It doesn’t take much of an imagination to see why Provence has become the It Girl of destination wedding locations in recent years. From its idyllic Mediterranean climate to its bounty of makers (artists, ceramicists, vitners, rattan weavers and so on), Provence is a place where laidback garden fêtes meet old world romance. It’s a destination celebrated in perpetuum for its slow living philosophy and close-to-nature ethos. It even landed a cameo on the latest season of Emily in Paris; And if it’s good enough for Gabriel, it’s good enough for us. That scenic restaurant perch by the way? Foreshadowing for a little hilltop retreat called Bastide de Gordes we’re spilling the deets on below!
Photo by Rémi Dupac with planning + design by Lavender & Rose Weddings
While pride can often be a character flaw, it’s not so in Provence – a place that takes deep pride in its cuisine, weaving the traditions of generations past with modern techniques that homegrown chefs are learning through far-reaching global experience. The restaurant throughout the region seem to attract Michelin stars like moths to a flame. And its not just the swanky, small-dish establishments you see in a lot of big cities. It’s authentic provençal comfort food – ratatouille, foie gras, andouillette, pissaladière, truffle risotto, socca… We can practically smell these flavors being concocted into salvation via the French country kitchen just behind the dining room!
(L) photo by Bastide de Marie; (R) photo by Hotel Crillon le Brave
More than anything, we love the way this southwestern region of France endures. We admire the ways it has embraced the beauty of the natural world – nary a McDonald’s in sight… at least not ’til you reach the handful of train stations connecting big towns like Aix and Avignon to Paris, Lyon and the Cote d’Azur. So if you find yourself daydreaming about timeworn patinas of 18th century chateaus and restored stone farmhouses feel like bona fide fixtures of a landscape overflowing with olive groves, lavender fields, pine forests and grapevines, then you might want to consider some of the hotel + resort wedding venues in Provence we’re dishing on today. As they say, bon appétit!
Photo by Flora & Grace with planning + design by Willow & Oak Events
Bastide de Gordes is perhaps the shiniest crown jewel in the luxury resort collection, Airelles. It’s impossible to resist the old world charm and superb white glove service this hilltop chateau in the village of Gordes is so renowned for. Resembling a medieval castle, the Bastide dates back to the 16th century when it was built directly into the ramparts of this provencal villages iconic cliffs. Having undergone a major restoration in 2015, it boasts modern comforts like plump velvet arm chairs, cascading gardens and speedy lifts alongside cozy rustic reminders of its past (think: open beam ceilings, elegant French antiques, limestone floors). With over 40 rooms + suites and a private villa that can be rented out for exclusive use, Bastide de Gordes is a fabulous option for couples looking to host all of their guests on-site and have walking access to a favorite Provence village. The premium location also lends itself to ancillary events and group activities ranging from vineyard tours and cooking classes to golf mornings and hot air balloon rides. Of course, never underestimate the winning power of a French market day. L’isle Sur La Sorgue, famous for its treasure chest of antiques + found pieces, is only a 20 minute drive away (though Gordes has its own market on Tuesday mornings). There’s nothing not to love about this idyllic country escape.
Photo by Chateau de Berne
They say that size doesn’t matter… but after experiencing this 1,272 acre property firsthand, we’re not sure that’s true. The sheer luxury of this expansive five-star Relais & Châteaux hotel in the Var region of Provence can be felt from the 370 acres of planted vineyards protected by 889 acres of Mediterranean forest to the Michelin-starred restaurant and the tucked-away spa retreat. There’s a gym, tennis court, several pools, a cooking class kitchen and miles of hiking and biking trails…. not to mention a number of other on-site restaurants and cozy nooks for lounging (you can’t miss the library or its impossibly zen garden). All that to say, it’s the kind of property you and your guests won’t want to leave. A lot of couples like to take advantage of the chateau itself, which can accommodate up to 20 people and offers a bit more privacy than other parts of the property do. If you consider yourself an oenophile, spa-seeker or culinary devotee, it’s hard to find a Provence wedding venue more suited to your needs than Chateau de Berne – only 1 hr by car from Saint-Tropez.
