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Elyce & Steve’s French Chateau Destination Wedding

by | Honeymoons, Inspired Destination Weddings, Inspired Weddings, Location Europe,


Polka Dot Bride

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Elyce & Steve

If there is a wedding to dream of, it’s a wedding like Elyce and Steve’s French Chateau destination wedding captured by Mitchell J Carlin. The couple chose a beautiful French chateau for their wedding day, making a weekend of it with their closest family and friends enjoying a weekend of food, wine and plenty of cheese, as they tied the knot!

Elyce tells their story. “We met through mutual friends not long after I had moved to the UK from Australia. Steve then went traveling to Australia (typical the way these things work) and we went on our first date a few days after he returned.”

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The bride wore Pronovias, telling, “I knew I wanted something I felt comfortable in (and most importantly dance the night away in!) and that had a flattering silhouette rather than anything too full. Given the warm summer temperatures (compared to the UK!) it had to be quite light. With my Mum in Australia I faced the shopping alone with the ipad in tow for skype calls. I went to only two wedding dress shops, Pronovias being the second where I found my dress “Lamero”. I knew it was the right dress from the moment I put it on. After a second trip back I ordered it then and there. Mum came over later in the year and we were able to go in together, try the dress again and choose my veil which was cathedral length and double layered. This made the dress perfect and enabled me to have one dress that took me from ceremony to the dance floor. My dress was perfected by Christian Louboutin heels, a wedding gift from Steve.”

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Elyce and Steve chose Chateau Rigaud  for their wedding, noting, “We had an outdoor lawn ceremony in the courtyard of the Chateau underneath a big tree. We then held our reception in the wedding barn which had lovely views out to the tree we married under and the main grand Chateau building.”

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Elyce remembers, “I walked down the aisle to Pachelbel’s Canon. We wanted something traditional that really would concrete the moment that we were getting married. After we were wed, The Darkness “I believe in a thing called love” was played which really set everyone’s mood to party mode.  Walking down the aisle and seeing each other was really emotional. The whole ceremony was the happiest and most emotional we have both ever been. So special.”

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“We wanted the ceremony to be very personal to us. Rather than having a stranger as the celebrant we asked Elyce’s stepfather Jeffrey to preside. We had two readings, “I carry your heart” by E.E. Cummings read by Steve’s sister Annabel and “The One” by Keira Cass read by Elyce’s sister Laura.”

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“We had the best bunch of vendors and we were able to let them run loose with their ideas and trusted their judgement. Our favourite part of planning was our planning weekend at the venue, we got a real insight of what our day would be like, from the food to the wine (need I mention, a lot of local produce was sampled at both the planning weekend and our wedding weekend).”

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Of their photographer, Elyce tells, “Mitch (Mitchell J Carlin Wedding Photographer) was literally the first (and easiest) decision we made. We had been following him on Instagram as a friend of a friend and loved all of his photos. We sent him an email a couple of days after getting engaged with the expectation that asking him to fly to the complete other side of the world would be impossible. He was super accommodating and his international packages were competitive so we were thrilled we could book him in. The whole experience from booking Mitch through to the wedding through to receiving our photos was amazing.

He is a super cool dude who we are now lucky enough to call a friend. He is so passionate about what he does and has an eye for every shot. On the day itself he managed to capture every single moment, whilst going unnoticed a lot of the time, even when though he must have been running around like a kamikaze ninja for the whole day to achieve what he did. Steve and I are awkward whenever there is a camera in sight but Mitch made us feel super comfortable the whole time. One of the nicest guys we have met and an amazing talent, highly recommended!!”

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“We weren’t tied to a specific style or theme and the emphasis was on a relaxed and enjoyable weekend for all guests. Our real focus was to make it feel like a holiday for all who had travelled so far to be with us. We did have quite a French influence, given the location, and an eclectic mix of little touches that we liked. We had a blue, silver and white colour palette, lots of flowers and a couple of unique touches such as a hand painted globe prepared by Ajna, one of the Chateau’s creative team. Ajna also created a number of blackboards for signage and beautifully inscribed blackboard placecards attached to vintage French keys. Most importantly the atmosphere was relaxed and fun with plenty of French wine flowing and hopefully no one was left wanting more! Being France; the food and produce was absolutely incredible for the whole of our stay and we were really spoilt by the staff at the Chateau.”

