One of the most romantic places in the world, Paris seems to have been designed for love and ultimate pleasure. All Parisian stylish atmosphere is so innately filled with romance that no wonder that “The City of Love” is the top wedding destination among many couples from around the globe. A city that spawned some of the most famous masterpieces of art ever made and a great number of magnificent monuments, stunningly beautiful landmarks and breathtaking attractions create a gorgeously beautiful backdrop for a romantic French themed wedding. If you plan a wedding in Paris, whether it is going to be just a simple Paris elopement or a grand wedding reception, you will be puzzled by a multitude of choices. You can say “Yes, I do” standing beneath the shadows of the famous Notre Dame or just overlooking the picturesque Seine at sunset in Paris. The possibilities are endless. So below is our Paris destination wedding guide to this insanely beautiful lover’s paradise.
WEDDING CEREMONY VENUES
Catholic weddings can take place in France only after you have been married in a civil ceremony and they always must be held in a Chapel. The only English speaking Catholic church in Paris is St. Josephs which was founded by an Irish priest by the name of Fr. Ignatious Paoli. As stated in the St. Josephs church records, Oscar Wilde was baptized here before his death.
If you plan to get married in a church, Paris offers plenty of opportunities. Located in the center of Paris, The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity claims to be Protestant, yet Catholic. This American Cathedral in Paris has services that can be carried out either in English or in French. An Episcopal Church uses the Book of Common Prayer for celebrating marriages. For more information about the ceremony, visit their website.
The American Church in Paris is a gorgeous Gothic Style Church overlooking the Seine River on the quai d’Orsay. This interdenominational and international Christian community church is open to non -members for marriage ceremonies and renewal of vows.
Saint Michaels on Rue d’Aguesseau is Evangelical Anglican church serving the English speaking community in Paris. St. George’s Anglican Church is just a short walk from Place Charles de Gaulle-Etoile. Located not far from the Champs-Élysées in Paris on rue Bayard, the Scots Kirk is the only Church of Scotland in France. Contact the English speaking church you like most for information on getting their marriage blessings.
Although symbolic ceremonies are not legally recognized in France who says you can’t have the wedding of your dream in the most romantic city on the earth. But you must be aware of certain limitations. For example, you won’t be allowed to get married at Notre Dame Cathedral or on top of the Eiffel Tower, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t have a ceremony in front of them. To avoid legal problems we recommend finding a good wedding planner who will help you make all necessary arrangements to make your Paris wedding a really special one.
WEDDING RECEPTION VENUES
World famous for its gourmet dining, Paris boasts a multitude of chic and elegant restaurants serving exquisite cuisine.
On the top of our list of the best restaurants for the wedding reception is La Grande Cascade which was originally designed as the private pavilion of Napoleon III. Located right in the heart of the Bois de Boulogne, this Haute cuisine restaurant is very popular with Longchamp racecourse goers. It has a Michelin star and is classed as one of the top Paris restaurants offering the most romantic and beautiful dining experience under royal chic chandeliers. Naturally this restaurant is rather expensive but there are private rooms available for weddings and we think it is well worth considering.
La Perouse serves traditional French cuisine with a hint of Mediterranean flavor. This grand restaurant also has a long and interesting history. Founded in 1776, La Perouse has always been notorious as a lover’s hideaway. This gorgeous venue was a favorite place of intimate rendezvous for French politicians and their courtesan mistresses. Enjoying king location on the banks of the Seine with a picturesque view seen from the Velvet Bar, it also overlooks the Ile de la Cite. This restaurant is richly decorated with the original wood paneling and the pink velvet sofas. One of the 6 cozy “salons” will be ideal for the wedding feast.
If you are looking for a jaw-dropping backdrop for your de Paris wedding, Ciel De Paris is the best bet then. It is situated on the 56th floor of the the Montparnesse Tower, the tallest building in continental Europe, offering guests a breathtaking view of the city, especially magically beautiful at night time.
Fish lovers will be delighted by a varied fish menu, particularly the Sea Bass of Quiberon, offered in Antoine. This beautiful house has recently been opened after a yearlong restoration. The décor of this exquisite restaurant is quite modern. Located on the banks of the River Seine, Antoine offers a spectacular view of the Eiffel Tower. If you plan a small wedding in Paris consider reserving a private room which can comfortably accommodate up to 14 guests for an intimate wedding dinner.
