As SOON as we finished last year’s France workshop, Katherine and I knew we were going to host a second one. The first one was incredible, and with everything we learned during round 1, we knew we could make it even more of an unforgettable experience with one already under our belts!
We began with the Château de Bouthonvilliers. It was our #1 choice of venue, and I was SO EXCITED when it worked out to host the workshop there! Katherine and I have approach both France workshops with three main missions: firstly, to provide stellar education to photographers looking to move into the high-end wedding industry; secondly, to provide a space for inspiration to flow freely; and thirdly, to give our attendees an authentic French experience in terms of location, cuisine, and atmosphere. Bouthonvilliers was the ideal location to help us fulfill all three of those missions! Its distance from Paris also meant we were able to plan for more rest time for attendees during the workshop’s duration.
After months of planning, it was such a thrill to hear the gravel crunching beneath our tires as we made our way up the long driveway, the château slowly coming into view! Our host, Edouard, greeted us warmly and showed up around the home & grounds, with many a “c’est bon?” woven throughout the conversation. We settled right in to prepare for the attendees who would arrive the next day.
First, a quick tour of the grounds!
Completely obsessed with these guys and I have no idea why.
Fresh summer vegetables from the estate’s gardens delivered in the mornings!
Our attendees arrived Sunday afternoon and had a few hours to get settled and take in the estate before the welcome dinner. There was a torrential downpour happening outside meaning we couldn’t host our first meal together outdoors as planned, but we made the best of it!
We served a classic French petit dejeuner each morning with still-warm-from-the-patisserie’s-oven pain au chocolat and croissants, confiture & beurre (jams/preserves & butter), and plenty of coffee to go around.
Our first full day of learning began with one of my favorite lessons, Designing a Vision-Based Business! And a surprise visit from the château owner’s pup, Nuts, who QUICKLY became one of my favorite features of the estate.
We rounded out our first day of learning with a class in silk ribbon dyeing, led by Katherine- this was so much fun!
Katherine planned and executed all of our lunches and dinners, making sure everyone was enjoying the sort of cuisine you’d see in a real French home.
Dinnertime during the workshop was always a lingering affair, never rushed, and always involving several courses. It was always one of my favorite times of day!
Katherine & I were really intentional about any gifts or swag we chose for our attendees- we wanted each item to have purpose or significance. For my Film 101 lesson + wedding styled shoot with hands on film education, we chose to gift these sweet linen Oatmeal Lace aprons, color-matched according to their individual brands- those pockets are so helpful for carrying light meters, film, and more! We were SO excited for everyone to find these at their place setting at breakfast on Tuesday!
The amazing Cindy of Lovin’ Concept planned out the details & execution for our styled shoot for that afternoon- we were SO excited to she what she came up with! And we were also super grateful to have a pair of skilled hands and keen eyes to style some of the smaller details as well.
We’ll have more to share from the styled shoot soon, but for now here’s a bit of BTS action of Cindy styling our STUNNING suite of paper goods from Jenn Heller Design Co., all on my new favorite styling surface by Simply Rooted!
We unabashedly repurposed our styled shoot florals by the talented Floresie for dinner that evening.
Wednesday morning saw us up bright and early for a drive in Chartres, where we met Angela & Lee for a destination anniversary session.
Attendees had the morning to explore Chartres while we headed back to the château to get set up for Katherine’s watercolor & rosé class.
Later that evening we got to hear from THE Ashlyn Carter on “Copy For The Luxe Set!” I was so excited that she was joining us- Ashlyn’s a fellow Francophile and just having her present made the whole week even better.
Our final dinner together featured the traditional pairing of galettes + cider, finished off with Katherine’s amazing crème brûlée (torched tableside and all- this girl doesn’t mess around with her crème brûlée).
We bade goodbye to our attendees on Thursday afternoon, but had a bonus bridal shoot in Paris the following morning that everyone attended! After being unceremoniously uprooted from our first location and then the second, we ended up LOVING the spot we shot at! After the shoot, we bade our final farewell to everyone and headed back to the château just the four of us to pack up and depart on Saturday.
Our team for the week, for which I was inexpressibly grateful.
Sabs, you were a God-send. Truly. It was such a blessing to have you there with us for the week- I cannot tell you how grateful Katherine and I both are to have had you there as an extension of our team, and to capture such FUN photos behind the scenes! Your patience, kindness, and servant-hearted nature was a gift to ever single person there, and I’m so glad to call you a friend!
Matt, thank you, thank you, thank you for being willing to spend the week as our main sous chef & dish washer. And table + chair mover. There’s no way we could have managed without you, no way at all! Having you there as an added resource for our Systems session was SO helpful, and I will forever be grateful that you’re willing to do life with me on a daily basis. I love you and I like you!
To Carolyn, Marie, Sarah, Nicole, Rebecca, Seneca, Nicole, Seth, Amanda & Lindsay, we are so, so honored you chose to invest in this workshop! Katherine and I know there were so many options out there when it comes to continuing education, and we feel all the more privileged to have had a window of time to share our wisdom & experience. Thank you for all the questions, intentional conversations, laughs, and encouragement you shared with us over the course of our time in France, I wish we could do it all over again!!
And to Katherine, thanks for being the best workshop-planning-partner a girl could ever hope for! Thank you for dealing with my excitable-sometimes-to-the-point-of-being-frantic self, for tolerating all my movie quotes and song lyrics, for your patience and grace, each incredible meal you made, and for being willing to embark on such an audacious adventure with me. I truly don’t deserve your friendship, and am all the more grateful to call you one of my best friends. Love you forever, girl.
An ENORMOUS thank you to our sponsors & contributing vendors for helping make our attendees feel SO loved and cared for!
Katherine Bignon Bridal (girlfriend made/brought THREE custom gowns for this workshop!!)
The FIND Lab
Tonic Site Shop
Jenn Heller Design Co.
Simply Jessica Marie
Justin & Mary- Legacy Monochrome Presets
Virginia Dare Dress Co.
Bella Belle Shoes
And finally, our AMAZING recap video by Seth & Amanda of PureSonic Pro! I legitimately cried the first time I saw this- it’s such a sweet reminder of how all our hard work came together to provide one incredible experience!