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Rain Has Never Looked So Good

Life happens, the good, the bad, the messy, and all the beautiful bits in between. It’s easy to let dreams fall by the wayside but this married couple refused to let go on their plans to visit Paris. And when they did, Peter and Veronika joined in to photograph what they thought would be warm, sun drenched snaps. But Mother Nature has the final say and in came rain… much to the camera lens’ luck. Rain looks good on these two and these pics,and this story, are officially my new, inspired #relationshipgoals.

From the Bride…  Since we just got married, it has been my dream to travel to Paris for our five year anniversary. Five years went by and the trip just didn’t seem realistic. We just had our second baby, bought our first home and I was really sick earlier that year so traveling across the globe was not even in the conversation. But the desire in my heart was still there, quietly tugging at me.

One night after a conversation with a close friend, I decided that unless I took some sort of action towards making this travel dream a reality, it was always going to be just a dream. So I started a little savings envelope towards that trip and put money aside every chance I got, skipping nail appointments and passing up the opportunity to buy new clothes. Almost two years later, we finally had enough to comfortably travel Europe for close to three weeks and so we set off on our anniversary adventure.

This trip was so special to us! We both were ready to slip away from reality and everyday busyness and focus on each other and invest in our friendship. It was really refreshing to be able to leave the kids and go adventure together, just the two of us. Stay out late, ride bicycles, and do other normal activities that get a little complicated to enjoy once you have two babes at your hip.

This trip was so special to us! We both were ready to slip away from reality and everyday busyness and focus on each other and invest in our friendship. It was really refreshing to be able to leave the kids and go adventure together, just the two of us. Stay out late, ride bicycles, and do other normal activities that get a little complicated to enjoy once you have two babes at your hip.

Paris was everything I had imagined. It stole my heart, just like I knew it would. I fell madly in love with the old, charming city. Being a photographer myself, I couldn’t imagine being in Paris and not taking the opportunity to to get our photos taken to save these memories forever. The shoot was not at all what we had anticipated. The weather changed dramatically before the shoot. I imagined warm, golden photos but in the end it turned out way more romantic than we could ever imagine.

I was really concerned with how we’d look on photos being totally soaked in the pouring rain. My hair literally looked like I just stepped out of the shower! But the photos turned out beautiful. The best part of the shoot (aside from the fact that our photographer was down for anything!) was that we had SO MUCH FUN! The rain seriously didn’t bother us one bit. My husband and I really enjoyed just being together, holding hands, kissing, and running around in the rain. I felt young and free. That was the best thing.

The photos turned out wonderful but the experience of running around in the rain with my love, after being married for seven years and having two kids, it was unforgettable. Life gets so busy sometimes and it’s so easy to get carried away with everyday tasks that we forget to enjoy those simple moments and to just let lose and be wild with the one you love.


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Photography: Peter & Veronika | Jewelry: Nordstrom | Blazer: Banana Republic | Blue Dress: Lulu's | Pants: Nordstrom | White Top: Bristol And Bull

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This Candlelit Parisian Wedding is Everything

Parisian weddings are the end all, be all of romantic “I do’s” – and this stunning affair held at the breathtaking Shangri-La Paris?  Most definitely delivers on the WOW.  Think a talented team of vendors (hello, Et Voila WeddingsMadame Artisan Fleuriste, and French Grey Events), a beautiful gold and blush color palette and a candlelit ceremony that will make your hearts happy.  See every mesmerizing image captured by Catherine O’Hara right here in THE VAULT.

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From Et Voila Weddings… Nicole and John came to us with an idea of planning a romantic, classic and elegant wedding in Paris. They had gotten engaged there a few weeks earlier and it was quite clear for them that Paris was where they wanted to say their “I Do’s.”

For this intimate destination wedding and these Paris lovers, it was clear to us that we needed to find a venue that was part of the city’s heritage, an historical Parisian venue. After looking at a few luxury hotels, museums and hotels, Nicole and John chose the Shangri La’s historical rooms to hold their special day. As they could not fly to Paris before the wedding, we sent them a lot of photos and they made their choice from pictures and trusting our knowledge of each venue.

Nicole had a clear idea of her colour palette from the start: she wanted natural tones, creams and whites. As the dinner table linen was going to be white, we agreed to add a bit of blush flowers to the arrangements to make them stand out a bit more. The florist did a great job on sourcing the perfect tones, especially the ranunculus which were perfect and encapsulating the whole colour palette on one flower.

At the Shangri La, ceremonies are usually held in one of their salons. Nicole was not very excited about the ceremony space available, and while on a logistical site visit we thought the rotunda (which is a large landing space) was a gorgeous space and definitely a great one for a ceremony, with its large stained glass, marbles and sculptures. It had never been done before and fortunately the venue agreed, as well as the couple. They had a truly unique, never done before wedding ceremony!

The couple was conscious that their party was quite small, and they had at heart to make sure that everyone would be entertained. During cocktails reception we arranged a photo booth with lovely Parisian props (huge success) and a caricaturist, like the ones you find in Montmartre. The guests loved it and all of them had their caricature made, to take home with them!

