Lauren + Steve // Ch√Ęteau Rigaud, Bordeaux, France Wedding Video

A bit about you two! How did you two first meet?

Every wedding is a love story and this one began thanks to Pippa and Andrew who set up Lauren and Steve on a blind date. Thanks guys – that was an inspired move. A drink at the Anthologist was arranged and the date was set. Lauren and Steve met up and got on really well. So much so that when the bar shut they didn’t want the date to end so they decided food was needed. By now it was very late and most places were shut but they managed to find a table at the schmancy Duck and Waffle and so their evening continued. In the early hours of the morning it was definitely time to go home. It was Thursday morning and they had work later that day! And so they took the lift down the 40 floors, where a first kiss was shared. It can only be described as an amazingly successful first date and later Steve admitted he’d never actually been to Duck and Waffle; it was a complete punt – but one he pulled off.

And so this love story continued. Lauren and Steve discovered they shared a love of travel and trying new things. They’ve been lucky enough to travel to far flung places like Sri Lanka, South Africa and the Philippines. They’ve discovered the delights of Paris and had the nicest and most relaxing holidays in Sardinia. But they also love the simple things: like walking and exploring more of Hackney and discovering new areas of London; of course they love going out for a drink, dinner, trying new restaurants and pubs with you folks; and best of all is being at home together cooking and watching a bit of TV. In 2018 they moved in together and it’s been brilliant. They get to come home to a place where they feel grounded, can be themselves and just chill out.

There’s also been some high octane times for example the time Lauren bought Steve a white water rafting experience in Lea valley for his birthday. When they arrived the rapids were pretty intense and they were put on a boat with six blokes who were on a stag do. The first trip down the rapids was just to get a feel for it, then the instructor asked if they wanted to go extreme! And boy did it get extreme. On the first rapid Steve saw someone in the water. He turned to tell Lauren, only to realise it was her that wasn’t in the boat anymore! There were lots of wild rides that day with only the instructor left in the boat at one stage. And at the end of the experience the lads all gave Lauren massive credit for getting so involved and how she handled herself; she was amazing.

But Steve already knew that. He knew Lauren was a very special lady early on in their relationship. In fact when he first saw her he was blown away and it was amazing how they just clicked and before they knew it, they were a couple. For Lauren, she also felt that incredible connection, one she’d never felt with anyone else. This felt right and the more she got to know Steve, the more her feelings have grown and grown.

The proposal? ...Tell us everything!

That said, it took a while before Steve got around to asking that all important question, which he put down to Covid. Very uncharacteristically, he planned everything well in advance. He’d contacted Lauren’s sister, Holly, to check Lauren’s ring size and run his plan by her. She gave the green light. He’d called Lauren’s dad, Jeff, the day before to ask permission to marry his daughter and had been told quite amusingly “good luck mate”. Then Lauren was told on her birthday to keep the weekend free in a couple of weeks’ time because Steve had organised a birthday treat. Lauren had been trying to pries out of him what the treat was, where we’re they going? Did she need to wear anything in particular? But Steve was deliberately vague and gave nothing away. The day before Lauren had even joked with her colleagues Natasha and Warren, knowing how laid back Steve was, they were trying to figure out what the treat could be. But without details they were all left guessing.

The next day was a beautiful summer’s day. Lauren decided she may as well wear something nice, when Steve announced he’d booked any early dinner somewhere. Again there were absolutely no details and Lauren was left wondering if this was all being done on the hoof. They left the house and walked to the park at the bottom of the road. Steve announced they were doing an amalgamation of their lockdown walks, which was a nice idea. But, the thoughts going through Lauren’s head were – really? This is what we’re doing for my birthday?! She stuck with it though and after a while they stopped at a pub bumping into their next-door neighbour. Not to be distracted Steve stuck to the plan and after their drink, on they continued. When they got to Victoria Park they headed for the Old English Garden and amongst the roses Steve was looking for the perfect place for his planned picnic. Lauren thought Steve was being weird and she just wanted to sit down as it was soooo hot. At last the perfect spot was chosen, the blanket was put down and the picnic set out. Steve suggested he take a photo, which for these two was super weird, but still Lauren didn’t work out what was coming. As she turned, Steve went into his backpack and said, “I’ve got something else to ask you”. He took out a box, presented her with the ring and asked Lauren to marry him. She was hyperventilating and repeating ‘Oh my god, oh my god’ until Steve said ‘please can you answer me.’ Of course she said yes. They finished their picnic and walked around for a while but it was so hot so they stopped at the Crown for a cold drink and a bit of shade. While they were sitting they took time to call and message their family and friends to share the great news. Then they walked to Morito for that early dinner and finally home. The end to a perfect day.

