FRENCH CASTLE WEDDING FOR A MODERN-DAY PRINCESS
Ali and Shaun imagined their wedding to be romantic and formal. They wanted to have a beautiful castle celebration. Ali started searching for a perfect venue for her ceremony, but it all seemed very difficult to book and plan...
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
Ali (a travel agent) and Shaun (a realtor) live in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. They met in high school and have dated for 16 years.
Shaun proposed on November 23, 2021. They balance each other perfectly and challenge one another. Best friends, Ali and Shaun care about others and their families.
Ali said "We originally were going to have our whole family and friends travel to Paris for our wedding, where we would rent a chateau for the weekend. With Covid cases rising again, we decided to just Elope, as I still wanted that fairytale princess wedding, so I started researching different options. I Do It Paris Way stood out to me because their website was very transparent with locations, pricing, etc. Helene was very quick to reply and communicate with me consistently"
The planning process was quick and easy. Ali messaged us at the end of November 2021.
- We discussed the dates. Since Ali and Shaun had flights booked, we had to stick with one particular date. It was March 22, 2022.
-Ali asked about different castle options and loved Château de Sceaux.
-Ali asked about videography recommendations and started creating her Pinterest inspiration board.
-Around January 22 we had a quick discussion about the logistics and approximate timeline. The couple confirmed, "Currently, we have 8 people coming to the castle, all of them are family. Both sets of parents and our daughter".
We planned the details of their elopement day. We asked about the ceremony spot since the castle offers different options. Then confirmed the Paris photoshoot route, flowers, and makeup.
Château de Sceaux is a public castle open to everyone, and we have the freedom to choose the best place for the ceremony.
"My top choice is a main view for the ceremony " decided Ali.
WEATHER IN PARIS IN MARCH
Temperatures begin to increase in the end of March. It is no longer winter.
Great if you want to enjoy warmer days with no tourist crowds.
We were lucky to have a sunny day, 23°C (73.4°F) and lot of sunshine. A very pleasant Spring weather.
However, there can be chilly days with a gentle breeze. So Ali and Shaun packed warm coats and umbrellas just in case.
The weather in March is difficult to predict. Best to always dress in layers. Even if it's warm during the day you'll need something warmer for the evenings.
TIMELINE AND LOGISTICS
Sunrise in March is around 7 AM. We planned the timeline to start the shoot with sunrise.
Here is the timeline we created 3 days before the elopement:
05:30 - Makeup artist Yana arrives. Bridal hair and makeup. Groom gets ready and packs bags for the day
07:00 - Getting to the car, driving to Trocadero
Photoshoot : Trocadero → River Seine → Pont Alexandre 3 → Louvre
09:00 - Finish Louvre and travel to the Chateau Sceaux
10:30 - Arriving to the Chateau Sceaux, meeting guests
10:45 - Ceremony begins
11:10 - Champagne and group photos
11:30 - Chateau Sceaux portrait shoot for the couple
Transfer back to the hotel
We sent the timeline to everyone, including the makeup artist, videographer and the officiant.
Ali booked private van services for the guests. The car picked them up and they traveled to the castle. The guests arrived 15 minutes before we did.
We planned the logistics of the day. We created an individual route for Ali and Shaun to visit all these places without spending too much time in traffic. When we plan the logistics our goals are:
-The couple visit all the places they wanted to not missing anything
-Drives are as short as possible, less traffic
-When we are traveling between the locations, views are the best ones, so the couple discovers Paris this way as well
1. Pick up from the hotel → 2. Trocadero → 3. River Seine → 4. Pont Alexandre 3 → 5. Louvre →
6. Château de Sceaux → back to the hotel
The one and only dress was Oleg Cassini lace organza ballgown.
"My favorite thing about my dress is lace and lace details" said Ali.
Truly made for the modern princess!
Dress image from the designer's shop
For the bridal hair, Ali was choosing between the hollywood curls and a classic updo. Here are inspiration images from her Pinterest board:
Curls or updo? Both are gorgeous, so hard to decide!
Yana (@makeupparisyana) recommended a classic updo. Here is why:
1. An updo is windproof
2. Curls can be heavy with lots of hairspray, not comfortable to wear for the long day
3. A classic updo stays in place and there is no risk that some curls fall flat
And Ali decided to go with a classic and formal updo. She was happy with her decision.
As a makeup reference Ali sent Yana this picture:
Glamourous look with warm eyeshadow tones and lashes
We scheduled 1h30 for the hair and makeup. Yana arrived to the hotel and they began doing hair and makeup. Here is a final look:
Yana used individual lashes to make an accent on Ali's eyes.
