Hosting a big, lavish wedding with a huge guest list isn't how everyone envisions saying "I do." In the last two years, micro weddings have shot up in popularity given that they are intimate and highly personalised occasions. However, lists of couples still choose to tie the knot by eloping.
By definition, eloping refers to getting married without informing your family and friends. However, these days it's evolved to become a preferred way of getting married particularly if factors like distance are involved. It's also a preference for most couples who want to jump the broom at an idyllic location without all the fuss. Elopements typically don't include a reception as well as most other elements that are part of the big day.
To further differentiate micro weddings and elopements, the former mirrors typical nuptials but unfolds on a smaller scale while the latter focuses on the ceremony. Naturally, if you are planning to elope, you might have your heart set on jetting off to an exotic location. Paris tops the list of dreamy elopement destinations.
Getting Hitched in Paris
Paris is considered one of the most romantic cities on the planet, and that's also why it's nicknamed the city of love. Even if you've never visited the French capital, its depictions and descriptions make it easy to see how the city is an enticing destination for couples tying the knot. French nationals can easily get hitched at the city hall but it's a different case for foreigners.
It's important to understand that your French wedding won't be legally binding. The process of getting hitched in Paris as a foreigner involves a lot of paperwork and the complexities often put people off. However, the go-between is having a symbolic ceremony. What it means is that you'll start by having a quick civil ceremony at home to make things official.
You'll then crown it off with a symbolic ceremony in Paris. Perhaps you might ask why have an elopement in Paris if you won't be legally married; the answer is simply why not? It can double up as your honeymoon and it makes the occasion even more romantic.
Insider Tips & Tricks For Eloping in Paris
With a better understanding of what you are signing up for when planning a Paris wedding, here are some insider tips and tricks for eloping in the city of love.
While elopement ceremonies are usually simple occasions, it doesn't mean that you should skimp out on the details. You'll still want to get a wedding dress, bridal bouquet, and makeup and hair done. Perhaps you might want to carry the gown from home and make sure to have a slipcover for it and carry it with you in the cabin to prevent the risk of damage.
Still, on the gown, it doesn't have to be anything extravagant but you can equally choose to go all out and don a gorgeous dress. Work with local vendors to supply wedding flowers and decorations for the ceremony space, if needed. Travel in style to the ceremony venue by hiring a vintage car. The most important part is perhaps getting someone to officiate the ceremony. Again, it isn't a legally binding ceremony but the sentimental aspect matters as well.
The beautiful thing about elopements is the fact that you can host the ceremony virtually anywhere. In Paris, saying "I do" against the backdrop of the Eiffel Tower or reciting your vows at the Luxembourg Gardens sounds like a great idea. It's worth mentioning that the city is quite busy and noisy, particularly around the tourist hotspots.
If you simply want to exchange vows in an outdoor space, then schedule your ceremony early in the morning. To be precise, you want to have your nuptials at sunrise before large groups of tourists flood the area. On the plus side, you'll also end up with incredibly stunning photos during that time.
You may want to consider other options, given that elopements these days include a handful of guests. If you are hosting more than ten guests, then it's best to secure a private wedding venue in Paris. A private venue also gives you access to more facilities and coverage in case the weather takes a turn for the worse.
Timing Is Key
Choose the right date for your elopement, and it's best to schedule it at the midpoint of your stay in Paris. It gives you a bit of wiggle room just in case there are unforeseen setbacks. For instance, you might arrive in Paris and discover that your luggage is missing or the skies might decide to open up on the day you've scheduled the wedding.
You also need enough time to hire vendors, secure the wedding venue, and put everything in motion. In general, it's safe to schedule the occasion on the second or third day of your visit to Paris.
Document the Special Moment
A professional photographer is amongst the list of professionals you simply must work with during your elopement. The moment is one that you'll treasure for a lifetime, and that's why you should capture it in photos. It's even more important to document your elopement if your family and friends won't be present for the occasion.
Also, consider working with a videographer and live-streaming the ceremony if possible. Your family and friends will appreciate being able to share in the big moment even if they are thousands of miles away.
Crown it all with a Meal
While elopements typically end at the ceremony, no one said that you can't make a day out of it and crown it with a meal. Paris is also renowned for its world-class restaurants serving lists of mouth-watering delicacies. If you are having an early-morning ceremony, you could raid a local cafe for breakfast and even host a photo session at the location.
You'll also want to simply relax and enjoy the moment, and there's no better way to do it than digging into a quintessentially French meal.
Candlelit Parisian Elopement
The words ‘Paris’ and ‘elopement’ go hand in hand and today’s shoot from One and Only Paris Photography has some of the prettiest elopement inspiration I’ve ever seen. A couture gown, cascading floral table runner, romantic candelabras from a Parisian flea market, and a dreamy reception for two make this shoot heavenly!
I love that the intimacy of this celebration in no way stops it from being absolutely glamorous. The monochromatic color scheme and blending of ghost chairs with vintage tabletop details is super chic and creates a perfect balance between old world Paris and a more modern look.
And that hydrangea, rose, and peony table runner? It’s masterful!
Credits: Photography: One and Only Paris Photography // Photography: Le Secret d’Audrey // Event Planning & Floral Design: Luxe Life Events // Wedding Dress: Paolo Corona // Cake: Paris Luxury Cakes // Jewelry: Stone Paris.