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A 'church' wedding

A 'church' wedding

We talk to Karis and Robert about their wedding in the fabulously atmospheric underground church in Aubeterre, south Charente...




Karis & Robert from southwest England.


The underground Monolithic Church in Aubeterre - the largest monolithic [rock-hewn] church in Europe. The reception was at Manoir De Longeveau.


90 for a sit-down meal


Terrine of foie gras and duck served with a compote of figs, cornichons, ‘silverskin’ onions and crusty bread or an asparagus tart with hollandaise sauce

Monkfish served with a risotto of peas and citrus fruit

Confit de canard served with dauphinoise potatoes or filet mignon served with mushrooms and dauphinoise potatoes or a mille-feuille of tomatoes, goats’ cheese and pesto

Cheese platter

Lemon tart with raspberry coulis or chocolate tart with raspberry coulis 


We are both from the country and wanted somewhere with picturesque countryside and good food and wine says Karis. Having been on holiday to France and loved it, it ticked all the boxes. We also wanted somewhere all our guests could stay together in one location and Longeveau could do that. 


The best day of our lives! We just want to do it all over again. The scene was set for the day as soon as people entered the church and got a wonderful surprise at its breathtaking interior. After the ceremony we all walked to the square in Aubeterre for drinks at the Hôtel de France, as well as to have our pictures taken. After that we were driven back to Longeveau where we were served champagne and canapes and had a fabulous band playing strolling jazz. This was followed by a five-course sit down dinner which was amazing! The menu was devised along with Rob who is a real foodie and each table was served with alternate dishes so everyone could try as much of the food as possible. The dinner went on for hours with speeches in between each course, as we wanted it to be done the French way – a long, lazy meal. The partying went on long into the night and we had a family member playing the piano and song sheets for everyone to sing along to. I think we all fi nished up about 4am. 


Everything about the day was special..... We made the wedding about us and the things that we enjoy and that was the most important thing as people could identify with this. 


Beth Stretton and her team at Get Married in France, although I knew exactly what I wanted for my wedding and really wanted to be involved in every part - which I was. Having a wedding planner was like having an advisor helping me to make my ideas even better as well as getting the best value for my money. I thought I would be stressed on the day but I wasn’t at all as every last detail had been sorted for me. If not for Beth we would not have been able to marry in the Monolithic church as she organised it all, and she also knew who to recommend for every part of the day - photographer, florists, vicar, music, make up, hair… 


The Poitou-Charentes is a a truly beautiful area in France and we would recommend it to anyone. Go and see the area / venue you are interested in as it’s a lot easier to decide this way and most importantly - get a wedding planner! Knowing what I do now, even if I were getting married in my home country, I would still use a wedding planner to support me.


Originally published in Living Poitou-Charentes Wedding Special 2011