A Romantic, Elegant Wedding at Chateau de Courtomer in Courtomer, France

As far as bridal accessories are concerned, Liv Hart’s designs are about as swoon-inducing as they come. So it comes as no surprise that the designer

As far as bridal accessories are concerned, Liv Hart’s designs are about as swoon-inducing as they come. So it comes as no surprise that the designer planned a romantic destination affair at a chateau in Normandy for her nuptials to Jesse Gastelle (31 and an economist). “We knew we wanted every moment of our wedding to be all about love, and we wanted to celebrate with our closest friends and family,” Liv says. “We thought it would be fun to create an adventure that we could all share, so we rented a beautiful location in the French countryside, Chateau de Courtomer, to spend the week exploring France and celebrating our lives together.” Every detail was packed with personality, from the hand-lettered invitations complete with a custom drawing of the venue to the floral arrangements designed by Liv’s mother. The ceremony took place outdoors on the steps of the chateau, where the 18th-century architecture gave the festivities an air of old-world elegance. After their “I dos,” Liv and Jesse joined their friends and family for an unforgettable six-course immersion into French cuisine. “Dinner lasted four hours! It was so much fun to celebrate with such an authentic French dinner,” Liv says. “One of many great memories from the early afternoon on our wedding day was listening to our chef, Perrine, singing in the kitchen as she prepared our dinner. She was so kind and an incredible chef.” The tablescape captured the sophistication and drama of a still life painting: crisp white linens embellished with gold cutlery, brass candlesticks, fresh fruit and romantic arrangements of blush roses, wispy greenery and moody burgundy and plum-colored blooms. Some tips from Liv: “Be present in every moment. It all goes by so fast. Don't lose sight of it being all about love. Also, it is surprisingly affordable to get married in a French chateau. Don't feel intimidated by planning a destination wedding. It can really be a memorable getaway for everyone.” —Libby MacCarthy

To set the tone for the fabulous French soiree to come, Liv and Jesse’s planner Lindsay of House of Hannah created a custom suite of vintage-inspired invitations with elegant script, a lily of the valley motif and drawings of Château de Courtomer and key Paris landmarks.
“I have always loved lilies of the valley and wanted to have a delicate bunch of flowers to carry,” Liv says. Liv’s mother, June, who is a floral designer, created a dainty bouquet of lilies of the valley for Liv’s walk down the aisle. For a bit of extra oomph, she tied the bouquet with a length of silky ivory ribbon.
To complete his dapper Lanvin ensemble, Jesse accessorized with dark brown oxford shoes, a gray-blue tie and gilded cuff links. To match Liv’s bridal look, he adorned his lapel with a small bundle of lilies of the valley.
Instead of a tuxedo, Jesse opted for a more modern look. He sported a sharp Lanvin suit in a dark, moody shade of blue, which he styled alongside a white button-down, gray-blue tie, cuff links and brown oxford shoes.
In addition to the invitations, Lindsay of House of Hanna designed the programs for the ceremony. Raffia binding and torn-edge ivory paper gave the programs a rustic, old world feel, while ornate script and an illustration of the Chateau channeled a refined, regal aesthetic.
The ceremony took place outdoors, on the back steps of Chateau de Courtomer in Courtomer, France. Liv and Jesse exchanged vows under a lush arch of white garden roses, eucalyptus and greenery displayed in two stone urns.
To complete her bridal look, Liv adorned her long, romantically curled locks with a chapel-length blush veil that perfectly complemented her blush Monique Lhuillier gown. “Some of the most important people in my life, my grandma and grandpa, are no longer with me. I knew I wanted them to be a part of the day,” Liv says. “When I was a little girl, I spent many summers in my grandmother’s rose garden and my grandpa’s strawberry patch. Those memories were such a huge part of my life. To keep them with me on my wedding day, I designed my headpieces with roses woven between strawberry vines. That piece meant so much to me.”
With an intimate affair in mind, Liv and Jesse whisked their closest friends and family members off to a stately chateau in the French countryside. The elegant 18th-century architecture provided a breathtaking backdrop for the couple’s nuptials, with expanses of lush green fields and forest adding a natural allure that infused the setting with a warm, welcoming vibe.
Planner Lindsay Moynagh of House of Hannah and Liv's mother transformed Chateau de Courtomer into a romantic bohemian dream, adorning the stairs with a lavish garland of lilies of the valley, garden roses and greenery, styled alongside loosely scattered white rose petals.
The tablescape captured the sophisticated setting and drama of a still life painting, with crisp white linens dressed to the nines with gold cutlery, brass candlesticks, fresh fruit and romantic arrangements of blush roses, wispy greenery and moody burgundy and plum-colored blooms.
“My mom is a floral designer, and she ordered the most beautiful selection of flowers through our wedding planner, Lindsay at House of Hannah. Every piece was thoughtfully crafted by my mom, Lindsay and my friend Emme from Shop Gossamer,” Liv says. “It was so amazing to see them create the beautiful floral designs for our wedding.” Fresh fruits and pastel garden roses popped against brilliant burgundy blooms and emerald greenery to bring the reception table to life.
Following a six-course, four-hour traditional French dinner, Liv and Jesse treated their guests to one last indulgence: classic French croquembouche and a vanilla wedding cake.
“We knew we wanted every moment of our wedding to be all about love, and we wanted to celebrate with our closest friends and family,” Liv says. “We thought it would be fun to create an adventure that we could all share, so we rented a beautiful location in the French countryside, Chateau de Courtomer, to spend the week exploring France and celebrating our lives together.” The day after the wedding, the newlyweds and their guests rode bikes around the countryside, exploring villages along the way.