My husband (Simon) is originally from Burkina Faso, and I am originally from Minnesota, so when we got engaged, the next question was-where shall we get married? We met in New York City, but because we have friends and family from all over the world, we decided that New York City was not the best place for us to get married. We immediately thought of Paris, a special place to Simon and I as this is the city where we had our first date and fell in love. For the next 9 months, we took on the task of planning a french country style destination wedding in Paris. After almost a year of planning, we met in Paris with 120 of our closest family and friends to celebrate our union together.
We wanted to have a truly magical experience for all of our family and bridal party who traveled so far to help celebrate with us, so we decided to plan events a few days prior to the wedding, so everyone could really experience Paris and get to know each other. It all started on Thursday, where our family and wedding party met at the River Seine for a river cruise followed by a lovely French dinner and wine at La Plage . It was a great way for everyone to meet each other for the first time (this is where our families first met) and catch up with friends and family that we haven't seen in a while.
On Friday, we had our rehearsal at the American Church in Paris followed by a cocktail reception at the Radisson Blu Le Metropolitan Hotel, which boasts a spectacular view of the Eiffel Tower for everyone to enjoy. Before we knew it, it was Saturday, the day we had been waiting for!
Early on Saturday morning, my bridesmaids and I got ready at Hotel De Varenne, while Simon and the groomsman got ready at the Radisson Blu Le Metropolitan. (see our wedding look details here). Our photographer came to both locations to shoot photographs of us getting ready. We decided to do our "first look" at the Trocadero. It was such a great moment to see each other, with our closest friends around us. I will never forget that moment! Afterwards, we took photos with our bridal party at a few different locations around Paris. It was drizzling for most of the morning and early afternoon, but the sun did peak through for us to take our last pictures prior to the ceremony.
When we entered Maison de l'Amérique Latine for the ceremony, it was a truly memorable moment. This venue was the perfect place to get married in Paris, as we wanted a venue that we could have to ourselves and also a venue where we could have both the ceremony and reception. This place was the French country chateau that I always wanted to be married at, but located in the heart of Paris. I couldn't have been more pleased with how everything came together.
After the ceremony, we had a cocktail reception followed by a traditional French dinner. Afterwards, we kicked back and danced the night away!
We could have not dreamed of a better weekend to share with our family and friends who traveled from all parts of the globe to be with us in Paris. Having our loved ones around us made the weekend so much more amazing and special. There were so many memorable moments from the weekend, but the best moment was our families meeting for the first time. Two cultures were joined-Simon's family is from Africa and speak French and my family is from the United States and speak English, but that did not stop them from communicating and getting to know each other. These are moments that we will never forget and will tell our children someday!
Ceremony & Reception Venue-Maison de l'Amérique Latine
Florist-Estelle Preston of Estelle Preston Flowers
Photographer-Corinne Hameau of of Encre Noire-Paris.
Invitations-Wedding Paper Divas
*All photographs by Corinne Hameau of Encre Noire in Paris