The business itself came about rather naturally for James and Ingrid; when planning their own wedding, they discovered some stunning venues in Brittany and wanted to help others create their perfect wedding day.
"We were looking for a venue for our own wedding three years ago, and we looked at venues in Guernsey and some in France. We realised there were lots of chateaux there that were good value, and that you could rent for a whole weekend. We thought it was amazing, and wondered if Guernsey people knew about that," explains Ingrid.
James adds, "Ingrid really started getting into the styling and the crafting of it, and I'm a graphic designer so we were designing our own wedding invites too. She really enjoyed that planning process, and so the concept organically came together from that."
From there, Ingrid became a member of the UKAWEP (UK Academy of Wedding Planning and Styling), and they researched more jaw-dropping venues all around France. Their network now covers most of the country, including Paris, Brittany and Provence. They can even plan a glamping wedding, or a ceremony on a sea galleon.
James believes that the people of Guernsey really do have an affinity with France, and even makes a point to employ local photographers and caterers wherever possible."When I talk to local people about it, their eyes light up. There is an excitement about France because of the connection that there is with the Channel Islands, but also because many of us have been there on holiday too."
Looking ahead to the future, the couple hope to continue helping people arrange their big day in France, whilst also improving their presence and offering online.
"It's been a real pleasure being at a part of what essentially is the best day of people's lives, and getting that excitement. It's quite a privilege really," James explains.
"We're keeping what we're doing at the moment with the wedding planning and styling, but we're getting a lot of enquiries, not just locally but all over the world, asking us for recommendations for venues. We've decided to set up a second website that is going to be more of a showcase of our choice of venues so we can direct people to them. That will be a free service, and if they want to go forward from there we can organise the planning and styling."
Begin planning your dream wedding in France with The Chateau Bee