This relatively young castle dubbed “Petit Chambord,” and built in 1854 three hundred years after her grand Loire Valley namesake, is only an hour and a half from Paris by TVR train at Angers station and is a well-situated base for exploring the Loire.
Your wedding fantasy will be meticulously orchestrated by chateau wedding planner Cynthia Nicholson and assistants Jean-Marie and Fabien Every detail, officiant, photographer, chapel, flowers, music and catering can be provided. Cynthia even recently fulfilled a "Beauty and The Beast" wedding request where the chateau was decorated in theme with a scene played out in full costume as part of the celebration. So dare to dream big.
Marry in the tiny chapel inside the chateau, on the lake bridge, under the gazebo, or in the adjacent formal church. Larger parties book entire chateau, eloping couples may simply take a suite for a few days. (Also good to know? April to October are the best for outdoor weddings and children are warmly welcomed.) Suites are individually decorated in La Belle Époque style and appointed with carved antique beds, fabric covered walls, paintings and luxurious private baths. Each has a romantic view of Chateau Challain grounds. There are rooms, suites and an apartment for five. Rate per suite 290 to 340 Euros ($367 to $430 US) or rent the entire chateau for three days for 9,000 Euros ($11,400. US) and up.
However, there are a few things to keep in mind when planning a wedding here. The Chateau sleeps 30 people max. The reception can handle only 100 people. There are no attractions within walking distance except for tiny village. Since the chateau is essentially a B&B, no other dining is provided. But there are some good restaurants nearby, including a Michelin-starred one. You can also book the chateau for several days prior to your wedding and explore Nantes, the Loire Valley, Anjou and Angers.
Lastly, French marriage laws carry a residency requirement so Cynthia can advise you on what you will need.
[Photo: Kurt Winner]