FINDING ROMANCE IN THE CITY OF LOVE
Kristen and Armando imagined their wedding to be unique and romantic. They picked France as their dream destination. Kristen started searching for a romantic adventure in Paris, but didn't speak french and didn't know how to coordinate the details like flowers and makeup...
KRISTEN AND ARMANDO
Met through a mutual friend in 2014
Got engaged in September 2017 at a beautiful winery in Napa Valley, California
Love their fur baby named Brady, he is a chocolate labrador retriever
Ceremony in a beautiful Parisian garden, Eiffel Tower and Louvre photos
4 guests invited
Planned in 4 months
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
Kristen (a director at L’Oréal) and Armando (a mortgage broker) live in New Jersey. They met through a mutual friend in 2014. Armando proposed in September 2017 at a beautiful winery in Napa Valley, California. They are the best travel buddies, they just looove to travel. And spend time with their dog Brady.
Kristen says "We decided to elope because we like to do things our own way."
On July 7, 2021 Kristen messaged us: "Hi! We will be in Paris late October and was wondering if you were available I know it’s such short notice, but let me know!".
We started chatting and realized we absolutely can create a beautiful day for this couple. Their expectations are just what we love doing :
"I would love the ceremony to take place in Tuileries Gardens. I saw photos and it just looked so magical. For additional pictures we would love to get some by the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre museum. I would like to get my hair and makeup done and have a bouquet of flowers as well as photos of course! I saw on the website your Paris package is 2500 euros for which includes the ceremony, hair/makeup, flowers, transportation and photos. As you can imagine I don't speak any french (although I wish I did :) ) Will you help coordinate with the vendors for hair/makeup and flowers?"
We answered their questions, then booked a date. Our mission was to help them plan the day and make a timeline where all locations work out together. We created a style that is elegant and sophisticated and suites their personalities.
"When we announced that we are eloping our families were so happy for us!" shared Kristen.
We planned the wedding by email, added each other on Instagram and created two WhatsApp group chats:
1) For general elopement planning
2) For hair and makeup, with our makeup artist
CHOOSING CEREMONY LOCATION
Kristen wanted to have a memorable ceremony with 4 guests invited. She was thinking about Tuileries, but we also showed some alternatives.
3 gardens are available for Paris elopement: Luxembourg Gardens, Rose Garden, and Tuileries. Luxembourg Garden has more of a moody/boho vibe. Rose Garden is for a bride in a flowy airy dress. But Tuileries has ancient statues, a perfect place for an elegant and sophisticated wedding so it was a YES for Kristen. She picked Tuileries without hesitation.
Their trip was 6 days.
Kristen said "When we arrived to Paris we were excited to be there and looked forward to all the memories we were going to make".
Two landmarks they loved the most was the Eiffel Tower and Montmartre area.
Eiffel Tower lights
They were madly in love with Paris and each other. And such a romantic place was perfect for their honeymoon. Combining traditional French restaurants with the breathtaking views of architecture, Kristen and Armando had an amazing time.
What is any romantic trip without a wedding? This was our late October timeline. We plan all ceremonies the earliest possible :
06:00 - Makeup artist arrives. Bridal hair and makeup. Groom gets ready
08:20 - Pick up at the hotel
08:45 - Ceremony begins
09:20 - Ceremony ends, group photos Portraits at gardens
10 - Couple photoshoot begins
13 -Driving back to the hotel
"I tried on about 15 dresses and the moment I put this one on I knew, it was the back of the dress that made me fall in love with it, was classic and romantic and I thought how perfect would it be for Paris" Kristen said.
The dress is by Allure bridals.
Corset wedding dresses
All-over lace appliqués
Kristen sent us some different inspiration pictures. We recommended some ideas as well and finally, this look was confirmed. It is bold, modern. Fixed hair allows a lot of movement.
Hair and makeup by @makeupparisyana
To be honest Kristen outshines Kim Kardashian without hesitation, such an elegant look!
Bridal shoes are by Jimmy Choo. These beauties are meant for sophisticated elopement in Europe. A classic wedding stiletto.
Kristen wanted to have an oval bouquet of pink and ivory roses. She imagined her bouquet as romantic as the rest of the wedding.
And we did a matching boutonniere for Armando. We picked their flowers the day before and delivered them on the wedding day after the makeup was done.
