It may sound strange to you but there are (at least) 5 great reasons why planning a winter elopement in Paris is a great idea. As celebrant in Paris I officiate outdoor elopement ceremonies all year round. Sure, most of my couples decide to elope to Paris during the warmer season. Because they don’t want to freeze but enjoy warm temperatures and Paris in full bloom.
Advantages of a winter outdoor elopement in Paris
However out of experience every season is not only working for outdoor elopements but also special and beautiful in it’s own way. I will now share 5 reasons with you why the colder season can be very attractive for a fall or winter elopement in Paris.
You may not have expected it. But there actually a few real advantages of a winter outdoor elopement in Paris. Some of these reasons are closely linked to the specific circumstances of Paris elopements. So read this if it will be your first time in Paris! You may not have known about or considered these reasons when planning your elopement in Paris.
1. Paris is less busy
The first great reason for an winter outdoor elopement in Paris: Less people! During the colder season there are less tourists traveling to Paris. Whereas in summer you encounter busloads of them especially around the landmarks, there are by far less during the colder season. So you’ll have to share Paris with less fellow travelers.
Also Parisians hang around less outdoors during the colder season. Whereas in summer they (well, we, me included, lol) flock especially to the parks and riverside to picnic with friends, play pétanque, you name it. As temperatures in fall and winter are dropping these typical outdoor activities are less attractive. There will surely still be Parisians around. They will still walk their dogs, do sports or a little stroll in the park. But clearly and by far less than in summer.
Don’t get me wrong: Paris is always busy. But all the outdoor areas that we use for elopements are simply less busy and crowded in winter. Which is great for you as it will be so much easier to have a quiet and intimate moment for your outdoor elopement ceremony. And also less passersby in the background of your Paris wedding photos.
2. Wake up later
At any time of the year the best time for elopements is: early morning, ideally sunrise time. Yes, sunrise ceremonies are really a thing in Paris! (lol) Simply because it is the best moment to have ideal circumstances for your outdoor elopement: Paris is as quiet as it gets. We beat the crowds. And you will also have beautiful and soft light for your Paris wedding photos.
Now sunrise time changes A LOT depending on the season. Whereas in summer the earliest sunrise is at 5.45 (in late June). The sun in winter rises a lot later: The latest winter sunrise is at 8.45 (around New Year).
So it is pretty obvious that if you elope to Paris in summer you have to get up extremely early in order to enjoy a beautiful sunrise outdoor elopement in Paris under ideal circumstances. Whereas for a winter outdoor elopement in Paris you can start your elopement day at a far more manageable time. So you’ll be probably less tired and a bit more relaxed.
3. Beautiful seasons
Sure spring comes with blossoms and flowers, summer with warm temperatures. But fall and winter are no lesser seasons just because temperatures are lower. Actually there are some special periods during the colder season that really make it worth planning your winter elopement in Paris around them:
I am a sucker for autumn foliage. Fall is my favorite season. I love the moment when the leaves change colors. When the trees turn yellow, golden, orange, copper, red and burgundy. For me it’s just the most beautiful season. I eloped in fall myself and felt so lucky to be surrounded by colorful trees for our elopement ceremony.
PRO TIP: If you like autumn foliage as much as I do you should plan your elopement in Paris in fall. Autumn foliage in Paris usually takes place sometime between mid October and mid November. Temperatures are cooler but not as cold as in winter yet.
Every year Christmas season in Paris is a very special time. The streets and Parisian cafe are all decorated, Christmas trees set up in many places. You can visit Christmas markets at the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame or Champs Elysee. It’s this special time of the year when the entire city is sparkling with Christmas lights and anticipation for the Holiday season to come. Therefore it is definitely worth visiting ans eloping to Paris during Christmas season.
PRO TIP: Avoid Christmas holidays as much as you can because these days are very busy in Paris – in spite of the cold temperatures. Christmas decoration in Paris is set up and Christmas markets are opening in the beginning of December. So better elope to Paris sometime early to mid December to enjoy Christmas magic without having to share it with too many people.
Let it snow
Parisian get all excited when it is snowing. Not only because it is so beautiful when the French capital is covered by a powdery white layer. But also because it is so rare. Temperature in Paris are rarely cold enough that snow would fall. If we have snow it rarely lasts very long.
So while I would love to officiate your winter elopement in Paris in the snow. Chances for this to happen are pretty low. So if planning a winter elopement in Paris you should not count on snow. Spare yourself the disappointment, it will most likely not happen.
4. Stunning sunrises
A third advantage that you may not have thought of: Sunrises are a lot more stunning and colorful in winter. Of course given that it won’t be too cloudy on your elopement day.
I did a bit of research to find out why winter sunrises (and also sunsets) are better. In short it has to do with the humidity and pollution level of the air and also the angle in which the sun rises. The sunrise in winter also lasts longer as the sun does not rise as high as in summer but follows a lower curve. All this to say: Winter sunrises are absolutely gorgeous and vibrantly colored.
Now we can of course never take for granted that you’ll have a great sunrise if you elope in Paris at sunrise time. No matter the season it depends on the daily weather. If there are too many clouds we won’t see a sunrise – neither in winter not in summer.
Winter Paris elopement with better light
Not only the sunrises are more stunning. But also the light in winter is generally a bit softer and more flattering in winter. This is a great advantage for your Paris wedding photos.
Let me explain you why: You may have already heard that taking photos at noon is not a good idea. The sun is at it’s highest point which makes the light very harsh. And harsh light is not very flattering. Now in winter the sun never rises as high as it does in summer. The sun circles in lower curve throughout the day. Therefore the also the light never gets as harsh as in summer, but remains generally softer in winter.
Get ready for your winter elopement in Paris
So waking up later for an emptier Paris with possibly a stunning sunrise during a beautiful season in fall or winter all sound like great arguments to you? Great, I can’t wait to officiate your winter elopement ceremony in Paris as your English speaking Paris celebrant!
Now you just need to get ready for the colder temperatures to fully enjoy your fall or winter elopement in Paris. Here you find tips how to face the weather and temperatures when eloping in Paris outdoors – and to look gorgeous for your winter elopement in Paris.
Vendors of these winter elopement in Paris:
Photos: Pierre Torset Paris Photographer, Timeless Paris Photography, Ian Holmes, Paris with you