A sun filled gorgeous holiday vow renewal in Paris
A sun filled gorgeous holiday vow renewal in Paris. Bring on the sun!
December, around the holidays, is truly a magical time of year in Paris. The holiday season enhances the beauty of Paris even more than usual. I so love the Paris holiday decorations, it’s so elegant and minimalistic. In general, you won’t find any over-the-top gaudy light displays. For example, near the Eiffel Tower Trocadero area every year they place three white flocked Christmas trees that are just the right touch of holiday elegance, and I absolutely love photographing couples with these trees. This particular December this year has also been milder and sunnier than usual, and even now that it has turned a bit more normal for winter (highs around 40F and mostly cloudy skies), it has been an absolutely magical month. You never know what you’re going to get in December, but it’s always fun and memorable.
Why do couples renew their vows? And why in Paris? A vow renewal is a very personal thing between a couple. In the past, vow renewals were popular with couples that have been married for a long time, 20 years or more. But more recently, couples who’ve been married a lot less time enjoy renewing their marriage vows in Paris. A vow renewal is a time to slow down, get closer, and re-commit yourselves to each other, reminding each other of what you love and cherish about your partner, which let’s face it in daily life we don’t do enough of. The moment between a married couple when they renew their marriage vows can be as meaningful or even more meaningful than the actual wedding day.
How is this possible?
Well, first, how many couples are so concerned with the little details that go into a wedding day, like the napkins, the party favors, the place settings, and so forth, the fact that couples try to make their weddings a great party that everyone will enjoy. The day goes by in a blur and you remember almost nothing, and the meaning can sometimes get lost, the meaning that two people are committing their lives to each other and will face life together, in all its glory and also during its hardships. But a wedding day is often focused on so many other things other than the couple, which is why a vow renewal is a wonderful way to reinforce the vows made to each other and celebrate your love in a very personal way/
Second, Paris has to be the most beautiful city and most romantic city for a vow renewal. The backdrop for photographs is simply unparalleled. It’s a fun, memorable and romantic place for a vow renewal. As a vow renewal photographer in Paris, I adore working with couples who are renewing their vows to create absolute magic.
Many couples wonder what the best month of the year is for a Paris vow renewal. Any month of the year is perfect for a Paris vow renewal, but a Paris vow renewal in December adds a little extra something. I was thrilled beyond belief with this post-Christmas, pre-New Year vow renewal in Paris. I was contacted by a lovely lady named Lacey, who lives in Oklahoma, about a vow renewal in Paris. She and her husband Gregg have been married for 15 years, but Lacey told me they hadn’t been professionally photographed since then. I can certainly understand that, time does fly, after all. One day you’re newlyweds, the next day you’ve been married 15 years. Lacey thought it would be lovely to have a small vow renewal ceremony in Paris and then have some beautiful photos. I couldn’t wait to meet them!
In addition to selecting two gorgeous gowns for her Paris vow renewal, Lacey made another important decision, which was to hire a private driver. I give my couples tons of advice not only about their vow renewal in Paris, but resources that can make the vow renewal even better. I share information on makeup artists, officiants, musicians, and even a private driver. Now why would you want a private driver in Paris? Why couldn’t you just wait for a taxi or call an Uber. Uber cancels rides constantly in Paris and can’t be counted upon. No one wants to waste time waiting for a taxi, particularly in the colder months when you’re standing outside.
Imagine a very friendly English speaking driver, who pulls up in a black Mercedes, opens the door for you, helps you in, and then you slide onto the cushy leather seats and you’re surrounded by toasty warmth as he whisks you off to your next Paris location? No wasted time, he’s there when you need him, and you travel in entire comfort. Lacey booked the private driver I worked with and it was absolutely fantastic! I went with the driver to Lacey and Gregg’s hotel to collect them, and from there we went to Trocadero, which is the main viewing point for the Eiffel Tower and a spectacular place to take vow renewal photos.
This couple was just WOW from the get-go. Gregg, a baseball coach, was a wonderful breath of fresh air, he was chatty (like me) and so friendly. Sometimes men (and sometimes women) are not too keen about having professional photos taken. I can’t blame anyone! When we think of that, we think of going to some boring studio with a bland backdrop behind us and put on our best smiles for the photographer who directs us to smile. It’s so manufactured.
