DO IT PARIS WAY > CASE STUDY
HIGH SCHOOL BEST FRIENDS ABOUT THEIR CASTLE WEDDING: 'RAIN IS A SYMBOL OF GOOD LUCK'
Albina and Brandon met in high school. They were good friends and decided to start dating 9 years ago. Throughout dating all this time they still continued to be each other's best friends. Albina and Brandon decided to get married when they were all finished with college. But it was not that easy. Albina wanted to have a gorgeous ceremony and memorable photos. When she did the first planning steps, she realized that lavish wedding is so difficult to plan. And she has no time to do it, oh at all...
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
Albina and Brandon both studied and work in the medical field. They are from Florida.
"We have a hound/lab dog named Moose, we adopted her three years ago from the shelter and treat her like our child" shares Albina.
One day on a trip to North Carolina to visit friends Brandon got on one knee. He was so nervous he forgot everything he was going to say, Albina said yes regardless.
Brandon says "Albina is my best friend, mentor, confidant, but most importantly the love of my life. She always pushes me to become a better version of myself"
Albina dreamed about a gorgeous wedding in a chic place - white dress, white flowers, princess venue, photo backdrops from a fairytale. She started by researching the things any bride need to do to plan a big traditional wedding. And it all just seemed unreal. At least a year of planning, hours and hours every week. But how to do that when you both are busy with finishing studies and building careers? There is no way. Albina googled about elopements without almost any hope. There is a myth that elopement weddings are rushed and simple. Till she found our castle wedding package.
Chateau de Sceaux is a real french castle elopement wedding. This package combines two almost opposite things:
1) Simplicity of planning because it's still an elopement
2) Elaborate style of a well-planned luxurious wedding
Albina messaged us immediately :
"Good afternoon, I would like some information on the CHÂTEAU DE SCEAUX PACKAGE. Going to be in Paris from April 4th - April 11. How is April 5th as the date for the ceremony? I am discussing everything with my family tomorrow so we can have all the details figured out. I was wondering how many guests can be present? After the pictures do we then go to the grounds of the Chateau for the ceremony?
For the three locations, I love the Trocadero, Louvre Pyramids and Louvre Gallery.
Sorry I am so scattered"
Helene sent her all details are planning started.
During the planning, her main 3 questions were :
1) How to combine a bridal look that will be a good fit for the castle
2) How to plan transportation
3) How to pose for the camera
Planning process took around 3,5 months. We did it by email. Albina booked her date by sending a deposit and signed a contract.
It was so easy to work with Albina! She had such a positive energy. She cared about her guests and wanted everyone to be happy.
The ceremony location she picked was Castle Garden View.
Castle garden view for the ceremony, at Chateau de Sceaux, France
WEATHER IN PARIS IN APRIL
Weather in Paris in April is usually nice, but changes really fast. Beautiful sun and clear blue skies one day. And rain the next day.
Cherry blossom begins mid April.
Some days before the elopement bad thing happened. The weather forecast said there will be rain. Albina and Brandon had only one day to get married. No rescheduling options.
Albina panicked a little, but stayed positive. We explained that we have a plan B for a rainy day no matter what:
1. We will find the best time gap to have the ceremony
2. If not, we will transfer the ceremony to our backup rainproof location
3. Our team will reserve extra time in our agendas for the day. To have plenty of time to wait for the good weather chance, so nobody needs to leave
4. We will edit the dress and suit so they look new and perfectly clean
"Well... I guess as the French people say - the rain on your wedding day is a symbol of good luck" said Albina.
TIMELINE AND LOGISTICS
Sunrise in April is around 7.15 AM.
We planned the timeline to start the day with the sunrise. We always try to start at sunrise to avoid crowds and traffic.
Here is the timeline we created 1 day before the elopement. Normally we try to confirm the timeline at least 2-3 days before. But this elopement was an exception. Wa waited for the latest weather forecast update.
04:30 - 04:50 - Yana arrives. Bridal hair and makeup, the groom get ready.
We pick Albina & Brandon up at around 6:30 and travel to the castle
07:30 We arrive to Chateau de Sceaux
7:30 - 8:30 Castle portrait shoot
08:30 Guests arrive, officiant arrives, we meet them, the ceremony begins
9:00 Ceremony ends, group photos and champagne
10:00 Driving to Trocadero
10:30 - 13:00 Portraits in Paris. Trocadero - Louvre gallery, pyramids
Driving back to Airbnb
When the couple confirmed this timeline, we coordinated it with the team, including the makeup artist and the officiant.
We planned the logistics of the day. We created an individual route for Albina and Brandon to visit all these places without spending too much time in traffic. Their Airbnb was at the Paris 7th District.
1. Pick up from the Airbnb → 2. Château de Sceaux → 3. Trocadero → 4. Louvre + Louvre Gallery → back to the Airbnb
Albina wanted to create a look that will be a perfect match for this french castle. A look that will be modern and elegant. She researched for some options and found out that two types of looks can fit great any castle:
1 - Slim dress + hair up + veil
2 - Princess lace gown + voluminous hair
She decided to go with the first one, because it showed her personality best
You can be either Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, or Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. These two looks are perfect for a chateau wedding
For the hair and makeup, Albina wanted to go for a natural look.
