Category Archives: Paris

Destination Weddings | Paris

By | Destination Wedding, Paris, Paris Destination Weddings, Paris Wedding Photography, Paris Wedding Planner, Wedding Design, Wedding MBA, Wedding Planner, Yann Audic | No Comments

I’m heading to the Wedding MBA again this year (4th year in a row!) and hosting a Q&A on destination weddings. My preparation got me to taking a stroll down memory lane, looking at old documents and photos of the weddings, and I just had to share some of my favorites here; this post showcases stunning florals and venues from past Paris weddings.

Oh-so French Florals

Peonies featured big time in many of our weddings, particularly in the spring, when Paris is literally full of them! Florals by Estelle Preston – you cannot do better than hire her for your big day in Paris!

Photo by Yann Audic / www.Lifestorieswedding.com

Photo by Yann Audic / Lifestorieswedding.com

 

Perfect Paris Settings

You don’t have to have your wedding at the Versailles to have a truly stunning backdrop. Many cafes inhabit beautiful ornate buildings; very little decor is needed.

Top Two photos by Yann Audic;bottom photo by Olivier Lalin.

Paris: Third Time’s a “Charmant”

By | Cakes, Ceremony Decor, Estelle Preston Florist, Event Planner, Flowers, Lifestories Wedding Photography, Los Angeles Wedding Planner, Paris, Paris Destination Weddings, Paris Wedding Photography, Paris Wedding Planner, Wedding Decor, Wedding Design, Wedding Planner, Yann Audic | No Comments

As one of the very few event planners that specialize in Paris destination weddings, I count my blessings every time I land in CDG, inhale the scent of fresh baked bread from a boulangier, and most of all, send our American-in-Paris couples down the aisle.  It’s enchanting in Paris, and to work there is a dream.  After a long day of work and research, I usually grab a drink with a local friend, then buy a baguette, slather it with the stick of butter I keep in my rented flat, and eat and sip wine while checking email and watching funny French TV (they even have their own Real Housewives franchise!).  No, there is no partying at clubs or lingering at cafes all night – I’m on the clock nearly every moment I’m there – but I love what has become my routine, as well as catching up with my local friends and colleagues. It’s become almost a home away from home.

The bride and groom, Michelle and Adam, reached me several months before their projected wedding date of late Spring 2014, and one of the first things she told me was she already had her dress.  The picture she sent was stunning – but once she stepped into it the day of the wedding, my reaction was beyond words.  Now listen – I work with dresses all the time.  This one, a Vera Wang, was one in a million.  The photos of the ceremony, with that stunning train behind her, and her handsome groom next to her, are simply gorgeous.

Photo by Yann Audic / www.Lifestorieswedding.com

Photo by Yann Audic / www.Lifestorieswedding.com

 

Photo by Yann Audic / www.Lifestorieswedding.com, flowers by Estelle Preston - www.estellepreston.com

Photo by Yann Audic / www.Lifestorieswedding.com, flowers by Estelle Preston – www.estellepreston.com

We corresponded completely by phone – since the couple lived in the Midwest – and met in person for the first time in Paris, but after the hours of phone calls and hundreds (thousands?) of emails, we felt like we knew each other.  I also sent multiple emails to their guests, as well as updated their website with current information to ensure everyone’s stay was enjoyable.

While in Paris, we met a dear friend and colleague, Laurel Sanderson of Treize: A Baker’s Dozen, a small nook of a cafe that feels like the “Cheers” of Paris.  Off of a charming courtyard, away from the main street in an elegant area south of the Seine, you walk in and are immediately bellying up to the counter, downing some wine, and talking to Laurel, her servers, and her regulars, as if you knew them forever.  It’s like going into some sort of wormhole where you are as comfortable as an American on your native city, but tasting the best wine, tea, desserts, and cuisine Paris has to offer.

