A Destination Wedding at a Chateau in Provence

So you're thinking of a destination wedding and you feel that Provence is pulling you there. I've been in your shoes and that's how we ended up having our wedding at Chateau Robernier.

There's something incredibly charming about the Provençal culture and way of life that is undeniably attractive. The food and wine were what I thought would be my main draw, and trust me it does not disappoint. But what really made it for me was the people. Everyone we encountered was beautifully warm, laid back, and never in the week we were in the area were we treated like outsiders. It was like we had been living there for years and people had known us for time.

There's also something magical about the light in Provence – the sun plays against the warm earth and creates a stunning warm aura that makes photos look stunning.

Now... Provence is a large region so narrowing down where you want to have you wedding can still be a challenge. Trust me when I say my fiancee and I spent months combing through all of the options in the area looking for the perfect spot to tie the knot. Somewhere that was luxurious and beautiful but approachable.

We also wanted our guests to be able to come and spend a few days prior to the wedding so we needed a space that was large enough to accommodate that. Enter Chateau Robernier...

Chateau Robernier as a wedding venue

Chateau Robernier was without a doubt the perfect choice for our wedding venue. The fairy tale castle sits at the top of a hill overlooking its vineyard on three sides. The beautifully landscaped grounds with old nude sculptures and palm trees make for an amazing view. Chateau Robernier also has a pool which is perfect for a hot summer pre-wedding party. The inner courtyard is a magical place where you can gather you close friends and family. This is where the reception is typically held. When the space is decorated with fairy lights its transformed.

Chateau Robernier dates back to the 16th Century, with the main part of the castle, ballroom and Orangerie being added in the 18th Century. The castle has centuries-old olive groves and a vineyard both of which are used to product cold-pressed olive oil and wine.

Chateau Robernier truly embodies what Provence is about bringing elegance, comfort, quality local produce, and the je ne sais quoi feeling that Provence is all about.

Almost a year after our wedding and my wife and I are still pinching ourselves about how amazing our wedding day was. Of course, the most important part was having our loved ones with us to witness and celebrate our love with us, but there was something extra special about the atmosphere on our wedding day. It was the weather, the incredible vendors we chose, and the venue.

We stayed at Chateau Robernier for five days. We arrived a few days early, have our wedding on Friday, a post-wedding pool party on Saturday and we departed Sunday morning... out of the dream and back to reality.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Destination Wedding Venue in Provence

  • Budget and cost considerations: A destination wedding is expensive – there are travel costs, bringing in vendors from abroad or far away, and the cost of the venue itself. The cost of Chateau Robernier is not cheap. Let's get that out of the way right away...however, when we were costing other venues (even local venues) the prices were not that dissimilar. We were able to get all of our family and bridal party in the chateau for the duration of our stay which made it a very special time.
  • Logistics and transportation for guests: There are several international airports nearby. Our guests primarily flew into Marseille or Nice, with some choosing to make a long road trip to see the sights by travelling to Madrid or Paris and driving to Chateau Robernier.
  • Weather and climate considerations: Typically Provence in the spring is around 20º and sunny. Our weather was a lot warmer with locals saying the weather was more like it would be in July. We had a plan to have our ceremony in the small chapel and reception in the Orangerie or Ballroom in the event of rain but thankfully we did not have to worry about that.
  • Availability and flexibility of the venue: The venue takes very few wedding bookings each season so its important to get that booked as quickly as possible. After a venue I would say the next most important vendors to lock in are your photographer, and caterer. We used L'eveile des Papilles and they were magnificent. You can peep some of our wedding food in the photos below. 

Choosing Chateau Robernier for a Spring Wedding

Our wedding was on May 20 but it felt like the middle of July. It was an unseasonably warm spring with warm, sunny weather all week. The rooms are beautifully decorated and everywhere you go feels like you're stepping into another fantasy world.

The bridal suite was reserved for the bride and bridesmaids to get ready while the groom and his grooms people used the library.

Our ceremony was outside in front of the chateau. It offered a lovely backdrop of the grounds with the castle behind the guests. After the ceremony, we had a cocktail hour on the grounds in front of the Orangerie and then moved into the open-air courtyard for dinner, speeches, and dancing before moving the party into the ballroom. We would have dance all night outside but there are some noise restrictions in the area. But moving inside for the end of the night was no issue.

Keep scrolling to see photos of Chateau Robernier, and some more details about the surrounding area, things to do, and more reasons why a Provence wedding is such an amazing option to get married.

And of course, being a wedding photographer I couldn't help myself. We hired Don+Helen to shoot our wedding, but I also brought my super8 camera and my mom's old Canon AE-1 to capture some of my own memories from the day. You'll find those peppered into the images of Chateau Robernier below. 

Photos of Chateau Robernier

Cotignac, the charming village minutes from Chateau Robernier

If you're staying at Chateau Robernier for a few days before or after your wedding you'll definitely want to check out Cotignac. It's a charming village located in a quiet little corner of Provence, about 10 minutes from Chateau Robernier. With its stunning limestone cliffs, quaint streets, and historic buildings Cotignac is a popular destination for visitors looking to experience the beauty and culture of southern France.

One of the top attractions in Cotignac is the Chapelle Notre-Dame de Graces, a 16th-century chapel built into the cliffs. Visitors can climb up to the chapel and enjoy stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

Cotignac has a host of gastronomic options, including local wines, olive oil, and truffles. The village is also home to several gourmet restaurants, serving up traditional Provencal dishes made with fresh, local ingredients. And let me tell you, it does not disappoint.

