evening!
Q. What was most important to you when it came to tying the knot/celebrating your marriage?
A. The most important thing to us was to celebrate our marriage, our family and our friends. We wanted everyone to feel as loved and appreciated as we did. That is why we chose a super relaxed destination wedding with plenty of details, so that everyone felt the experience was as magical as possible. I can honestly say having a week out in France with all my loved ones was the best time of my whole life! Coming from a family with divorced parents it was also the only time I have been on holiday with all my family – it was pure magic!
Q. How did you chose your venue and suppliers?
A. The reason we chose this venue is that the owner has been a friend for 10 years and I’d seen she had just advertised her beautifully renovated home as a new wedding venue. I called her and we both instantly got excited. We booked it straight away as knowing Angel I knew she would make it magical. I one hundred percent trusted that she would lead the way with creating the most beautifully unique wedding, specialising in all the stylish details I love and work with her husband, the TV presenter and chef Dick Strawbridge, to make sure the food was something really special! This felt like the perfect chance to make our wedding happen in the same year we got engaged. The Chateau also happened to be in the Loire region of France, where Richard’s parents also own a home. His father passed away the year before and this part of France was his favourite place so it meant a lot to the family to host the wedding here. Angel styled the wedding with her collection of vintage objects and beautiful flowers. She also hired balloons from Bubblegum Balloons to decorate the Chateau and Orangery. Confetti balloons were tied to the chairs when people watched the wedding ceremony and giant balloons in blush colours filled the ceiling of the Orangery.
Q. Where did you get your ideas and inspiration?
A. For me I looked at Instagram and Pinterest and just really trusted Angel. I loved the look of the big Bubblegum balloons I had seen and I knew I wanted blush and gold as the colours so I just searched for this on Pinterest and on social media. As I organised the wedding in only five months we didn’t have time to visit florists or go to bridal shows… sometimes I feel I missed out on lots of the build up but at the end of the day my wedding was just the most perfect day for us.
Q. Tell us about your dress
A. It was Kate Halfpenny and it was the second dress I tried on. I know you normally need seven months for a dress but we only had five months so I was worried to start with but Kate’s designs are beautiful and had the modern vintage look I love. I really wanted a non white, boho dress. Originally I was looking for blush but the champagne unstructured silk suited my skin tone and made me feel really special. The lace top was beautiful and it was real French lace so it felt like it suited the wedding perfectly! I loved that I could change the look of the dress by removing the lace top and adding a sparkly belt for the evening.
Q. What was on the menu?
A. We started and ended the day with gin cocktails served in vintage teacups, and in between we had beer, wine and Champagne from the local area. Dick Strawbridge is an amazing chef and designed us a stunning seven course menu for the wedding, with a hog roast the day before and a lunch for the day after so he needed a little help catering for 80 people. He got chefs Jai Harrower and Adam Estevez whom work with the likes of Jamie Oliver on books and TV shows. They were amazing, made the best scotch eggs and also were hugely entertaining. They really got involved in the wedding – everyone felt like an extension of our friends and family! Jai even came and hosted a Christmas dinner with our family last year, they are really talented, friendly guys.
Q. What was the quirkiest element of the day?
A. The favours!! In this area of France it is traditional for guests to wave their napkins above their head and bang the table as the bride and groom enter the room for the wedding breakfast. For favours Angel collected vintage French table napkins and then hand stitched in our guest’s names. This served a s a place setting and as the wedding favour – a great French wedding souvenir. You can see her making these on our episode (series 2 episode 1).
Q. What advice would you give other brides looking for a similar style of event?
A. Find a venue you love and either create the quirks yourself or find someone creative you completely trust! A lot of what Angel does is very simple and cheap, she sources so much of her stuff in vintage shops. It’s easy to replicate but give yourself lots of time to find the good stuff. Also just look at Pinterest and Instagram all the time!! Remember to hire an amazing photographer and videographer so you will never forget it!!
Q. What was your favourite memory from the day?
A. It’s so hard to choose one memory of the day but probably the speeches! My dad’s speech was amazing but I had expected this. Rich surprised everyone with the most incredible speech.
We had an outdoor cinema screen at night showing pictures of all the guests, it was a really special watching everyone glued to the screen watching all the pictures, all the memories whilst they held hands and hugged one another.
Q. What was your first dance to/what did you walk down to the aisle to?
A. I walked out onto the steps of the Chateau to my best friend and her husband singing “Hey Ho” by the Lumineers. We wanted the day to be really personal, so having my best friend sing for us was really special. I loved the words of the song..” I belong to you and you belong to me”. In contrast for the first dance we wanted something that wasn’t too slow as neither of us can dance. We chose “You and Me” by The Wannadies. A great song from when we were growing up, its starts slow and then gets everyone moving.
Venue & production – www.chateaudelamottehusson.com/
Dress – Kate Halfpenny via www.elliesanderson.co.uk/
Photography- Sara Cuadrado www.saracuadrado.com
Videography – www.mariemarryme.com.