Laurel prepared the American-style wedding cake for Michelle and Adam, and for the tasting, we met at her shop and tasted the fresh berries and filing she was going to incorporate into the recipe. The berries – fresh as can be – were like none other we ever tasted – no exaggeration.  Luscious at room temperature, with an odd oblong shape that now makes me scared of the hyber-bred, “perfect,” hard, crisp, bright crimson berries we have here, they were addictive.

Those amazing strawberries...

Those amazing strawberries…

We visited the local florist around the corner from Laurel to pick out fresh flowers for the cake.  The peonies were gigantic – when it’s spring in Paris, peonies are omnipresent, and practically as big as your head – these fluffy stunners can be seen in buckets outside of floral shops, displays in stores – just about everywhere.

The day of the wedding, the bride, groom, and close friends and family took photos near the Trocadero and Eiffel Tower with the talented and punctual Yann Audic of Lifestories Weddings, then the ceremony and reception took place at Fontaine Gaillon, a perfect example of classic French dining, with velvet banquettes and a spacious patio with a stunning fountain that oversees the dining space.

Estelle Preston, a florist who is as talented as she is kind, produced the gorgeous peony centerpieces.  We filled in the decor with a guest sign-in table consisting of vintage Parisian postcards bought off the shore of the Seine (yours truly bargained for the best price), with a feather pen for signing; pillar candles on antique pedestals and candlesticks; and napkins dressed with wide, elegant lace.  Candles we added to Estelle’s glass bowls, also trimmed with lace, as well as lace fabric throughout the space, brought a softness and femininity to the handsome, old-world room.

 

Photo by Yann Audic / http://lifestorieswedding.com/, Florals by Estelle Preston:  http://www.estellepreston.com/

Photo by Yann Audic / http://lifestorieswedding.com/, Florals by Estelle Preston: http://www.estellepreston.com/

Photo by Yann Audic / Lifestorieswedding.com.  Florals by http://www.estellepreston.com/.  Wine corks held seating cards; a personalized wine key proved a fitting favor for guests.

Photo by Yann Audic / Lifestorieswedding.com. Florals by http://www.estellepreston.com/. Wine corks held seating cards; a personalized wine key proved a fitting favor for guests.

Photo by Yann Audic / Lifestorieswedding.com.  Florals by http://www.estellepreston.com/, utilizing the bride's key color, bright fuschia.

Photo by Yann Audic / Lifestorieswedding.com. Florals by http://www.estellepreston.com/, utilizing the bride’s key color, bright fuschia.

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Photo by Yann Audic / Lifestorieswedding.com.

Photo by Yann Audic / Lifestorieswedding.com.

We styled a guest book table with a custom painted, vintage frame, vintage mail holder, candlesticks, and florals by Estelle Preston.  Photo by Yann Audic / Lifestorieswedding.com.  Florals by http://www.estellepreston.com/.

We styled a guest book table with a custom painted, vintage frame, vintage mail holder, candlesticks, and florals by Estelle Preston. Photo by Yann Audic / Lifestorieswedding.com. Florals by http://www.estellepreston.com/.

Laurel Sanderson of Treize - a Baker's Dozen created the cake; flowers by 360Degrees florist - http://www.flower.fr/. We placed lace brought over from the States over the dessert table and antiqued pillars and candles added a romantic glow.

Laurel Sanderson of Treize – a Baker’s Dozen created the cake; flowers by 360Degrees florist – http://www.flower.fr/. We placed lace brought over from the States over the dessert table and antiqued pillars and candles added a romantic glow.

Photo by Yann Audic / www.Lifestorieswedding.com, flowers by Estelle Preston - www.estellepreston.com

Photo by Yann Audic / www.Lifestorieswedding.com, flowers by Estelle Preston – www.estellepreston.com

My phenomenal associate Noemie Alison assisted in negotiating and fine tuning the elements of the event, and also flew in from her new home in the States to assist.  Talented photographer Krystal Kenney assisted as well that day; with her prior background in event production, she was vital to ensuring all was setup properly.

