Destination Wedding Videographer // Chateau de Jalesnes // Loire Valley, France
A career as a destination wedding videographer is not as glamorous as people think, but not as miserable as fellow wedding suppliers like to moan about. Granted, I spend at least a couple of days travelling, without ever truly being on holiday. It's just not as practical as shooting a wedding up in London or down in Hampshire, never mind right here in my doorstep in Surrey.
However, one gets to meet amazing people and indeed to do some sightseeing. You get to taste amazing food in a way your usual London wedding just doesn't really cut it.
This was the case of the wedding filmed at the Chateau de Jalesnes, in Vernantes. It's one of those small and unpretentious villages right in the middle of France, two hours's drive east of Nantes. The Chateau is hidden from the main road. It's quite magnificent and in a way quite unexpected. When you get down the road get a sight of the Chateau, it's very much like a blast as it's quite majestic and contrasts with the calm woodland. I guess the internet spoils a bit the surprise, but it's quite another matter to stand in front of it.
I was greeted by the General Manager, Michael Halpin upon arrival the day before when I went to take a look. Michael and his partner Jonathan saved the Chateau back in 2013 when it was completely lost to ruin.
Elizabeth and Adam reached me via my website a few months ahead of the wedding and I was fortunate enough to be able to squeeze the wedding between a wedding in Portugal and another up in Oxford.
As one might imagine, the Chateau is quite a magnificent wedding venue at any rate. But if you think about the potential for image making, it's quite a remarkable thing. With my style of filming, I take advantage of natural light and features of the environment to create interesting films and incorporate those details that are important to you in a way or the other.
The main accommodation used as bridal suite is a huge room with an equally huge balcony with views to a vineyard, making proper justice to the fame of the Loire Valley wines. As you will see in the film, the lighting potential of that room is immense.
The other bit is the woodland area where ceremonies can take place. Weddings in the woods are generally cumbersome as it's difficult to get there Not these, though. Any car can get up that woodland track and, as you can see in the film is close enough a distance to be walked or for a comfortable and quick horse and carriage trip.
Finally, the chapel is the other very striking place of the Chateau. The stained glass windows and solid, austere walls make for a perfect place for a first dance and overall partying, although I can imagine a few other good applications for the room.
I left the day after the wedding with my heart (and memory cards) full of rich, meaningful memories. In my suitcase I had packed some soft cheese which the French Airport Security at Nantes didn't find suitable to go in hand luggage. I'm pretty sure they had an amazing supper.
In charge of the photography was Boy Called Ben. Ben is really experienced and has loads of destination weddings under his belt. Looking at his work you see he is one of those photographers that produces romantic, beautiful images - very much in line with the bucolic ambience of the venue. He's also a lovely guy to have around on your day.
As I said above, although a destination wedding videographer doesn't really party for a living, I get to hang out with amazing people at their best and happiest moments (and deliver some great films in the meanwhile) and get well paid to do it. If this is not success, I don't know what it is.
Thinking back to this experience as a Loire Valley wedding videographer, I think I would love to get back to France. If you'd like me to produce your wedding film, whether you are getting married in the UK or France (or anywhere in the world), drop me a line and I'll be in touch.