And that brings us to today. A time to look back on those moments that have brought you here and look forward to all those wonderful time yet to come. We all wish you well in achieving your hopes and dreams for the future in the holidays you’ll share, the fun and laughter you’ll have and in building a home for family that’ll be full of joy and happiness!

The Venue/s? ... Why this place above anywhere else?

Well this is a bit of a funny after we got engaged last June, I really wanted to have at least a fortnight where we just enjoyed it. Everyone was so happy and excited for us (I think after a lack of engagements/weddings in the prior two years!) and that took us a bit by surprised so we wanted to enjoy that for a bit...

I then turned to the task of working out what we wanted to do for a wedding. Clearly Steve hadn't thought about this at all (he had just been concentrating on hiding the ring and focusing on the proposal day!) and we hadn't thought that we would get married so I didn't have a preconceived idea of what I wanted our wedding day to look like.

My sister got married in Greece a few years ago and it was just the most fun week as everyone made it into a holiday. I liked the fact that it meant her and my brother in law were able to get around all of the guests during the course of that week and spend quality time with all of them. I always feel like an English wedding day goes by really quickly and there isn't always an event the night before / day after so sometimes it is difficult to get a word in with the bride and groom, even when they are your close friends!

I had seen through friends on social media, what a French chateau wedding could look like, and started doing a bit of investigation. I thought that the weather would be in all likelihood better, and I also thought you could get better quality/more for your money in France food and drink wise than in the UK. Given we wanted to get married in summer 2022, after a couple of weeks of research I came up with a shortlist of potential venues that looked nice, had availability (albeit limited) and were in the region of what we thought was acceptable (can you tell I'm in lawyer...). I did the same thing with a few UK venues and then presented this all to Steve...with a nudge in the right direction, he agreed that it thought it was a cool idea :-) We chose Chateau Rigaud on the basis that we thought it looked quite homely (as opposed to some of the other chateaus which look quite formal), it had a date that worked for our siblings (for the kids), and of course - the fixed price per head for alcohol!!

We also had the added complication of Covid and very limited travel last summer, so we had to book it on a bit of a whim and based on photos I had seen online (of which there were loads from photographers' websites). As Steve was paying the deposit he did have a sudden panic that perhaps this was all a scam and what on earth were we doing booking a venue having never seen it or even been to this part of France?! But we went with it (although I am sure some people did think we were mad).

We came out in November for the planning weekend at Chateau Rigaud and we were a bit nervous as we drove closer to the venue, but when we saw it we were just blown away. I am not sure if this was chance or fate, but the venue is exactly what we were hoping it would be - it is beautiful but without being overly showy, the food is incredible, the decor is was a success!! Also helped by hearing from some of the other couples at the venue how they had done tours of the area back in 2019 and Chateau Rigaud was the best place that they visited...

That is an extremely long story apologies but I think it's quite amusing!

What experience do you want to give to your guests?

We want them to just feel like they've had the best time, amazing food and drink, and for it to be a wedding that they remember and tell stories about for years to come!

Why do you want your wedding filmed?

For me, similar to a photographer, we are both not very good at documenting ourselves in video/photo...i.e., we will go on holiday together and at the end we will have one thousand photos of the scenery but nothing of ourselves...which is all well and good and probably shows we had a good time, but sometimes it's nice to see a photo of yourselves and think ah we look happy there, I remember that day (or outfit ha!), etc.

Steve was less keen on getting a videographer but for me it was a must. I feel like the day will go by so quickly for us and it will be quite overwhelming to take it all in. So, having someone capture it both in photo and in film will allow us to watch it back and see things we didn't realise happened, see everyone enjoying themselves, and take us back to the wedding day. Which will hopefully be a good thing!!
Wedding Venue: Château Rigaud