The Château Bee has loads of divine wedding venues to choose from across France!
Guest: Ingrid Colmer-Chavez
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Ingrid Colmer-Chavez was born in Mexico and grew up in France. She moved around a lot as a child, but her family eventually settled in Brittany. After meeting her English husband James when working in Guernsey in the Channel Islands they decided to get married in France when they discovered they could get much more for their budget than in the UK. This sparked the idea of their business the Château Bee and they set about creating a directory of quality venues for residents of the Channel Islands who wanted to get married in one of the regions across the north of France. It has expanded now to include couples from around the world searching for a wedding venue in all corners of France!
Ingrid personally visits hundreds of wedding venues all across France and only choose the “crème de la crème” for the selection found on the Château Bee website. It’s like The Michelin Guide of wedding venues in France! But Ingrid feels the personal inspection is necessary and the standard she is recommending is of the highest quality. Nearly all châteaux will look beautiful from the outside, so Ingrid looks closely at the quality on the inside. A château owner who maintains their property well, is transparent with their pricing and who has the same ethical values as Ingrid displays in her business is essential if they are going to make the Château Bee list.
Some bridal couples can be very stressed or are not sure of what they want, so Ingrid suggests starting the process by finding a venue first before focusing on styling or any other details. Planning a wedding from the other side of the world to get married in France has the potential to be a very problematic process. Ingrid says there’s no need to start planning to book a venue more than 2 years in advance. Ensure the château owner and wedding planner are people the wedding couple feel they can work with and are friendly and reliable, as there will be lots of work to be done together over the preparation period. Ingrid’s main advice though is to not forget what the event is all about in the first place. A wedding is a special occasion celebrating a marriage and the joining of two people and sometimes two families. It is one of the unique opportunities in life where all the people you love can be in the same place celebrating together. Having a wedding in France often means that the event will go across a few days and the guests and wedding couple can really savour and immerse themselves in the moment. They can focus on the precious things that really matter and not rush through the event.
This is something Ingrid also values in her own life. When asked of her favourite French day, her response was beautifully calming: to have a day where you take the time to have time. In other words, a day where she can feel “present in the moment” and connect with the places, people and activities that fill her soul.
I couldn’t agree more…
Galette de Bretagne (Galette Bretonne from Brittany)