We created a group WhatsApp chat with our makeup artist Yana to discuss the details. Yana does both hair and makeup.
"I was thinking of more natural eye and some contour. I just had my hair done last month. I have some hair comb pieces arriving this weekend for creating a low bun." - Albina said.
Here are reference images from Pinterest that Albina sent us.
We scheduled 1h30 for the hair and makeup. Yana arrived at the Airbnb and they began doing her hair and makeup. Here is a final look:
Originally Albina wanted to have a really low bun. But for the shorter hair she had, this middle bun was a better option.
BOUQUET AND BOUTONNIÈRE
Our bride wanted a minimalist bouquet.
"I was thinking a white flower like peonies or if peonies are not in season yet then white roses with green around" - Albina said.
Peonies are in season from the end of April (it was too early for them), so choosing roses was our only option.
Roses we prepared to make the bouquet, photo from a flower studio
Which ribbon to choose... can't decide!
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:
Their big day began at 4:30 AM. The couple woke up, ready for their elopement. Yana arrived to their airbnb, and started doing hair and makeup, while Brandon packed bags for the day with all the little things without which it is so difficult to imagine a wedding day: lipgloss to re-apply, wet wipes, snacks, phones and bandaids.
Yana finished with Albina's hair and make-up. We messaged Albina when arrived. Met them and traveled together to the castle.
Albina and Brandon wanted to have a classic wedding ceremony with a Castle Garden View
We created a personalized ceremony script and the couple confirmed it.
6 guests enjoyed this beautiful moment with Albina and Brandon. Albina's mom, aunt, and her husband. Brandon's parents and sister.
When the couple arrived at the location, the view was spectacular. Everyone were delighted with the atmosphere of that place. And even the rain didn't stop us from taking wonderful shots of our beautiful wedding.
Ceremony starts by greetings and readings... oh, what a moment. The one you've been waiting for.
Do you? I do!
Albina and Brandon wrote these words and asked to add them to the ceremony script. Just feel how beautiful are they in this moment :
These are the hands of your partner, young and strong and full of love, holding your hands as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever. These are the hands that will work alongside yours as together you build your future. These are the hands that will hold you and comfort you in grief and uncertainty. These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes, tears of sorrow and joy. And these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.
The heart stops when you look at the love of your life
Moment the couple will remember forever
Before the vows, Albina and Brandon write:
Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another- acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, and even teacher, for you have learned much from one another in these last few years. Now you shall say a few words that take you across a threshold of life, and things will never quite be the same between you. For after these vows, you shall say to the world, this- is my husband, this- is my wife.
We can only imagine how sentimental it feels for the parents to see their kid getting married.
Can you imagine yourself standing at that place?
And we celebrated this marriage with the finest French champagne :
Pop the bubbly!
After the ceremony we always take group photos with family and friends. Here are some examples. What a precious and memorable moment!
All together at the Chateau de Sceaux
CASTLE PORTRAIT AFTER CEREMONY PHOTOSHOOT
Balcony shot to showcase the architecture
Weather was getting better and better
Andre Le Notre gardens and a first kiss as a married couple
We prefer elegant but simple poses, like these two
Solo shot - a must
Castle main view
Isn't this dress perfection?
PARIS PORTRAIT PHOTOSESSION
In the package: 3 Paris locations included in the all-inclusive package
Expectations: Albina and Brandon said they wanted something classic and traditional Paris
We offered: a list of locations from our collection of the best places
Final choice: Albina picked Trocadero, Louvre and Louvre Gallery
1. Trocadero. One of the most beautiful places to view the Eiffel Tower is Trocadéro
For this pose, we asked to do a little romantic dance. How pretty!
We take both wide angle shots and closeup portraits
A playful hug and happy smiles
2. Louvre. The Louvre Museum is the world’s largest and most visited museum in the world. Interesting fact: as the Louvre became a point of interest in the book Da Vinci Code and the 2006 film based on the book, the museum earned $2.5 million by allowing filming in its galleries.
Simple poses look natural and genuine
Panoramic shot with famous pyramids
Albina and Brandon had so much fun posing
Something cool and something traditional
What movie could this scene be from?
2. Louvre Gallery. The total area of the Louvre’s galleries measures 652,300 square feet. That is almost 15 acres! You can really get lost in Louvre!
Which view do you prefer?
Can you see pyramids from here?
I would describe this elopement as timeless and elegant
And of course, we edited out the people and constructions everywhere. So photos look like the couple is enjoying Paris just for themselves :
Albina was so happy with the photos :
"YAYY! These look fantastic. Thank you for everything Tim and Helene, this was an amazing experience (despite the cold ) and we have you guys to thank for that" messaged us Albina.
We say thank you to Albina and Brandon! It was a pleasure working together.
Makeup artist Yana
IG : @makeupparisyana
Flowers Reflets Fleurs
IG : @refletsfleurs