This Parisian elopement takes us on a journey throughout the city of love following these fun-spirited newlyweds. They absolutely love Parisian architecture and films, so eloping here was a no-brainer. Below, the story of their special day is shared (and the photos are incredible!).
He proposed on my birthday. He hid the ring inside a birthday gift, and I was very surprised. We’d been dating for five years, so it was long awaited. We officially married at our local courthouse, then flew to Paris that evening and had our symbolic ceremony a few days after arriving. The spot I chose was the back of Notre-Dame de Paris because I had seen it in pictures and thought it was the most lovely spot in Paris. It’s so romantic and I love the architecture. We envisioned a private and intimate ceremony where we wouldn’t be stressed out and could be in the moment. We didn’t want to orchestrate a full wedding with bridesmaids and all that. We read traditional vows and added some of our own. After our vows and photo shoot, I changed into another dress and we had a laid back lunch at Chez Julien. We really wanted to focus on each other, and we did. Paris was nice to break from tradition to exchange our vows without worrying about wedding guests and other logistics.
I wanted our style to be romantic and chic, and we did not have too many accessories. We let the backdrop of Paris be our style and decoration. It’s hard to take a bad wedding photo there! My dress was the most challenging to find. Because of my size, most wedding dresses engulf me. I bought a dress I liked on Etsy, but it did not fit me well even after alterations. With only a few months left, I consulted with a couture wedding dress designer I had read online reviews about. I decided to meet with her and brought some ideas. I had to spend more than I had wanted to (but still less than what most dresses cost), but in the end, it was worth it because I had a customized dress that fit me perfectly. I felt so comfortable wearing it, and it was inspired by my tastes. I highly recommend a dress made from scratch if you can find a good designer.
I’d have to say that our favorite moment of the day was hearing each other’s personal vows. Secondly, we really enjoyed our five hour photo shoot. It was a lot of fun running around Paris in our wedding outfits, getting honked and waved at, and seeing sights that we may have not seen otherwise. It went by very fast. Lastly, a moment we’ll never forget is meeting our favorite French actor Daniel Auteil as he was having coffee at the cafe we were taking photos at. Dave and I have seen so many of his movies – he is like French royalty to us. It felt like a lucky blessing to meet him on our already special day.
I wore a gold bracelet that my mother gave me right before she passed away about two years before we got married. She would very much have wanted to be there, but was present in spirit. For my bouquet, I added a contrasting blue ribbon that I’d kept for five years. It was a ribbon from a gift that Dave had given me when we first started dating. It’s my favorite color, and I kept it safe all this time to use it for “something” and it seemed fitting to work it into our wedding.
A piece of advice I’d give to other brides is to budget wisely, but hire a really good and experienced photographer. We heard great things about Pierre Torset and loved working with him! Research them well and call their references or read their reviews. You don’t have to pay top dollar for a good photographer, but be sure you like your photographer’s work and personality – you’ll be spending much of your big day with him or her. I have found a lot of amazing vendors by scrolling Instagram.
Special thanks to these incredible vendors:
Photographer: Pierre Paris Photographer || Dress Designer: Atelier Dawn Kim || Makeup Artist: Charles Gillman Cosmetics – Paris || Hair Stylist: Ciara Coiffure || Floral Designer: Floraison || Tuxedo: Moods of Norway || Event Venue: Notre Dame Cathedral || Officiant: The Paris Officiant