Katherine (32) works in client strategy at Sotheby’s, and Lewis (34) works in real estate corporate finance at Lloyds Banking Group. The couple first met at a party in 2012, just months after Katherine had moved to London from the US for her Master’s degree. Lewis proposed in April 2021 in Devon just as covid restrictions started to ease, next to a beautiful 12th century castle on a hilltop. They had their small civil ceremony in London in August 2022, and held their lavish wedding weekend in France with all their family and friends in September 2022.
The best part of our day was….
Generally, seeing all our friends and family come together, as about half of the guests travelled from the US and the other half from the UK/Europe. Also, right after our ceremony, we walked our guests through the gorgeous, quaint French village to the town square which we hired out for a post-ceremony tipple. Everyone had a glass of champagne, we hired an accordion player, the sun was shining, and it felt like we were on a movie set – it was magic. It was just a brief part of the day, before we transported our guests back to the château for the formal cocktail reception, but many guests said it was one of their favourite parts.
We choose to get married at…
We couldn’t legally get married in France, so we had our registry wedding ceremony in London with Lewis’ parents, who treated us to a stay at the Ritz for the weekend.
We had our big wedding weekend in France, in part because we couldn’t choose between the US and the UK (where Katherine & Lewis are from respectively). Katherine also speaks French and the couple have spent several holidays in France, so they decided it would be an ideal compromise.
We chose Château Le Mas de Montet because it is a beautiful fairytale château where we stayed with family and the wedding party for the long weekend. We held our rehearsal dinner, wedding day reception and Sunday BBQ pool party at the Château. We also held a welcome party and golf tournament for the gents at Manoir de Longeveau, a lovely French country estate down the road where most of our guests stayed. Our ceremony was held at the Église Monolithe Saint Jean in Aubeterre, an incredible 12th century monolithc church, and the largest of its kind in Europe. We’re both big lovers of architecture and history, and this was so unique and different from anything we’d seen so we knew it was a must.
I knew I found ‘The One’ when….
My mother flew in from the US to go dress shopping with me, so I’d booked 3 shops in London, and the last shop we visited was Suzanne Neville. I tried a few on which were OK, but the lovely saleswoman suggested I try this one – my mom and I both knew instantly that it was ‘the one.’ It was simple yet impactful, elegant and classic, and the fabric was gorgeous. It was also very comfortable, and I loved that it had pockets! We added a belt to give it a little extra touch of sparkle.
The most enjoyable moments of planning were…
Travelling to France a few times for ‘wedmin’ – food and wine tasting, florist appointment, cake tasting, makeup trial, etc. We made little holidays of it, each time exploring other areas that we hadn’t been to. This helped us to build a robust list of suggested must-do’s/must-see’s for our guests travelling over.
The hardest part of planning was…
Managing all the various locations and events throughout the weekend. We knew all our guests were travelling far and wide to be with us (especially the Americans) so we wanted to make it super fun and special. But between our golf tournament, rehearsal dinner, welcome party, wedding day events, and Sunday BBQ pool party… all across several different locations and with different suppliers, we certainly relied on our wonderful wedding planner to ensure everything ran smoothly (and thankfully it did!)
The best accounts to follow on Instagram for big-day inspo are…
The Wedding Edition of course! Brides (@Brides), Martha Stewart weddings (@Martha_weddings), Vogue Weddings (@vogueweddings) are great too. I also followed various dress designers, wedding planners and photographers I liked.
My top three tips for any couple would be…
Hire a wedding planner, particularly if your wedding is abroad. We literally couldn’t have done it without ours, and his insight into local suppliers was crucial.
Enjoy the process – you will (hopefully) only go through this once, so really make the most of all the fun parts – food and wine tasting, choosing outfits, flowers, music etc.
It’s your day so do what makes YOU happy – try to focus on what you both love and want for the big day and don’t be afraid to do something a bit different.
If I was able to do it all over again, the one thing I would change is…honestly, nothing! Of course there were tiny things that maybe weren’t exactly right on the day, but we had the best time and we know our family and friends did too.
List of suppliers:
Florist: Jenny Moss, @fairyfleur1
Related Article: Inside: A Spectacular Wedding In West Sussex