We’re back! For once we’re actually really happy to be home too, which is a really nice change from the usual dread we feel before our post vacation flights. No more living in the desert! Huzzah! We left France’s stunning green, gold, and scartlet landscapes lush with trees and the softest spongiest grass you’ve ever seen and arrived home to the leaves just starting to change. Green trees topped with a hints of scarlet melting into vibrant orange hues swoon.
Our trip was beautiful and magical and full of love and beauty and laughter, all the good things! I’m so excited to share every last detail with you starting before the wedding. Our wedding was scheduled for day 4 of our trip, we wanted extra time to familiarize ourselves with the area and get some much needed relaxation after a stressful year before our big day. We arrived in Paris, drove immediately to Strasbourg, a metropolitan city in the heart of Alsace (4 1/2 hours away), and parked ourselves at a comfortable hotel for the night where we had our first French meal, glass of wine, and night of relaxation. It was glorious. The next morning we woke up and headed straight for the hotel we’d be staying in for the next 6 nights, Regent Petite France & Spa (if you’re ever in the area and can, definitely stay in this hotel! It’s dreamy.). Once we got settled and brought up all our bags, we changed and went to check out our venue (1 1/2 hour drive away).
You might think we’re crazy but prior to choosing our wedding venue (and this trip), we’d never actually seen it in person. We’d never even been in the Alsace region of France, I’d just always wanted to go there. While trying to figure out where we should get married, we happened across a photographer’s blog that had a photoshoot with a group of friends at the Chateau. Immediately we knew it was our place and our decision was made. It was perfect, it was us.
We decided to get married in a beautiful 11th century chateau ruin (Chateau de Saint Ulrich), overlooking the village of Ribeavillé. To reach the chateau, you hike about an hour either through the woods or adjacent to the woods through a lovely and picturesque vineyard. To decide how we wanted our day to flow, we chose to hike up through the woods and down through the vineyard. That way we could get a feel for both paths.
The morning we chose to go for our hike, Ribeauvillé was completely enshrouded in fog, making the day feel more magical and mysterious than we could have ever imagined. The chateaux (there are actually 3 overlooking Ribeauvillé) were completely hidden from sight, and we couldn’t see more than a few yards in front of us.
We started off walking through town, till we reached the forested pathway up to the 3 chateaux of Ribeauville. Ribeauville was gorgeous, the perfect mixture of French and Germanic architecture with it’s half-timbered houses. we happened to arrive on market morning so we were able to stroll past the beautiful homemade goods for sale including an entire table of delicious looking honey candies.
The forested pathway was beautiful from start to finish. winding trails were lined on both sides with dense green trees and golden freshly fallen leaves. There were bushes with wild berries in the most beautiful jewel toned hues. The higher we climbed, the more enshrouded in fog we became. It was a true fairytale setting.
After about 45 minutes at the height of the trail, we saw the first signs of chateau ruins and in the distance, Ribeauville.
Chateau de Saint Ulrich was so much more beautiful than what we imagined it could be. We immediately found the room where we wanted our ceremony to take place, and everything just felt like it was coming together perfectly (minus the loads of sweat! The hike was harder than we imagined).
After wandering around admiring the breathtaking scenery, we found the trail down through the vineyard and we’re on our way. The view of the chateau from the trail was spectacular.
The vibrant green vineyards contrasting with the deep green of the forest, the beautiful buildings, and the haze from the fog were enough to stop us in our tracks. It was a sensory overload in the best possible way.