Our couple today, Jen and Will, decided to elope to what is for them (and for many!) the most romantic city in the world- Paris. Their city chic wedding was simple, elegant and best of all a true celebration of them as a couple. Jen has experience being a professional wedding photographer and so knew exactly what they should go for in terms of vendors. They hired Fête in France to help them plan and were delighted with how the day turned out. More details on the planning and day itself below from Jen, but first these beautiful images by their photographer Catherine O’Hara.

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The Meeting and Engagement

We first met through our mutual friend Katie who set us up. But she did it on the sly by inviting me to drinks with her one night and then casually mentioning that she had invited Will and his friend as well. As soon as I saw him, I felt the sparks fly!

We got engaged when Will surprised me with an unplanned weekend getaway to Atlanta, Georgia. He took me to a beautiful French restaurant (since he knows I love all things French) and we had an amazing meal! Toward the end of dinner he ordered dessert, which was unusual since we’re pretty healthy eaters. But he was just buying more time… Once the dessert came, he got down on one knee and popped the question! I was so surprised that I started crying! Thankfully, there was a table of women next to us having a “girls night out” and they were able to take pictures on their phones. When we got back to the W Hotel, he had told the staff about his plans ahead of time and they had VIP treatment set up for us in the lounge and in our room- champagne, strawberries and the works! 

Deciding to Elope

Travel is a very important part of our lives. We’ve been dating for about three years and have been on numerous trips together including New York, Boston, St. Louis, Barcelona, Madrid, and a previous trip to Paris a couple of years ago. We both spent a lot of time in Europe as kids and feel at home there. To get married overseas just fit our personalities and lifestyle.

Deciding on a location for our elopement was easy- to us, Paris is the most romantic place on Earth. Everything went very smoothly and we didn’t encounter any challenges. The only hard part was explaining to my 10 year-old stepdaughter that there wasn’t going to be a reception with cake. She was pretty heartbroken about that, but got over it pretty quickly when we brought her home some amazing European chocolate!

Planning the Elopement

We hired Fete in France to plan the wedding. They helped me to identify and secure the best vendors for us. Their team was amazing to work with! I’m a former wedding photographer, so I know what to look for in a wedding vendor and can spot talent right away. I used my seven years of experience in weddings and their great connections to assemble the team that fit our needs the best.

The style I was going for was “city chic” and not necessarily “wedding.” It was important to keep it simple and elegant. My husband wore a custom pink striped shirt he had made on a previous trip to Paris. I based the rose gold and pink color scheme around that shirt. I had to have my dress custom made since I couldn’t find what I wanted in the bridal salons, but everything else was purchased locally and not expensive. I even did my own hair and makeup so I would look like myself and not a dolled, up “bridal” version of me. Since we eloped, only a handful of close friends and family knew of our plans and there was no need for invitations months beforehand or anything like that. All kept up to date via Facebook and we sent them a postcard from Paris to formally announce our marriage. They loved the postcards and raved about them!

The Wedding Day

Eloping was the best decision we made. It enabled us to really enjoy our day and focus on each other. It’s as if we went on the most romantic date of our lives and there just happened to be a photographer there to capture it for us. We wouldn’t change a thing.

For me, the most memorable moment was the few minutes I had in the hotel room to myself just before I saw my groom. I took a few moments to breathe in, say a little prayer of thanks and just savor the moment. For Will, it was the amazing meal at Maison Blanche. He really loved the food there! On the day we attached a lock to the “Locks of Love Bridge” and hope to come back in a few years to see if we can still find our lock. We have absolutely zero regrets about anything we did. If we had advice it would be to hire the best photographer you can afford. Plan the day around you and the groom so that you both have the time of your lives. Everything else is secondary.

Thanks so much to Jen and Will for sharing their story with us, to Lauren from Fete in France for sending us this wedding, and to Catherine for the lovely images. We’re back tomorrow with our FAB 5. See you then!

Wedding Planner: Fête in France | Photographer: Catherine O’Hara | Restaurant: La Maison Blanche | Ceremony: Le Chapelle Expiatoire | Celebrant: Christian Souchon | Florist: Sol y Flor | Bride’s Dress: Custom from Lula Kate | Bride’s Jewelry: Dillards, Target, Local Antique Store | Bride’s Shoes: Antonio Melani at Dillards | Bridal Makeup: Bride herself with instruction & tools from Makeup by Tricia | Groom’s Suit: Hart Schaffner Marx | Groom’s Shirt: Lodin G | Car Hire: First Class | Stationery: Postcards from a Street Vendor

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