Brian and I met in in Aspen, Colorado, while I was on vacation. Looking back, an elopement in Paris seems fitting to our story. During the 16 months of our long-distance relationship (Brian lived in Aspen and I lived in Manhattan Beach, California), we would do anything and go anywhere to be together. We’d say “I miss you….Let’s meet in Denver or San Francisco or in the middle of Utah next weekend!” Similarly, that’s how our Parisian wedding was planned. We already had our trip to Paris scheduled and booked. While talking about getting married, we had an “ah-ha moment” and realised how incredible it would be to be married in Paris! It’s one of the most romantic and picturesque cities in the world. Plus, neither one of us had any interest in planning a wedding for several months 🙂 Not having our family and friends with us to share the experience was a significant downside but we decided to have a party stateside afterwards to hopefully make up for that.
And so we spent about a month planning our Parisian wedding from Colorado. We both knew that we wanted a stress-free, light-hearted but meaningful ceremony. The thought of getting married outdoors in the beautiful city of Paris and then simply walking around and enjoying everything it has to offer was so appealing to us. Brian loves history and I love anything vintage (Brian proposed with a 100 year old ring) so Paris was the perfect backdrop for the beginning of our marriage.
With all the information available online, finding our photographer, hair stylist, makeup artist, and celebrant was pretty straightforward. We mostly used “real weddings” information from wedding websites to find vendors that seemed to fit our vision and personalities. Gabe (photographer), Charles (makeup), Sanni (hair), Aude (celebrant) and our hotels (B Montmartre & The Westin Paris Vendôme) were lifesavers and a dream to work with. The rest of the details we sorted out when we arrived! We found our ceremony site by spending days walking through Paris and talking to locals. We finally decided on Jardin de Tuileries after one local told us about her favorite scenic spot in Paris (shout out to Patricia at B Montmarte! :)) For the flowers, I walked to marché aux fleurs on Place Louis Lépine the morning of our ceremony. Working with the flower shop owner is one of my favorite memories. I’ll never forget the look on his face when I told him I needed a bouquet for my wedding in a few hours. “Aujourd’hui??!!?”, he said, and then something like “you’re crazy but I like you.” We put together a gorgeous bouquet from 3 different plants. We used the “leftovers” for my hair. It was perfect.
Paris was so kind and warm to us during our entire stay but especially on our wedding day. Bystanders clapped and offered their “félicitations!” when the groom kissed the bride and while we visited Paris’ most popular places like Pont des Arts, Cathédrale Notre Dame, and the Eiffel Tower. Our elopement was everything we had hoped it would be…better actually because of all the people we met and who helped us along the way. Paris will always be such a special and meaningful place for us. We can’t wait to return to celebrate our anniversary! À bientôt!
Photographer: Gabe, Bell Studio – Esther&Gabe
Hair: Sanni Sorma
Make up: Charles Gillman
Officiant: Aude Abadi
Ceremony: Jardin de Tuileries
Flowers: Lionel, Au bord de l’eau, Marché aux fleurs
Bride’s dress: Leanne Marshall
Groom’s attire: Sully & Co., Denver
Car: arranged by Hotel B Montmartre
Hotel: B Montmarte
Bridal suite: The Westin Paris – Vendôme