Impeccable taste, a French chateau and a beautiful celebration of love … it doesn’t get much better than that. While this wedding has been in my “love this archive” for a bit, I thought now was the perfect time to share it with the end of summer right around the corner. The details are sweet and the couple is clearly crazy about each other. It is truly a must see.
PS – I thought you might enjoy looking at a few pics from a photo shoot they had the day after the wedding. Enjoy!
Cailen Corrigan and Sean Anthony Conroy
Married in Le Grand-Luce, France on September 25, 2009
Cailen O’Neill Corrigan is from the west coast of the United States and Sean Anthony Conroy is from County Cork, Ireland. They married in Le Grand-Luce, France (a village outside of Le Mans in the Loire Valley) at designer Timothy Corrigan’s 17th-century chateau, who also happens to be Cailen’s uncle. The overall theme was traditional French, but they also incorporated their own personal touches to ensure that their cultures came through.
The wedding day itself was proceeded by three days of activities for the guests including: a tour of the Chartres Cathedral, wine tastings in the Loire Valley, and go-carting at the famous Le Mans race track, to name a few. Every night the bridal party and guests would meet at the only pub in town enjoying hours of laughter followed by singing traditional Irish songs (customary before Irish weddings). Their guests were fast friends come the wedding day.
The rehearsal dinner took place in the formal dining room at the chateau and the traditional French meal was prepared by French chef Ives Prima. Since bride and groom met as student athletes (track and field to be specific) while attending Loyola University in Chicago, it was only fitting that the wedding day began with a separate boys and girls run through the forest. And when Cailen opened the armoire in her room that morning, two butterflies flew out.
The traditional Catholic ceremony took place in the town’s church, built in the 13th century, across the square from the chateau’s gates. All of the townspeople gathered in the square to watch and cheer on the bridal procession to the church. Cailen and Sean was able to add personal touches to the ceremony since the church rules were more flexible in France. One of the Cailen’s best friends sang multiple arias during the ceremony, one of the readings was a poem about love written for the couple by Cailen’s aunt, and the happy couple exited the church to “Pride (In the Name of Love)” by U2. As is the tradition after a French wedding, the bride and groom led a procession through town, followed by the wedding party, then their guests and then the townspeople.
The setting for the event was so over the top that the bride very much wanted many of the elements to feel more understated. Cailen carried a horse shoe in her bouquet, which is traditional for an Irish bride. She also wore her late grandmother’s ring and her engagement ring has diamonds from her mother’s wedding band. With the help of wonderful friends, Cailen handmade just about everything. She also felt very strongly that all of the food and flowers should be local and seasonal. For example, she originally wanted purple flowers, but they weren’t in season due to an unusually hot summer so she went with variations of greens. The couple also had a local gypsy band play during cocktail hour.
The menu included many French dishes (warm foie gras wrapped in filo pastries, ratatouille, caviar, grilled lamb, and an amazing cheese platter), but they went through several rounds of menu development to ensure that the options weren’t too over the top for their American and Irish palates. Each table had a magnum of 1983 Chateau Margot (the bride’s year of birth and a special gift by her father). In lieu of a traditional American wedding cake they decided on France’s traditional of a croquembouche, which was presented with sparklers.
The night was topped off by a huge surprise fireworks show and a late-night party. The mayor of the town informed the police that they were not to interrupt the night, no matter how loud it got and the dancing lasted until 3 a.m. To sustain their guests they served hot dogs, which came in baguettes paired with pommes frites; a wonderful fusion of French and American cuisines.
The couple had their first dance to an Irish class, “On Raglan Road” by Luke Kelly, while the father/daughter dance started with “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong and transitioned into “Sympathy for the Devil” by The Rolling Stones. While untraditional, it was a song that Cailen chose at a young age to dance to with her father at her wedding. It was quite literally a fairytale experience.
Ceremony Location: l’Eglise du Saint – Facile, Le Grand-Luce, France; Reception Location: Chateau de Grand-Luce’; Wedding Consultant: Amaury de Rouge, Caylus, Inc.; Suit: Ralph Lauren; Hair: Molly Crane; Makeup: Julia Hauben; Wedding Gown: Melissa Sweet, Priscilla of Boston; Photography: Punam Bean Photographer, New York, NY and Los Angeles, CA
We wish you countless years of happiness Cailen and Sean and a special thank you to Punam Bean of Punam Bean Photographer for letting us share these images with our viewers!