As a destination and Paris wedding planner, designer Rachael Ellen knew she would someday want to choose the romantic city for her own nuptials. Rachael and Cameron were inspired by the romantic nature of the city, the incredible experience it would be for their guests, and the intimate way they could share their celebration with only close friends and family.
The couple took photos in Paris around sunrise for the romantic morning light and an intimate setting.
Below they share with us the lessons they learned along the way…
We woke up at sunrise to take photos at all of our favorite spots. We started at Trocadéro with the most gorgeous view of the Eiffel Tour. From there we spent some time on the Siene at the Pont Alexandre III Bridge, the Tuileries Gardens, and of course, The Louvre. Each location captures a different aspect of the city and altogether shows so many of the corners of Paris we love so much.
We created a wedding website where we listed all of our favorite activities, restaurants, museums, and things to see in Paris. While we did have a few things scheduled, we wanted to make sure that our guests had time to explore the city we love so much.
Traditionally, wedding invitations are supposed to arrive to your guests 6-8 weeks before the wedding. With a destination wedding, guests need a little more advanced notice to make travel plans. We sent a Save The Date card the second we knew what the date would be! This gave our guests access to our wedding website and the chance to plan ahead!
Europe is very busy during most of the summer months. While many countries take the month of August off, you need to consider that many vendors will be on vacation and unable to help with your wedding. We chose late August which was wonderful as the tourist season had slowed down and all of our European vendors were fresh off their late summer vacations. Consider the seasonal customs of whichever country you are getting married in!
My gown was brought with my parents on the flight. While many people think it may be easier to check something so large, you run the risk of your luggage getting lost or stolen. The trick is to ask the flight attendant if you can store it in the “captian’s closet” right as you get on board. This keeps is safe, hung, and wrinkle free! If your dress is particularly wrinkle prone, be sure to ask the designer or the boutique for steaming or ironing instructions. Certain types of water can damage fabric while steaming and you don’t want a gown emergency when you are thousands of miles from home! Or ever, for that matter.
We did this in a few different ways and these small additions made our wedding week that much more French.
For example, it is tradition for the bride to gift the groom a timepiece the night before the wedding signifying their love for all time. I took this chance to gift Cameron a new watch the night before our wedding. It felt both fitting for the occasion and perfectly French!
We also embraced the macaron tower tradition at our reception! The tradition has the couple kiss over the tower and any of the sweet treats that get knocked over the couple has to eat. Not to mention that the little French sweets are my favorite treat of all time! It was a win-win for us.
Many cities in Europe and all over the world have crazy traffic and especially on the weekends! Be sure to guide your guests on a proper timeline so they can arrive at all of the wedding events on time. On that note, we loved seeing our guests utilize the Metro, city bikes, and walking to explore the city and beat the traffic!
I have heard so many times “your wedding day will be a blur” or “you won’t even remember it” but honestly, that wasn’t the case for us! I have so many vivid memories of the week we shared with our friends and family in our favorite place in the world. Stop and really live each moment and take intentional mental pictures of what it feels to have those nearest and dearest to you cross an ocean to celebrate your love. You will never forget it.
Photogrpahy by Mary Claire
As seen in Martha Stewart Weddings and Adorn Magazine