As expected in Paris, the food and wine were delicious, and the guests shared toasts, laughter, sweets, and even a little dancing thanks to a mini boom box the family brought from the States.  Like all weddings – whether in Paris or in the States – it was a night to remember.  “Merci” again to this wonderful couple for bringing me along for the ride!

Traveling 101: Tips on Jet Lag, Packing, and Safety

By | Destination Wedding, Los Angeles Wedding Planner, Paris, Paris Destination Weddings, Paris Wedding Planner, Travel, Uncategorized | No Comments

In honor of our “travel week” on the No Worries blog, we culled the best advice from fellow travelers about how to prevent sticky situations while heading near and far:

JET LAG

Every seasoned traveler has their own trick for jet lag, and you have to discover for yourself which one works.  The universal rule applies to EVERYONE, however: Do not go to sleep at your destination city until the evening!! No napping!  You need to reset your clock according to your new locale’s sunrises and sunsets, and if you take more than a cat nap upon arrival, you’ll be a mess.

For example, after I arrive at my destination, I stay up till about 10 or 11pm, my usual bedtime.  This may mean that I may be up for almost a day when I arrive, and THEN have to keep my eyelids open till 11pm that night.  It’s a doozy, but that’s what coffee’s for, people.  (And I cannot sleep in a plane…at all.)  And sure enough, I wake up the next day wide eyed and bushy tailed, and back in gear.

Other tricks from veteran travelers:

1. HYDRATE.  Like you’ll never drink water again. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!  Perhaps get an aisle seat, too, since you’ll need to go the bathroom pretty often…!

2.  SLEEP SELECTIVELY.  If, say, you are leaving the States in the afternoon and hitting Italy (dare to dream…!) at 9am local time, you may be able to sleep a few hours prior to landing and be refreshed.  Me, I can’t sleep on planes – but those who can, can give this a try.

3.  WATCH THE COFFEE AND ALCOHOL.  Don’t counteract tip #1 by drinking too much coffee and alcohol on the plane – you may want to avoid it altogether.  I usually take an overnight flight to Paris so that I arrive by 9am; they serve breakfast around 8am, and I definitely tank up on coffee at that time, but not before.

4.  GET SOME AIR.  As soon as you land and check in, go out for a walk, a fun activity, sightseeing – whatever.  The sunshine will signal your internal clock that it’s still daytime.

5.  TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR – about sleeping pills. I am not medically credentialed to say anything else but, some people find these helpful on the plane!

6.  PLAN THE FLIGHT ACCORDINGLY – go for an overnight flight, like my routine of hitting the destination at 9 or 10am local time.

Schedule a trip to a local museum or site shortly after you land, to keep your mind busy and your body active. Musee D'Orsay, April 2014

PACKING

Ah, the art of packing.  Having worked for both House Hunters US and International,  and traveled for weddings, I’ve gotten it down to a science.  Here’s some tips:

1.  PACK ESSENTIALS ON YOUR CARRYON.  Pack the following:  Medications, original prescriptions, extra glasses and/or contacts, toothbrushes, some cash/local currency, spray ointment (Neosporin makes a great one), antibacterial wipes and gel, over the counter pain killers, digestive meds, eye drops, bandages, and allergy medication, as well as ear plugs (never forget these – learned the hard way when I was on location for HH and the room’s unreachable smoke detector kept beeping due to low battery).  Also make sure you have two changes of underwear and extra clothing and socks.  If your checked luggage goes missing for a time, these things will get you through a night or two.

2.  HAVE A PLACE FOR EVERYTHING.  Antibacterial gel is this OCD girl’s best friend – and it has its own little compartment, a side pocket in my carry on after I go through security. My water bottle is in another portion of my carryon, and the Ipad and laptop are in another. My ID and boarding pass are in an easy-to-access, outside zippered pocket as well.  Pack in an organized fashion and it will save you quite a bit of time and stress.

3.  RENTING AN APARTMENT? PACK TOILET PAPER.  If you are renting an apartment instead of staying in a hotel (OR, staying in a hotel in Sochi…!), the owner may have forgotten to leave you with a few essentials. And the one you DON’T want to wait for is toilet paper, so throw a roll in to your luggage.  Seriously!

