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Bride Experience: “My dream wedding in Provence with planner Muriel Saldalamacchia”

Muriel Saldalamacchia
Muriel Saldalamacchia

For more than 12 years in the destination wedding business, travelling the world for weddings, Muriel is France based, but has also rocked in Italy few years ago.
Asides her travels with her clients, Muriel is also an International Speaker, dealing with her peers onto the Luxury and destination Wedding Market.
Muriel is also a French author, dealing with business methods to international peers accros the globe, while having the clients in the focus of attention. Her first book "The Anti-Ghosting-Method" is available on Amazon and Barnes & Nobles.

Discover the story behind Katia & Ben’s destination wedding in France. See why they picked Chateau d’Estoublon as their venue and how they chose this planner after 7 different inquiries. Learn how they managed their dream destination wedding with planner Muriel Saldalamacchia despite the pandemic and 2 reschedules overseas.

All photos : Nora M Photography

Katia, Ben: you’re both American and you chose to get married in France. What is the connection you have with this country? dream wedding provence Muriel Saldalamacchia

Growing up, Katia would come to France with her family often because her parents are complete Francophiles.

The first time she went out of the country was when she was 10 to Paris and she completely fell in-love with the French culture. The food, the fashion, the language, the people- it was all so intoxicating. Throughout her life, she continued to come back to France with her family, then with friends, then she studied abroad in Paris while in university.

dream wedding provence Muriel Saldalamacchia

Of course, Ben and Katia’s first trip to Europe was to France and Ben proposed to Katia in Paris over Christmas.

What lured you to the idea of getting married in a Chateau in Provence, South of France?

It is the epitome of romatic!

We also wanted to give our friends and family to experience something that they have never seen before.

A party in the South of France, at an elegant chateau with your closest family and friends, eating incredible food and drinking fabulous champagne.

Who wouldn’t want to experience that?

dream wedding provence Muriel Saldalamacchia

With several pre-selection of venues together, and some site visits, you decided to choose Chateau d’Estoublon. What made you choose  this one, specifically?

This was the whole package.

The grounds were absolutely stunning and it felt like a magical fairy tale.

The chateau itself allowed for us to have many different experience in one location including

1) the wedding in the olive grove,

2) the cocktail hour in front of the chateau

3) the dinner in the beautifully lit courtyard

dream wedding provence Muriel Saldalamacchia

4) dance party in a wine cave and then a full pool party and BBQ the next day.

Between that and the activities it offered, and the fact that it was centrally located near a great town (St. Remy), was a no-brainer.

After the proposal – I know it was pure magic !! Ben you nailed it ! did you have any concerns about getting married in a foreign country while bringing all your friends and family with you ?

dream wedding provence Muriel Saldalamacchia

The only concern was presented when COVID-19 hit.

We were required to move our wedding two times but Muriel made it absolutely seamless and it was better than we could have ever imagined.

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Do you have any advice for couples looking to get married in a Chateau in Provence?

Make sure Muriel is your wedding planner! Because of her, we had great relationships with vendors, clear insight into what was going on politically with France and theri restrictions during the pandemic, and no issues with moving our date.

Also, it is one of the most magical, unique ways to get married.

You are giving everyone an incredible adventure to participate in. People still talk about how our wedding was the best they have ever gone to!

What was your favorite part about getting married in a Chateau in Provence?

How can we narrow down to one thing?! The chateau itself was gorgeous, the staff was amazing, the food was phenomenal, and getting to celebrate our love with all our best friends in a chateau in our favorite country was the best thing I could ever ask for.

What is it about Provence that made you want to get married there?

It is one of the most romatic places in the world!

dream wedding provence Muriel Saldalamacchia

That and it offers so many unique opportunities for guests to explore the region.

There is wine tasting and vineyards, beaches, mountains, amazing provencal towns, incredible art exhibits, hiking, amazing food, the list goes on!

I’ve been lucky for being your wedding-planner. What was the most important thing to you when planning your wedding with a planner?

Clear communication and making sure that we were transparent about what we wanted and that Muriel set clear expectations around what she could deliver.

Her guidance was priceless.

dream wedding provence Muriel Saldalamacchia

How do you think working with a wedding planner (generally speaking) help make your big day run smoother? (or maybe a different word than smoother, haha)

It is absolutely essential to have a wedding planner in general but even more so in another country!

We do not speak French fluently so having Muriel’s support with vendor negotiations and changes was crucial to ensuring the planning went smoothly.

dream wedding provence Muriel Saldalamacchia

We have had to reschedule your wedding two times due to the pandemic. And I know it was very tough decision to make. How was the planning process going so far despite this ?

It was totally fine to be honest. Yes; it was disappointing at times but there was a pandemic!

We had to roll with the punches and accept what the world threw at us.

dream wedding provence Muriel Saldalamacchia

It ultimately made our relationship with each other stronger and made the day so much more emotional and worth waiting for once we had it.

Then, finally your big day happened ! Was there a moment during your wedding day that was more important to you than any other?

The vows and walking down the aisle towards Ben!

dream wedding provence Muriel Saldalamacchia

Why was that moment so important to you?

dream wedding provence Muriel Saldalamacchia

There was such a build-up of emotions over the two and a half years of planning, especially with all the changes and challenges of covid. I did not realize I would have been as emotionally as I was and the vows were so heart-felt and raw. I loved that moment.

In terms of style for your wedding, as we changed year and season from initial plans (June to October), you decided to go for a Black Tie Wedding. How do you think one should prepare for a black tie wedding?

Once we realized it would not be as hot in October compared to June, our attire options expanded.

We decided on black tie because it was truly an elegant affair, in a French chateau, and everyone looked phenomenal.

Given what you know now, if you had to do it again, would you make any different choices?

NO! Everything was absolutely perfect and I would do it again in a heartbeat- including the rescheduling part! The anticipation made the ultimate execution of the event so incredibly meaningful. I wouldn’t have changed anything.

Katia & Ben’s A-List Team

Their dream wedding in Provence  : 3 Days Wedding Celebration | 80 Guests | From California & NYC to Provence | Black Tie Wedding | Outdoor Wedding 

Rentals selected from Be Lounge in Aix en Provence.

Outdoor & aesthetics heaters selected at ACR Location in Arles.

Art de la table selected at Maison Options in Aix-en-Provence.

Florals by Audrey Mauro’s design services from Toulon.

Classical musicians for both ceremony and Cocktail hour by Botticelli’s in Marseille.

DJ by Just Event Provence in Aix-en-Provence

Photographer Nora M from Spain

Videographer Jino Agnelli from Côte d’Azur

Day 1 – Welcome Party at Maison Mistral in Saint-Rémy de provence

Day 2 & Day 3 – Big day & Pool party at Chateau Estoublon in Fontvieille, Les Alpilles – Provence

Day 1 – Maison Mistral in Saint-Rémy de provence

Day 2 – Helen Catering in Avignon + Wine selection from Caves du Mistral in Saint Rémy de Provence + Bartenders from The Buckrider in Nice.

Day 3 – Big day & Pool party at Chateau Estoublon in Fontvieille, Les Alpilles – Provence

Hair styling by Aurélie Blond from Avignon

Make Up by Ylva Langenskiold from Luberon

Shuttles by Lieutaud and Taxi Arelelates 

You dream of celebrating your wedding in a Chateau in Provence?

Simply ask for a first chat, and we will be more than happy to answer each of your questions.

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