During dinner a band played some French oldies and some gipsy jazz music, which created the perfect chic, Parisian yet relaxed atmosphere the couple was after for their dinner reception.

At midnight, we planned a surprise group photo with sparklers at the exact time the Eiffel tower started to sparkle. It was magical!

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Photography: Catherine O'Hara Photography | Event Planning: Et Voila Weddings | Floral Design: MADAME Artisan Fleuriste | Dress: Michal Medina | Cake: The Shangri-La's Fijian Resort and Spa | Stationery : Paper And Honey | Makeup: Charles Gillman | Hair: Ciara Coiffure | Grooms Suit: YSL Pour Homme Tuxedo | Celebrant: French Grey Events | String Quartet: Wedding Music in France | Venue: The Shangri-La's Fijian Resort and Spa | Grooms Bowtie: Tom Ford | Grooms Tuxedo Buttons and Cufflinks: David Donahue | Jazz Quartet: Octave & Anatole | Menu/Placecards/Programmes: Every Little Letter | Photobooth: Sharingbox

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
Glamorous Wedding Film in the City of Light

Bring out the tissues because this beautiful Parisian wedding film by Zen Film Works captures this creative couple’s love story to absolute perfection. Afterwards, you’ll want to head to The Vault to see even more of the prettiness, from the bride’s chic gown to the stunning statement floral centerpieces!

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Seasons
Spring
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From The Bride…We met at my first real job out of college, and it was probably somewhere near the end of summer. It was in the morning, and I was in the break room alone, and he walked in. The rest is history. Since then we’ve lived in San Francisco, and then currently now in New York. Our first trip together was Paris where we completely fell in love with the city.

The foundational theme of our relationship is constant support of each other’s creative growth and seeking new experiences together. This has taken us around the word, several career pivots, and a deep bond.

When Jonathan and I first moved to New York, a few days in, I had a crazy incident when a psychic flagged me down in the middle of the street somewhere in the West Village, to tell me that I was meant to marry the man I love with the name starting with a “J”. That was my first and last time with a psychic.

Jonathan proposed on an impromptu trip to Florence, Italy. He proposed unexpectedly a few days into the trip before our dinner reservation while I was still getting ready.

Before we were about to head out to the restaurant, I asked him (as I always do), “is there anything you’d like for me to hold for you in my purse?”. He quickly responded with “actually, there is something I’d like for you to hold, but I’d like for you to hold it forever”, and then got down on one knee with a ring.

It was a magical evening, that’s almost a cliche scene for romantic date movies. We found an amazing trattoria that was the best meal of our trip. We drank fantastic wine and glowed the way newly engaged people do.

Then it started pouring rain. The city smelled clean and of wet stone. We ran through the streets without an umbrella, eventually taking refuge under an archway, which turned out to be the entrance to a small church. Moments later, the church doors opened and a congregation of elderly couples, shuffled out of a late service. There we were among 50 elderly Italians, with warm smiles and kind eyes, appreciating the peacefulness of the heavy rain. Their nods, seemed to say “stay with us for as long as you need, you are among friends.” There would be the occasional excited exclamation we couldn’t understand, but could relate to whenever the lightning and thunder struck.

Jonathan thinks these were all good omens. The rain symbolized new beginnings. The elderly couples showed us a future we could aspire to have. The church accepted our vows before they were made. The delicious meal filled our bodies with warmth. The night’s events filled our hearts with love.

Some people say the chaos of the day will make you forget everything. We soaked every moment up. Our vows were for each other, sincere, loving and as true as the sun is bright.

The pride of our parents witnessing our union and the life we’ve made with each other was a moment of self actualization.

The speeches from our friends and family brought tears of joy to us. There were a lot of tears of joy.

But most of all, sitting under our tree of love in the dining room after running around Paris to take photos we sat back and took in what was before us. We simply watched as our most beloved friends and family connected with each other, in a historic venue, building new bonds that ultimately reinforced ours. These people from around the world, of all walks have one thing in common – they love us.

Any advice for couples wanting to get married in Paris/France?
You are in Paris. You are in love. And those with you are there to celebrate your love. This is not a performance, so you can’t make a mistake. Just be present.

For the guys, know this: Everyone is watching the bride, but the bride only sees you.

For the girls, know this: things may not go as planned, but it’s your attitude that determines if they’re “going wrong” or “happening as they should”.

Society has made us forget how to be romantic and respect the gravity of marriage. Express your love to each other to the max, because there are few events in life that warrant such celebration.

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Photography: Claire Morris | Cinematography: Zen Film Works | Wedding Dress: Pnina Tornai | Bride's Shoes: Paul Green | Makeup: Honorine Make Up Studios | Groom's Attire: Suitsupply | Venue: The Shangri-La's Fijian Resort and Spa | Event Planning + Floral Design: Luxe Paris Events | Groom's Cufflinks: Montblanc | Groom's Watch: Rolex

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here