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A Visual Anthology: Wedding at the Château

Three distinct bridal styles that capture a free-spirited love story.

A Visual Anthology: Wedding at the Château

Chapter 1. My wedding

Our wedding anniversary is on May 26th–27th, so every year around this time I start to feel a little more sentimental and romantic (even though I am usually not that kind of person). As I have been channelling my feminine energy recently, I cannot help but think about the details of our vow renewal ceremony, including the dress I will be wearing, the location, and all the little things.

I still can not believe how much has changed in me in the twelve years since we said yes and how different the entire wedding concept appears to me now. I have the impression that my wedding was very superficial (well, I was 24 years old at the time), that I did not do as many things as I wanted to, that I did not put any emphasis on the dress I was wearing, that I did not even buy one but borrowed one from a friend of my mother's, that the venue, the flowers, all of the arrangements—nothing seemed very me, but rather something that any bride could want and have. The fact that I was unable to be my true self on my wedding day still bothers me to this day because I regard authenticity and individuality as fundamental values.

Chapter 2. French Château Chronicles

Visiting the nearby castles was one of my favourite things to do during our sabbatical year in Cognac, France. I could spend hours sitting and daydreaming about the lives of the people who lived there in the past, but also about the experience of those who chose to have their wedding at the château.

For those who are unaware, I wholeheartedly believe that less is more when it pertains to aesthetics. However, the châteaux stand out as an exceptional case. All that opulence, from the architecture to the wall paintings to the decor objects to the chandeliers—I adore it!

The day I visited Château de la Roche Courbon, they were planning a wedding (when you zoom in on the pictures above, you can see the white tables in front of the castle). I recalled telling Alex, "Wow, those people must be so lucky to have all this beauty surrounding them." Also, I could not help but think of all the Vogue pictorials I adored when I was a teenager. I had an entire collection of Vogue from various countries in Europe, the United States, and Asia, which I kept for many years for the pictorials rather than the fashion. As stunning and detail-oriented as they were, their visual storytelling was beyond this world.

Chapter 3. A dream come true!

No, I am not planning to have a wedding at the castle, but the article itself is, to me, a dream come true.

A year ago, I learned about Ioana Porav through my lovely girls, Alexa and Georgiana, Flori Sauvage. I remember thinking, "Oh my God!" when I first heard about her—who is this photographer and how does she manage to pull off such spectacular international wedding shoots?

It was as if Ioana's photo projects were fusing two of my lifelong passions—castles and the idea of having a wedding there, which I fantasised about while I was living in Cognac.

Having the opportunity to write an article about this visual anthology and its incredible story is something I am incredibly grateful for.

You are about to witness one of the most breathtaking wedding editorials you have ever seen, as an exceptional team enchants you with the astonishing world of creative storytelling.

Featuring three distinct brides and their individual love stories, this piece highlights how the château's breathtaking scenery enhances the characters' personalities and the depth of the wedding experience.

Ioana Porav and the team captured these brides' free-spirited personalities and eclectic tastes, giving the wedding a sense of spontaneity and adventure. Furthermore, the château's ethereal decor pieces and surroundings enhance the romantic atmosphere.

The photo and video dream team

Photographer: @ioanaporav, Videographer: @vasileporav

Ioana and her husband, Vasile, are not your typical photo and video professionals, but, as I like to say, they are masters of fine wedding film and photography. Their unwavering commitment to the wedding editorial concept distinguishes them as visionaries, concept creators, and visual storytellers.

It is not as easy as it looks to capture the true beauty of people, buildings, and decor items on film or in photographs. To pull off a wedding editorial worthy of any Vogue issue requires innate talent, an eye for aesthetics, a great deal of experience, and a great deal of hard work.

When it comes to artistic expression, visual storytelling is unrivalled in its capacity to transmit a person's most private sentiments, ideas, emotions, and even spirituality. The phrase "a picture is worth a thousand words" is not for nothing.

This wedding editorial has me questioning the very definition of true luxury. Of course, you could argue that planning a wedding at a French castle with all of this extraordinary setup, attire, accessories, make-up, and photography is a luxury, but I'm not referring to that kind of luxury; rather, I'm referring to the kind that expresses impeccable good taste and aesthetic harmony. This is NOT an easy concept to develop, bring to life, and then depict in pictures.

The Venue

The photoshoot took place near Paris at the Château de Champlatreux, which dates back to the 18th century. You can find additional information about this magnificent castle here, but believe me when I say that you do not often see anything of this magnitude and beauty.

The models

@chihiro_t2828, @celia_jeanne , @louella.gaskell

The one-of-a-kind features of each bride truly delight me; they reflect my profound appreciation for variety and individuality. What fascinates me most about this wedding story is the way these three beautiful women weave it together.

This wedding editorial goes beyond the theme to highlight the concept of womanhood in general as well as the incredible bond that forms when women band together.

You are already aware (I hope) that I am establishing an international network of female entrepreneurs; therefore, viewing the images of the ladies prompted this type of connection.

The Floral Designers: & @mariabuneaemc; Stationery @invitatiiloveandpaper; Flatlay @theflatlaydesignparis; Luxury Wedding Cake Artist @bastien_blanc_tailleur @collection__paris; Planner: @mariaplanner; Chairs, Chandeliers & tableware: @rentaluxparis;

The otherworldly beauty of this wedding editorial was the result of the combined efforts of all the creatives who worked on it. This meticulous attention to detail conveys a feeling of femininity, tranquility, mild grandeur, and mild serenity.

Rental dress Paris @_katerina_moroz; Gowns @millanova @be_my_white; Mua & Hair @musethebeautyroom; Jewelry @1940bridal; Shoes @somethingbleu_

The dresses, shoes, hair, and makeup once again emphasise diversity and individuality. There are three distinct styles that highlight the idea that each bride should select her style based on her personality, lifestyle, and personal taste rather than following societal trends, common beliefs, or traditions.

I do think it is important to preserve and pass on certain traditions. However, the wedding day, in my opinion, should reflect your everyday emotions, just like any other day of your life.

Model @vincent.jcqs; Suit @oscarparisofficiel

Let us not forget about the broom, the symbol of simple yet sophisticated elegance in clothing, appearance, and attitude. Chapeau bas!

The awesome team:

Castle : @chateaudechamplatreux
Photographer @ioanaporav
Videographer & Drone @vasileporav
Luxury Wedding Cake Artist @bastien_blanc_tailleur @collection__paris
Planner : @mariaplanner
Floral Designers & @mariabuneaemc
Chairs, Chandeliers & tableware @rentaluxparis
Rental dress Paris @_katerina_moroz
Models @chihiro_t2828 @vincent.jcqs @celia_jeanne @louella.gaskell
Suit @oscarparisofficiel
Stationery @invitatiiloveandpaper
Flatlay @theflatlaydesignparis
Gowns @millanova @be_my_white
Mua & Hair @musethebeautyroom
Jewelry @1940bridal
Shoes @somethingbleu_

*This article is part of a lovely and long-term collaboration between and Ioana Porav.