Photo by Claire Rose
This elevated 17th c hamlet may just be Provence’s best kept secret. Steeped in contemporary luxury, though hardly cold or austere, being here feels like stepping into a perfectly preserved time capsule. Maybe it’s the Génoise-tiled houses spread out across the cobblestoned perch that make up the guest rooms, or perhaps it’s the simple, yet exquisite wine + cheese you can enjoy while watching the sun slip into the slopes of Mt. Ventoux… but one thing’s for certain, this rustic retreat amidst the rolling hills dotted with vineyards is restorative indeed. Couples looking to quite literally take over an entire Provencal village will find more than a solution in Hotel Crillon le Brave. It’s a perfect hub from which you can host all of your wedding events (for guest counts under 70), as well as additional group activities like wine-tasting tours, cycling and simple lazy afternoons by the pool. Did we mention its watering hole is perhaps its greatest weapon? Honestly, this hotel can have me, hook, line and sinker.
(L) photo by Mr. Tripper; (R) photo by Vivian Hoorn
Photo by Greg Finck
We could wile away the hours in every provençal chateau, let’s be honest. But there’s something about Chateau de la Gaude that makes us want to linger here in particular. Perhaps it’s the impossible-to-miss sculptural monuments from contemporary art masters sprinkled throughout its 60 acres. Perhaps its the Micehelin-starred restaurant with a Roman aqueduct running through the wine cellar. Or perhaps its the immaculate French garden which has recently earned status as a historic monument. Who are we kidding? It’s all of the above! The 18th c Chateau de la Gaude isn’t just pretty to look at either. It comes with 14 rooms + suites, 4 restaurants, a swimming pool, spa, fitness room and multiple leisure activities such as beautiful walks and private helicopter rides. Art meets design in a way that’s intriguing, enchanting and entirely immersive in this Aix-en-Provence wedding venue that feels prestigious, yet approachable. So if the words organic wine, modern art and French classicism get your blood pumping, then you might have just found your sweet escape.
Photo by Jamie Beck
A five-star luxury hotel quite literally a stone’s throw from the Alpilles’ village of Les Baux de Provence, Domaine de Baumanière has been a fixture of the mountain since 1945… though word has it that some of the farmhouses that now make up guest rooms date back to the 16th century! Everyone, and I mean everyone, has stayed here. Royals, statesmen, artists, Hugh Grant. And it’s easy to see what they return every year for. This provençal paradise feels delightfully sparse, letting nature take the spotlight in every sensory way. Don’t be surprised to find ducks waddling along the path to breakfast in the morning, or new-to-parent-life swans teaching their fluffy coated flock how to swim. Baumanière is for couples looking for a return to the natural world through intimate event spaces like that of the terrace shaded by white mulberry trees, as well as high caliber cuisine that makes good use of the wealth of local produce through disarmingly simple dishes. And don’t forget the soundtrack of cicadas and birdsong! It’s an elegant bucolic retreat, plain and simple – and not far off from one of Provence’s greatest treasures to boot: Carrières de Lumières.
(L) photo by Karel Balas; (R) photo by Baumaniere
Photo courtesy of Villa La Coste
Superior service, magnificent art and first-rate cuisine… Villa La Coste is the genuine article. While it’s not often that you find clean lines and mid-century modern architecture in the Neoclassical chateau speckled countryside of Provence, this luxury five-star hotel has made a name for itself in the art, hospitality and fine dining world. It’s hard to put our finger on its biggest draw. There’s the glass-box style restaurant helmed by Chef Hélène Darroze that boasts panoramic valley views. There’s the 50′ outdoor pool surrounded by slender cypress trees and an olive grove. Then there’s the collection of 28 suites that look straight off the set of an Architectural Digest shoot. Villa La Coste has been described my many as an open-air art museum, and with its sculpture-studded slopes and gallery-filled rooms + common spaces, we’d have to wholeheartedly concur. This sophisticated and sleek venue is a wonderful fit for couples seeking the cutting-edge in the heart of Provence, though it makes a wonderful option for ancillary events like a Welcome Dinner or Rehearsal Dinner too.
(Both) photos courtesy of Villa La Coste
Photo by Laura Gordon with planning + design by Lavender & Rose Weddings
A gorgeous 18th century castle in the heart of Provence, only a 15-20 minute drive from Aix-en-Provence in fact, Chateau de Fonscolombe was originally designed as a family home. Fortunately for (all of) us living in the 21st century, the relaxed at-home vibe has never changed. Even the late Queen Elizabeth II is among Fonscolombe’s illustrious guest list! As a parting gift, she planted an atlas cedar on the grounds – a gift that quite literally keeps on giving! The château offers many amenities for guests including a walking trail where you can discover over 180 species of trees and plants, swimming pool, gym, petanque and tennis courts just 5 minutes away. Weddings at Château de Fonscolombe come in all shapes and sizes thanks to the diverse spaces on offer. On the grounds, couples have the choice of the Four Seasons Gardens at the back of the château, the front of the château overlooking beautiful parkland or one of the many locations shaded by beautiful trees. Inside, couples can take use of the indoor galleries or transform the Orangerie into a magical fête. And of course, one could not forget the picturesque chapel onsite which is at the top of our list for a ceremony location.