Le Chalet de Iles, once a hunting lodge of Napolean III, can be reached only by boat. Le Chalet de Iles in on the Lac Inferieur, and is situated in the Bois de Boulogne. It is about 200 meters from Porta de la Muetta and you can’t but feel some sort of secret romance in this venue.
Also located in Bois de Boulogne, Bagatelle Le Restaurant is ideal for a late summer lunch wedding. The former stables, this lovely place offers outstanding dining experience combined with insanely beautiful views of the garden. You can rent any part of the restaurant for a wedding dinner but the best location is surely the terrace with gorgeous views of the gardens. At night a terrific fun begins on summer weekends. After the dinner service is over for the night, bars, tents, and dj’s arrive for an exclusive party in the forest which is open to the public.
Centrally located and overlooking the Tuileries Gardens, Le Meurice has been marked by 3 Michelin stars. This luxury 5 star hotel boasts decor inspired by Versaille’s Salon de la Paix. Spectacularly grand, Le Meurice features Restaurant Le Meaurice, chic dining rooms, stunning crystal chandeliers and an exclusive collection that depicts the French art of living in luxury.
Another 5 star hotel in Paris, Le Bristol is located near the Champs-Elysées and the Louvre. This beautiful landmark is also lavishly decorated demonstrating ultimate Parisian elegance at its best. The courtyard here is just perfect for a beautiful and romantic wedding. You can also host a wedding party in one of reception rooms or in the 3 star Michelin restaurant.
If you have a look at the pictures of Hotel Particulier Montmartre, it is hard to believe that it is situated in the heart of Paris. Just steps from Basilique du Sacré-Coeur is a secret passage leading to the intricate black iron gates of this splendid hotel. Behind it, tucked between the beautiful gardens, you fill find magnificent Hotel Particulier Montmartre. 5 different world famous artists designed the five bedrooms in this Directoire townhouse which will please the most exacting art lover. Unfortunately the hotel doesn’t have a restaurant, but there is a stunning Baroque-style salle à manger perfect for an intimate family wedding meal.
Located about45 minutes north of the capitol, the historic Chateau de Mery which dates back to the year 872 welcomes couples and their families for a warm wedding party. The grounds boast a nice chapel where you can exchange vows and a hotel designed by Claude Ginsburger.
Other hotels that we recommend are Plaza-Athenee, Hotel de Crillon, Four Seasons George V, La Maison des Polytechniciens.
To take in the picturesque views of the River Seine, especially magically beautiful at sunset, consider arranging a wedding cruise. Or you can even choose to cruise down the Canal and stop to eat along the way. The following operators offer such cruises: Concorde Atlantique, Le Compagnie des Bateaux a Roue and Yachts de Paris catering for groups of all sizes. Moored on the right bank of the River Seine, Péniche Le Makaïcater caters for up to 50 people with the option to personally style the boat for your wedding. Canauxrama offer guided cruises along Canal St. Martin.
Castles, Palaces & Ancient Residences
If you plan a grand wedding reception filled with Parisian chic and royal luxury, consider renting a reception room in a romantic and beautiful castle, magnificent palace or ancient residence.
Just a 45 minute drive from Paris, Le Prieuré de Vernelle is a Benedictine priory dating from the 12th century. It features two reception rooms that cater for up to 50 and 200 guests and provides accommodation for up to 55 guests.
Moulin de Dampierre is only 35km south of Paris and it is a 15th Century Mill that can seat up to 140 people for a grand wedding dinner. It is a fantastic place to experience something a bit different.
Nestled in the very heart of the Rambouillet Forest, Domain de la Butteronde can cater for up to 350 people with accommodation for 130 guests. Just 49km from Paris, this former 19th century hunting lodge occupies 42 hectares of meadows, ponds and stables. The Domaine also features an indoor heated pool and a number of reception rooms with gorgeous views of the estate, some with cozy fireplaces.
Less than an hour away from Paris, Maoir des Prevanches offers a real fairytale wedding setting. This Manoir can be rented for the weekend. With 9 rooms in the manor and 5 nice and cozy little cottages on the grounds, Maoir des Prevanches can accommodate up to 55 guests overnight. Here you can enjoy drinks and a BBQ out on the lawn or a candlelit dinner in the barn. It is really great place for a lovely destination wedding.
Quite far away from Paris, 270 km away, is Chateau de Brou overlooking the picturesque Manse and Courtineau valleys. This beautiful and charming 14 bedroom chateau is surrounded by 100 -hectares of forest and has an onsite restaurant.