We asked The Paris Officiant to give us her top 10 tips for eloping in Paris. Laura, owner of The Paris Officiant gave us all the insider tips to getting married in the iconic romantic city of Paris!
1. Host a Symbolic Ceremony
It’s extremely complicated to get legally married in Paris as foreigners. In France, you can only legally get married in a city hall. The French government has complex and abundant bureaucratic requirements for foreigners who want to get married in France. For example: You have to prove that you have lived at least 45 days in France prior to a legal wedding.
So, how do most couples get married, you might ask?! They legally marry at home before or after their symbolic elopement ceremony in Paris.
Pro tip to hosting a symbolic wedding ceremony:
The advantage of a symbolic ceremony: You don’t need to abide to the rules of a legal or religious ceremony. Instead you can create a personal, unique and romantic ceremony together with your celebrant. Laura suggests sharing your ideas, love story and what's important to you with your wedding officiant!
The possibilities are endless, including: Writing your own wedding vows, integrating your love story into the ceremony or adding a wedding ritual. The ceremony can be bilingual, integrate more than one religion or remain secular.
2. Pick the good date for your elopement
Allow yourselves enough time in Paris before and after your elopement day! Don’t elope on your first or last day in Paris. A number of factors may cause you to need at least a day or two in Paris before your elopement including lost or delayed luggage and jet-lag. Alternatively, it may heavily rain on your last day – leaving you no chance to postpone your elopement as you are leaving the following day!
3. Choose a Great Location
An intimate destination wedding or elopement is beautiful at any of the following iconic locations in Paris: Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Luxembourg Gardens. These beautiful (public) outdoor locations in Paris are perfect for the two of you and up to 10 guests.If you intend to invite more family and friends, consider renting a private venue such as a hotel, garden or chapel to ensure that your ceremony remains intimate.
4. The Early Bird Gets the Worm
If you opt for an outdoor elopement, the early hours are best, ideally sunrise! That sounds crazy, right? Many people love visiting the famous Parisian landmarks such as Eiffel Tower, Louvre or Notre Dame; these locations quickly become busy with tourists and locals. Scheduling your outdoor elopement early in the morning is a great way to beat the crowds and to enjoy an intimate moment for your ceremony. Besides - the light will beautiful for your wedding photographs!
5. Capture your Day Forever Through Photos
Your elopement in Paris is a unique experience, one you will remember for years to come. We recommend booking a professional photographer to make those moments memorable – and to share with your loved ones at home!
Pro Tip to booking a destination wedding photographer:
Check different photographers portfolios, blogs, and Instagrams to compare whose style you like most. Keep in mind these images will be your keepsake from the wedding day. We recommend reading reviews of previous customers before booking to ensure the photographer you like is in good standing with previous brides and grooms.
6. Play the Lead Role in Your Own Film
Consider hiring a videographer for your Paris destination wedding! It's a great way to share your special day in Paris with anyone that won't be attending your destination elopement. The special people in your life will be elated to see you strolling through the streets of Paris, hear your symbolic ceremony and witness your joy. Bonus: It's a great memory for the two of you!
7. Consider a Wedding Planner
You feel overwhelmed planning your elopement from a distance in a country you have never been to before? Maybe you plan to hire many different vendors and feel stressed coordinating them all on your big day? Consider hiring a wedding planner, who can organize your elopement and coordinate all the vendors on your big day! You'll appreciate enjoying the experience of having a professional who know what questions to ask before booking vendors. They'll also be able to see logistical issues ahead of time to help you prepare for things like transportation and time needed for photographs at different locations.
8. Pamper Yourself
You're getting married in Paris. Add to your epic day by splurging on a few vendors that will make you feel (and look) like a million bucks!
1. Book a hair makeup artist for the getting ready
(You'll want your hair and makeup to last outdoors, whether it is warm or a touch windy).
2. Order a pretty bridal bouquet from a professional Parisian florist
(Take their advice on blooms that will hold up outdoors/are in season)
3. Hire a vintage car or luxury care service
This is a great way to get from location to location – you can likely hit many iconic locations in the morning
9. Beware of the Weather
Your Paris wedding ceremony will most likely take place outdoors, featuring one of the famous Paris landmarks as the backdrop. Be prepared for any kind of weather as it can change quickly in Paris! Prepare a plan B beforehand with your vendors in case the weather gets too crazy on your wedding day! Doubly prepare by bringing a clear umbrella if there is a risk of rain or add accessories to your bridal gown like a fur stole or a bridal bolero for winter weddings.
10. Bon appétit!
Paris is not only famous for art and architecture – but also for the delicious food! Bring your wedding celebrations to a close in one of many gorgeous Parisian restaurants with a mouth-watering meal and delectable wine!
Pro tip to meals on the wedding day in Paris
You will most likely wake up extra early on your wedding day (see #4) ask your photographer to integrate a Parisian café into your photo session. This will not only make for very Parisian and fun pictures. But also give you the chance to relax a moment, enjoy a croissant and coffee and to warm up in case you elope in Paris in a cooler season.
Don’t stress over small details, your vendors are there to make your dreams happen. Remember what is really important on your wedding day: You are in Paris – the city of love! You are making a commitment for life –because of love! How amazing is that! So let go of all worries, just lean back and ENJOY the day to its fullest!
By: The Paris Officiant
Paris Wedding Photographer Pierre
Instagram: @ paris_photographer