Today I am giving carte blanche to the amazing wedding planner Katerina Nidikova at So Special Events on how to best plan for your Paris Elopement!
Enjoy, and feel free to share you own best advices below.
It’s difficult to find a better city to elope to than Paris. It’s beautiful, elegant, and absolutely full of great spots for a vows exchange ceremony or romantic photoshoot. If you decide to elope to Paris, here is some practical advice to help you to plan your romantic escape.
Choose your Date
It’s generally better to choose a weekday to celebrate your elopement. When you come to Paris to elope during the wedding season (from April until late September), choosing a weekday will make it easier for you to find an available celebrant, make up artist, photographer, or any other help you might need. It makes sense, as they are likely to be booked for weekends. Even if you book early, wedding professionals might be more motivated to work during the week, as they know that they will manage to book their weekends anyway.
Choose your Place
Depending on your budget and your preferences, you can either have your vows exchange ceremony in a public or in a private place. Among the public spots, Trocadero and Square Jean XXIII near Notre Dame are extremely popular. They offer an incomparable setting, but you must arrive quite early, as these two spots are extremely popular among tourists as well. Many couples have their ceremonies as early as 7:00 AM to be sure that there is nobody around and that they can enjoy their moment without tourists taking pictures of them.
If you decide to book a private venue to hold your elopement ceremony, you might consider the famous Chapel Expiatoire or one of the gorgeous suites with a terrace in one of the Parisian palaces. They offer you privacy and beautiful décor, as well as exclusive views of the French capital. It comes at a price, however. Privatizing the Chapel Expiatoire for 30 minutes to 1 hour will cost you around 2250€, while reserving two nights in a gorgeous room with a panoramic terrace in the Shangri La Hotel will cost almost the same.
Choose your Suppliers
This is a tricky part. There is no shortage of talented wedding professionals working in Paris, so making a choice can be a challenge. Usually, couples tend to check the first three or four Google results and perhaps several Instagram accounts before making their choice. However, there are loads of great pros on whom you are likely to miss out if you don’t look a bit longer. Don’t hesitate to contact local wedding planners to ask for help.
When choosing your elopement photographer, videographer, planner, or celebrant, it’s always worth it to have a Skype talk to get a feel for each other and to see if the person is right for you. Emails and messages on Facebook may seem sufficient, but nothing will tell you as much about the person you are going to hire as a ten minute chat.
Plus, a personal touch could go a long way. If you found a perfect supplier but his services are slightly over your budget, be nice and sincere to that person, and you are likely to get a discount.
Choose your Itinerary
Ask your photographer and/or videographer for an advice on the best settings for your romantic photoshoot. Decide on a style you love and stick to it. Do you prefer something clasically romantic? Glamorous? Simple and fun? Select your photography locations according to the ambiance you would like to create and don’t try to take photos everywhere. Generally, it’s a good idea to select two or three spots and concentrate on your pictures there, instead of running around Paris trying to take pictures everywhere.
Celebrate in Style
You can always find a local event planner speaking fluent English to help you to organize a celebration. Be it a private cruise on the Seine river, a romantic dinner for two with your partner, or a trip to an 18th century castle outside Paris, you are always better off when working with a local professional who is familiar with local vendors and suppliers. A final tip: even though every good hotel tends to offer concierge services to help you to organize an event, they often overcharge their clients.
By Katerina Nidikova, wedding planner, So Special Events