Just sit with that title for a minute. An intimate winter wedding in Paris? I do believe that equals perfection. And from the looks of all the downright stunning images from One And Only Paris Photography, it most certainly does. Every image sitting in this gallery is frame-worthy to say the least, and you can get lost in the lovely right here.
After discussing many options for our wedding (big, small, Australia, Europe, eloping..) we decided that all we wanted was an intimate and relaxed ceremony where all of our family could attend. We wanted the day to be about us and the promise that we’re making to each other – rather than table arrangements and co-ordinated bridesmaid dresses! We wanted to make sure that at least our immediate families could attend so location wise, it needed to be near Steve’s father in London as he did not fly at the time. My parents were already planning to visit us in London for Christmas; my little brother Sam was due to also be in Europe travelling & my older brother James studying so it made sense to hold the wedding at the end of the year and bring both families together for the holiday period. When we decided this, we had originally planned to host the wedding in London. We wanted a small ceremony followed by dinner, but when we researched locations and venues none seemed ‘good enough’ to warrant us having out wedding there – we’d either dined at the restaurants before, visited areas with work and so on.
One day Steve stumbled across Weddings in Paris blog, forwarded it to me and we were sold! Whilst Paris wasn’t particularly momentous to either of us then, the beauty of the city and that it is foreign feels ‘special’. It is a 2hr train ride from our home in London, the backdrops are just stunning for photography and as everyone says – it’s the city of love! Once we had made the decision that the wedding was to be in Paris, our smaller guest list was secured and we knew exactly the ‘type’ of wedding we were going to have. We never really thought to enlist the services of a wedding planner; with a degree in Event Management, wedding planning is something that I always wanted to do before I fell into Marketing, so myself and Steve set out to pull it all together in 8 months. We started by deciding what key elements we wanted in our day, and looked to real wedding blogs of marriages in Paris to get inspiration for locations and vendors. Then it was all about late nights spent on Google researching no end! We had a spreadsheet of all the elements that needed to be confirmed with a rough budget and just worked through that one by one by order of urgency. Some details were more difficult with no local knowledge of Paris & without speaking French but we persisted and at times enlisted the help of Parisian & French-speaking colleagues and friends to make key phone calls, but on the whole it was quite an easy process.
I was addicted to wedding blogs (SMP being a favourite!) and was glued to Pinterest for 2012. We loved reading about other people’s weddings in Paris, mainly elopements actually, and that’s how we fell in love with the idea of an intimate wedding. One & Only’s photography was also a constant source of inspiration. I loved the whole day! But if I had to pick just one moment then mine would be finally walking into the beautiful chapel and seeing Steve. It was such an exciting time knowing that the day we had planned for so long was finally starting, as well as our lives together. We had had so many last minute dramas in the week leading up to the wedding and they really didn’t stop until I arrived at the chapel (45 minutes late!); but from that point on the day was perfect and ran so smoothly; and as soon as I arrived to him I knew it would as nothing else really mattered anymore.
Advice to future brides planning a wedding in Paris: It takes a lot of time and planning; if you are not able to be there physically, or speak the language then it can be frustrating at times – but it is doable! If you’re not up for the challenge the enlist the help of Wedding Planner early on to make the most of their service (I suggest Fete in France; we didn’t use them but Nancy was very kind to suggest another venue for our evening drinks when our bar closed without notice a week before our wedding!). A lot of vendors will not be flexible so be very clear with your briefs (pictures help!) so that there is no confusion; and be prepared to take matters into your own hands if all else fails, for example – our wedding car hire company did not offer simple white ribbon decoration (just fake flowers which we didn’t want), so I brought my own & had my dad affix it to the car when it arrived!