A Refined French Wedding at Château Saint Georges in Grasse, France
For their wedding, self-proclaimed Francophiles Erin Dawkins and Matthew Aaronson planned an elegant summer soiree in the French town of Grasse, tucked away in the heart of the Côte d’Azur.
The couple had considered the French West Indies and Montreal as other potential destinations for their “I dos,” but after recalling an email her late father had sent to her about the Château Saint Georges, Erin was convinced that France was the perfect spot.
Located high up on a hill, the 19th-century château offered guests panoramic views of the seaside cities of Nice and Cannes. The couple exchanged vows under a quaint gazebo decorated with delicate white flowers and greenery. “Erin was raised Christian, and I was born into a Jewish family. It was important to us that our background be reflected in the ceremony,” Matthew says. “The officiant, Peter Madan, was born Catholic and converted to Judaism as a young adult. He represented a perfect and authentic balance of both faiths; he even included both English and Hebrew into the mixed-faith ceremony.” Erin and Matthew also included a circling ceremony and breaking of the glass tradition into the celebration.
Cocktail hour followed on the adjacent lawn. Guests took advantage of the breathtaking backdrop to snap up Polaroid pictures for the couple’s guest book and sipped on signature cocktails such as the “Joie de vivre,” the “Philosopher” and the “Grammarian”—all nods to Erin’s father. The cocktail menu also included a poem by one of his favorite poets, E.E. Cummings.
Dinner unfolded in the opulent Salon Napoleon, a stately ballroom with floor-to-ceiling French windows, gold leaf detailing, crystal chandeliers and intricate parquet. The décor reflected the venue’s traditional feel, with floating candles and bouquets of white garden roses, hydrangeas and peonies anchoring the centerpieces. Royal-blue linens added a pop of color and a hint of visual drama to the tablescapes.
After dinner, Erin and Matthew ushered their guests out onto the dance floor where DJ Marv was spinning. “One night when catching up with a friend in New York, I heard DJ Marv performing and was drawn immediately to his ‘vibe’ and the atmosphere he was creating. While Marv does not DJ weddings often, he felt we had a connection, and he agreed to come to France,” Erin says. “After attending our ‘Rosé Welcome Party’ the day before the wedding, Marv scrapped the playlist he had worked on for a month leading up to the wedding and let the energy of our guests and his experience with using music to inspire and dictate the evening. It was an incredible night of music and dancing that fit us and our guests perfectly!”