The view from a well-located apartment in the 1st...

SAFETY

For as hard as the TSA and Homeland Security work to keep us safe, our personal property is not always out of reach of theft.  As you send your items through the X-Ray scanner, bear in mind:

1.  PLACEMENT:  I like to put my laptop and ipad after my two bags, so I can buy some time to go through my personal scanner and hopefully beat their arrival at the end of the security check in.  Wear easy off-and-on shoes so you aren’t fiddling with shoe strings for twenty minutes.

2. SLOOOWWW DOWN: By that same token, when you have actually put back on your belt, shoes, and dignity (!) after the screening, take a moment and do an inventory: Got your ID? Boarding Pass? Laptop? Phone?  Do a mental checklist of all your valuables, and if any are missing, see an agent ASAP.  I once was in a hurry (for no good reason…ah, my crazy 20s!) and left my cell phone at security.  I called it and the agent picked up, thank goodness.  Now, I stop and take my time very carefully after each security check to properly restore every item.

3.  RFID and KEEPING MONEY SAFE.  The new issue travelers are dealing with are thieves who pick up your credit card information via scanning their RFID information.  (Clear as mud?  Read this article for a full explanation.)  There are RFID blocking purses and moneybelts that we encourage clients to use as they wander the streets of their destination. Also, do not be distracted by peddlers, pickpockets, con-men – in Paris, bands of peddlers will come up to ask you for money while stealing your phone or wallet.  (The issue was so bad last year, the staff of the Louvre staged a strike one day in protest!)  Keep these items in zippered compartments or pockets (or even better, in hidden money belts) at all times!

We hope this gives you a good kickoff to your travel planning.  Need more tips? Email us at info@noworrieseventplanning.com or call Dee at 310-562-3306!

Travel Agents: Your Partners in Stress-Free Travel

By | Destination Wedding, L & R Travel, Los Angeles Wedding Planner, Paris, Paris Destination Weddings, Paris Wedding Planner, Travel Agent | No Comments

We have built a solid niche planning Paris, France destination weddings, and have come to rely on outstanding travel agents.  Why?  Because even in this day of online booking, agents have access to huge resources that enable upgrades, discounts, and buying power that is usually impossible for the layperson to access.

The famous IM Pei pyramid at the Louvre, Paris, France, April 2014

Also, if you have a complicated itinerary, having a travel agent hand-feed you options is crucial. For example, I have specific needs when I travel to Paris, such as arriving at 9am(ish) and leaving at a specific time, and transferring through Dallas.  [I try to avoid other airports with worse delay times, and Dallas is the main hub for my usual airline, American; so, if our airplane is out of commission, they can literally take another one out of the ‘garage’ and off we go – this has actually happened before at DFW.]  Svetlana from L&B Travel swiftly found me a perfect, specific, itinerary that I couldn’t find myself on Kayak.com or even on AA.com, and it was comparable in cost.

They can also help you redeem miles in the most cost effective way possible, secure last minute airfare deals you won’t see online, and manage group bookings more quickly and effectively.

There’s a great breakdown of the services agents provide at the L&B website, here.  Svetlana is our partner for all destination travel, and she’s always available to answer questions!

Need help planning your destination wedding?  Shoot us a note or call Dee at 310-562-3306!

April In Paris

By | Estelle Preston Florist, Le Pharamond, Lifestories Wedding Photography, Paris, Paris Destination Weddings, Paris Wedding Photography, Paris Wedding Planner, Yann Audic | No Comments

We had another adventure in the City of Lights this spring, for our clients’ romantic April wedding in Paris.  Because the wedding industry in Paris is just starting to take shape (more often than not, Parisians either marry at City Hall and have a lower-key party, or they have their celebrations in the country), we are diligent and exhaustive when researching just the right venues.  Le Pharamond is a venerable, old-school restaurant with gorgeous salons-privee (private dining rooms), and had opulent French decor, an ideal location, willingness to work with a special menu, and, flexiblity when it came to space.  We were able to reserve the entire 1st floor (second floor, in American terms) for the dinner.

