Château weddings aren't reserved just for royalty in France. Live out your very own fairytale moment by throwing the destination wedding of the decade in one of these five wine regions scattered around France. From garden parties surrounded by medieval ruins to hot air balloon rides over vineyards come sunset, these jaw-dropping French vineyard wedding locations are some of the dreamiest spots to say "oui" in a country that knows a thing or two about romance.
Say "I do" with sweeping views of the Dordogne River from Château Soulac in Bordeaux, just 30 minutes outside the postcard-perfect town of Saint-Émilion (another wine hotspot). Originally a monastery and chapel in the 14th century, the present-day fortified chateau dates back to the 17th century and looks just as regal as it did during Renaissance times. Picture four corner towers and a grand entryway, plus stone wall candlelit rooms that make for the most romantic of receptions.
Once upon a time a castle nestled in the heart of Champagne's woods, all that remains of the 13th century château is a portion of its wing that's been restored and transformed into the 29-room Château de Fère Hôtel & Spa. For brides going for a fairytale feel, it can't get more magical than a cocktail soirées spread amongst the ancient ruins and fireworks over the castle come nightfall. Want to make a grand exit? Hop on a hot air balloon with your new hubby and float into the French skyline for the ultimate getaway "car."
Set along Bergerac's wine route in the Dordogne region, the 17th century Château les Merles is a modern day version of Beauty and the Beast. The boutique hotel is home to 15 rooms and four villas accommodating up to 58, meaning your guests coming with children will have plenty of space to spread out during the wedding weekend. When the big day finally arrives, celebrate in French style with a glass of Champagne in the garden and four-course gastronomic dinner with local produce and wine pairings from the seven Bergerac regions.
Not far from the vineyards of Provence, five-star Baumanière les Baux-de-Provence offers a luxurious setting underneath the natural beauty of the perched Baux-de-Provence village. Transform the terrace into your very own garden party with seating for anywhere from 30 to 100 guests — plus a menu so spectacular the restaurant has garnered two Michelin stars. Of course wine here is already covered, with over 60,000 bottles sitting in the cellar. Surprise your guests and book a class in the tasting room, working your way through some of France's finest vintages by Château Lafitte and Rothschild.
Bordeaux may get all the glory, but the fruity red wine region of Beaujolais is home to mansions just as magnificent. Host the rustic chic wedding you've always dreamed of at Le Domaine de Vavril, an 18th century manor with nine bedrooms that can sleep up to 12 friends and family (plus 15 kids over in the grape pickers side house). While sleeping arrangements here are cozy, you can still throw a wedding on the larger side in the ballroom, with a seated dinner for up to 150.