As a professional photographer in Paris, the very last thing I want my clients to feel is uncomfortable, or bored. We started on a very great note because Gregg not only looked so handsome in his suit, but he had a great attitude that while maybe photos isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, we were going to have a great morning. And his wife Lacey. Can we say stunning? Now of course, you look at her gorgeous gowns and her beautiful face and figure and it’s a no-brainer, of course she’s beautiful. But after speaking with her and getting to know her a bit all morning, she has a gorgeous inside too that’s warm and friendly and so lovely. The two of them are an amazing duo.
Lacey told me that Gregg was the sensitive one, and she was a bit more of the tough one in the relationship. He did shed a tear or two, but I did as well. Their bond is absolutely beautiful and it was such an honor to photograph it. Love is grand!!!
Where we went in Paris, from the Eiffel Tower to the Luxembourg Gardens
There certain places most couples love for their Paris vow renewal, such as the Eiffel Tower. Each couple coming to Paris for a vow renewal is different and has different dreams for their experience. As a professional photographer in Paris photographing vow renewals, I love to work with my clients to find locations that have meaning for them and also show them around Paris, perhaps some spots they don’t know about if they’ve not been to Paris before.
Many couples love the inclusion of an officiant or celebrant. It is the officiant’s role to interject scripture and faith into the vow renewal ceremony, if the couple wishes it. Some couples don’t want their vow renewal to focus on scriptures, but personal and meaningful messages and passages that are a wonderful part of a vow renewal in Paris. While I love officiants and celebrants, some couples really want a very private vow renewal, just between them, and this is entirely possible also. Couples will write their vows on a notepad, on their cell phones, or even order beautiful vow renewal materials on Etsy to have and cherish from their Paris vow renewal. It’s entirely up to the couple.
In this case, the photographs were the most important part of Lacey and Gregg’s day, so they had a very short vow renewal ceremony, just the two of them, with a view of the Eiffel Tower. They exchanged their beautiful words of love, and from there we went all around Paris for the rest of the morning.
The light on the day of Lacey and Gregg’s vow renewal was absolutely stunning and not usual in Paris. Usually we have cloudy or hazy skies. On this day we have what I call “rose gold” skies. A lot of orange, a lot of color, that’s sometimes hard to tame. I don’t want too much orange in my images, but I don’t want to desaturate either, so it’s a tricky combination of skills required, and I love it.
We began the first part of the day with Gregg in his suit and Lacey in a stylish and beautiful white gown. I photographed them at the Eiffel Tower Trocadero area, which is the main viewing point for the Eiffel Tower and we had the ceremony in the garden area. Then, we walked along the river and went to the ornate Bir Hakeim bridge. Our driver then swooped us up to take us to the Louvre. We took advantage of all the stunning architecture at the Louvre, the former royal palace, and when we were done at the Louvre, we went to the Carrousel du Louvre, an underground mall that has a very nice pay restroom, where Lacey changed into her next outfit, an out-of-this world elegant green gown!
Because we had a private driver, we were able to see so much more of Paris than usual. I did my best to point out interesting Paris spots and share a bit of limited history too. It’s so fun for me to show nice people around Paris!
We made three more stops. One, to the Place Dauphine, a cute little square that was used in the movie Midnight in Paris. Then, we went to the always wonderful Luxembourg Gardens for some gorgeous photos with the famous fountain and the Senat (Senate building), which used to be the palace of Catherine de Medici, the former queen of France. I love photographing couples at the fountain, it’s such a stunning location and perfect for any Paris vow renewal!
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Finally, it was champagne time to celebrate! We went to a gorgeous historic restaurant in the Marais district and ended our vow renewal in Paris with a champagne toast. What could be more perfect?
I am beyond thankful for having the good fortune to meet and work with Lacey and Gregg. As a Paris vow renewal photographer and wedding photographer, there’s nothing I love more than meeting and working with sweet couples in love. Lacey and Gregg were a dream, and I sure hope to have the opportunity to photograph them again! Thank you Lacey and Gregg for such a wonderful morning!
If you’re planning to renew your vows, why not renew them in Paris? Paris is such a stunning backdrop, you’ll see so much of the city and have memories to cherish forever. Check out more info here.