The wedding took place at the Square du Vert-Galant, as the bride wanted a romantic, truly Parisian experience in a park or other romantic nook in the city – Paris is quite laid back about small ceremonies popping up in their gorgeous public spaces.  We first pinned our hopes on Jardins du Luxembourg, but being property of the French Senate, we were only able to gather a permit for photography. Then, a protest was scheduled on their wedding day.  We had two backups in our corner at the ready, and the bride chose the enchanting Vert-Galant.

The photos are by Yann Audic of Lifestories Wedding Photography, and flowers by Estelle Preston.  Both vendors have charm, skill, technique, and reliability in spades.  Along with my own rockstar associates, Rhonda Richford and Clementine Bloch, the group made for a ‘dream team,’ for a dream wedding. Special thanks to all!

Handpicked Macarons and Pastries for the pastry table

The bride handcrafted beautiful paper goods, such as personalized labels for the gable boxes (perfect for filling with pastries)

A traditional croque em bouche for dessert

The view from the ceremony site - as if you are floating on the Seine

Paris Inspiration

By | Lighting, Paris, Paris Destination Weddings, Paris Wedding Planner, pinterest, Planning, Vintage Wedding Decor | No Comments

One aspect of event production is constantly looking out for inspiration for wedding and event design. In Paris, it’s around every corner, on every block, sitting in a window planter or standing as a statue above you. I was the weirdo stopping every now and then, taking pictures in the street and Metro, so I can take home the inspiration.

There’s no doubt the vintage look has the potential to grow tired, and thank goodness for innovators Stateside who collect unique and creative elements so the motif can evolve. In Paris, the buildings themselves are vintage (read: Just plain Old), and many elements of Parisian life truly, organically, have the look.

Vintage Chairs at Penderie Cafe

Antique sewing machine outside Penderie

Wine Barrel with personalization

Every Cafe has a menu outside their doors - this was one of my favorites

The Parisians really know their twinkle lights too – made into curtains, draped into ivy – I saw them everywhere! Hard to see on my non-pro camera – but you get the gist:

Sparkle lights flow down with hanging plants

Along with collecting books and magazines on decor, architecture, and fashion; reviewing blogs and articles online; and shopping for flowers and fabrics, just taking in the world is fantastic inspiration. I’m excited to add to my image library from this year’s trip to Paris. I can smell a few Pinterest boards in the near future as well….

Paris, Round Deux

By | Paris, Paris Destination Weddings, Paris Wedding Planner | No Comments

We had the great fortune to plan a wedding in Paris in 2010 (check out highlights here). Now, we are readying a trip to Paris again, for another intimate ceremony and wedding dinner in the heart of the city.


(Photo by Olivier Lalin / Weddinglight.com)

Travel is a constantly shifting thing – from figuring out the best time to buy airfare to finding those great gems of rental apartments – and this event was no exception. I stay in the Montorgueil district to save money for the client – it’s safe, and charming, but more about commerce than history or touristy elements like museums. Rue Montorgueil has lovely pastry shops and all the necessities like a grocery shop and pharmacy, and yes, a Starbucks.

What a view! From one of the guests' apartments.

I NEVER go into a Starbucks in Paris (Quelle horreur!) even though I love them here, just a ‘when in Rome’ thing. Except, I am deciding not to use an international SIM card this time around because it was not easy to use (long story) and strangely, not that inexpensive, either. I have learned though that TMobile does not have an international data package and instead, to save $$ on using my email and other web based services on my phone, I have to use Wifi. So I’ll be popping into that Starbucks from time to time and grab an Evian just to hop on their wifi. Hmmm…starting to think about switching to AT&T, never thought I’d say that….

