Today I want to share with you 10 tips for eloping in Paris. As celebrant in Paris I have already officiated many elopements and gained quite some experience over the years. So I hope this insider tips and tricks will help you when planning your big day in the city of love.
I have also added a few links that lead to blogposts/ pages with more useful advice for your elopement in Paris. And in case you have any other questions don’t hesitate to reach out to me, your Paris Officiant!
1. Eloping to Paris with a symbolic ceremony
The ceremony is the core of every wedding. Because that’s the moment when you make your promises and become husband and wife.
Now as foreigners it’s extremely complicated close to impossible to get legally married in Paris.
So what most couples do: They get legally married back home with a quick civil ceremony before or after eloping to Paris.
PLUS: The advantage of a symbolic ceremony when eloping to Paris: There are no rules that you need to follow (other then with a legal or religious ceremony)! Instead you can create a personal, unique and romantic ceremony together with your celebrant in Paris. As your Paris officiant I believe in crafting a ceremony that is perfectly you! Moreover if you have different religions or are atheists you can have an interfaith, a non-religious ceremony or a ceremony incorporating different traditions or languages.
2. Save the right date
Chose your elopement date around the middle of your stay in Paris. This way you got some buffer time – just in case! For example: You planned eloping to Paris on the first day after arrival but your luggage containing your bridal gown or tux is delayed. Or you planned your elopement on your last day but that day it heavily rains with no chance to reschedule anymore! So to avoid a nervous breakdown you should ideally plan 1-2 days before and 1-2 days after your big day – safe yourself some stress!
3. Choose a great location
Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Luxembourg Gardens: Pick one of this beautiful public outdoors locations in Paris if it is only the two of you or you bring a handful of guests (up to max 10 guests). If more family, friends and loved ones are joining you – great, the more the merrier! However in this case you should definitely look for a private venue. Because Paris is just too busy and noisy for an outdoor ceremony with many guests. Also there are no covered public location that we can use with many guests in case of bad weather.
5. The early bird catches the worm
If you decide for an outdoor ceremony at a public location then you shouldn’t be scared of getting up early! I always recommend scheduling your ceremony and photo shoot early in the morning – ideally at sunrise. Sounds crazy, right? But Paris quickly gets busy later in the day with tourist groups, visitors, Parisians hurrying to work, hanging out with friends, picnicking – you name it!
So we can only beat the crowds and enjoy an intimate and quiet moment for your ceremony if we are there before everyone else is. Besides the soft morning light will be perfect and flattering for your wedding photographs – especially at sunrise.
6. Capture your big moment eloping to Paris
Eloping to Paris is a moment you want to treasure forever. Also you may want to share your experiences with your loved ones back home. So book a professional photographer to capture your elopement in Paris! Check portfolio, blog, Instagram of different photographers to compare which style you like most. Also make sure to read customer reviews! Reach out to your favorite photographers and if you share the same vision you probably found your elopement photographer!
PLUS: Consider hiring a videographer! Especially when you elope in Paris – just the two of you! Your parents, family and friends won’t share this big moment in reality with you. So give them the chance to to see (and hear) as much as possible afterwards. They will be more than happy seeing you both at the Eiffel Tower and hearing you saying your wedding vows! And it is a great memory for the two of you as well!
7. Don’t forget the details
Pamper yourself and add more beautiful things and unique experiences that make your elopement day even more special: Book a hair and makeup artist who will make you pretty for your big day. Add some color and get a pretty bridal bouquet. Book a musician who will play your favorite songs for your ceremony. And why not hiring a vintage car? It can be a good way for you to drive from location to location – and also looks great on pictures! As you Paris Officiant I’d be happy to share some contacts of talented and trusted English speaking vendors in Paris with you.
PLUS: Brides, let’s talk bridal gown! I’m sure you may have already wondered how you should get your wedding dress to Paris. My advice: Put it into a slipcover for protection and take it with into the cabin as carry-on luggage. Because if you put it into a check-in luggage you risk damage, loss or delayed arrival. Contact your airline, they will help you store it safely in the cabin!
8. Watch out for the weather
When eloping to Paris be prepared for any kind of weather – it can be changing very quickly! Bring a cute umbrella if there is a risk of rain. This way you stay dry and you can also use it as a prop for the photo shoot – photos in the rain can be drop dead romantic! Choose a dress that fits with the season: Something thing and light to bear the summer heat, something warmer in the cooler season e.g. long sleeve dresses. In winter top off your bridal gown with warm accessories like a fake fur stole, a feathery jacket or a bridal bolero.
PLUS: If the weather forecast looks bad as you get closer to your date (it’s only starting to be reliable 1-2 days in advance!) agree on a plan B with your vendors which can either include covered locations or a possible rescheduling!
9. Bon appétit!
Paris is not only famous for art and architecture – but also for the delicious food! So bring your wedding day to a close in one of the gorgeous Parisian restaurants with a mouth-watering meal and great wine! Another option: As you will most likely get up rather early on your wedding day (see #5) ask your photographer to integrate a Parisian café into your photo session. This will not only make for some romantic Parisian pictures. But also give you the chance to relax a moment, enjoy a croissant and coffee – and to warm up in case you elope in Paris in a cooler season. (see #11)
10. Lean back and enjoy eloping to Paris!
Don’t get stressed over small things but focus on what is really important on your wedding day: You are in Paris – the city of love! And you both are making a commitment for life –because of love! How amazing is that! So let go of all worries, just lean back and ENJOY the day to its fullest!
PLUS: You hired great vendors for your elopement in Paris and you can count on them 100%! Share how you envision your big day as precise as possible. Because your vendors are happy when they know how to make you happy! At the same time: Trust their recommendations and advice! Your officiant in Paris, photographer, makeup-artist, florist etc. are talented, got lots of experience – and know what works and what can get tricky in Paris!