Armando is wearing a formal suit in navy blue.
LIKE A MOVIE
The first look is a beautiful wedding tradition that allows having some cute and romantic photos. But there is one secret thing.... it is staged!
We start our ceremonies right at sunrise to avoid crowds. And if we spend time doing a real first look, we miss precious time for the ceremony. And a lot of people might be around. So if you want to have something like this, let us know. We did this first look after the ceremony.
Great thing is that you can capture it from 3 different angles when it's staged. Tim will help you boost your acting skills from zero to Cannes film festival in two minutes. Tim explains how to show emotions in a most beautiful way. Voila! But shhh, it's a secret between us, friends.
ROMANTIC CEREMONY IN THE CITY OF LOVE
Kristen and Armando planned a non-religious symbolic wedding ceremony with 4 guests. They wrote romantic vows, the heartbeat of the day. Seriously, what melts your heart more than sweet love words? The readings, couple's story, I DO's, ring and vow exchange, first kiss - there’s nothing like these tender moments.
Ceremony Officiant was standing the european way, on the side. That's how the couple can be alone in the photos, be the center of attention and still listen to the ceremony words.
Kristen remembers her mom saying just before the ceremony: "Enjoy the moment it will be so special" and these words touched her heart.
The beginning of their ceremony. Pure joy on Kristen and Armando's faces. It is really happening!
Seeing her daughter getting married always brings mom to tears. Kristen's sister and mom
We can't get enough of how happy they look saying "I DO!"
"She is supportive, generous, intellectual, affectionate, she brings so much fun and excitement" is what Armando loves about Kristen.
Kristen is trying to hold her unplanned tears of joy as she read her vow. Touching and sincere words. Saying vows to your partner may feel like the most important thing in your life.
Putting on the rings. Goosebumps.
Singing the certificates.
That moment when you immediately want to kiss your favorite person. Can't wait!
They waited so long to get married. The excitement that their Paris dream just became a reality.
Group family photo
Precious moments with your girls
Kristen said on our Whatsapp elopement planning chat: "The train is my favorite part of my dress, I want to show it beautifully in the photos". Here is the story behind this bridal portrait in Tuileries Gardens.
We noted this request and started thinking about where and how exactly can we do it. The best way to show the train is a location with stairs. We love bridal portraits standing at the top of the stairs because:
1) It immediately gives you a perfect posture. Everyone starts posing like a model, stairs have a magic effect because you just can't stand the other way
2) We have this long and sexy feminine silhouette
3) Laying train creates this infinite line and you are like an ancient goddess that appears out of the foam of the sea in the beautiful gown
Among all the locations Kristen wanted for her shoot we used these Tuileries Gardens stairs for bridal portraits and we absolutely love the final result.
Personal observation: if a bridal dress has no train at all, better to avoid stairs portraits from the back. Actually, it works the opposite way and makes the silhouette shorter. So this magic is possible only if you have a middle to long train dress.
Like a Goddess
What camera sees
What bride sees
Kristen's dress is by @allurebridals. Strapless, with lace detailing and a gorgeous train. It is a beautiful match for Paris. We found stairs locations as well as other classic places. Here are bridal portraits we did:
PARIS PORTRAIT SHOOT
Kristen and Armando wanted to visit the most romantic places in Paris. Here are their dream location choice :
#1 ARC DU CARROUSEL
#3 LOUVRE GALLERY
#4 LOUVRE PYRAMIDS
#6 L'AVENUE DE CAMOËNS
#7 PONT ALEXANDRE 3
Elopement is all about you as a couple and your unique vision. Here is a great idea from K&A wedding of what can you order to personalize your color palette :
1. Vow books of your color palette
2. Eiffel Tower as a ring holder
3. Ring box that matches your style
Then we add other accessories and shoot a beautiful flatlay.
We did these flat lays just after portraits at Louvre pyramids. Louvre has a perfect place near pyramids with natural stone benches. Useful to shoot details including an authentic Paris texture.
These stone tones are a perfect combo!
We were so honored to spend this happy occasion with Kristen and Armando, their family and friends. Congratulations to the beautiful couple!
Kristen and Armando are so in love in Paris and never regretted their decision to elope.
Kristen says "It was fun and exciting would do it all over again!"