Destination weddings

Wedding of the Week: Chantel Jones and Evan Archibald

25 Mar 2018

Chantel Jones and Evan Archibald's destination wedding in Northern France was a dream come true for the happy couple, providing an intimate celebration with their nearest and dearest

How did you meet?

We knew of each other at school (Ev was two school years above me) and we ‘found’ each other again years later on Tinder.

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Tell us about the proposal.

Evan whisked me away on a surprise trip to New York at Christmas time. On the second day we got a horse and carriage around Central Park and that’s where he popped the question. We then went ring shopping in the diamond district. 

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What was the theme for the day, and did you have a colour scheme?

The theme for the day was intimate, relaxed and romantic. The colour scheme was blush, gold and navy. 

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What venue did you choose and why did you choose it?

Chateau De Courtomer in Normandy as it was exactly what we had always envisioned for our big day. It’s breathtakingly beautiful, romantic and we had the whole venue to ourselves so our families had a lovely relaxing break in the week leading up to the wedding.

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When did you know when you’d found ‘the’ dress?

I didn’t try on millions of dresses, as in all honesty I hated the experience of being in a stuffy bridal shop especially as I had a horrendous experience in one. However, I went to WED2B and loved it in there. I knew my dress was the one straight away; it was part of the signature collection. 

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What did the bridesmaids wear?

My bridesmaids wore full length champagne gold ombré sequin dresses. 

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Where did you find your suits?

The groom's suit was found on Pinterest and hunted down in a shop in Essex.

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Tell us about your floral arrangements.

My nan did the floral arrangements as a wedding gift and used all my favourite flowers.

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Often the aspect that makes a wedding original to the couple is the detail – tell us about the details of the day.

Our favours were shots featuring the message 'We tied the knot now have a shot'. Shawls were provided for the girls and we also offered flip-flops. We had sparklers and displayed photos of our love story around a tree. We also had beer pong and garden games.

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How did you feel as you walked down the aisle?

I felt so excited when I was walking down the aisle, I couldn’t wait to get down there and become Evan's wife in front of our closest friends and family. I felt very loved... you could feel it in the atmosphere. 

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How did you make the ceremony personal to you?

We didn’t have any songs or readings for our ceremony as we wanted to keep it short and sweet (we had an outdoor ceremony and it was 37 degrees).  

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What was your most memorable moment?

My most memorable moment of the wedding was dancing in the evening with my new husband and our friends and family. Heels were off, my dress was up and I felt so happy with what my husband had put on for our guests. 

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What was the most challenging aspect of planning this wedding?

Sourcing catering and someone to conduct the ceremony. We were in a really remote part of France so trying to get anyone who spoke English was hard work. 

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What was the most important investment for you?

The most important investment for us was the venue, not only was it our wedding but we really wanted to treat our families to a nice relaxing week away. 

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What song did you choose for your first dance, and why?

Ella Henderson - Yours. We love that song. 

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Did you have any evening entertainment?

We had a DJ. 

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Tell us about your wedding cake.

We got our wedding cake from Choccywoccydoodah, it was a wedding gift from Evan's brother (our best man). 

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If you could go back and change anything, what would it be?

Nothing. To us, our wedding was perfect. 

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Where did you go on honeymoon?

We went to Dubai for our honeymoon a month after our wedding.

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Do you have any advice for couples in the planning stages?

Don’t overthink every tiny aspect; no-one will look back and remember what wine you had, what colour napkins you had etc. Also, Pinterest is amazing. There is so much you can do yourself to save the pennies without it looking cheap. 

Photography by Philip Quinnell Photography.

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