Destination Wedding: Paris
It’s known as one of the most romantic cities in the world, anointed with the nickname “City of Love” and bustling with starry-eyed tourists eager to take part in the many romantic traditions the city holds. If love is on your mind and a destination wedding is in your heart, Paris can be a timeless place to exchange your vows.
Sure, Kim and Kanye are doing it, which does kind of suck some of the magic out of this destination, but don’t allow one fame-seeking couple ruin all the beauty Paris has to offer. It has taken centuries for the romantic reputation to build within the city limits and there is a reason it has long been the destination of choice for couples in love.
It’s important to know that only civil ceremonies are legally binding in France. You can still opt for a religious ceremony as well, but in order for your wedding to be legal on paper – you will also need to have your vows officiated at town hall. This is why some couples may choose to have a civil ceremony in the United States prior to jetting off to Paris – making the service there more symbolic in nature.
Should you choose to have your civil ceremony in Paris, there are several steps you will have to complete in order to ensure your documentation is all in place. Some of these requirements can take up a fair amount of time to fulfill. For instance, you will need a long form birth certificate translated into French by a sworn translator. Hiring a wedding planner located in France and familiar with organizing destination weddings is highly recommended. Not only can they help you to plan your wedding from afar, but they can also ensure all your x’s are crossed off so that there won’t be any unexpected surprises upon arriving in Paris.
When having a religious ceremony in France, you will need to provide the officiate with your marriage certificate in order to prove the legal service has already taken place. There is also the option of an alternative ceremony, where you are legally married in the US but can then have your marriage blessed at one of the many romantic locations Paris has to offer.
Hiring a talented photographer to capture this stunning fête is not a bad idea either. There are pros and cons to hiring a local vs bringing your own photographer. At the end of the day you should love and trust in the ability of your photographer to tell a story and create beautiful images. A photographer having photographed at your exact location may not be as important as you think. Creating art is all about finding inspiration, what better way to find that je ne sais quoi than to be inspired by Paris? For a detailed discussion on your photography options, feel free to send me an email. I would be happy to chat.
Of course, once all the wedding details are handled, you and your guests will have ample opportunities to explore the City of Love. Visiting the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame Cathedral are always big tourist attractions, but don’t forget to hit up the local bakeries and to simply bask in the beauty of Paris. You should also plan on visiting the Pont des Arts, one of the most famous bridges in Paris. This is the bridge known for those love locks – the locks couples clasp to the railings in order to forever cement their love.
No trip to Paris would be complete without a little retail therapy, either. After all, this is the Mecca of fashion. So plan a shopping excursion with your bridesmaids and female relatives, sending the boys off to a local bar for their male bonding. When you all come back together, you can take in the Louvre and Rodin, capping off your Paris experience with a little sophistication and culture.
The best thing about a wedding in Paris, though? Yes, the photo opportunities. Of course I bring this back to photography, that’s what I do! I’m telling you, this city is bursting with gorgeous locales to create the images of your love that you will cherish forever. So, of course, if you want to bring me along – I would be more than happy to help with that end of things! You just do the smooching and sightseeing. I’ll handle the camera!
Here is a little highlight tour of my previous trip to Paris… most any of these vignettes would look amazing with the addition of a beaming wedding couple!