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“We had a dinner the night before the wedding and a recovery party the day after – these allowed us to get maximum time with everyone, was so good to see everyone properly and spend the whole night of the wedding dancing.”

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“The most important aspect of our wedding for us was to spend time with our friends and family, many of whom live thousands of miles away from us in Australia, the UK, USA and Abu Dhabi. Everyone made such an effort and got along like they had known each other forever. I remember stopping later in the evening and just watching everyone dancing around and being silly, having a great time.”

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“Being in France we had a huge focus on food and we were able to pick the menu throughout the 4 days of our stay. This included local oysters and scallops through to Steak and Fois Gras and the fresh produce grown in the Chateau grounds. The quality was absolutely incredible. After our wedding meal we had a wedding cake made out of French cheese and the chef made homemade pork pies which were brought out later in the evening to keep our guests fuelled into the early hours! We knew that all of our guests made a real effort to make it all the way to France so we ensured that the bar was open and fully stocked at all times!”

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Of the first dance, Elyce remembers, “We chose Roy Orbison’s “You Got It”. Looking back it wasn’t the easiest song choice for a first dance but it certainly was fun and we both love a bit of Roy! I think we were glad when everyone else got up to join and the party could begin as I don’t think we will be winning any prizes for our dancing!”

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“The music for the reception was one of our top priorities. We originally wanted a band but didn’t like the idea of the set breaks and moving from band to playlist. Our wedding planner Marcia suggested DJ Guy Preston and Andre Sax Man Brown, an amazing saxophone player, playing along to the tracks. It was absolutely fantastic, we had Andre playing the sax on the dancefloor in amongst guests dancing. The music was incredible. Our dancefloor was full for the whole night, you couldn’t pull us off it either.”

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The couple chose Reel Love Films to head to France and film their wedding day.

Congratulations Elyce and Steve! Thank you for sharing your day with us! Thank you also to Mitchell J Carlin for sharing today’s wedding!




Photographer: Mitchell J Carlin / Cinematographer: Reel Love Films / Bride’s Dress: Pronovias / Bride’s Shoes: Christian Louboutin / Groom’s Attire: Richard James / Groom’s Attire: Alexander McQueen / Groom’s Attire: Lanvin / Groom’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bridesmaid Dresses: ASOS / Bridesmaid Shoes: New Look / Bridesmaid Accessories: Net A Porter / Hairstylist: Laura Cawte / Flowers: Flowers in the Vines / Invitations & Stationery: Paper and Inc / Venue: Chateau Rigaud / Styling: Oui Mon Coeur / DJ: DJ Guy Preston / Reception Musician: Andre SaxMan Brown / Cake Baker: Chateau Rigaud / Wedding Rings: Cartier

A Romantic Snowy Escape

by | Honeymoons, Location Australia, Reviews


Bec Lawrence

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Image via Pender Lea

Fancy yourself a private, romantic honeymoon free from the hustle and bustle of the city? We’ve got the perfect place for you to escape to this winter. Welcome to the Snowy Mountains.

To stay:

There’s so many cosy, romantic places to stay in this beautiful part of Australia but we’ve narrowed it down to down to our two favourites.

Pender Lea Alpine Guest Accommodation

Located in the heart of the Snowy Mountains is Pender Lea. This is our first pick for affordable accommodation. The resort is located just fifteen minutes from Thredbo ski park and even closer than Thredbo is the Perisher Ski Tube. There are a range of rooms to select from depending on your budget and luxury must haves.

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Images via Pender Lea

While you’re at Pender Lea make sure you seize the opportunity to go horseback riding and take in the amazing scenery.  Whatever activities you tackle make sure you take a few minutes to truly unwind with an in-house massage or relax in a hot bubble bath, the choice is yours!


