This beautiful couple had dreams to elope in Paris, but when they decided they couldn’t tie the knot without their beloved grandparents present, they brought France to Louisiana in the most touching wedding story we’ve seen in a long time. One and Only Paris Photography flew to the states to capture the French-inspried fête which has brought a tear or two to this wedding blogger’s eye. You’ll need a few tissues when you read the bride’s story below, but once you’ve dried those eyes, click here for the gallery!

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Austin and I met at a charity fundraiser. He was a complete stranger and approached me and my three friends ALL by himself. I was immediately captivated by his humble confidence and gentle demeanor. As time flew by, he won my heart. We had planned to get married in Paris and hired Audrey and Anthony at One and Only Paris Photographers to photograph our wedding there since they are the most talented photographers in the world! All of their portfolio photos exhibit the essence of the romance I wanted captured on my wedding day. About two months before the wedding, my maternal grandmother’s health declined and she was given less than a week to live. My dear husband-to-be suggested that we drastically change our plans and get married in rural north Louisiana (where my family has roots) in order to share our wedding day with my surviving grandparents and see them in our wedding finery.

The late date change of continents for the wedding and reception location presented quite a challenge. My parents were in the middle of a two year renovation of their home and installation of a walled English garden. My older brother and his wife graciously offered to host our reception in their home and gardens. We were married in the historic Rayville United Methodist Church, where 5 generations of McConnells have worshiped, surrounded by family and friends and a cloud of witnesses. My mother, my brother, and my mother’s best friend Gloria worked tirelessly to create the reception of my dreams. I had very specific ideas of what I wanted from antique french chandeliers hanging from trees that didn’t exist to candle lined stairs to silver champagne buckets filled with soft pink, lavender, and cream roses to antique silver trays with speciality chocolates on each table. They are incredibly talented and far exceeded my expectations.

My Grandmother fought through those next two months to see me on my wedding day. I have an amateur photo of her wiping a tear from her eye while we are dancing our first dance (without music!) around her hospital bed in their living room. She passed away peacefully within the month, but I will forever treasure knowing that she shared in my wedding dream. We are beyond grateful to all of those who made the last minute change in plans a truly unforgettable experience.

Photography: One and Only Paris Photography / Gown: Monique Lhuillier from Casa de Novia Bridal Couture / Rings: Catherine Ryder Ascot Diamonds / Shoes: Pour La Victoire / Flowers: Nora’s Flowers / Decor: Millicent McConnell, Gloria Lomax, & Annie Brahler from Euro Trash / Invitations: Bella Figura / Calligraphy: Debi Zeinert with The Blooming Quill / Veil: Bride’s own design, created by Rupa Kandial / Lace caplet: Rupa Kandial / Church: Rayville United Methodist Church / Cake: KaCee’s Sugar and Spice / Reception Venue: Bride’s brother home

Monique Lhuillier is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here.