Planning Guide

5 Tips for Planning a Paris Wedding

Paris WeddingIt is no secret that destination weddings have become the norm nowadays whereas about a decade ago it was quite an exotic extravagance to get married abroad. Today about half of all marriages take place in a foreign country and Paris, of course, tops the list of the most popular destination wedding locations in the world. Paris is definitely one of the most romantic setting for your once in a lifetime event, though it is unfortunately one of the most expensive one. Even simple romantic elopement to Paris costs quite a lot. In fact, because of extremely high taxes in France, the services of photographers, English speaking wedding planners, rental cars and other in Paris are much more expensive than those offered in New York, for example.

Because of the budget constraints, many couples just can’t afford to hire a professional wedding planner to help them arrange their Paris wedding, and decide to organize one on their own. Guided by our tips below you will be able to plan your wedding adventure by yourself and avoid extra costs and hassle.

1. Respect the Culture

It is essential to keep in mind that culture of France differs from that of the U.S. in many aspects, so please try not to feel frustrated when your emails don’t return for days or you are told that your centerpieces must be white while you actually want yellow or that you can’t bring your own wine to their restaurant even with a corkage fee. These can be aspects of French culture that may seem bizarre for Americans but make sense for the French. Just realize that in most cases there must be a cultural explanation behind these actions and move on. For example, you must have been unaware that in France yellow is the color of cuckold, so it’s considered lack of taste for a wedding. That is why French vendors may recommend choosing another color without explaining the reason as they might feel embarrassed saying this to you.

2. Keep Your Wits About You

As soon as you start Google search on Paris Wedding you will immediately find out that Paris is an extremely expensive city. And if you come across a website of a wedding planning company in Paris which promises to organize your rehearsal, wedding and day-after brunch, as well as coordinate hotel and transportation for you and your 50 guests all for less than 1000 €, please be cautious as it sounds too good to be true. In order not to blame the French when it all goes horribly wrong make sure to verify the information and find out how much other wedding planning companies typically charge.

3. Make a Visual Road Map

If you have already started planning a Paris wedding, may Pinterest be your best friend. Pinterest is ideal for creating a road map for your Paris wedding. Use Pinterest to create boards for restaurants and hotels, interesting Paris attractions and a wish-book of charming places you’d like to visit. As a rule most couples have a photo session around Paris right after their wedding ceremony. If it is going to be your first trip to Paris, do spend some time creating a Pinterest board of places where you’d like to have your pictures taken, then share it with your photographer and driver before you arrive. This way you will save a lot of your precious time on your wedding day photo session.

4. Start Planning Early

Even if you plan just a simple Paris elopement, the earlier you start preparing for the event the better. Paris in France is not Paris in Las Vegas, so forget about just dropping into town at midnight and waking the village priest to marry you and your sweetheart. A last minute, international destination wedding just isn’t realistic these days. Keep in mind that you will have to coordinate with a limited number of English-speaking celebrants available in Paris and most of them work full-time at their own churches. To be realistic, you should plan on contracting your celebrant at least 3 months in advance of your wedding and even longer if you would like to have a more elaborate ceremony or if you’re planning a wedding during the high season.

5. Faites Vos Devoirs!

Search the net for wedding blogs and travel websites that will help you plan your Paris wedding. The Paris Convention & Tourism Bureau, the French Embassy, and even your local chapter of Alliances Francaise are also excellent sources to help you pull your celebration together. And now, there’s a new recently launched book under the title “The Paris Wedding” by Kim Petyt full of smart pieces of advice for those who plan to have the wedding of their dream in Paris.