A couple of our favourite restaurants in the area are:

Picotte Provence: overlooking the valley below Cotignac, this little restaurant offers up delicious food steeped with Provençal flavours and heritage. The whitewashed walls and hanging garden on the terrace, the incredibly friendly staff, and the incredible gastronomic experience make Picotte an excellent choice.

Le Clos de Vignes: This beautiful restaurant sits on the edge of a vineyard and is the perfect spot to sip on a bottle of vine through the afternoon, or for a romantic dinner at sunset. Located in the outskirts of Cotignac, this restaurant offers a mix of Mediterranean and French cuisine using locally sourced ingredients. The people, as with everywhere we visited in Provence, were incredible, friendly, and warm, and the service was as excellent as the food.

Just a short drive from Cotignac is the Chateau Fontainebleau vineyard, just past Chateau Robernier on the opposite side. Here visitors can tour the vineyard and winery, and taste some of the region's finest wines. The vineyard produces a variety of wines, including rosé, white, and red, all made with grapes grown on the property. We were able to get a tour of the vineyard and a tasting for a large group of 40 guests who arrived a couple of days early for our wedding.

Cotignac and its surrounding areas offer a wealth of cultural, historical, and food options, making it the perfect destination for anyone looking to experience the beauty and charm of Provence.

Beautiful Cannes

Cannes is just over an hour from Chateau Robernier (1:15 to be exact) – perfect for a quick day trip to enjoy the city and do something a bit different – and what's not to love about Cannes? Located on the French Riviera, it's a city known for its glamour and beauty. It's famous for the Cannes Film Festival, but there is much more to see and do in this vibrant city than just catching a glimpse of the stars.

There is a charm about Cannes — it's luxurious, beautiful, clean, and you can smell the salty Mediterranean Sea wafting through the city streets. Take a walk down the Promenade de la Croisette – a picturesque waterfront promenade lined with palm trees and luxury boutiques. You can pop into the haute couture boutiques, post up at the beach and enjoy the view of the Mediterranean sea, or grab food or some cocktails at one of the many beachside cafes or restaurants.

Le Suquet

If you prefer a little bit of history you should take a walk up through the old town, or Le Suquet, a historic hilltop district with winding streets and charming buildings. Climb up to the top of the hill to visit the Musée de la Castre, a museum in a medieval castle with stunning views of the city and the sea.

For beach lovers, Cannes has several beautiful beaches, including Plage de la Croisette, Plage du Midi, and Plage de la Bocca.

Palais des Festivals

If you're looking for a cultural experience, visit the Palais des Festivals, the venue for the Cannes Film Festival, or attend one of the city's many cultural events or concerts.

Of course, make sure you indulge in the local cuisine, from fresh seafood to delicious pastries and sweets. No visit to Cannes is complete without a glass of champagne or a cocktail at a seaside bar.

Marche Forville

If you want to try out some of the local food then Marché Forville is the place to be. It's a beautiful and vibrant market located in the heart of Cannes, France. The market is just steps away from the main promenade and is known for its fresh produce, seafood, flowers, and local delicacies. It is a must-visit destination for food lovers, locals, and tourists. The market's lively atmosphere makes it an amazing place to chat with locals and sample some of the region's finest goods.

At Marché Forville, you can find everything from freshly caught fish to exotic fruits and vegetables, all at reasonable prices. In fact, my partner and I had the sweetest, most delicious strawberries we've ever tasted. If you're in the mood for something sweet, don't miss the artisanal pastries and desserts. And, of course, being in France, if you're a fan of cheese, this market boasts a vast selection of local and imported cheeses. Overall, Marché Forville is a must-see spot in Cannes for anyone looking to immerse themselves in local culture and sample some of the region's finest produce.

Visit Marseille

Only one hour from Chateau Robernier, Marseille is the city with the closest airport. Marseille is one of the oldest cities in Europe and is rich in culture and history offering a unique blend of old-world charm and modern comforts.

The Old Port, or Vieux-Port has been the heart of the city for over 2,600 years. It's perfect for a stroll along the port, enjoying the view of the boats, and visiting the fish market to see the catch of the day – or to dip into one of the many restaurants along the promenade. We found a cute little street food spot called Pain à l'ail that we hired to cater our after-wedding pool party. They serve up delicious local sandwiches that were perfect for a hot spring day.

Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde: Another must-visit attraction is the Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde, a stunning Catholic basilica located on a hill overlooking the city. The basilica offers breathtaking views of Marseille and the surrounding areas, and it's a great place to learn about the city's religious history.

Le Panier district: For a taste of Marseille's famous cuisine, head to the Le Panier district, known for its delicious seafood dishes and local specialties like bouillabaisse, a fish stew made with tomatoes and herbs. You'll also be able to explore many artisanal shops and boutiques. The perfect spot to find some Marseillais keepsakes.

Overall, Marseille is a city with a rich culture, fascinating history, and delicious cuisine. You'll find plenty of street art, cafes, and shops to explore. It's the perfect destination for anyone looking to immerse themselves in the sights, sounds, and flavours of southern France.

After 2000 words I don't feel like I've even scratched the surface of how amazing having a wedding at Chateau Robernier really is. The Provençal lifestyle makes it easy to see why anyone would spend a lifetime there. If you're thinking of a French chateau wedding, then Chateau Robernier should definitely be on your list of places to consider.