A Guide to Eloping in the City of Love
If you are looking for a romantic, intimate way to celebrate your marriage, a Paris elopement could be exactly what you are looking for. Paris — with its iconic architecture, winding streets, and romantic flare — is a city that celebrates all things love.
It’s the perfect place to elope if you like the idea of getting married in a place full of culture, romance, and indisputable beauty. It’s the perfect place for amazing cuisine, streets lined with cafes, and shopping that rivals nowhere else.
Let’s look at what you need to consider when planning your Paris elopement.
Pick Your Date
The first step is to decide when to get married.
Spring (April to June) and fall (September to October) — the so-called shoulder seasons — are great months to get married. The weather is mild, the colors are fantastic, and the crowds are more manageable.
Summer (July and August) are busier and much hotter, but popular months, nonetheless. And winter (December to February) is cold but offers a cozy, romantic atmosphere — if you are lucky, you may even get some snow!
There really isn’t a bad time to get married in Paris. Each season offers its own considerations; it’s really just about finding a time that works best for you and fits what you are looking for.
Choose Your Ceremony Location
The first — and most fun — step in planning your Paris elopement is to pick the location for your ceremony.
There are so many iconic options when it comes to getting married in Paris and all of them are steeped in history and glamour that makes for an exceptional backdrop for your vows.
Paris, in general, is such an accessible city that while you must choose one place to host your vows, you can always take time to use the other areas as poignant photography locations.
The biggest piece of advice that I have when planning your ceremony is to start at sunrise or as early as possible. All of these locations are popular spots and are always crowded. The earlier you start, the less people will be around, giving you a more private experience.
Top Paris Elopement Locations
While not exactly a secret location, the Eiffel Tower must be mentioned. This quintessential Paris landmark is the truest symbol of love and romance and, therefore, it is a grand place to stage your Paris elopement.
The biggest downfall of the Eiffel Tower is the crowds. It’s nearly impossible to find a time without hoards of people, cluttering up the background of your images and making it a less private affair. I personally love shooting from the Trocadero; while you still have to get there early to avoid the crowds, you have more of a chance to get tourist-free images.
The Luxembourg Gardens, or the Jardins du Luxembourg, is an ancient garden created in the early 1600s. It offers a wide array of scenery from the Luxembourg Palace to the Medici Fountain and the Orangery.
The park is large and it is easy to find places that are more secluded and private. You really can’t find a place more stunning.
The Jardin des Tuileries
The Jardin des Tuileries are formal French gardens that are such a beautiful place to host your Paris elopement. With a long and meticulously manicured promenade, the gardens offer some of the most iconic Parisian scenery. From a photographer’s perspective, this is one of my favorite locations.
For the epitome of grand Parisian charm, consider the Palace Royale for your Paris elopement location. The Palace Royale is a widely visited attraction. From the open courtyard with its varied black and white pedestals to the beautiful columns, and tree-lined walkway, the Palace Royale is a dream with innumerable photographic opportunities and a very romantic ambiance.
Another good reason to host your elopement here — it is within walking distance of the Louvre. While it is against policy to host your elopement at the Louvre, you are able to take a few quick images on the ground, if you like.
Paris Perfect Rentals
If you want to opt for a more private Paris elopement, consider renting an apartment with views of the Eiffel Tower.
There are many options on Airbnb, but another, lesser-known, rental company is Paris Perfect Rentals. Paris Perfect offers curated luxury apartments in highly-sought after areas, many of which have views of the Eiffel Tower. These apartments are beautiful and refined, making them a great place to host your elopement while looking out at the fabled city.
Make Arrangements for your Marriage License
The biggest obstacle when planning a Paris elopement is figuring out the legalities. There is a ton of information found online but it isn’t always accurate. Plus, you have to account for the policies of your home country as well.
The best advice that I have is to contact your local officials and the French embassy to get the most accurate and up-to-date information.
Your easiest option is to host a symbolic ceremony in the City of Light instead of a legal one. File the legal paperwork in your home country and then have the symbolic ceremony in Paris.
Once you’ve decided on when and where you are going to get married, you must pick a hotel that pampers you and has a romantic ambiance. Here are a few Paris hotels that would be perfect for when you elope.
The Ritz Paris
Without a doubt, one of the most well-known, luxurious hotels in the world, the Ritz Paris has played host to countless celebrities, politicians, and discerning travelers for over one hundred years.
Located in the heart of the city, it offers exceptional service, luxury, and refinement and is the perfect starting spot for your Paris adventure. The period furniture and lavish details throughout will leave you awe-struck and the light-filled rooms make for lovely places to get ready for your elopement.
Shangri-La Hotel, Paris
With views of the Eiffel Tower from some rooms and unparalleled luxury, the Shangri-La Hotel, Paris is the former private residence of Prince Roland Bonaparte. Its website boasts that it “seamlessly blends European grandeur with traditional Asian hospitality” and that really is the perfect description of this unique and timeless hotel.
It’s great location and beautiful decor make it a fantastic place to stay during your Paris elopement.
Four Season Hotel, George V
An architectural gem (which says a lot when in Paris), the Four Seasons Hotel, George V, is another great option for iconic places to stay in the heart of Paris. This five-star hotel is lavish and ornate, exactly what you would expect from a Four Seasons – complete with Eiffel Tower views from some rooms and delicious dining options.
Photography for Your Paris Elopement
Once you have the finer details worked out for your Paris elopement, it’s time to start planning the photography.
It goes without saying that photography is one of the most important parts of your day.
You are having an extraordinary experience in a stunning location; it must be captured fully and completely by someone who knows the area and is attuned to your appreciation for fine art and beauty.
I always recommend hiring a photographer for several hours, if not for the full day or multiple days. With ample time, we will be able to capture everything from getting ready to the elopement itself. Beyond that, we can capture images around Paris at the most beautiful locations (all in your wedding attire) as well as some parting shots of you at your romantic wedding dinner.
With multiple days, it is possible to get more relaxed casual images – like maybe biking along a garden path or taking a boat ride down the Seine. I love spending multiple days with my couples, fully capturing their love and their relationship.
Reach out today for more information about your Paris elopement. I look forward to talking!