Photo by Greg Finck
(L) photo by Greg Finck; (L) photo by Maya Marechal
One of the Luberon’s most charming gems, La Bastide de Marie is nestled in a deliciously unspoiled plot below Ménerbes. Bordered by vineyards and bucolic panoramas, this restored 18th c farmhouse is a picture of french country chic living and sprawling garden romance. Antique furniture sourced from all over the globe (including the renowned antiques market in nearby L’isle sur la Sorgue) mingles with modern comforts throughout the property – not the least of which are the wicker lounges with plump blue + white pillows in mismatched toile prints where guests can enjoy a crisp glass of rosé from the venue’s own 57 acre vineyard at any and every hour. It’s a place to bask in the art of slow living indeed, whether that’s by one of the two outdoor pools, at the cavernous candle-lit spa or from the comfort of one of the four-poster beds sprinkled across the 12 distinctly styled guest rooms on-site. Like many bastides, domaines and humble chateaus throughout Provence, the maximum guest count is 80. But certainly for good reason! La Bastide de Marie is first and foremost a luxury B + B, whose reputation for lovingly crafted regional cuisine (think: lamb cutlets, ratatouille and lavender crème brûlée) and fabulously personalized guest experience precedes them. So it’s only fitting that the guest counts they serve match the boutique services they provide.
Photo by Nadia Meli
If the criteria for a good wedding venue is dynamic event spaces, central location and seasoned leadership, then Avignon’s La Mirande sure has it all. We have it on good authority that this 18th century mansion just opposite the Pope’s Palace throws a really good party. From the glittering salons in a sea of toile + chintz to the rose-filled garden courtyard, the vibe is elegant and comfortable with just the right amount of homeliness. While most wedding venues in Provence have addresses anywhere from 15-40 minutes from the nearest “big” villages, La Mirande is right at the heart of one of the most popular + accessible Provençal towns for international visitors and anyone coming from Paris. As if the grandmillenial chic meets Sofia Coppola Maire Antoinette ambiance and the optimal real estate for a seamless guest experience weren’t enough of a draw, La Mirande is well-known for its refined culinary approach and charming cooking school too! Something your VIPs can certainly benefit from via group activities centered on gastronomy, but also good news for your full guest list when you think about the positive implications such excellence has for every course of your wedding meal, and every hors d’oeuvre, turndown service snack and courtyard breakfast in between.
(L) photo by Stacie Flinner; (R) photo by Mary Claire Hayes
Photo by K. R. Moreno Photography with styling + florals by Janna Brown Design
Photos by K. R. Moreno Photography with styling + florals by Janna Brown Design
We might get death threats for this, but even still we’d venture to say that no hotel in Provence exudes more charm than this 19th century mansion tucked just outside of St Remy-de-Provence proper. Owned and managed by the same family since 1980, you can literally walk to the heart of the town within 22 minutes, beneath the postcard-perfect canopies of plane trees no less! In a word, it’s bucolic. In several, it’s a 21-room, five-star hotel with all the laidback serenity and personal touch of a countryside B&B. While other hotels in Provence are owned + managed by large hospitality groups, Chateau des Alpilles is family-owned (and has been since the beginning). The setting feels quintessentially Peter Mayle’s “A Year in Provence” or Ridley Scott’s “A Good Year”. Quiet, calm, relaxed. There’s of course a tennis court, a spa, an outdoor pool, a magnificent park… but the venue is decidedly more laidback than its competitors. And we love it for that! While the venue can host up to 250 people (sleeping up to 50), we find it best suited for smaller to mid-sized guest counts (anywhere from 30-80).
Photo by Guillaume Grasset Photography
That’s all for now, folks! At least until we spill more of our favorite chateau wedding venues throughout Provence. In the meantime, make like a hopeless romantic and peruse some of our past Provence wedding features at Bastide de Gordes, Chateau des Alpilles and Chateau de Tourreau. Preferably while pouring yourself a glass of rosé, shuffling this playlist and generally tricking your brain into thinking that you’re actually lounging in a deck chair overlooking a vineyard rather than snuggled up beneath 5 layers of blankets to ward off this reoccurring winter chill.
Cover photo by Flora & Grace