Another place to stay a little closer to the action is Nanook. Located in the valley of the Thredbo River, Nanook boasts luxury accommodation close to all your shopping and dining needs. Nanook has a heart-warming story of its own after being named after a much-loved black dog who once lived in the Thredbo Village.

Thredbo Nanook


Images via Stayz

Each room features a king sized bed and stunning views as well as  high quality kitchens if you’re looking for a cosy night in with your loved one.

To eat:

Step out for a bite to eat at some of the best restaurants Thredbo has to offer. A popular favourite is Cascades Restaurant who offer a wide range of meals and are open for both breakfast and dinner. I know we had our mouths watering for the Chicken Ballotine!


Image via Thredbo Alpine Village

If you’re looking for a country style feel to go along with your meal why not try Crackenback Farm. Just a short drive from Thredbo, Crackenback is situated close to Pender Lea Accommodation. At Crackenback you can expect to treat your palate to a French farmhouse style cuisine. The restaurant was given the 2015 award or the best restaurant in a guesthouse and after feasting on the food, you’ll know why.

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Image via Crackenback Farm.

Wherever you go in the Snowy Mountains there’s plenty to do –  whether it be spending the day in the snow, treating yourself to a spa or checking out some of the local shopping and events. You’re bound to have a great time. Take some time to bask in the grandeur that is the mountains and hold your loved one close during the chilly snowy days. Enjoy your stay!

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Ms Chinoiserie Says: What wonderfully romantic place to snuggle up in front of an open fire; the perfect break away! 


Honeymoons A – Z: El Jadida, Morocco

by | Honeymoons, Honeymoons A-Z, Location Africa


Naomi Neilson

El JadidaImage via Pullman Mazagan Royal Golf & Spa

Enjoy a cultural-explosive and adoringly romantic honeymoon on white sandy beaches where you can relax your days away and revel in the beauty that is Morocco. In El Jadida, Morocco’s gorgeous port city, you and your beloved can expect to find the beauty at every turn – from the history you’ll discover on tours of the ancient city to its own majestic restaurants and hotels. Explore why the beautiful city was made a UNESCO World Heritage site on your culturally romantic honeymoon.

El JadidaImage via Pullman Mazagan Royal Golf & Spa

5 Places to Stay

El Jadida has some of the most spectacular places to stay in Morocco. Two of the most popular hotels provide amazing golf courses that overlook the water, and all are in prime location to search for the true beauty of El Jadida.

Hotel Pullman Mazagan Royal Golf & Spa

This gorgeously luxurious hotel is a very popular hotel in El Jadida, known mostly for its peace and quiet amongst the breathtaking views of the forest and the sea. Here you can enjoy spas and recreational activities, along with exquisite restaurants and bars. If you fancy, take a turn on the course before hitting the beaches.

Pullman HotelImage via Pullman Mazagan Royal Golf & Spa

Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort

This five-star hotel is home to an amazing array of activities and entertainment. Like the Pullman Mazagan Royal Golf & Spa, this hotel boasts a great golf course, a wonderful spa service, and a variety of gourmet restaurants. This hotel is so beautiful it’s easy to see why it’s a world-leading resort.


Image via Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort

La Villa & Spa

With beauty balancing on the edge of contemporary design and Moroccan craftsmanship, the La Villa & Spa is always a bright and spacious place to relax between the bustling historical scenery that is its surroundings. This hotel resort offers amenities delivered by friendly staff, a spa service and exceptional views.

La Villa and SpaImage via La Villa & Spa

Hotel Ibis El Jadida

Just five minutes from the city centre and a street away from the beach, this hotel is in prime location to the historical beauty that is the Portuguese City. This wonderful option offers bar and restaurant services and luxurious comfort  – a serene place to return to after a day of adventures!

