We’re going to France y’all! Well specifically, to this dreamy beyond dreamy chateau where *ahem* Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas recently wed. What is it for? Styled Social Provence! Who is it for? Wedding photographers! Happening one month after Styled Social Italy at a 15th c Dominican convent – details on that one here – we’ve gotten a lot of questions about travel deets and what to expect from this international photoshoot playdate that even Miranda Priestly would fawn over. So if you’re interested, sit back, relax and let me paint you a picture of what shooting a full-scale editorial in an idyllic French chateau looks like.
What to Expect
So what is it exactly? Styled social is a day of intentional photoshoots, reserved for a small group of photographers to capture. You can direct models, style flatlays and shoot whatever your heart desires. There is no workshop component to it – we’re just collaborating with a powerhouse team of local + destination vendors to create distinctive design concepts with high fashion and lush blooms so that you can have killer content for your portfolio and submit it wherever you’d like for publication (no crazy restrictions here). Andddd, you get to do it all whilst traversing the French countryside during one of the most beautiful times of year.
Most attendees are backpacking vacations on either side of this shootout, since it’s a single day event!
Chateau de Tourreau is located in the heart of Provence, between Orange and Avignon. Most attendees will fly into either Paris (CDG), Lyon or Marseilles. From their, they will either rent a car and drive to Provence or take a regional train.
And oh em GEE, did Norwegian Air just drop the most epic deal for September dates to Europe (for tickets purchased between now and 1/26/2020)! You can get one-way flights for $140 depending on the date and location. Check it out here!
At the very least once you’re in Provence, we’d recommend reserving a rental car as transportation is not provided for Styled Social and Chateau de Tourreau is not in the city center. It is easily accessible by car though, and about a 15-30 min drive from Orange, Avignon or other surrounding Provencal villages.
Use Google Flights to compare dates + rates for the best deal, and if you’re flexible with dates, check out the Explore feature which lets you view prices from your departure city to multiple destinations so you can compare. Sometimes, you might end up with a better deal flying internationally to say Dublin or Barcelona, and then taking a European carrier, like British Airways or Easy Jet to your final destination. It can save several hundred dollars in some cases!
Airbnbs are a surprisingly easy solution for travel throughout Provence. There are hundreds of listings scattered across the region in different villages, and we’ve even found some that rent for $23/night! Of course, it all depends on each individual listing, but generally speaking the rates are low and the check-in is easy.
Here are a few Airbnbs around the area that caught our eye:
Aside from that, there are plenty of hotel options dotted across the various towns.
Aix en Provence – Recognized for its opulent 17th century mansions, hundreds of ancient fountains and Roman architecture roots, Aix is not to be missed on a trip through Provence! We’ve heard it called “the Paris of the South” and for good reason… the city is buzzing with a youthful energy and electric spirit. From the overflowing bars and cafes to the squares where street performers find their haven, Aix-en-Provence is an unforgettable experience. We’d recommend starting your walking tour on the Cours Mirabeau – a grand avenue running straight through the heart of the city! Pick any cafe you pass + sit outside, order a glass of white wine and people watch for hours while an accordion serenades you from afar.
More details from Conde Nast Traveler here!
Avignon – Culturally rich and colorfully indulgent, this town is an art lover’s paradise. Bordered by the Rhone River, this UNESCO world heritage site is a spot that’ll encourage you to sit + stay a while. History abounds amidst the 3 miles of city enclosed within the walls, boasting a hillside park, picturesque squares, upscale shopping and beyond. The famous Pont d’Avignon lives are having been built in the 12th century spanning the Rhone. You’ll also find the city overflowing with markets where you can find fresh blooms, local cuisine and bric-a-brac of all sorts.
More details from Conde Nast Traveler here!
Saint Remy de Provence – One of the oldest villages in France (founded by the Celts over 2500 years ago!), this charming town seems like it came straight from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Surrounded by limestone hills and towering plane trees, this cobblestoned town is bursting with photogenic corners. Local artists are proud to show off their craft, and you’ll find many a foreigner wandering here for ceramics, textiles, luxury foods and more. Many people associate Saint Remy with Van Gogh, as over 150 of his works were inspired by this village. The entire town is easily walkable, so once you find a parking spot (and leave plenty of time for that!), you can peruse each fountain, terrace and boutique at your own breezy pace. Wednesdays in Saint Remy are famous for the market, where you can bargain away with locals for an even more diverse array of unique goods. Be sure to arrive early, early, early though! The streets flood with people fairly quickly + you might find yourself in a parking predicament if you wait until early afternoon to arrive.
More details from Conde Nast Travler here!
Moustiers-Saint-Marie – One of the most picturesque villages you’ll find in the South of France (and probably the world), water and stone are at the key elements here. Pastel exteriors and limestone mountains finish off the aesthetic of this petite and oft forgotten town that sits at the base of rocky cliffs. The main reason visitors flock here is for the ceramics – a craft the locals boast (having spent hundreds of years perfecting the exact methods Ancient China employed). From this village, you can journey on to the famous Gorges du Verdon: a vibrant turquoise lake with 4-5 towns perched atop its shoreline. The energy here is unlike anywhere else!
More details from Julia Engel here!
- Combat jet lag by flying overnight for a morning arrival so that you can sleep on the plane and be ready to start the day immediately when you land. Try not to doze off before the sun goes down so that your body can adjust to the time difference easier.
- Most residents of France will speak English, so don’t fear if you don’t know the language! There are also lots of pocket-sized language books and apps (like Google Translate) that I reference frequently too. They certainly appreciate the act of trying (even if it means failing haha).
- You can peruse some other general blog posts on the region here, here and here to continue down the rabbit hole of Provencal beauty!
Sign Me Up!
Tickets are now LIVE for Styled Social Provence, happening on September 29th, 2020 at Chateau de Tourreau, with design + planning in collaboration with Willow & Oak Events.
You can snag $150 OFF your ticket when you book by January 31st, and space is limited so don’t wait! Access the ticket page for more information here, and feel free to email [email protected] if you have any questions. We’d love to see you there!