BOUQUET AND BOUTONNIÈRE
As a bouquet inspiration Ali sent us these images :
We analyzed her references and understood that:
1. It should be an organic garden-shaped bouquet
2. With white and blush roses
3. Looots of grenery
4. Some tiny white flowers added
Flowers we prepared to make the bouquet: white and blush roses, gypsophila, eucalyptus and ranunculus
Step 1 - create a strong base with greenery that looks like a letter V
Step 2 - adding roses
Step 3 - adding ranunculus and tiny white flowers
Step 4 - greenery accents and cutting the stems
And voila! Here is a final result:
For the boutonnière we always use a special clip so it's super easy to put it on and attach to the tuxedo:
PARIS PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY
In the package: 3 Paris locations included in the all-inclusive package and 1 additional choice
Expectations: Ali and Shaun said "We are looking for a Parisian vibe for these pictures"
We offered: a list of locations from our collection of the best places
Final choice: Ali picked Trocadero, River Seine, Pont Alexandre 3 and additional Louvre. A classic itinerary that will make you discover the best of the Parisian architecture
Trocadero: the main view, stairs, fountains
For this photo, we decide to showcase the beautiful veil
A classic wedding pose when the bride and groom are dancing
We take both panoramic and close up shots
Bridal solo shots, love them
Can you imagine yourself posing for the camera?
A gentle hug and smile
Famous Trocadero stairs
A photo that says "We are getting married in Paris"
Eiffel Tower is 330 metres (1,083 ft) tall
River Seine is another classic Eiffel Tower view
For this pose, we asked to walk like nobody's watching and enjoy each other and the wedding day in Paris
A kiss is always is a great idea for wedding photography
The Pont Alexandre III the most ornate, extravagant bridge in the city
Art nouveau lanterns on Alexandre 3 bridge can be used as a backdrop for the first look or bridal shots, as well as couple's portraits
Dome of Les Invalides (golden baroque complex) behind the bridge
The Louvre or Musée du Louvre was our last location in Paris
Panoramic shot with famous pyramids
You can add this gallery to your Pinterest inspiration board to have the same portraits here
Simple poses look natural and genuine
We love when the bride forgets about the stress and learns to pose like a professional model
Looking over the shoulder. This pose is delicate, and it's a classic shot and works awesome with Parisian architecture
Very intimate moment between the loved ones, for this pose we ask for a kiss on a temple and smiles
And behind-the-scenes moment
We finished with Paris photos, and traveled to the castle. The ride was about 40 minutes long. Ali and Shaun had some time to repeat their vows before the ceremony and have a break.
And of course, we edited out the people and constructions everywhere. So photos look like the couple is enjoying Paris just for themselves.
WEDDING CEREMONY AT CHÂTEAU DE SCEAUX
Ali and Shaun imagined a classic and sweet ceremony with the main castle view.
We created a personalized ceremony script.
Ali and Shaun wrote their own vows and wanted to exchange rings.
Around 10:40 we arrived at the castle. Parked the car. It took us 10 minutes to get from the parking to the ceremony spot. Guests were already there, waiting for us. We met the guests and the officiant.
Ali wanted everyone to stand symmetrically from both sides:
The ceremony begins with "we have gathered here today..."
From here, you can have a breathtaking view of the castle and gardens
That's him, your husband!
Now it's official!!
Family group photos and solo shots for the guests
And the grand exit. Ali and Shaun are married!
After the ceremony, we took some detail shots while the guests enjoyed champagne
POST CEREMONY PORTRAIT SHOOT AT THE CHÂTEAU DE SCEAUX
We have a special route around the castle that lasts about an hour. Gardens, fountains, and other pretty spots. The perfect way to finish your beautiful elopement wedding day.
Stand with grace and let the photographer capture your smiles
What a happy day!
Classic and formal
With a golden balcony stadning together
Photos of the two of you and the castle - a must!
Overlooking the garden
For the dinner, Ali and Shaun booked the Bateaux Parisiens dinner option. A truly romantic dinner cruise accompanied by the shimmering reflections of Paris lights.
Emotion-filled evening on a boat
There are several companies that offer dinner cruises on a glass-enclosed boat.
You can book online by searching "Paris Seine dinner cruises" or visit these pages, here are other companies who offer the experience:
Please examine the menus and testimonials to find the best option for you.
ONE THING THEY WISH THEY HAD DONE DIFFERENTLY
A tip that Ali and Shaun wanted to share with future couples that are planning to elope to Paris.
Ali says, "Add one extra day to your agenda where you two can just relax and enjoy one another in wedding bliss after your elopement."
Ali and Shaun booked a professional videographer. We don't offer any video services in our packages, so booking someone is the best option.
The videography is by Souhail (instagram.com/sou_in_paris), who is a videographer since the age of 20.
"For Ali and Shaun I did a cinematic and photographic video, my scenes are always filmed with camera movements to get that cinematic style, and at the same time to have a photographic framing," said Sou.
As for the investment, you can expect to spend around €1000 for this type of work if you book Sou. Please reach out to him directly to book your date.
Ali finalized, "Small, intimate family trip devoted to joining in our spiritual ceremony of romance and becoming one. Shaun and I were so happy we decided to add an elopement to our wedding dreams."
We say thank you to Ali and Shaun! Incredible people to work with!
The team of the day. Helene (planning), Sou (video), Nathalie (ceremony officiant) and Tim (photography, coordination and planning)
Makeup artist Yana
IG : @makeupparisyana
IG : @sou_in_paris
Flowers Reflets Fleurs
IG : @refletsfleurs