Hotel IbisImage via Hotel Ibis El Jadida

Maison d’Hotes de la Cite Portugaise

Overlooking the beach and only a few minutes from the city, this lovely hotel is a favourite among tourists. The guest houses are adorable explosions of colour that provide the best of Moroccan beauty both inside and out. With beautiful views of the garden and the city, here you just can’t go wrong.

Maison d’Hotes de la Cite PortugaiseImage via Maison d’Hotes Cite Portugaise

5 Places to Visit

It would be disastrous if you didn’t take the opportunity to truly explore the Moroccan beauty in El Jadida. Around every corner is something of worth, but make sure to venture out further for the most romantic experience.

Portuguese Cistern

Worthy of a picture-perfect moment on your honeymoon, the Portuguese Cistern is a charming place to visit in El Jadida. Famed for its curved arches and the reflection of the light in the pools of water, this phenomenon is simply spectacular.

Portuguese CisternImage via Hotel Pullman Mazagan Royal Golf & Spa

Theatre Afifi

The lovely Theatre Afifi is home to many breathtaking musical performances, but it is more widely known for the Moroccan architecture that incorporates the beauty of history and the contemporary feel of the modern world. Discovering the historically gorgeous theatre is a glamorous addition to your Moroccan adventure.

Portuguese City

The crème de le crème of El Jadida, this beautiful Portuguese city is authentically irresistible in its history and its culture. Situated in the heart of El Jadida, the city allows for a remarkable honeymoon experience. Be sure to take as many pictures atop the monuments for some of the best views in Morocco!

Portuguese CityImage via Hotel Pullman Mazagan Royal Golf & Spa

Chapel of St. Sebastian

As beautiful as it is looking at it from the outside, it’s worth the time to take a tour within to see just how truly magnificent the chapel is. This beautiful architectural destination in El Jadida was reason enough to make the city a UNESCO site.

Kasbah Boulaouane

This beautiful castle was once a fortress built with protective walls that were simultaneously made to shine with the traditional decorative architecture of Morocco. Today the area is a peaceful getaway from the bustle of the city, and it’s a really romantic way to search for El Jadida’s history.


Image via Marruecos Guiademarruecos 

5 Things to Do

From the widely renowned beaches to the elegant gourmet restaurants, there is so much to do in El Jadida that will really capture the romance of your honeymoon.


Across El Jadida are an array of exquisite restaurants that offer a culinary explosion of exotic flavours. Everything from breakfast snacks to huge luncheons can be found at any number of El Jadida’s best restaurants, like the renowned L’Iglesia.

Cafe Do MarImage via L’Iglesia Café Do Mar


El Jadida is known for being a UNESCO site, but it’s also highly popular as a beach destination. With long beaches, such as Haouzia, you can expect to enjoy a honeymoon in some of the most calm and romantic atmospheres under the sun.

Excursions and Tours

If you’re new to Morocco, it’s always best to consider a tour – especially to the more exclusive places across El Jadida. Touring companies, like Eljadida Tours, are the gateways to the most romantic honeymoon adventures across the city.

ToursImage via Enjoy Morocco Tours


From bustling marketplaces to beautiful galleries, like the Petite Galerie 104, you can always expect to find a lovely little place to find trinkets and souvenirs to take home with you. There are also plenty of boutiques and food shops to keep you going!

Cultural Experience

Whether you are just up for exploring the history of its traditions, or trying new cuisine in any number of restaurants, El Jadida opens up a new world of cultural experience. Be sure to take advantage of this opportunity as a newlywed couple and you’re sure to instantly love all the sights and sounds of Morocco.

BeachImage via Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort

El Jadida’s lovely array of culture and history is enough reason to fall in love with the city and its surroundings. There is always something romantically daring in the chaotically beautiful residential areas and the peaceful beaches. Enjoy a candlelit dining experience under the stars and explore the depths of history—and just truly enjoy being in the midst of such an amazing cultural experience on your honeymoon.

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Ms Chinoiserie Says: Such a beautiful place to visit – stunning architecture, colours and beaches paired with its rich history, make this city one of intrigue!

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