I’ll be repacking tonight (a stubborn habit – got to get it just right) and performing final due diligence tomorrow. Then, it’s off to the races (or, LAX) this weekend. While some may hate a long flight, I’m hoping for wifi and getting several straight hours’ worth of work done. Heaven!

Elizabeth Etienne: Capturing the City of Love and Light

By | Elizabeth Etienne Photography, Paris, Paris Destination Weddings, Paris Wedding Planner | No Comments
I recently had the pleasure of working with Elizabeth Etienne on a wedding at historic Cicada Restaurant downtown.  We got to chatting about working abroad, and I fell in love with the beautiful photos she has shot in Paris, elsewhere in France, and around the world.  But you know my heart belongs in le Paris…and I thought my fellow Franco-philes would enjoy hearing about her experiences working in the City of Light, and how to choose the right photographer for you (if she’s already booked, of course!).

1.  Describe what makes a destination wedding in Paris so special.
Experiencing Paris is like stepping back in time. It’s is like a page in an old romance novel from the grand stately buildings to the tiny shops on narrow cobblestone streets. You can be in the center of a bustling metropolis and turn a corner and feel as though you’re in a small medieval village miles away. It’s charming, romantic, and elegant all wrapped up in one location, so it’s the ideal location for a wedding photographer like myself. I am a hopeless romantic, a lover of everything vintage and I’m of French decent. Having lived many years in Paris back in the 90’s, and the fact that I speak French almost fluently, enables me to know all the key locations and how to get around the city quickly and easily.
2. What advice would you give to brides and grooms searching for the right photographer?
You only do this once so there is no time to practice or shoot it over again. A wedding photographer should be a part of the joy of the day, and a not a stress contributor. Contrary to popular belief shooting a “wedding” requires a VERY special skill set, apart from any other kind of photography. Having expensive gear and a creative eye for composition simply isn’t enough. A great wedding photographer must wear many hats. He or she must know how to do numerous things at once, under the pressures of an emotion-charged day and a tight “photography” timeline. He or she must be a producer , therapist, director, technician, and artist all wrapped up in one! First and foremost the photographer must plan in advance how and where he will be shooting, and to be a “people person”. This means he or she must be demonstrative enough to coordinate groups or direct an intimate portrait quickly while maintaining a professional and entertaining attitude. When things don’t go exactly as planned (and we all know they never do), the photographer must know just the right thing to say and do to calm the nerves of a frantic bride, and always have a plan B.
The photographer must also be technically proficient with the photographic equipment. Despite the advancements in digital photography technology, professional cameras, lenses and flash are still very complex devices. When something malfunctions the photographer must know how to fix it rapidly or have a back up device readily available. A great wedding photographer must also be a great artist – know how and where to find or create magnificent lighting, the right angles, expressions and poses in and around a given location and create dynamic images on the fly. Yes, it can be daunting and stressful, but a “skilled and experienced wedding” photographer can handle it all.
3.  What are your thoughts on the current state of wedding photography?  What  innovations you have developed to stay ahead of the curve?
Great images deserve a great presentation. After the shoot, I truly enjoy the end process of combining images into cool, innovative coffee table books or a creative slideshow presentation you can watch on the internet or even your Ipad! Adding dissolves and music is like an artsy movie that allows the viewer to create their own dialogue. Gone are the days of the traditional, formal bulky wedding albums. The trend now is to create lightweight art books one might buy in a bookstore. These unique a la carte products and services are just one of many I offer my clients.  (See all Elizabeth as to offer at her website, www.eephoto.com.)

Elizabeth Etienne is an award-winning photographer/author/photo coach. She is proudly endorsed by Nikon and Kodak and many other industry leaders. When she’s not shooting she teaches other photographers through her photography workshops (in France and Italy) private consulting sessions and her numerous books.  For more information on her photography services please go to: http://www.eephoto.com.  For more information on her educational products and services go to http://www.destinationphotoworkshops.com.

