Last month, I embarked on my first trip to Europe; a whirlwind of love, travel, work, and adventure. It was the trip of a lifetime, which would start in Paris, France, for a best friend’s nuptials. I connected with friends after landing at Charles De Gaulle Airport, cohorts heading to the truly destination wedding.
Our train was delayed, so why not catch a quick nap in the park by the Natural History Museum and the Botanical Gardens, right? Right.
In order to reach the chateau, we had to take two trains from Paris to Bonneval, where we were picked up at the train station and brought to the breathtaking Château de Bouthonvilliers. It is absolutely gorgeous.
The sprawling Chateau is complete with carriage house, chapel (with underground cave), swimming pool, and a one-acre garden! Oh yeah, did I mention there’s livestock, too? No big deal. (Side note: I wanted to kill the three roosters. Still do, as a matter of fact.)
The caretaker, Edward, told us many stories about the Chateau, starting with the amazing fact that the property has been in his family for over 300 years! It was home to some very important historical figures, the location of some “secret world history,” and don’t forget about the high-ranking Nazi Officials that took over the chateau during World War II. (They fled when Patton came through.)
I wasn’t initially able to come to this wedding, and I was truly heartbroken about it, but something magical came up with regards to a project I’m working on, and I was going to be flying to Europe after all… so with some good graces and friendship, I was able to loop in the wedding after all! Best choice ever!
Back to the Chateau. Here’s the Carriage House! Those colored tiles around the edges are awards the property has won… I think?
I slept with some old friends out in the carriage house… which was also really fun! It’s like we were teenagers again, bunked up dorm room style! Now we’re just older, a little wiser, and drunk, right?
The little chapel had a “cave” (pronounced “cah-va”) underneath it…
… jam-packed with wine, champagne, beer, and foie gras. If you wanted something, you just picked out a bottle, wrote it down in the book (honor code!), and they’ll bill you for it later! Simple, and unmistakably dangerous.
The bride and groom are some of my best friends in the world, and I was honored to be there with my other close friends, pitching in as we could to make it truly a dream day. The wedding was absolutely gorgeous (as expected) and I have no shame in admitting I openly wept at the sentimentality of the beautiful moment. Love is all you need!
First dance for the newlyweds!
I can’t remember what time the first dance was, but we didn’t stop tearing up that dance floor until 4 AM. (Special shoutout to the DJ for throwing on “Ignition Remix.”)
It was one hell of a wedding, you guys.
Bonus Adventures: One morning we took a quick trip into Bonneval for a little breakfast. It was an adorable little village!
There was a “welcome party” thrown by the groom’s mother at another quaint country house nearby, located in France’s “bread basket,” the region where most of the wheat in the country is grown.
I mean, look at all those baguettes!
Where did we go next? Saint-Malo, the Walled City