Surprise proposal in Provence lavender fields
The word “dreamy” gets thrown around a lot when visiting France. From the grandeur and architecture of Paris, to the sun-filled French Riviera and all points in-between, France has so much to offer a visitor, and that’s why France welcomes so many visitors a year. But dreamy, is exactly what Provence is, particularly its blooming lavender fields in early July.
Chris, an attorney in Austin, Texas, contacted me to say that he and his love, Kristin, were coming to Provence for a long overdue holiday. Kristin just finished defending her PhD thesis, and Chris wanted to make a very special holiday for her. Little did she know how special it would be!
Chris explained to me that he’d love to ask Kristin to marry him in the famous Provence lavender fields. A lot of people ask me, why are the lavender fields of Provence so famous? I don’t know. But they are beautiful, and there’s no doubt about that. Many places have lavender, but with the sunlight, there’s something so special about the Provence region of France.
Chris and Kristin were to be based in Aix-en-Provence, an elegant city about 45-minutes north of Marseille. From here, we’re go on a private tour to the lavender fields and finish the day in one of the most gorgeous villages in France, Gordes. A private tour was booked with A La Francaise tours, a tour operator based in Avignon and Aix-en-Provence. It’s really the only way to go, with a private tour you just sit back and enjoy the scenery, learn more about the area, and relax in air-conditioned comfort. It’s much less stressful than driving yourself, and while not inexpensive, is 100% worth it for a once-in-a-lifetime event.
Before we met, I conversed with Chris and Kristin a lot over email. Kristin knew it would be a photo session, so we discussed outfits and other specifics. I also gave her some resources for a makeup artists.
Finally, after all of our discussions, we were to meet! Little did Kristin know, this would be one of the best days of her life (and for Chris, too)!
We met out tour guide, Remy, at the Aix-en-Provence tourist office. He whisked us to the town of Sault, which is at an elevation of 1,000 meters or so, with the imposing mountain, Mont Ventoux in the background. This mountain looks like it has a lot of snow on the top, but it’s really just limestone. Mont Ventoux is famous because it’s often part of the French bicycle race, the Tour de France.
“Whisked” is probably not the proper word, as it’s an hour and a half drive to Sault. However, it is all pure nature, as you ascend the mountain, and an utterly beautiful drive.
Most people prefer the lavender fields in Valensole, which is a plateau. Valensole is gorgeous, no doubt about it, but the village of Sault and the fields nearby have several distinct advantages. For example:
- Sault is a mountain village and super charming to roam around, with good restaurants
- Because it’s at a higher elevation, the lavender blooms later than it does in Valensole, allowing you to catch the fields before they’re harvested through mid-July (always dependent on the season)
- Valensole is all over Instagram, while Sault is a bit less visited, so with less visitors, it’s a more pleasant experience
- There are a lot of distilleries you can visit in Sault, which will teach you how the lavender is harvested and distilled, and of course, you can buy some great lavender products such as hand creams and soaps
Finally, after the drive, we arrived to our first lavender field in Sault, and what a beauty it was! With the mountains in the background, it was the perfect place for Chris to drop to one knee and ask Kristin to marry him. Kristin was overcome with emotion, she looked so joyful, as did Chris, and she said YES! Chris explained to me that he’d found his true partner, one that he shared so many values and goals with. These two lovebirds could not have been more adorable had they tried!
We did gorgeous photography in several lavender fields, that yes, felt like a dream, and with bees buzzing and the sun shining, there was no more perfect place to be in the world.
A quick lunch at a creperie in Sault, Chris and Kristin changed outfits for the village portion of the day. We drove back south to the magnificent hilltop village of Gordes, and despite there being tons of tourists, I took the couple to my favorite scenic spots and tried to keep them in the shade. It gets very hot in Provence in summer (mid to upper 90s), so your best accessory is always a hat!
Our day together was an absolute dream and I was sad to have to say goodbye. As a Provence photographer, it’s these moments with sweet couples like Chris and Kristin that mean so much to me and make my heart sing. Capturing couples in love with the beauty of nature is something I feel so fortunate to be able to do!
Congratulations to Chris and Kristin, and thank you for selecting me for this very important and special day in your lives!