Paris Destination Weddings: Update from the City of Light

By | Destination Wedding, Four Seasons Georges V, Hotel De Crillon, Paris, Paris Destination Weddings, Sugarplum Cake Shop, Travel, Wedding Planner | No Comments

So you’re all going to be really bummed. The Ritz in Paris is going to be closed for 2 years starting in the summer of 2012. Zut alors! There go next year’s Christmas plans….

(HA!)

I jest, but the truth is, luxury hotels in Paris are doable and great choices for destination weddings. Having a small guest count makes it possible. Our Hotel De Crillon wedding looked like a million bucks (make that about 1.3 million in Euros) and was warm, intimate, and memorable. With around 20 guests, it fit within my clients’ budget and was the ultimate in luxury.

While I was in town, I visited the Four Seasons Georges V as well, where, like the Crillon, having food and seating in-house helps control the budget. Décor can be kept to a minimum because these high-end establishments are the tip-top in opulence. When are you going to get married in Paris again? Exactly. So a careful investment can make for a lifetime of gorgeous memories.

Jeff Leatham, artistic director of the Georges V, is credited for starting the trend of angular floral arrangements. When I stopped by, purple was the color of the moment.

Photo by Olivier Lalin | www.weddinglight.com

With detail like this, decor can remain minimal.

My clients saved money by renting an apartment nearby the festivities, which as you can imagine saves on food as well. They were right around the corner from the famed Rue Cler, which is lined with fruit stands, patissieries, fromageries – fresh food galore.

The view from my clients' apartment.

I was also speaking recently with expat Laurel, one of the dynamo owners of Sugarplum Cake Shop, and she told me about a gorgeous French blog. Whether or not you can read French, you’re going to fall in love with it. It’s one of the first of its kind – a hip, stylish blog for the French bride. While America has immersed itself in wedding obsession, Paris is not quite there yet – but the winds of change are a-blowin’, and Le Mariee aux Pieds Nus is at the forefront.

Toying with the idea of a Paris wedding? Dreaming of your I-do’s at a Chateau? Shoot us an email. I’ll treat to you a glass of wine and we’ll talk all about it! Happy planning, and au revoir for now.

Postcard from Paris: Sights, sounds, and – pee-ew! – smells of Paris

By | Destination Wedding, Paris, Paris Destination Weddings | No Comments

It’s been hotter than heck here in Paris, and prior to our trip it was quite mild.  As I write, it’s raining now, but I’m not panicking – the rain is supposed to stop by morning, and leave behind weather in the 70s and sunshine.  Perfect day for a wedding.

Oh, to take a dive in the Seine...anything to cool off!

With the heat comes, well, un odeur.  With a metro system so fantastic, it’s foolish to cab it much; but the other time I was in Paris, was during the winter.  Here, with everyone walking it everywhere and then packing into the subway – well, it’s not pretty.

That aside, there are so many other things about the French that are so – French.  A couple stopping suddenly in the sidewalk to kiss.  Two straight men pecking each other on the cheek to say goodbye.  A young guy wearing a Woody Allen shirt.  A teeny little dog sitting on a woman’s lap at a cafe.  Men with purses.  I saw all these things on my first day alone.

Yes, everything you’ve heard about the French is true – except that whole rudeness thing.  When you walk into a shop or cafe, without fail they will say “Bonjour.”  When you leave, “Au Revoir.”  You will never NOT be greeted.  In the States, it’s hit or miss, or the corporate owners of the store or restaurant will literally train their employees to give a cheerful hello.  If anything, the French are more polite than we are, with certain standards of gentility.  They just don’t wear their hearts on their sleeves like we do.

And of course, there are just the funny, weird and dramatic images you see every day on the Metro and elsewhere, that can only fly here in Paris. (I say this with the full knowledge that, say, “Jersey Shore” is equally ridiculous, and could only fly in the good ol’ USA.)  Here are some of my favorite images of the quirky francais from the past week:

Just in case you lost them.

MIKA. Very serious man. He must be wondering where his pants are.

Another sad pop star. Le sigh.

And...a Mime.