Last year Whitebeam Chalets hosted and organised a French Alps wedding, in the winter, with a beautiful mountain back drop. Our bride, Sara, was happy to answer some questions about her experience getting married in the mountains.
What made you decide to have a ski wedding in the snow?
Gary and I spent a number of years doing ski seasons and had the best time of our lives , so when we got engaged we knew we wanted our wedding to represent something that was important to us so a ski wedding hit the nail on the head.
How did you stumble upon Peisey-Vallandry for your wedding in the Alps?
We visited Peisey the year before and stayed in Chalet Cairn. We loved the ski area and the more relaxed vibe around the village, compared to some of the bigger resorts.
The ski area was perfect as it had something for all skiing ability’s.
We knew we wanted to stay with Whitebeam Chalets again as we had had such great week the year before and as the they had two chalets that would be perfect for the number of guests we had coming
Who was your wedding coordinator?
She was absolutely amazing she has so many contacts in Peisey-Vallandry and so much knowledge of the area, nothing was a problem for her.
Sarah organised and got the permission for us to be able to have the ceremony on the slopes, booked the mountain restaurant for our wedding lunch, booked our hairdresser, ordered and collected cake.
She put us in contact with the photographer and the celebrant.
The day of the wedding Sarah helped get us ready and made sure everyone was where they should be, she arranged a car to take me to the chairlift and came up to the ceremony carrying a huge rucksack with a change of outfit for me and bottles of Prosecco.
She stayed for the ceremony and left once we were all seated in the restaurant, and that evening she organised a brilliant party in Chalet Cairn.
What did you wear to your winter wedding and how did you make your decision?
I had bought two outfits a white ski suit outfit and a wedding dress. I had tried my dress on at home to check I could get my ski boots on and to make sure I had enough movement in it to be able to ski!
I then left it up to the mountain to decide. If it was cold/cloudy/snowing I would wear ski outfit and if it was a blue bird sky and warm I would go with the dress.
We were so lucky it turned out to be the most glorious day the sun was shinning so the dress was worn.
When I look back at the photos now I’m so glad I got to wear it!
Gary wore some grey salopettes, a white shirt and a waistcoat.
My bridesmaids had matching jumpers, all of our guest wore their normal ski stuff.
Where exactly was the alpine wedding venue?
We had the ceremony at the top of the 2300 chairlift where there is a viewing point/picnic area and we were allowed to have the area to ourselves for an hour (organised by Sarah).
The backdrop from this point was amazing.
We liked this area as it was not to high as it allowed non skiers to be able to get a walking pass and snow shoes and walk to it.
After the ceremony we skied across to a restaurant called Les Enfant Terribles, they were very welcoming and we had a lovely traditional mountain lunch of raclette, fondue, tartiflette and pierrade (hot rocks).
We then all skied back down by the piste.
That evening all our guests came to chalet cairn where we carried on our wedding party.
Did you ski to your wedding ceremony?
Have you any tips to arranging a ski resort wedding?
I’m not going to lie it was quite stressful as there are so many factors you cant control, but our wedding coordinator Sarah was just brilliant and sorted everything, always asking what we wanted and not just taking over, so my advice is make sure you have a good coordinator and someone who is local to the area and has good knowledge of it.
Were there difficulties in getting married in France?
Unfortunately as we are both from the UK we couldn’t legally get married in France, but our ceremony was very personal to us and and all the wording was correct for the ring exchange and marriage deceleration, as it would be in a registry office.
The celebrant who was doing our ceremony is legally allowed to marry people in the town hall so although it was not a legal wedding to us it was the real thing.
Since being home we have been to our registry office which we had booked in and did a quick service and got our marriage certificate but we will always class that amazing day on the mountain as the day we became husband and wife.
Did you look at any other places to get married in France before you made your decision?
No, when we came to Peisey-Vallandry the year before we knew it ticked all the boxes and having Sarah there we knew it was the best place for the wedding. It was the best decision we ever made.
Any other tips generally for an outside wedding?
Prepare for every eventuality, so you have it covered on the morning of your wedding .