Colleen + Karl's Old-World French Chateau Wedding

From their first meeting in a Belfast bar, this pair felt something truly special.

Beautiful bride-to-be Colleen is a Wedding Planner by profession, so their wedding was always going to be AH-mazing!

But, when they came across a dreamy chateau in the Cherbourg area of France, their DIY vintage theme came alive with magic…

Colleen & KarlColleen & KarlColleen & KarlColleen & KarlColleen & Karl

“It was in July 2012 and Karl took me for a hike up Cave Hill. It was a gorgeous day and we settled down for a picnic in a clearing, it was like something out of a fairytale! I took out a bag of Haribo and started playing with the rings. Next thing I knew, Karl was down on one knee asking if I would like a real ring instead! I was so stunned, I didn’t reply for 10 long minutes… But, of course I said yes!”

Colleen & KarlColleen & KarlColleen & Karl

“I loved the idea of a French vintage style wedding and when we came across the Chateau Le Mont Epingeut near Cherbourg, it fit with the theme perfectly.”

The venue is just so picturesque,the grounds and gardens are beautiful with woods, statues and flowers. The Chateau has such a rich history and has such lovely original features that we almost felt like we had stepped back in time.”

“I looked through Pinterest, blogs and wedding magazines and started a scrapbook of all my favourite images and ideas. The themes for our wedding were shabby-chic, rustic and french vintage. These were my main inspiration when it came to flowers, details and favours.”

“It was very much a DIY family affair. My mother made my brooch bouquet, the wedding cake and did all the catering! I collected candles, lanterns, and individual teacups as favours. My mum and my sisters helped me buy and arrange the flowers for the day and Karl was our DJ that night at the barn dance.”

Emma May PhotographyEmma May PhotographyColleen & KarlColleen & KarlColleen & Karl

“We loved working with our photographer Emma May. One of our favourite parts of the day was going to have our private shoot in the yet-to-be restored chateau at the rear of the property. It felt like a real adventure and Emma made the vibe really fun and relaxed.”

Emma May PhotographyEmma May PhotographyEmma May Photography

The couple’s one nugget of advice for anyone daring to pull of a DIY wedding is: “try to actually do as much yourselves as possible. Allow your friends and family to enjoy your day. And, if you decide to do everything yourself…hire someone else to do the catering!”

Emma May PhotographyEmma May PhotographyEmma May Photography

Huge thanks to Colleen and Karl for sharing their stunning day with us and to their photographer Emma Loughran for allowing us to publish these shots. You can see more of her work at

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