As a destination and Paris wedding planner, designer Rachael Ellen knew she would someday choose Paris for her own wedding. The romantic nature of the city inspired Rachael and Cameron. They knew it would be an incredible experience for their guests. Because creating experiences is core to their business, making this decision was easy for them!
The couple took photos in Paris around sunrise for the romantic morning light and an intimate setting.
Take advantage of all of the beautiful spots in the city. 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. Following that, we went to Pont Alexandre III Bridge, the Tuileries Gardens, and of course, The Louvre. Each location captures a different aspect of the city. Altogether, our photos show so many of the corners of Paris we love so much.
We created a wedding website to help our guests get to know Paris. The website listed all of our favorite activities, restaurants, museums, and things to see. While we did have a few things scheduled, we wanted to make sure that our guests had time to explore the city. As a result, our guests were able to explore on their own and discover the city we love so much.
Traditionally, 6-8 weeks before your wedding is when you should send out your invitations. 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! While our engagement was short, we felt it was important to give notice as soon as we could.
Consider the season! Europe is very busy during most of the summer months. Many countries take the month of August off. 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. Additionally, all of our European vendors were fresh off their late summer vacations. Therefore they were ready and eager to get back to work. 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 “captain’s closet.” This is right as you get on board. The closet 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 instructions. Certain types of water may damage fabric.
One way we embraced the culture was focusing on tradition. It is tradition for the bride to gift the groom a timepiece the night before the wedding. This signifies 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. If any of the sweet treats get knocked, over the couple has to eat them. As a result, our guests learned more about the culture and we got to enjoy our favorite treats!
Many cities in Europe and all over the world have crazy traffic. This is true especially on the weekends! Be sure to guide your guests on a proper timeline. This way, they can arrive at all of the wedding events on time. On that note, we loved seeing our guests utilize local transportation. The Metro, city bikes, and walking is a great way to explore and consequently avoid traffic!
I have heard so many times “your wedding day will be a blur” or “you won’t even remember it.” For me, honestly, that wasn’t the case! It was important to me to take in each moment. As a result, 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 live each moment. 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